• speeches

Welcome address by ISCA CEO Mr Lee Fook Chiew at the ISCA Budget Update 2020 Live Webinar Seminar on 12 March 2020

ISCA Adviser, Mr Teo Ser Luck

ISCA President, Mr Kon Yin Tong

Distinguished Speakers and Panellists

Ladies and Gentlemen

Good Morning

Welcome to the ISCA Budget Update 2020 Live Webinar, the first event in our signature Singapore Accountancy and Audit Convention series. We have held the ISCA Budget Update Seminar for some years. This year, for the first time, we have changed its format to a live webinar, in view of the evolving COVID-19 situation.

COVID-19 is a black swan event that dramatically changed the global economic landscape. In formulating Budget 2020, the Singapore Government also took into consideration COVID-19’s potential impact on Singapore’s economy.  The comprehensive measures in Singapore Budget 2020 address the short-term challenges as well as push ahead with strategic transformation and growth plans in the long term. The short-term measures set out in the $4 billion Stabilisation and Support Package support enterprises affected by uncertainties in the global geopolitical environment, as well as the five sectors affected by the COVID-19 situation. The measures are also geared towards retaining jobs and sustaining wages in this period of a potential economic downturn

Additionally, Budget 2020 reinforces Singapore’s long-term commitment to driving industry transformation. This enables the country to press ahead with the digitalisation of enterprises and investing in training the workforce.

We are heartened that several of ISCA’s initiatives are also aligned with the key thrusts to deepen industry-wide capabilities and develop the workforce, as set out in Budget 2020. To support Small and Medium Practices in business transformation, ISCA partnered with the Singapore Polytechnic (SP) to work with SMPs in adopting audit software and Robotic Process Automation (or RPA in short). Audit software enables SMPs to automate and streamline their audit workflows while RPA can help SMPs raise productivity and drive cost reduction.

ISCA is also offering a training course on RPA for Auditors, delivered by SP lecturers, to upskill employees of SMPs.  These employees will be trained to write simple but useful RPA scripts to automate audit processes. They can then immediately utilise RPA solutions at their workplaces.

Budget 2020’s emphasis on supporting lifelong learning and employability highlights the need for Singaporeans to continually learn new skills to keep up with an increasingly fast-paced and rapidly changing world.  At ISCA, our Continuing Professional Development (or CPD) team supports the reskilling and upskilling needs of the accountancy profession. ISCA CPD courses cover a range of topics in Professional Values and Ethics, Technical Excellence, Leadership & Personal Empowerment, Business Acumen as well as Future Finance. Some of these courses are eligible for the new SkillsFuture Enterprise Credit, introduced this year.

Besides today’s Budget Update Seminar and our training courses, we have lined up a series of conferences to keep you up to date and help you navigate the complexities of today’s business landscape. Hence, do keep a lookout for other conferences in our SAAC series.

Today, we aim to keep you updated on the tax and economic implications of Budget 2020.  Before we start, I would like to thank our speakers and panelists, who have taken time off their busy schedules to share their views on the Budget with us today. And I would like to especially express our gratitude to Professor Sum Yee Loong, who has been the keynote speaker at ISCA’s Budget Update Seminar for at least the last 10 years.  I believe that Prof Sum, as well as the rest of our speakers and panelists today will have insightful views to share with you. May you have a fruitful and enjoyable session.

Thank you.