• speeches

Welcome Address by ISCA President Mr Kon Yin Tong at ISCA Practitioners Conference on 29 October 2019 at Cassia Ballroom, Marina Bay Sands Expo Centre

Permanent Secretary for Finance Mrs Tan Ching Yee

Distinguished guests

Ladies and gentlemen

Welcome to the final instalment of this year’s Singapore Accountancy and Audit Convention (SAAC) series, the ISCA Practitioners Conference.

We are honoured to have Permanent Secretary for Finance Mrs Tan Ching Yee as our Guest of Honour today, and we look forward to her keynote address shortly.

We are also pleased to have the Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority and the Singapore Accountancy Commission as our Strategic Partners for the Conference.

As the pace of change within the profession quickens, and as businesses become more complex, there are increased demands on audit professionals to meet evolving expectations from stakeholders. We need to break new ground to push our boundaries, to ensure that we thrive as a modern and forward-looking profession.

In line with our goal to prepare the profession for the future, we have organised this year’s conference based on the theme of “New Frontiers for Tomorrow’s Practice”. Our speakers and panelists will share their insights on the shifting trends for the profession and how to stay ahead of the curve.

 “New Frontiers for Tomorrow’s Practice” is also the title of our first panel discussion. The panelists will share their views on how the profession can position itself to continuously deliver value to businesses and serve the public interest.  They will also discuss what the Practice of the future will look like. 

Before looking into the future, let us bring our attention back to the present. There is a strong emphasis on fair value measurements in today’s financial reporting environment and the impact on financial statements can be significant. Audits of fair value measurements are challenging because valuations typically involve significant professional judgement, inputs and estimates adopted by management or third-party valuation professionals where the expertise does not necessarily lie with the auditors. This is also an area of improvement noted from the ISCA Quality Assurance Review Programme, which ISCA established to support the profession and to drive the quality of audit practices and engagements. So how then can auditors better assess the accuracy of fair value measurements and navigate the challenges in auditing fair values? Today, we are privileged to haveMr Eric Teo, Head of Business Valuation & Advisory at Savills Southeast Asia to share about “Valuation for Financial Reporting”. 

For audit professionals who are keen to learn more, ISCA has collaborated with Nanyang Technological University and Savills to create the Business Valuation Best Practices for SMPs Programme. The programme covers the best practices and key processes for a business valuation practice.  It is specially curated to equip audit professionals with the skill sets to set up and manage a business valuation practice.  This will enable practitioners to better support their existing audit processes, and possibly offer a new advisory service to businesses.

That auditors are learning about business valuation is one example of how audit is always evolving to meet the changing needs of business. Some of you may remember the recent news on prominent corporate failures.  Auditors are often blamed for company failures. The value of audit is questioned.  Governments and stakeholders are clamoring for auditors to do more, while those who are primarily responsible for the stewardship and governance of their organisations are relatively unscathed.  The second panel discussion will address these issues and you will get to hear the views of representatives from the various stakeholder groups.

This afternoon, ACRA will also be launching their 2019 Practice Monitoring Programme Report. Ms Ng Meow Ling, Director and Chief Inspector of the Practice Monitoring Department in ACRA will be sharing key observations from their inspections to help identify areas of improvement to enhance audit quality.

This year, we have split the Conference into two tracks after the second tea break. The conference tracks will cover a wide range of topics from technical, technology and innovation to client service delivery.  We hope this will enable you to choose your preferred segments to suit your interests.

I hope that today’s line-up will inspire you with new ideas, new strategies and innovative ways to deliver value to businesses.  I trust these insights enable you to enter new frontiers as the audit profession collectively works towards building the accounting and auditing practices of tomorrow.

I wish you a fruitful session ahead.