2019 - August
The Accountancy Industry Digital Plan (IDP), Launched to Accelerate the Sector’s Digital Transformation
22 Aug 2019 Category: Media Releases
The Accountancy IDP was developed to help small and medium-sized accountancy firms adopt technology.
Singapore, 22 August 2019 – The Accountancy Industry Digital Plan (IDP) was launched today to digitally transform the accountancy sector. The plan will help Small and Medium-sized Practices (SMPs), which make up 98% of the accountancy industry, adopt technology for greater productivity and competitiveness. The IDP was announced today by Ms Indranee Rajah, Minister, Prime Minister’s Office, Second Minister for Finance and Second Minister for Education.
2. The Accountancy IDP was developed by the Singapore Accountancy Commission (SAC), the Institute of Singapore Chartered Accountants (ISCA) and the Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA). It is part of IMDA’s SMEs Go Digital Programme to help SMPs to embark on their digital transformation journey.
3. The IDP will focus on three strategies: enhancing digital skills and knowledge; promoting the adoption of technology; and developing accounting technology and innovations.
4. The Accountancy IDP comprises a Digital Roadmap to provide guidance to SMPs on the digital solutions to adopt, and employee training to undergo, at each stage of their digital development.
5. To support the digital development of SMPs, new initiatives launched today include the SMP Centre, a one-stop portal with information to support SMPs on their digitalisation journey; and the Accounting Technology & Innovation Centre which will be set up to develop new accountancy technologies and business models. (Please see Annex 1 for an overview of the Accountancy IDP).
6. The Accountancy IDP was developed to support the goals of the Accountancy Roadmap which was launched in June 2018 to develop Singapore into a leading global accountancy hub through four focus areas: developing and enhancing skills; boosting productivity; fostering innovation; and promoting internationalisation. The Accountancy Roadmap is aligned with the Industry Transformation Map (ITM) for Professional Services which aims to develop Singapore into a globally-leading Professional Services industry. (Accountancy is one of these Professional Services, together with Advertising, Architecture and Engineering services, Consulting, and Legal services).
7. “Today, we launch the Accountancy Industry Digital Plan (IDP) to equip accountants with the relevant skills for the Digital Economy, and support Small and Medium-sized Practices (SMPs) on their digitalisation journey. We recognise that SMPs are often faced with limited resources to scale up. Leveraging on technology will help them offer value-added services to their clients and improve productivity. The digital transformation of the accountancy sector and the development of accountancy talent for the future will provide the competitive edge we need to develop Singapore into a leading global accountancy hub,” said Mr Evan Law, Chief Executive, Singapore Accountancy Commission.
8. “To thrive in this rapidly changing business landscape, accounting firms need to leverage new technologies to drive productivity and innovation. The Accountancy IDP provides a structured roadmap to guide and support SMPs in every step of their journey towards digitalisation,” said Mr Lee Fook Chiew, ISCA’s Chief Executive Officer.
9. “Small and Medium-sized practices play an important role by providing all businesses, including SMEs, with robust foundational financial, accounting and business services. We are excited to have worked closely with the Singapore Accountancy
Commission and Institute of Singapore Chartered Accountants to help our SMPs digitalise in Singapore’s Digital Economy”, said Tan Kiat How, Chief Executive, IMDA.
10. The Accountancy IDP provides a Digital Roadmap, a step-by-step guide on the digital solutions that SMPs can adopt at each stage of their digital development. The IDP also includes a roadmap on training to equip the sector’s workforce with new capabilities and the necessary mindset to embark on the digital journey. Broadly, the three stages of an SMP’s digital development are:
Stage 1: Getting Digital Economy Ready
The initial stage aims to help SMPs get ready for Singapore’s digital economy and lists the basic digital solutions that enable SMPs to stay competitive. These include Practice Management, Audit Management and Tax Management solutions to streamline operations and optimise resources.
Stage 2: Growing in the Digital Economy
The second stage highlights digital solutions such as Data Analytics for Advisory, and the integration of digital solutions for seamless transactions that enable the consolidation of data for SMPs to generate deeper insights.
Stage 3: Leaping Ahead
The third stage identifies advanced digital technologies that SMPs can implement to provide new innovative services and develop more intelligent businesses. These include using Artificial Intelligence (AI) enabled digital solutions for business operations and provision of services in audit and accounting.
(Please see Annex 2 for more information)
11. SMPs can visit the SMP Centre for a comprehensive business diagnosis and advice on adopting digital solutions in their operations. SMPs that are embarking on more advanced solutions, such as AI, can seek assistance from the Accounting Technology & Innovation Centre (AccTech Centre).
12. The SMP Centre is a one-stop platform (www.SMPcentre.org.sg) to serve the needs of an SMP on its digital journey to harness technology for greater productivity, growth and competitiveness.
