Once dominated by huge corporations, the film industry is now a network of businesses and producers that come together to make movies on a project basis. In a collaborative, fragmented, demanding network-economy world, the business forces that changed Hollywood have become almost commonplace in other industries, with the competitive edge belonging to those who can bring together the best specialists for each project.
Amid the fast-changing business environment, ISCA collaborates with our government and industry partners to support different segments of our membership base. From company visits to overseas business missions, to networking and mentorship programmes, we work to advance the development of the profession.
To help the accountancy sector digitally transform and adopt technology for greater productivity and competitiveness, ISCA, together with the IMDA and SAC, developed the Accountancy IDP. It is part of IMDA’s Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) Go Digital Programme to help SMPs to embark on their digital transformation journey. The plan focuses on enhancing digital skills and knowledge, promoting the adoption of technology, and developing accounting technology and innovations.
Virtual SMP Centre
ISCA also set up the virtual SMP Centre, which is supported by SAC. The virtual SMP Centre is a one-stop portal with information to support SMPs on their digitalisation journey. SMPs can visit the SMP Centre (www.SMPcentre.org.sg) for advice on adopting digital solutions in their operations.
MOU with Singapore Polytechnic
In August 2019, ISCA and Singapore Polytechnic (SP) signed an MOU to collaborate on programmes that enhance the digital capabilities of SMPs.
Under the collaboration, ISCA and SP will work on two main areas:
- the development of certification courses in Robotic Process Automation (RPA) that are customised for SMPs; and
- supporting SMPs in the adoption of audit software to automate and streamline their audit workflow.
As part of the collaboration, students from SP’s Diploma in Accountancy programme will support SMPs in the implementation of audit software by assisting them with the onboarding process. The use of RPA was also introduced to help SMPs automate some of their mundane audit processes.
The RPA courses feature a practical component. Upon completion of the course, participating firms would have implemented at least one RPA function in their organisation.
More than 100 SMPs are expected to benefit from the programme within the next two years.
Overseas Business Missions
The Institute led delegations on business missions to Myanmar and China. Through these overseas trips, participants from SMPs gained insights into the business landscape, regulations and challenges in the respective countries. They also exchanged knowledge and best practices, and explored business and collaboration opportunities with overseas counterparts.
The trip to Myanmar took place in May. Seventeen delegates visted a bank, accounting firm and Singapore law firm based in Yangon. A business-matching session with 30 representatives from Burmese law, accounting and audit firms enabled participants to establish connections and partnerships with their counterparts.
On the Singapore Professional Services Business Mission to China, ISCA brought 11 practitioners from SMPs to join a delegation of 120 individuals to Shanghai, Suzhou and Nanjing in September. Led by Minister in the Prime Minister’s Office and Second Minister for Finance and Education Ms Indranee Rajah and Senior Minister of State for Ministry of Trade and Industry Dr Koh Poh Koon, the delegation learned about the digitalisation journey of accounting practices in China and explored business opportunities. Participants also attended the 13th Singapore-Jiangsu Cooperation Council meeting, visited InnovFest Suzhou and intellectual property specialist PatSnap.
ISCA Career Pathway Series
In the second edition of ISCA’s career pathway series, titled “Opportunities Ahead and Beyond”, a panel of distinguished speakers who started out as accountancy graduates shared their experiences pursuing different career paths, including forensic accounting and sustainability. The panellists shared with the audience of young finance and accountancy professionals and accountancy graduates how an accountancy education gave them an edge in their careers.
One Young World
Ms Maria Teo, Associate Director of Nexia TS Public Accounting Corporation, represented ISCA as one of the CAW delegates at the 10th One Young World summit in the United Kingdom from 22 to 25 October 2019. The summit brought together young leaders from around the world to share their knowledge and discuss global issues.
Following a successful series of networking sessions that started in 2018, the Institute stepped up its efforts to bring the finance and accounting community closer together in 2019.
In 2019, members from the ISCA Council, ISCA’s Young Finance Leaders Network, CFO Committee and Young Professionals Advisory Committee went on learning journeys at companies such as Redmart, Qianhu and EY wavespace to learn about new technologies as well as the business challenges and opportunities at each respective company. Among the attendees was ISCA Advisor Mr Teo Ser Luck.
Networking sessions provided a platform for members to mingle and discuss topical issues. In the networking session in February 2019, finance leaders discussed the US-China trade war and its effect on Southeast Asia. In July, the discussion topic was on how RPA and artificial intelligence can be applied in the finance function.
In conjunction with International Women’s Day, ISCA also organised a women-only networking session for members to discuss the various societal challenges encountered by women in their careers and how to find the ideal balance between work and personal life.
For audit professionals, the Institute also shared results of a benchmarking study of the accounting industry during a networking session.
Accounting Innovation Challenge
Accountancy professionals, startup entrepreneurs and tertiary students took part in a hackathon to solve business problems faced by accountancy professionals in the Accounting Innovation Challenge, coorganised by ISCA and SAC. The 37 teams, with the help of on-site mentors, delivered solutions for a range of topics including streamlining the audit process and optimising working capital requirements.
In 2019, ISCA kicked off the third run of its mentoring programme. The scheme gives CFO aspirants one-on-one access to experienced C-suite executives to learn, network and grow under their mentorship. During the nine-month-long programme, 19 finance professionals were paired with mentors keen to groom the next generation of leaders. They provided guidance on professional development, leadership and management, stakeholder communication, and other areas of expertise.
MOU with IES-INCA
In October, ISCA signed an MOU with the Institution of Engineers, Singapore – Incubator and Accelerator (IES - INCA).
Under the terms of the MoU, ISCA will invite members with significant financial and business leadership as well as management experience to mentor IES-INCA incubatees on a probono basis.
IES-INCA will also create an IES-INCA Investors Network that will hold regular networking and business pitching events exclusively for IES and ISCA members, to promote interaction between investors and incubatees and increase investment opportunities.
ISCA’s monthly breakfast talks remain a popular fixture on our calendar, which in the past year covered topics such as sustainability reporting, fintech, cybersecurity, investment positioning, alternative financing and more.
Singapore Corporate Awards
ISCA continues to be one of the organisers of the Singapore Corporate Awards, together with the Singapore Institute of Directors and The Business Times. In its 14th year, the awards celebrate outstanding listed companies and individuals who championed exemplary corporate governance. The gala event saw over 800 business leaders and professionals gather for the black-tie dinner at Resorts World Sentosa. ISCA was the award organiser for the Best Chief Financial Officer and Best Annual Report awards, conferred on three individuals and thirteen listed companies, respectively.
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