Accounting conference in Samoa ends on a high

The BDO New Zealand delegation praised Samoa for its beauty and hospitality during farewell gala last Sunday at Taumeasina Island Resort.

The delegation flew into Samoa with close to 300 people in the lead-up to the Easter weekend and booked out the Taumeasina Island Resort for their annual conference, with most participants staying on in the country to enjoy more of what Samoa had to offer. 

BDO New Zealand Chairman, David O'Connor, relayed the feedback from the conference participants to the host BDO Samoa, and made special mention of Prime Minister Tuilaepa Dr. Sa'ilele Malielegaoi for being "the catalyst that created this conference".

He said the PM and BDO Samoa played key roles in making the conference a huge success and their hospitality made the participants feel so welcome during their stay in Samoa. 

"You saw and led the change to bring a large and global network in Samoa and have given BDO the opportunity to help BDO Samoa support insignificant pieces of work. 

"Particularly if you look around this room Prime Minister, you are the catalyst that created this conference, which is the largest and privately owned conference in Samoa outside of a political or charitable organization.

"You have made this firm the 165th member firm of BDO international and arguable, you have tipped us over the 9 billion US mark. Thank you BDO Samoa," he said.

During the Prime Minster's keynote speech, he said the delegates' collective presence in Samoa demonstrated the value added and the importance of creation of alliances and networks which have facilitated the expansion of BDO services.

"The theme of your conference 'it is time to lead', in my view, is fitting particularly because you have chosen Samoa as the host venue and the opportunity to host you has reaffirmed Samoa’s readiness to lead and host meetings of this scale."

Tuilaepa said it is his hope that the conference programme last weekend enabled the delegates to get a glimpse of what Samoa had to offer as a tourism destination.

"May your Samoa experience inspire and create a more vibrant organization for your clients, people and partners," he said.

Taimalie Ernest Betham of BDO Samoa also revealed that they had positive feedback from the New Zealand delegation and said this has allowed them to build more and better relationships with larger BDO firms.

He said BDO Samoa rose to the occasion as the host of the conference and this was confirmed through the positive feedback they received.

"In this day and age, you can’t really run a business on your own, you’ve got to be exposed to what’s happening outside Samoa and bringing that experience and that learning to help improve your services in Samoa. And looking at the impact of technology and utilizing the best technology that’s out there.

"We certainly look to New Zealand for assistance and helping us improve our services and having them come here really allows us to see who everybody is in the new Zealand office and it’s [been] such a tremendous opportunity," he added.

BDO Chairman later said he would recommend Samoa as a suitable venue for conferences to corporate organisations and commended their local chapter on a job well done. 

He said BDO NZ will be looking at Samoa for "more investment, more growth and more opportunities".

"It’s a wonderful environment, people are friendly and it’s a fantastic place to come to. So I think if people look at conferences and want to go overseas they don’t have to just look at Fiji or Australia, they should be putting Samoa on the map definitely.

"We’re really happy with our BDO Samoa firm here and they’ve got huge potential to grow and develop and I think this economy needs the likes of corporate to come in and help support and I think BDO Samoa is doing a great job and  we’ll definitely support them," he added. 

BDO Samoa was established in 1981 and is now the largest public accounting, tax and advisory firm in Samoa, comprising of 23 employees and three partners.

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