New technologies such as Big Data, the Internet of Things and machine learning are contributing to profound changes in the business landscape. Through our initiatives over the past year, ISCA enables our members to be ready for the future. These included reports on emerging areas such as fintech and Artificial Intelligence, digital marketing workshops and overseas business missions for SMPs.
To explore how technology has transformed the role of accountants and changed the business landscape, ISCA organised its inaugural Technology Conference (TechCountx) in August 2018. At the conference, business leaders shared how technology has propelled the growth of their businesses during the panel discussion. Subject matter experts also shed light on topics such as AI, data analytics and cybersecurity. The conference included a technology showcase and Tech Talk arena, featuring demonstrations of various solutions and tools for accountancy professionals.
Digital Marketing for SMPs
A digital marketing talk at Google Singapore on 28 April created an opportunity for our members to hear from experts about how modern accounting firms can leverage the opportunities in the digital world. In addition, an onsite digital audit clinic allowed SMPs to receive a diagnostic assessment of the performance of their websites and apply the lessons learned.
Another pertinent issue for businesses today is cybersecurity. To educate our members on the importance of managing cybersecurity risk, ISCA published ISO 27001: A Framework to Manage Information Assets, which discussed how companies can practise good cybersecurity to protect their information assets, in the September 2018 issue of the ISChartered Accountant Journal.
ISCA worked with ICAEW on a project that looked at what drives successful fintech innovation, and the strengths and challenges of Singapore and London as leading fintech hubs. ISCA and ICAEW also convened a roundtable discussion in Singapore, which brought together fintech innovators, banks, advisors and investors to share their different perspectives. The resulting publication, Fintech Innovation: Perspectives from Singapore and London, was launched on 29 October. It explored the implications for the accountancy profession and encourages the profession to act on the opportunities, such as advising fintech start-ups on financial matters, as well as helping them to make sense of the regulatory and tax requirements.
ISCA launched its publication Artificial Intelligence: Opportunities, Risks and Implications on 14 September. Featuring case studies, the publication includes responses by regulators, financial institutions, technology companies and the legal fraternity on issues surrounding the use of Artificial Intelligence (AI).
Besides a demonstration of AI applications by technology companies, the launch event also featured a panel that included representatives from Microsoft and DBS Bank. The panelists discussed the topic “Pain or Gain: What AI can do to Businesses and Society”. Through the publication and panel discussion, ISCA sought to promote dialogue on the topic and contribute to building a future-ready profession.
The ISCA Business Study Mission to the UK in May saw a delegation of 21 SMPs explore and learn the best practices from their counterparts in London, which are embracing technology to enhance productivity and efficiency. The five-day programme included a visit to Accountex UK 2018, the country’s largest accounting tradeshow. The delegates used this opportunity to attend technology and practice management seminars to gain insights into emerging accounting trends and practice areas. The tradeshow provided a platform for our practitioners to learn about how certain processes have been automated, and also exposed them to solutions not yet available in Singapore.