3 December 2012 – Apart from having to establish exemplary business leadership, companies in Singapore today are also expected to build a strong culture of corporate ethics. This comes in light of the recent wave of corporate scandals, which has led to greater public demand for companies to be more transparent and accountable.
To educate businesses on how they can react and protect themselves, the Institute of Certified Public Accountants of Singapore (ICPAS) has partnered with Harry Elias Partnership LLP to host a Corporate Ethics & Governance Seminar. The seminar took place on December 3, 2012 from 8.30am to 12.30pm.
A Call for Corporate Ethics and Governance Betterment
Participants of the seminar not only learnt how to identify risks, but were also taught how they can adopt preventive measures and various tools to enhance their business management. The audience largely consisted of accounting and legal professionals, directors, CEOs, CFOs and senior management of public listed companies.
The seminar introduced existing applications that businesses can adopt to their organizational advantage. Apart from sharing insights into case studies, the speakers also shared examples of good corporate practices that could help businesses protect themselves from corporate scandals.
The tricky issue of whistle-blowing was also addressed. Companies were taught how they can devise and apply whistle-blowing policies in addition to critical risk management policies that address the upcoming ethical issues of today’s business world.
Besides addressing the practical applications of Corporate Governance, Dr Ernest Kan, ICPAS President, spoke about the need to cultivate ethics within the organisation, “Frameworks and structures are only as effective as the people who adhere to or practise them. Therefore, it is important for companies to invest the time and effort to cultivate a culture of ethics within their organisations underpinned by a Code of Ethics and Conduct. The Code would provide that moral compass for employees to address their ethical concerns and provide the right values to guide them in discharging their duties.”
Breakdown of the Seminar
President of ICPAS Dr. Ernest Khan delivered his opening address at exactly 9:00 am.
The topic, “Importance of Corporate Ethics in Business- Analysis of recent local court cases on anti-money laundering”, was given by Mr. S. Suressh. As the Head of Aviation and Shipping Practice Group and Partner of Civil and Commercial Litigation Practice Group of Harry Elias Partnership LLP, Mr. Suressh has been involved in various high-profile legal cases during his practice.
Ms. Long Hsueh Ching, Partner of Corporate and Financial Services Practice Group of Harry Elias Partnership LLP, delivered her talk about “Whistleblowing and Risk Management Issues for listed companies in Singapore -- A look at practical applications and considerations”. She highlighted that Singapore has no specific legislation to protect whistleblowers as compared to many other countries. As a recommendation to businesses, she said the objective should be to ensure that arrangements are in place for such concerns to be raised and independently investigated, and for appropriate follow-up action to be taken.
There was a panel discussion towards the end for participants to bring up any enquiries they had. The panel was moderated by the managing partner of Harry Elias Partnership LLP, Mr. Philip Fong, and included various experts who shared their knowledge on the topic.
Venue: Four Seasons Hotel Singapore,
Ballroom A, Level 2,
190 Orchard Boulevard,
Registration fee: S$128.40 (members)
To arrange for media interviews or for any enquiries regarding the seminar, please contact Mr. Timothy Loh (firstname.lastname@example.org) or call 9171 6778.
About Harry Elias Partnership LLP (HEP)
Established in 1988 by Mr Harry Elias, Senior Counsel, Harry Elias Partnership LLP (HEP) is a leading player in the evolution of Singapore's legal landscape. For more than 24 years, the Firm has been on the cutting edge of legal changes, particularly on the litigation front. HEP has acted in cases that broke new ground, and which resulted in landmark and watershed judicial decisions. It comes as no surprise that HEP has been described as one of Singapore’s top law firms, renowned for providing focused, proactive and practical advice for its highly diversified clientele.
About the Institute of Certified Public Accountants of Singapore
Established in 1963, Institute of Certified Public Accountants of Singapore (ICPAS) is the national accountancy body that develops, supports and enhances the integrity, status and interests of the profession.
ICPAS members are professionals in accountancy, finance and business distinguished by their technical expertise, integrity and professionalism, in addition to a recognized accountancy qualification and relevant work experience. ICPAS members serve every corner of the world in every industry. Many of them helm some of the most prominent local and international corporations.
ICPAS accords the CPA Singapore designation. Working closely alongside businesses, ICPAS connects its membership to an unmatched range of information resources, events, professional development and networking opportunities. Presently, there are more than 25,000 members making their strides in businesses across all industries in Singapore and around the world.
ICPAS’ international outlook and connections are reflected in its membership of regional and international professional organisations like the ASEAN Federation of Accountants (AFA), the Asia-Oceania Tax Consultants’ Association (AOTCA), the International Federation of Accountants (IFAC) and International Innovation Network (IIN).
For more information, please visit www.icpas.org.sg