29 Jul 2010
The Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority (ACRA) is pleased to announce the following improvements to the Continuing Professional Education (CPE) requirements for public accountants:
i. Public accountants can count their CPE over a rolling three-year period instead of over a single year, starting from 1 January 2011.
ii. Enhanced CPE syllabus with:
a. clearer and tighter focus on core areas of auditing, financial reporting standards and ethics,
b. more flexibility in selecting CPE for non-core areas of expertise, and
c. tailored requirements for public accountants who are judicial managers and approved liquidators.
ACRA's Chief Executive Ms Juthika Ramanathan said, “The refinements to the CPE framework aim to make public accountants‟ CPE obligations clearer and focused on the core public interest areas of auditing, financial reporting, and ethics, while at the same time enabling them to better manage their learning needs for their own niche areas of expertise. This forms part of ACRA‟s continuous efforts to ensure that public accountants produce a consistently high level of audit quality even in a constantly changing business and professional environment.”
CPE requirement period
ACRA has changed the CPE requirement period from a one year period to a three-year rolling period, to allow public accountants more flexibility in managing their CPE requirements according to their learning needs and priorities each year.
The move towards a three year rolling period is in line with international practice including the standard set by the International Federation of Accountants for its professional body members.
The new requirements retain the same required number of CPE hours but these will now be set over a three-year rolling period, with the minimum requirements being 120 CPE hours in each rolling three-year period including:
- 90 structured learning CPE hours out of the 120 hours, and
- 20 structured CPE hours each year.
The first three-year rolling period applies with effect from 1 January 2011 to 31 December 2013. The second period will be from 1 January 2012 to 31 December 2014 and so on.
CPE is a very important obligation for public accountants to ensure that they keep their expertise up-to-date. ACRA takes this requirement seriously and will not renew the certificates of registration of public accountants who fail to meet the CPE requirements, except in very limited circumstances, such as illness.
The introduction of the three-year rolling period will enable public accountants to adjust their annual CPE according to their professional needs or in the event that their professional work is interrupted by a study sabbatical or family commitments.
Enhanced CPE syllabus
All public accountants are required to undertake CPE each year in accordance with a syllabus approved by the Public Accountants Oversight Committee (PAOC). Additionally, the CPE syllabus applies to the CPE hours that an applicant must obtain in the year before he or she applies to be a public accountant.
The CPE syllabus is structured into categories, comprising core and non-core expertise categories. The PAOC has issued a revised CPE syllabus with enhancements to the core expertise categories. The new core expertise categories will ensure that public accountants obtain CPE in all areas in which it is essential for these professionals to maintain current technical knowledge and professional skills.
Besides restructuring of the core expertise categories, public accountants will now have more flexibility in assessing the non-core expertise CPE which is relevant to their needs. In addition, a new category on "Insolvency and Restructuring" has been included in the revised CPE syllabus to better meet the needs of public accountants who are judicial managers or approved liquidators.
To ensure that the revisions to the CPE syllabus meet current professional needs, the PAOC drew on the knowledge of practising public accountants from across the profession, who formed part of a PAOC CPE Sub-Committee. The CPE Sub-Committee was advised by Prof Pang Yang Hoong, Vice Provost (Undergraduate) and Dean of the School of Accountancy of Singapore Management University, and supported by ACRA and the Institute of Certified Public Accountants of Singapore (ICPAS).
The revised syllabus is effective for the purposes of meeting the CPE requirements for the 2011-2013 rolling three-year CPE period, and each three-year period thereafter.
For registration purposes, the new syllabus will be effective for all applications received after 1 Oct 2011.
Read more at:
The Straits Times
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