ISCA is a members-based Institute, Its ability to carry out its mission as the national accountancy body ultimately depends on the support of its members. Members join ISCA to develop themselves professionally by taking advantage of the training, accreditation and networking programmes that it organises. ISCA risks losing its relevance and its members if it is unable to offer professional development programmes that can meet their needs.
A decrease in membership will result in fewer resources and revenue for the Institute, further reducing its capacity to offer such programmes, especially since membership dues is one of the main sources of its revenue stream.
ISCA’s ability to effectively represent the views of its members as a professional body also depends to a large extent on the strength of its membership. A shrinking membership base will weaken the Institute’s voice when engaging the government and other stakeholders, thus becoming less attractive to prospective members.
To ensure the continued support of its members, and thus its sustainability, ISCA must continually adapt itself and its offerings in a dynamic environment where financial regulations, accounting and auditing practices are constantly evolving.
To achieve this, it has to keep abreast of these changes, enhance its knowledge of the accountancy domain and be able to effectively transfer this knowledge to its members.
Similarly, a lack of expertise and knowledge of current issues and trends in international accounting, auditing and tax standards will affect the Institute’s ability to carry out its role as a partner to the government and stakeholders in transforming Singapore into a leading global accountancy hub.
The collective expertise, capability and organisation efficiency of ISCA’s staff are critical to its ability to implement the strategies of the Council, support the various committees, organise events and activities for members and deliver programmes under its centres of excellence.
Therefore, it is very important that the Institute is able to recruit and retain talents without which, its ability to carry out its role as the national accountancy body will be severely affected. This is especially pertinent in a tight labour market where the competition for talent is intense.
The Institute must thus have an exemplary human resource policy and practice that meets an individual’s aspirations for fulfilment and development, otherwise it risks losing its ability to recruit and retain talents. This will adversely affect its capability to implement programmes that can attract more members to join the Institute.
Technology presents both risks and opportunities to ISCA and the broader accountancy sector that it serves.
Accounting professionals need to stay abreast of emerging tools such as big data analytics and cyber security to serve the changing needs of their stakeholders. Hence, ISCA will need to respond to these trends by ensuring that its programmes adequately equip its members with the skills to cope with existing and emerging technologies.
Technology has also led to the rise of web-based academic and professional education in recent years. In particular, Massive Open Online Courses (MOOC) have emerged as a major player in the education space, with millions of learners globally now studying subjects ranging from engineering to finance on the Internet.
This new form of learning could potentially threaten the more traditional classroom based model offered by institutions such as ISCA. That said, online learning platforms also provides an opportunity for the Institute to reach out to a wider audience in a more timely fashion.
As a fast evolving business environment means that knowledge and skills have a shorter shelf life, the Internet is a convenient platform for learners to pick up new topics and stay relevant over the course of their careers. As such, ISCA can further capitalise on web based learning to help carry out its mission.