In over thirty-three years, Donnies T. Alas took a leap of faith in setting up his own accounting firm– Alas & Co., CPAs. The firm became an outcome of his 7-year collective experience of working.
A step into the unknown, as Young Donnies perceives his early years in venturing towards the business landscape. The seemingly fictitious idea of molding an accounting firm, thirty-three years ago, became a substantial reality of success.
“Encompassing my seven years with two different firms, I was able to obtain a broad skillset vital for this endeavor. I have high hopes of being a partner at a young age, and I told myself that if become one in a 15-year time frame, I’ll be 45 years old already. Five years after that, I will be retiring then; therefore, I took courage and handed over my resignation letter. By then, I put up my own company with three initial partners,” Alas conveyed.
Success, however, knocked on its doors only beyond 14 years of operating as Alas & Co., CPAs. As business start-ups are inherently rigorous to begin with, the firm was faced with several dilemmas. The initial three partners withdrew from their engagement with the firm which forced him to seek their replacements. Eventually, Marycris S. Oplas came into the picture as the firm’s new partner, who later on became Alas’ life partner. With Oplas’ entry, the name of the company was modified into Alas Oplas & Co., CPAs (AOC).
All roads lead to great opportunities. Her journey sprouted from in advertently passing by AOC office– a chance she took applying for, that got her hired forthwith. Beginning her professional avenue as a trainee, her responsibilities revolve around bookkeeping, tax, management services, and auditing.
Rising from the ranks, Oplas is one of the organic personnel that AOC highly upholds. Her substantial empowerment is perceived through the years of handling various positions – from becoming the Head of Audit, Managing Partner, and now the Chief Executive Officer of the firm.
Alas became aware early on that his company needed to recruit and train young Accounting Graduates. This realization is rooted from his objective to provide a stimulating space for Accounting Graduates in following a vivid career path and diverting the focus on gaining a profession to earn money only.
My purpose lies in providing them with a great developmental plan on becoming a great leader in their professional journey. Training and conventions are our utmost efforts to mold them into becoming a partner. Currently, the Alas, Oplas & Co., CPAs have a cumulative number of 22 rigid partners and directors.” Alas imparted.
Chairman, Alas is currently wholeheartedly committed to passing down his invaluable legacy to the new partners, who are equally enthusiastic about embracing the meticulously crafted succession plan he initiated. AOC has proactively implemented a resilient succession strategy, ensuring the seamless continuity of its leadership.
In addition, by applying in one of the big firms when she graduated in 2002, Glesie Martinez also applied at AOC. She noted that the firm processes all job applications in a day, which allowed her to be accepted immediately. 10 days after, she got a call from other firm, but she decided that she would be better off in a smaller firm like AOC because her chances of being a partner were so much greater. Over the course of years, she is able to attain her current position as Senior Partner of the firm.
“I resigned twice but I always went back as if there is a significant pull towards greatness. From there on, I realized that my career path was distinct and vivid at AOC. This firm had made a difficult position be easily attained because of its core values and harmonious work culture– it is as if you are working not under but with AOC per se,” Martinez expressed.
Ryan Sabug, on the other hand, may not be one of the homegrowns of AOC but he is an esteemed and valued leader of today’s firm practices. He began acquiring his expertise through a different Makati-based firm. Seven years later, he decided to look for other opportunities including applying to a non-audit firm. He strived until AOC opened their doors for new hires, which he then took wholeheartedly.
“As I was being interviewed, I found out the fact that one of my colleagues was with AOC. The discovery led me at ease knowing there is familiarity into a new chapter of my profession. A year after succeeding in being the Manager, I was given a promotion to being one of the partners. Frankly, the onset of experience I had with Auditing has been an overwhelming journey– presuming how difficult it is to become a partner knowing the many challenges that I am to face. The silver lining of all the trials I have undergone led me here, for which I am grateful for,” Sabug stated.
Senior and Managing Partners are fully equipped for greater conquests both on their professional development and of the firm’s enrichment towards excellence.
BRANCHING OUT FURTHER
Alas aspires a tradition for AOC to uphold throughout all the years of its operation, branching out to various other regions of the Philippines. The eleven current branches of the firm are situated in Makati, Alabang, Cavite, Ortigas, Paranaque, Bulacan, Isabela, Nueva Ecija, Bacolod, Iloilo, and Bohol. Most of these partners in charge are homegrown employees who have developed their skills and expertise through years of service with the firm.
Further into its visions, Alas Oplas & Co., CPAs extends its tradition– a plan to open more branches.
“We will encounter a lot of challenges if we hire someone from the outside. We have our own culture, and we have a mindset of our own. When you define quality, it is without a doubt a service of caliber that we convey. We have a great deal of associates lined up to be managers and directors. Through our efforts, we are honing them further– ripe enough to handle the business,” Oplas asserted.
AOC core services include Audit and Assurance; Risk Management and Advisory Services; Tax Advisory and Compliance Services; Outsource Services; Offshore Collaboration Services; Corporate Set Up and Compliance Services and Deployment Services.
Alas Oplas & Co., CPAs is an independent member of BKR International. BKR International is a top 10 global accounting association with over 145 member firms in 585 cities across 81 countries. Through the three pillars of doing Business, sharing Knowledge and creating Relationships, BKR offers a holistic framework for members that promotes sustainable growth, innovation and prosperity in today’s complex business environment. In fact, Oplas currently sits as the Worldwide Chairman of BKR International.
“The growth in the number of our international collaboration can be attributed to being part of BKR. The association has leadership training annually initiated by BKR Asia Pacific and Alas Oplas & Co., CPAs support this initiative by sending their potential leaders,” Oplas said.
When asked why Alas Oplas’ client base has grown over the years, Oplas attributes this to the distinctive service of high value offered– a facet of efficiency for all the clients fit for their demand.
“These clients prefer seeking our assistance because upon needing a partner for their concerns, they are promptly accommodated to address their needs,” she conveyed.
Oplas stated further that AOC extended its reach by opening more branches to be closer to clients and support the flexible work arrangement of their staff so that they will no longer brave the traffic in makati, a sharp-witted strategy for building a stronger foundation and valuing convenience amongst the firm’s patrons.
“I was able to obtain upright advice from the big accounting firms– hiring must be an inclusive process of those starting from below. This explains how future leaders must undergo at the very beginning of their career before they can climb the corporate ladder. Therefore, through Alas Oplas & Co., CPAs intention to shape substantial leaders, we uphold a succession plan,” Alas concluded.
Indeed, this goes to show that AOC defines credibility and honor as a progressive firm– asserting that their principle generates a vast impact.