An injury can happen to anyone, no matter their experience or fitness level. Similarly, in today’s economy, one must be proactive in mitigating risks and seizing opportunities to ensure continued relevance. To this end, ISCA constantly monitors the risks in the external environment to ensure that our strategies and initiatives remain relevant and meet the needs of our members and the profession. Internally, we continually review our processes and systems to better support our members in a rapidly changing business environment.
Accountants are strategic business partners to their organisations and clients. Hence, we support our members in acquiring skills and capabilities that go beyond technical knowledge to help them overcome new hurdles while honing their competitive edge.
We remain committed to helping our members meet the challenging demands of the corporate world. In view of the volatile economy, we remain rooted in our goal of creating value for our members and to support them in each step of their careers. Maintaining a strong membership base is important for the Institute to be able to continue rolling out more initiatives and benefits for our members.
Disruptive technologies such as AI, robotics, Internet of Things and blockchain are transforming the economy at an unprecedented pace, and the accountancy sector must be agile enough to respond if we want to stay relevant. We recognise the need to be proactive when it comes to digital transformation – non-tech industries like accountancy need to embrace and invest in technology. The automation of routine accounting functions, cloud accounting and the development of AI are just some of the areas that are transforming the role of accountants in the digital economy. As such, ISCA works with stakeholders in the accountancy profession to explore opportunities to innovate and grow in the digital era, and to uncover new growth opportunities for the profession.
One of the chief concerns among professionals, managers and executives in the digital economy is the fear of losing their livelihoods to automation, AI and robots. These are changing the ways in which we perform tasks and the skills required to do so, and as technological breakthroughs speed up, skills previously acquired become obsolete. As such, to stay relevant in the digital age, ISCA encourages a culture of continuous learning and upskilling, and plays an active role in preparing the accountancy profession for the future economy. An important part in this is our growing e-learning library and CPE classroom courses.
Lastly, with the rise of automation, we recognise the growing importance of soft skills in the workplace. We support accountancy professionals in their development of soft skills such as creative thinking, emotional intelligence and collaboration so that they are equipped for the digital economy.
Our staff is crucial to the growth and success of the Institute. ISCA strives to keep our staff on board and attract talent by providing growth and development opportunities, recognising their achievements, and ensuring a healthy work-life balance. At the same time, our HR team is bolstering our talent acquisition strategies with the use of enterprise technology and automation, and deploy HR data to make better decisions, including recruitment and candidate selection.
ISCA faces the same cyber risks that now confront all businesses – increased global cybersecurity vulnerabilities, threats as well as more sophisticated and targeted cyberattacks, which pose a risk to the security of systems and networks, and the confidentiality, availability and integrity of data.
As the national accountancy body, ensuring our members’ data privacy is of paramount importance to us. Our members’ personal data is securely stored in our access restricted systems. The systems are secured with several restrictions, including access only within the office network as well as encryption. User access is also segregated according to the system’s security access matrix to ensure information is kept confidential. During the year, we have reviewed and made enhancements to our policies and internal processes, controls and guidelines, updates and patches. We also send email reminders to ISCA employees to further enhance the culture of vigilance when handling personal data.
Securing our data is of utmost importance to ISCA. We will find innovative solutions to safeguard against sensitive data breaches, computer hacking, dumpster diving, computer viruses, pilferage of information and identity theft. We are constantly enhancing our perimeter security and protecting our user access control with multiple factor authentication. We perform monthly vulnerability scanning, yearly penetration testing on our application, networks and servers with constant daily monitoring of activities. We provide the latest cyber information and known data breaches or threats to all staff. At the same time, we provide security training to our IT team.
ISCA takes a holistic, integrated approach to managing reputation risk as this impacts the ISCA brand and the trust and relationships we have built with our members, regulators and other stakeholders. The Institute is proactive in brand and reputation management, with policies to protect the consistency of our brand usage and to safeguard our corporate identity and reputation. We also uphold and enhance our reputation through sound corporate values and robust policies and processes to identify, assess and respond to any of such risks. Our staff also uphold quality, professional and ethical standards in our work.
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