2011 - November
Speech by Mr Teo Ser Luck, Minister of State, Ministry of Trade and Industry, Mayor, North East District and ICPAS Adviser, for Singapore Accountancy Convention 2011 Gala Dinner on Thursday, 3 November 2011
03 Nov 2011 Category: Speeches
Ladies and Gentlemen
A very good evening to all of you.
1. I am delighted to be here at the Gala Dinner event of the Singapore Accountancy Convention. Thank you, ICPAS, for inviting me again. This evening we are here for the pre-Convention Dinner, a good time to make new friends and renew old friendships, and have some fun. I am delighted to see so many of my friends and business acquaintances here.
2. As a fellow CPA Singapore, I consider it an honour to serve as ICPAS Adviser. Some of you may wonder why I deem it important to serve in ICPAS despite my heavy official duties. I would like to share my thoughts. It is important that we work together to further the interests of the profession – to make our accountancy profession relevant to businesses and the economy. To achieve this, we have to work together to boost the capabilities of fellow CPAs Singapore and to serve the profession. If more members can contribute then collectively we shall have a stronger profession.
3. It is gratifying to see this at work at the Convention. I understand that the Organising Committee has lined up a record number of some 30 speakers and panellists, many whom are experts in their fields. It is wonderful that they have spared the time amid their busy schedules to serve as speakers and panelists – this speaks volumes for their commitment. On behalf of the profession, I would like to thank them. Many of our members also contribute to the profession as speakers and trainers for the Institute’s CPE programmes and in the Institute’s committees. I would like to encourage more members to serve and contribute to our profession’s progress.
4. ICPAS has been the national accountancy body in Singapore since 1963 and the in 2013, it will be celebrating five decades of representing the accountancy profession in Singapore. This is a major milestone. Going forward, ICPAS will need to play a bigger, broader role. Today, businesses and members often have to deal with many cross-border issues, on the international arena. Singapore is an international finance centre and a key global capital market. Therefore, ICPAS will have to widen its scope of services, to fulfil members’ professional needs and enable them to stay relevant in the global marketplace.
5. ICPAS has laid the groundwork for this. In August, the Institute held an Extraordinary General Meeting to seek members’ consent on key changes to the ICPAS Constitution. The constitutional changes represent enhancements to the Institute’s existing governance arrangements. It is heartening to know that 90 percent of members present voted in support of the amendments, which demonstrated our members’ unequivocal support of the Institute and strong confidence in the direction ICPAS is taking.
6. The constitutional changes are in line with recommendations by the Government’s Committee to Develop the Accountancy Sector, CDAS for short, for ICPAS to develop into a global accountancy body, to support the overarching vision for Singapore to become a global accountancy hub by 2020. With the amended Constitution, the Institute will have a strengthened constitutional framework that forms the cornerstone of its future development as a global professional body with international standards. In addition, ICPAS will work with the Government to put in place the new Qualification Programme under the Singapore Accountancy Council’s oversight. This will broaden the talent pool that is critical to Singapore’s development as an accountancy hub. With the changes, ICPAS is one step closer to its vision to be an accountancy body with global membership, outlook and standing. However, this cannot be achieved without the support of our members, to serve in its Council, Committees and in various voluntary capacities that are needed to forge a new, brighter future for the profession.
7. I am heartened too that ICPAS has taken decisive steps in strengthening its management team which will further the professionalisation of ICPAS as an organisation of excellence. The appointment of ICPAS’ first CEO underscores the Institute’s commitment to focus on long-term strategic growth, in order to serve the growing needs of the profession. Within the Institute, there will be greater focus on policy and strategic planning to engage key stakeholders and shape policy development in the accountancy profession at the national and global levels. Greater efforts will be made in the area of industry development, focusing on engaging the profession and developing strategic relationships, especially with the major employers of the profession, the small- and medium-sized practitioners and various international bodies.
8. The Institute has undergone a re-organisation to reflect the widening scope of work it will be undertaking. Existing processes and systems are currently re-visited and new ones are being put in place to ensure that they support the vision of the ICPAS becoming a professional accountancy body with a global membership, outlook and standing. This includes refocusing the strategic direction of the Singapore Accountancy Academy as that of an apex leadership development institute which will serve to inspire and equip outstanding members to be leaders in the accountancy sector and business community.
9. A Professional Development department is being set up to focus on developing new programmes for continuing professional development. The CPE programme will be enhanced in its range of offerings and service level. It will be recalibrated to meet relevant competencies for members to advance their careers with a structured post-qualification framework and additional focus on areas of specialisation. Technical standards development, advisory and quality assurance for the profession will continue to be strategic focus areas.
10. Finally, this speech should not end without mention of the Convention tomorrow. ICPAS has facilitated a wonderful platform for exploring the growth of Singapore into a regional accountancy hub. How will we succeed by 2020? What needs to be done today by corporates and individuals towards the goals and for that matter, the Government? There will be some technical content coverage as well as showcasing of corporate stories to share the key factors for success that can be applied in the next decade. Let me wish you an enlightening day and enjoyable time of networking tomorrow at the Convention.
Have fun this evening! Thank you.