2020 - April
ISCA Rolls Out Resources To Support Accountancy And Finance Professionals Affected By Covid-19 Pandemic
21 Apr 2020 Category: Media Releases
21 April, 2020 – The Covid-19 global pandemic is creating widespread challenges for many businesses and individuals. The accountancy profession is similarly not spared from the fallout from Covid-19. To support accountancy and finance professionals affected by the Covid-19 pandemic, the national accountancy body, the Institute of Singapore Chartered Accountants (ISCA), has produced a slew of initiatives which address the impact of the crisis from various perspectives. These initiatives were announced by Ms Indranee Rajah, Minister in the Prime Minister's Office and Second Minister for Finance and Education, on her Facebook page and LinkedIn page today.
Like many other professions, members of the accountancy profession face difficult challenges arising from the Covid-19 crisis. These include disruptions in the execution of audit procedures, adjusting operations to comply with Covid-19 measures, loss of business and clients, cashflow issues and the threat of job loss. To address these multi-faceted challenges, ISCA has rolled out initiatives that fall into three categories: Career Support, Resources and Virtual Learning Support.
Mr Lee Fook Chiew, ISCA’s Chief Executive Officer, said, “During this difficult period, we want to do all we can to support the profession. In coming up with this series of initiatives, we first assessed the issues faced by different segments of our membership and the profession. We then looked at how we can address them by leveraging the government’s comprehensive broad-based support packages and helping our members to access them. We also looked into the specific challenges facing our members and the accountancy profession, and customised initiatives to address them. By dovetailing our initiatives with the government’s support measures, we can provide effective and efficient support for our members during this crucial period.”
“We recognise that Covid-19 is an evolving situation, and we will continue to be in discussions with relevant government agencies to provide feedback on the challenges faced by the profession to help finetune support measures,” he added.
About ISCA’s Initiatives to Support the Profession Amid Covid-19
- Career Microsite
Under the guidance of ISCA Advisor Mr Teo Ser Luck, ISCA has launched a career microsite, which will house a career portal and relevant government career schemes for accountancy and finance professionals. The career portal will feature accounting and finance-related job posts extracted from Workforce Singapore (WSG)’s MyCareersFuture.sg portal. Schemes featured on the career microsite include the Professional Conversion Programme, which is targeted at mid-career switchers who are keen to specialise in management accounting,as well as the P-Max Programme and Career Support Programme, which can help employers defray talent acquisition, reskilling and upskilling expenditure.
Mr Teo said: “Amid the Covid-19 crisis, the threat of job losses is real. On the other hand, some companies may in fact need finance talent as they restructure their business to adapt to the changing environment. ISCA’s career microsite, developed in collaboration with Workforce Singapore, is a timely initiative to help job seekers and employers tide over this difficult time."
- Virtual Career Fair for Accounting and Finance Professionals
ISCA will work with WSG to co-organise a Virtual Career Fair (VCF) for Accounting and Finance Professionals. Held between 18 and 31 May 2020, this VCF aims to connect jobseekers with employers for roles in areas such as tax, accounting, audit and finance. This VCF will provide jobseekers who are keen to explore a career in accounting and finance with the access to relevant career resources and insights.
- Covid-19 Resource Centre
With the evolving Covid-19 situation, accountancy and finance professionals need to stay constantly updated on latest developments. To meet this need, ISCA created a virtual Covid-19 Resource Centre, with regularly updated content curated for accountancy and finance professionals. This includes technical guidance on accounting and auditing issues arising from the Covid-19 situation as well as government announcements and relevant news reports on the economy, regulatory changes and business developments. It also includes links to e-learning resources and assistance schemes for ISCA members.
- Technical Guidance
Covid-19 raises a wide array of challenges for accounting and auditing professionals, from disruptions in the execution of basic audit procedures such as sighting of original documents and fixed assets to making complex judgments over the impact of this pandemic on going concern assessments.
To support the accountancy profession in addressing some of these challenges, ISCA has introduced the following initiatives.
- ISCA’s Auditing and Assurance Standards Committee (AASC) and Financial Reporting Committee (FRC), in collaboration with ACRA, have formed a joint Covid-19 Working Group. The Working Group has published guidance in the form of Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) on ISCA’s Covid-19 Series microsite to share its deliberations on accounting and auditing issues faced by the profession. The Working Group will continue to issue new FAQs to support the profession throughout this challenging period.- ISCA has issued Audit Guidance Statement 12 (AGS 12), to provide guidance on alternatives for group auditors who are unable to get access to their component auditors’ work papers due to the travel restrictions arising from Covid-19. AGS 12 also provides guidance on other audit considerations which are applicable to group auditors arising from such extraordinary events.
- Financial Reporting Bulletin 2 (FRB 2) was issued to address the question of whether the Covid-19 outbreak is an adjusting or non-adjusting event for entities with a 31 December 2019 financial reporting date and other accounting implications arising from the outbreak.
- Financial Reporting Bulletin 5 (FRB 5) was issued to provide accounting guidance and key considerations on how to account for Singapore property tax rebate arising from the Covid-19 Government relief measure.
- Business Support
- Covid-19 Navigator
Some businesses and individuals may have difficulty navigating through the plethora of assistance schemes and identifying those which are relevant to them. To address this,ISCA has produced the Covid-19 Navigator, a summary of the assistance schemes and resources from the government and ISCA to support individuals and businesses affected by the Covid-19 pandemic.
The guide directs individuals and businesses to relevant support schemes and resources from the government and ISCA. The schemes and resources are categorised for employees, business owners and key decision makers in organisations, so that users of the guide can easily identify and access the schemes relevant to them, at a glance.
- Special Issue of ISCA Journal: Business Insights to Steer Through the COVID-19 crisis
Amid the Covid-19 pandemic, it is imperative that accountancy and finance professionals know how to cope with the current situation. More importantly, they should also prepare themselves for recovery when this crisis ends. ISCA will be running a Covid-19 Special cover story in the May issue of the IS Chartered Accountant Journal to share some useful information. The Special will comprise a series of articles addressing topics such as the implications of Covid-19 on businesses, how businesses can respond to the crisis now and how businesses can reposition themselves for the new reality. There will also be an article covering the technical resources and guidance from ISCA, developed to address issues arising from the current crisis.VIRTUAL LEARNING SUPPORT
It is vital that accountancy and finance professionals have access to learning and professional development resources during this period of social distancing. This is especially for businesses which are impacted by the crisis, as their accounting and finance teams will need to be equipped with the latest knowledge to work on the accounting issues, financial reporting disclosures and taxation implications arising from this pandemic.“In times like this, continuing professional development is more critical than ever to enable accountancy and finance professionals to be in a strong position to seize the opportunities that arise when the situation changes for the better,” added Mr Lee.
To support accountancy and finance professionals’ learning and development needs, ISCA has curated live webinars and e-learning modules under its eLearning Space. To date, ISCA’s eLearning Space has more than 40 live webinars in various topics. The interactive webinar platform enables participants to ask questions and trainers to answer the questions in real time. ISCA also has more than 400 courses in its e-learning course library. ISCA also has a financial assistance scheme to help ISCA members who wish to attend courses but are financially impacted by Covid-19.
For media queries, please contact:
Betsy Tan, Senior Communications Manager,
Tel: 9641 6920
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.