We are committed to meeting the needs of our members, who may be at different stages of their career development. Some of our programmes are designed for specific groups so that issues common to them may be raised and addressed in greater depth. Such customisation also optimises resources by providing appropriate input where it is most needed.
In collaboration with SAP, we released the 3rd ISCA Productivity Scorecard and Benchmarking Report for the accountancy sector. Organisations can benchmark themselves against their local and global peers, and monitor their productivity improvements over time.
The Distinguished Leaders series was conceptualised to provide members at the apex of their careers and organisations with a platform to interact and learn from one another. The invited speakers are leaders who have made an indelible mark in their respective fields. Group President of the Government of Singapore Investment Corporation Lim Siong Guan spoke at our session. The participants, most of whom were C-suite executives, benefited from the insights on a wide range of topics spanning leadership transition, ethics, organisational change, management, and cultivating the next generation.
We worked closely with our CFO Committee to invite industry leaders to share their insights at the ISCA Business Financing Forum. Deputy Chairman & Chief Executive Officer of United Overseas Bank Limited Wee Ee Cheong gave the keynote address. Members also heard from a wide spectrum of speakers on topics including government support for start-ups; tips on raising venture capital; non-traditional financing options such as crowdfunding; nurturing a fruitful, long-term relationship with banks, and practical advice on preparing for an IPO.
Aimed at adding value to our PAIB members, the ISCA-UOB Economic Updates series was designed to provide them with greater knowledge of the regional economy that can impact their businesses, planning and decision-making. The sessions were helmed by two UOB economists from the bank’s research team, and covered the latest developments in ASEAN, United States of America, China and Singapore, and their likely effects.
By virtue of their size, the requirements of small and medium-sized practices (SMPs) differ from those of big organisations. We have dedicated initiatives aimed at driving innovation, quality and productivity in SMPs, which include the timely and relevant training of our members and the delivery of useful resources.
With the support of the Singapore Workforce Development Agency (WDA), we developed 10 On-the-Job Training (OJT) Blueprints covering 10 audit topics. The Blueprints provide supervisors in SMPs a guide on providing structured in-house OJT for staff. The comprehensive guide highlights the key considerations to note and the task standards for each audit work procedure, as well as the recommended competencies for staff to effectively carry out their tasks.
The Practical Audit Workshop (PAW) programme was developed following members’ feedback on the need for practical audit training for staff. To date, the series of structured audit training programmes has received positive feedback from both participants and firms. The PAW series of programmes, which are jointly supported by SAC and ACRA, are now certifiable skills training courses funded by WDA.
Our Technical Clinics provided public accountants with a platform to share and discuss auditing-related issues, thus helping to improve the quality of audits.
The ISCA Quality Assurance Review Programme helps SMPs improve the quality of their audits through reviews of their signed-off audit engagement files. In 2015, the scope of review was expanded to include firm-level review to identify areas of improvement at the firm level in compliance with the Singapore Standard on Quality Control (SSQC) 1.
To provide further guidance to SMPs in their implementation of SSQC 1, we developed and launched the first set of illustrative Quality Control Manual (IQCM) for adoption by SMPs. The policies and procedures contained in the IQCM are developed based on the requirements of SSQC 1.
Improving practice management will lead to higher productivity. Our outreach efforts have led to the formation of two consortia leveraging on the Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore’s Software-as-a-Service Call-for-Collaboration initiative. The early adopters of technology shared their experiences and benefits in the ISChartered Accountant journal. We will continue to promote good practice management, and update members on funding schemes and government incentives to advance productivity.
SMPs can learn from each other through networking and sharing of best practices. Initiatives like the bi-annual SMP Dialogue provides a platform for SMPs to interact with each other, as well as learn from experienced practitioners. The two dialogue sessions centred on helping SMPs stay relevant while addressing the myriad of challenges they face in an increasingly complicated business landscape. Existing business models were examined and refined to better address technological advances, regulatory and compliance requirements, and business complexities.