Mr Teo Ser Luck, Mayor, North East District, and ICPAS Advisor,
Ladies and Gentlemen.
Good evening and a warm welcome to the ICPAS Dinner & Dialogue 2009 - Upping The Ante of Generation Y Talent in Nation Building.
As the national accountancy body, ICPAS can contribute meaningfully to nation building and youth development. Many of our members belong to Generation Y, and we certainly hope to engage them and provide assistance towards their professional development.
Those of you who have been attending the ICPAS annual dinners may have noticed that we have a larger crowd tonight. Yes, we have a record turnout of more than 500 participants, a doubling in numbers as compared to previous dinners. In fact, the tables were sold out 3 weeks before the dinner dialogue.
President’s 200-day message
Members may have noted my 200-day message today. I would like to recap some of the main points:
• No organisation can be transformed overnight. With a membership base of more than 21,000, the transformation process for ICPAS must be all the more meticulous. We will take some time to complete the changes we want and plan to make, before we can enjoy the fruits of our labour. • With a changing mindset and culture, we are building a culture where our business mission and goals are relevant to our members and other stakeholders. • We also rolled out a series of seminars and roundtables to strengthen the thought and practice leadership position of the Institute. • We are finalising development work on a program called the Public Practice Program (PPP). The Practice Monitoring Programme (PMP) is an important regulatory instrument to promote audit quality. Other than carrying out the PMP for public accountants who audit non-public interest entities, we have also developed programmes that cater to the different needs of public accountants, like “Are you ready for PMP”, “PMP Technical clinic” and “PMP Mandatory Course”. • We continue to engage the government in regular policy feedback. We actively participated in providing feedback on the Companies Act review in the areas of “Corporate Governance covering Directors’ Duties” and “Accounts and Audit” and engaged in a focus group study of the standard business information reporting project by the Ministry Of Finance. • We have committed a strategic investment to develop a School Management System to strengthen the setup of our training arm, the Singapore Accountancy Academy. • We launched a members’ details update exercise with the objective of better serving members’ needs and to facilitate future growth in our membership. • We will continue to focus on building capabilities and attracting talent. With strengthened resolve towards our future direction and focus, we are excited by our mission to develop the accountancy sector, and play a major role in the building of Singapore as a strategic business hub and a key player in the global economy.
Gen Y - future leaders and diversity in views
Tonight we are here to discuss a topic with far-ranging implications on the workforce and society at large – Upping the Ante of Generation Y Talent in Nation-Building. Wikipedia indicates that there are no precise dates for when Generation Y starts and ends, but that most commentators use birth dates ranging somewhere from the mid 1970s to early 1990s.
Many of the Gen Y-ers may be embarking on their first jobs and businesses. Being future leaders of the accountancy profession and the nation, their needs and preferences definitely should be addressed. Employers who understand them will win the war for talent.
GenYers expect work-life balance. As much as they value monetary rewards, they also place a high premium on friendships in the workplace. As such, adopting a caring and collaborative working environment will certainly triumph over an authoritarian culture when it comes to working with Gen Y-ers.
When harnessed properly, diverse views and perspectives from Gen Y can positively influence strategies and policies. Some may think that they are too idealistic, but many a time, greatness and success originate from unconventional ideas.
Sharing of experiences with Gen Y
Experienced professionals can share with Gen Y their past "struggles" and how to overcome obstacles. Experience and youthful ideals complement one another Without experience, one tends to stumble and pick up painful lessons along the way. Without idealistic beliefs, one tends to be fearful of change and cling on to the familiar.
ICPAS and the profession going forward
The global financial crisis may have impacted many businesses’ expansion or strategic plans. Nevertheless, successful organisations look ahead and invest for the future.
Looking into the future, in five to ten years’ time, I hope, and believe many of you here share my vision, that ICPAS develops itself into a more dynamic organisation. The accountancy profession in Singapore has the potential to further strengthen its capabilities and contribute towards the nation’s economic prosperity. Singapore’s external thrust is in line with the regionalisation and globalisation efforts of many accountancy practices and businesses. Accounting professionals who are bold in venturing out will find that their skill-sets and IFRS knowledge are highly sought after globally.
Our guest of honour Mr Teo Ser Luck will be sharing his thoughts on what areas of nation building Gen Y can be involved in and how.
Understand Gen Y, seek their views, coach and learn from them. I am sure you will find your experiences with this generation to be rewarding and filled with positive surprises. I believe participants will enjoy the dialogue and dinner that follow, and wish you all a happy evening ahead.