It has been a year since I was elected President of ISCA and I am honoured to have been entrusted, together with our Council Members, with the responsibility of bringing the Institute forward in our transformation. With your continued support, I am confident that we can realise our vision and achieve our mission.
ISCA embarked on our transformation journey four years ago to ensure that it remained relevant as our local accounting industry undergoes its own evolution. It marked the beginning of the next phase of growth for the Institute and we are now on track to become a leading professional body with global membership, outlook and standing.
It remains crucial for ISCA to retain its focus and relevancy as a member centric organisation. Our goal is to enhance the profession and help strengthen the infrastructure of the accountancy sector while supporting our members in various ways, including through professional development and advocacy.
In this regard, one of ISCA’s key missions is to create more pathways to attract and facilitate the entry of those who aspire to join this respectable profession by striking partnerships with other international accountancy bodies. These partnerships not only strengthen our ties with other professional accountancy organisations, they also increase our members’ career opportunities and international mobility.
In January 2014, ISCA signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW) to establish the ICAEW-ISCA Pathways to Membership scheme. The scheme, which is open till December 2015, enables eligible ISCA members to attain ICAEW’s Associate Chartered Accountant designation. With the scheme, the Institute aims to help members boost their career trajectory and mobility in an increasingly globalised and competitive world.
ISCA also continued its partnership with the Singapore Accountancy Commission to explore reciprocal membership arrangements with other global accountancy bodies. These included an Expression of Intent (EOI) with the Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand, Institute of Chartered Accountants of Scotland, and the Chartered Accountants Ireland.
Most recently, ISCA and the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA) inked a Memorandum of Agreement in March 2015 to establish the ISCA-CIMA Pathway for Singapore accounting professionals. The ISCA-CIMA pathway scheme is a fast track for our members to become CIMA members and be conferred the Chartered Global Management Accountant (CGMA) designation.
The globally recognised CGMA designation is a prestigious title jointly awarded by CIMA and the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA).
The CGMA qualification, together with the Chartered Accountant of Singapore designation, will complement each other by enhancing the cost accounting competency and business acumen of Singapore accountants. This will enhance the employability of our members and strengthen the talent pool in the accountancy sector.
Like Singapore, ISCA is small and a key challenge we face is limited resources. It is therefore important for ISCA to collaborate with global bodies like the International Federation of Accountants and leading professional accountancy organisations to reap the benefits of synergies and scale.
Within the region, the Institute is playing a leading role in the ASEAN Federation of Accountants (AFA) to advance the role of the accounting profession in light of the upcoming launch of the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) by the end of 2015.
The AEC will be a single market comprising 10 ASEAN markets with an aggregate economic size of USD2.3 trillion, and is expected to provide extensive opportunities for future economic and social development for the region.
AFA which comprises the national professional accountancy organisations of each ASEAN member state, is keen to work together to develop the profession in the region to capitalise on the opportunities presented by AEC. Such initiatives can help to raise the overall quality of the profession in the region, which in turn will support the region’s economic needs and growth.
In addition, ISCA is helping AFA with the possibility to set up a specialised group to study and provide ASEAN’s views and perspectives on global accounting issues. This is important to help shape the formulation of international standards and policies that are especially appropriate for a large segment of businesses in developing economies like ASEAN.
We are also developing a simple accounting framework also known as micro accounting model to facilitate micro businesses operating in ASEAN to make a transition from cash to accrual accounting. The objective of this project is to assist micro businesses in taking the first but important step in preparing consistent and reliable financial information. This will help set them in good stead to advance towards a more comprehensive set of international accounting standards as the businesses grow. Having ASEAN adopt this micro accounting model will facilitate participation and contribution of the profession in the region.
As an active member of AFA, we have also shared the ISCA Audit Manual with our counterparts in AFA as part of our efforts to deepen co-operation and to foster closer ties within the region. We believe that through such collaborative efforts, it will help to raise the standards of the profession in the region, which in turn, increases investor confidence and attracts investment to the region.
All the initiatives I have outlined above are aimed at helping ISCA realise its ambition to be a leading professional accountancy body with global membership, outlook and standing. This is why we set out on a transformation journey in 2010. We are now mid-way in our journey and this would not have been possible without the support of our members and stakeholders. I am confident that we will be able to successfully complete this trailblazing journey.
I would like to express my appreciation to all our members, Council Members, the senior management team and staff for their support and tireless efforts.
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