13. The centre’s services include an online self-assessment toolkit to determine an SMP’s digital readiness; the digital and training roadmap that identifies pre-approved digital solutions and curated training required at each stage of an SMP’s digital development (see paragraph above on the Digital Roadmap); available funding support; and information on the upcoming Accounting Technology & Innovation Centre (AccTech Centre) which will be set up to help SMPs innovate business processes, models and services.
14. The SMP Centre was set up by the Institute of Singapore Chartered Accountants (ISCA), and supported by the Singapore Accountancy Commission (SAC).
15. “Via the SMP Centre’s online portal, staff at an SMP can use the online self-assessment toolkit to determine their firm’s stage of digital readiness; identify the relevant digital solutions and training programmes, and source for available funding schemes,” added ISCA CEO Mr Lee Fook Chiew.
(Please see Annex 3 for more information)
Accounting Technology & Innovation Centre (AccTech Centre)
16. The Accounting Technology & Innovation Centre (AccTech Centre) is a resource centre that facilitates collaboration and catalyses technology and business innovations in the accounting sector. The AccTech Centre will help SMPs to innovate business processes, business models, service delivery, and services. Through the Centre, SMPs could work with academics, technology partners and government agencies to experiment and prototype innovative ideas.
17. In addition to co-creating innovative ideas with SMPs, the Centre will also provide networking opportunities with thought leaders and technology partners. Participants can benefit from workshops and symposiums on advanced accounting technologies, as well as attend trainings and attain certifications through the Singapore Institute of Technology (SIT) to upgrade their technologies skillset. The AccTech Centre is a joint initiative between SIT and SAC.
18. Associate Professor Ivan Lee, Vice President (Industry & Community), SIT, commented: “The role of accounting professionals has evolved, and with the advent of disruptive technologies, accounting entities need to innovate more than ever in order to stay competitive. As Singapore’s University of Applied Learning, SIT aims to fill this gap by collaborating with SAC. We will work with accounting firms on specific innovation projects, as well as offer training in areas such as artificial intelligence, data analytics and design thinking.”
19. SAC and SIT signed the collaboration agreement on the establishment of the Accounting Technology & Innovation Centre today.
20. Located at SIT, the AccTech Centre will be in operation from 1 September 2019. (Please see Annex 4 for more information)
SMPs on the digitalisation journey
21. SMPs that have begun to adopt technology are already seeing benefits. (Please see Annex 5 for their profiles)
For more information, please contact:
Ms Leow Weihui
Manager, Corporate Communications, Singapore Accountancy Commission
DID: (65) 6325 0514; HP: 97598762; Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Aung Thi Ha
Manager, Communications and Marketing, IMDA
DID: (65) 9338 2594; Email: Aung_Thi_Ha@imda.gov.sg
Assistant Director, Communications and Marketing, IMDA
DID: (65) 6211 0527; Email: email@example.com
Senior Communications Manager, Institute of Singapore Chartered Accountants
Tel: 6597 5608 / 9641 6920; Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Senior Manager, Corporate Communications, Singapore Institute of Technology
DID: (65) 6592 2102; HP: (65) 9753 7220; Email: Jesmine.Ong@SingaporeTech.edu.sg
About Singapore Accountancy Commission
The Singapore Accountancy Commission (SAC) spearheads the development of the Singapore accountancy sector with the vision of developing Singapore into a leading global accountancy hub. SAC is working to achieve this by deepening the skills of the accountancy talent pool; developing the industry to capture growth opportunities; and creating a hub and exchange by building Singapore into a centre for thought leadership. SAC is a statutory body under the Ministry of Finance. For more information, please visit www.sac.gov.sg
About Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA)
The Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA) leads Singapore’s digital transformation with infocomm media. To do this, IMDA will develop a dynamic digital economy and a cohesive digital society, driven by an exceptional infocomm media (ICM) ecosystem – by developing talent, strengthening business capabilities, and enhancing Singapore's ICM infrastructure. IMDA also regulates the telecommunications and media sectors to safeguard consumer interests while fostering a pro-business environment, and enhances Singapore’s data protection regime through the Personal Data Protection Commission. For more news and information, visit www.imda.gov.sg or follow IMDA on Facebook IMDAsg and Twitter @IMDAsg.
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 Institute of Technology
Singapore Institute of Technology (SIT) is Singapore’s university of applied learning. It aims to be a leader in innovative university education by integrating learning, industry and community as part of its unique pedagogy. Partnering world-class universities, SIT offers applied degree programmes targeted at growth sectors of the economy. SIT also aims to cultivate in its students four distinctive traits, or the SIT-DNA, which will prepare them to be ‘thinking tinkerers’, who are ‘able to learn, unlearn and relearn’, be ‘catalysts for transformation’ and finally, become ‘grounded in the community’. For more information, visit www.SingaporeTech.edu.sg.