The need to raise productivity and build value-adding capabilities for Singapore’s accountancy sector was one of the key issues highlighted in the CDAS Report.
As the business environment has become increasingly complex and challenging, finance executives must now compete at the highest level, including having the ability to accurately measure the effectiveness of their company’s accounting and finance functions in order to optimise growth. Benchmarking and standards are thus critical as they enable executives to evaluate important procedures and workforce management.
ISCA, in partnership with SAP, released the second Productivity Scorecard and Benchmarking Survey for the accountancy sector in May 2014. The study enabled participating firms to measure and benchmark their productivity levels against the industry average, and track their productivity improvements over time.
As a follow up to the productivity benchmarking effort, ISCA has been promoting the adoption of technology, human resource development systems, and training infrastructure to Small and Medium Practices (SMPs). At the close of the call-for-collaboration for Software-as-a-Service initiative by the Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore in late 2014, some 67 SMPs had enrolled in the scheme to adopt a cloud-based practice management solution to help raise productivity.
The Institute also facilitated efforts of several SMPs to tap on the Singapore Workforce Development Agency’s Enterprise Training Support assistance scheme. The scheme supports participating firms in engaging consultancy firms to develop a robust Human Resource framework, helping to boost staff productivity and retention.
1st Photo: Mr Koert Breebaart, Senior Principal, Industry Value Advisor, SAP, speaking at the 2nd ISCA Productivity Scorecard and Benchmarking Survey 2nd Photo: Participants of the ISCA Technology Seminar and SMP Dialogue gathered insights on raising productivity
As Singapore continues in its restructuring efforts, many of our SMPs and their clients are encouraged to look at improving various aspects of their operations to boost productivity. These include tapping on technology, streamlining processes, upgrading business infrastructure, manpower training and establishing networks and mergers, to name a few.
To help our members benefit from the different government schemes aimed at driving productivity and innovation, ISCA organised regular workshops and seminars, and facilitated several collaborations among our SMPs. These include the following:
Improving the competency and productivity of SMPs is a key strategic focus for the Institute. Responding to members’ feedback on the need for practical audit training for staff, ISCA developed the Practical Audit Workshop (PAW) programme. PAW – Audit Working Paper 1 is today a certifiable skills training course funded by the Workforce Development Agency.
To help SMPs in the implementation of SSQC 1, ISCA has developed a CIP Process Manual (CIP-PM) with SPRING Singapore. Through CIP-PM, SMPs can engage an external consultant to help develop a customised quality control manual and undergo a SSQC 1 post-implementation review by ISCA’s Quality Assurance team to review their compliance with SSQC 1.
Companies are encouraged to innovate and adopt technology to raise productivity and accelerate business growth. The ISCA Technology Seminar titled “Accelerating Business Growth through Technology” in October 2014 was organised for SMPs, and SMEs to explore and tap on technological opportunities.
Mr Michael Chin, ISCA council member, speaking to participants on SSQC 1
ISCA organises activities that are industry specific so that issues common to an industry sector can be better raised and addressed in greater depth.
The Institute organised its first Industry Special Interest Group (iSIG) session with a gathering of ISCA CFO members from the retail sector at ISCA House in July 2014. The CFOs found the networking sessions with their counterparts from the same industry sector useful as they were able to share experiences in resolving issues specific to the industry sector, as well as hear from other experts.
The Industry Special Interest Group (iSIG) was designed as an interactive and informal sharing session for same-industry CFO