19 February, 2019 -- The Institute of Singapore Chartered Accountants (ISCA) commends the Government on Singapore Budget 2019 delivered in Parliament by Minister for Finance, Mr Heng Swee Keat, on 18 February 2019. ISCA is confident that the initiatives announced will support the Trade Associations and Chambers’ (TACs) efforts to implement industry transformation in their respective sectors.
1. Building Deep Enterprise Capabilities
ISCA is constantly exploring ways to build capabilities among local accountancy SMEs, to improve productivity and form alliances for regional expansion. In particular, we will be ramping up efforts to curate ready solutions to be adopted by local accountancy SMEs under the SMEs Go Digital programme.
For a more concerted effort in driving technology adoption within the accountancy sector, ISCA is working closely with the Singapore Accountancy Commission and IMDA to develop the Accountancy Industry Digital plan (IDP), which will be launched this year. The IDP helps local accountancy SMEs assess their digital readiness in different stages and support them in their digitalisation journey. This will enable the local accountancy SMEs to digitalise their work processes, making them more productive and competitive by enhancing their service offerings. With this IDP, we also encourage all accountancy professionals in the local accountancy SMEs to adopt the mindset of upskilling in their digitalisation journey.
2. Building Deep Worker Capabilities
We strive to support accountancy professionals in fulfilling their career aspirations and have developed various specialisation pathways to help them acquire new skills and knowledge in high-growth areas.
ISCA-SUSS Business Analytics Certification Programme
With Big Data and data analytics among the most in-demand skills, ISCA collaborated with the Singapore University of Social Sciences (SUSS) to jointly launch the ISCA-SUSS Business Analytics certification programme in January 2018. The programme enables accountancy professionals to deepen their skill sets in data analytics, which is growing in importance as the accountancy sector continues to transform. The programme was well-received and exceeded our targets significantly, with close to 90 candidates in the first intake which commenced in July 2018. The candidates spanned across organisations, including professional services firms, educational institutions and SMEs in diverse industries. The second intake, which commenced in January 2019, has attracted close to 80 applicants.
ISCA launched the ISCA Financial Forensic Accounting (FFA) qualification, which helps accountancy professionals deepen their capabilities in financial forensics. The ISCA FFA qualification pathway was launched on 1 March 2018 and has admitted over 100 candidates. The programme is the first applied learning financial forensic qualification developed by a professional body in the region, with inputs from leading financial forensic experts from public and private sectors. The qualification aims to build and shore up capabilities in the financial forensic field for the public and private sectors by providing a pathway that leads to the conferment of the ISCA FFP credential.
More specialisation pathways will be rolled out, and in the areas of Project Financing and Cybersecurity in the immediate future.
3. Encouraging Strong Partnerships within Singapore and across the World
ISCA is partnering Enterprise Singapore to help local accountancy SMEs build capabilities and improve productivity, under the Local Enterprise Association Development (LEAD) programme. These areas include the adoption of Audit Singapore software to streamline the accountancy SMEs’ workflow, funding of overseas mission trips to help them internationalise, the provision of e-learning courseware and workshops in high-growth practice areas. We are heartened to hear the government investing extensively in helping SMEs go digital by extending the various technology solution grants. At ISCA, we are stepping up our efforts to help local accountancy SMEs to embark on their digital innovation journey through various initiatives.
Riding on the success of the first LEAD programme launched in 2017, ISCA will continue to work closely with Enterprise Singapore to drive industry transformation within the accountancy sector in 2019. With the five-year roadmap coming into play and funding support from the government, the Institute can now play a more strategic role in championing initiatives under the four pillars in the accountancy sector Industry Transformation Map (ITM).