2019 - August
ISCA Collaborates with Singapore Polytechnic to Prepare Accounting SMES for a Digital Future
22 Aug 2019 Category: Media Releases
Singapore, 22 August, 2019 – The national accountancy body, Institute of Singapore Chartered Accountants (ISCA), and Singapore Polytechnic (SP) today signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to work on programmes that will enhance the digital capabilities of local accounting Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs).
The MOU was signed by Mr Lee Fook Chiew, Chief Executive Officer, ISCA and Mr Lim Peng Hun, Deputy Principal (Academic) of Singapore Polytechnic.
There are more than 600 accountancy SMEs in Singapore, comprising 98% of public accounting firms in Singapore. 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 local accountancy SMEs,
- supporting accountancy SMEs in the adoption of audit software to automate and streamline their audit workflow.
The collaboration will involve 80 students from SP’s Diploma in Accountancy programme who will take on audit software projects at accounting SMEs that are enrolled in the programme. Using RPA and audit software, the students will help the SMEs streamline their audit workflow and provide technology solutions. The first phase of the collaboration will commence in the fourth quarter of this year.
This programme will eventually be rolled out to all SP’s Year 3 Accountancy students as part of their Final Year Project.
RPA certification courses customised for accounting SMEs
Under the partnership, ISCA and SP will jointly develop certification courses that are customised for accounting SMEs. The courses will 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 accounting SMEs are expected to benefit from the programme within the next two years.
Robotic process automation (RPA) uses software with artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning capabilities to handle high-volume, repeatable tasks. RPA automates manual tasks, manages workflow, and standardises processes, thus freeing the accountant from repetitive, manual tasks. According to the 2018 Deloitte Global RPA Survey, organisations that have started using RPA reported significant benefits, including improved compliance (92%), improved quality/ accuracy (90%), improved productivity (86%) and cost reduction (59%).
Supporting accounting SMEs in adopting audit software
With support from Caseware International, a Canada-based software company, ISCA has provided an educational version of the “Audit Singapore” software, which SP’s accountancy students will be trained in. “Audit Singapore” software was developed according to ISCA’s Audit Manual for Standalone Entities (AMSE), which uses a risk-based audit methodology suitable for accountancy SMEs. ISCA will also encourage accounting SMEs to participate in the programme. Accounting SMEs that wish to adopt the “Audit Singapore” software can apply to ISCA for funding support, under Enterprise Singapore’s Local Enterprise and Association Development (LEAD)programme.
Mr Lee said: “Our collaboration with SP reaffirms our commitment to developing the accountancy talent pipeline. At the same time, we are supporting accounting SMEs as they evolve for the digital age. With these programmes, we enable accountancy students to gain practical, hands-on experience in applying business software in a work setting, preparing them for the workforce.”
“Concurrently, accounting SMEs benefit from the collaboration by having human resource support to accelerate their digitalisation journey. This also helps the firms build a pipeline of future-ready talent and address the issue of talent shortage. Having experienced working with an accounting SME, some students may wish to work in the firm upon their graduation. In addition, the application-based RPA certification course equips staff at accounting SMEs with practical skills which they can immediately implement at their firms to reap returns in cost savings and higher productivity.” added Mr Lee.
Mr Soh Wai Wah, Principal and Chief Executive Officer of Singapore Polytechnic, said “As the accountancy landscape continues to evolve, the only way forward is to embrace change, upskill our workforce and leverage technology to be productive and efficient. SP is proud to be part of the digitalisation journey, where our students can work with the industry to innovate creative solutions.
“One example is our collaboration with Audit Alliance LLP, where our students used RPA scripts to help the firm automate its repetitive and manual audit processes. This translates to an increase in productivity of up to 88%, where auditors now have more time to perform higher-level work.”
For more information on the RPA course programme, please refer to Annex A.
For more information about the “Audit Singapore” audit software, please refer to Annex B.
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Institute of Singapore Chartered Accountants
Betsy Tan, Senior Communications Manager
Tel: 6597 5608 / 9641 6920
Lynn Wee, Senior Communications Executive
Tel: 6870 7866 / 8481 5735
About the Institute of Singapore Chartered Accountants
The Institute of Singapore Chartered Accountants (ISCA) is the national accountancy body of Singapore. ISCA’s vision is to be a globally recognised professional accountancy body, bringing value to our members, the profession and wider community. There are over 32,000 ISCA members making their stride in businesses across industries in Singapore and around the world.
Established in 1963, ISCA is an advocate of the interests of the profession. Possessing a Global Mindset, with Asian Insights, ISCA leverages its regional expertise, knowledge, and networks with diverse stakeholders to contribute towards Singapore’s transformation into a global accountancy hub.
ISCA is the Designated Entity to confer the Chartered Accountant of Singapore - CA (Singapore) - designation.
ISCA is a member of Chartered Accountants Worldwide, a global family that brings together the members of leading institutes to create a community of over 1.8 million Chartered Accountants and students in more than 190 countries.
For more information, visit www.isca.org.sg.
About Singapore Polytechnic (www.sp.edu.sg)
Established in 1954, Singapore Polytechnic (SP) is Singapore’s first polytechnic. It has 10 schools that offer 40 full-time courses and 3 common entry programmes for close to 16,000 students. SP adopts a proven creative teaching and learning framework and offers students a holistic, authentic and industry-relevant curriculum, innovative and vibrant learning spaces, and enriching overseas programmes.
The Polytechnic is committed to producing competent and versatile graduates who are also imbued with sound values, so that they can be work ready, life ready and world-ready. SP has more than 206,000 graduates and among them are successful entrepreneurs, top executives in multi-national and public-listed corporations, and well-known professionals across various industries and leaders in government.
SP clinched the inaugural ASEAN People’s Award in 2015 for its contributions toward the region’s community-building efforts. SP is also the first polytechnic to be awarded the President’s Award for the Environment in 2010 and the President's Social Service Award in 2011.
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