2012 - November
Welcome Speech by ICPAS President Dr Ernest Kan at ICPAS Dinner and Dance on November 9, 2012 at Raffles City Convention Centre
12 Nov 2012 Category: Speeches
You have just watched the video interviews with two of the Institute’s founding members, Mr Francis Kwan and Mr Michael Wong. We are honoured to have Mr Francis Kwan with us today. Thank you for joining us at our Dinner and Dance 2012, “Journey with ICPAS: Going on 50”, as we have lined up some special items that will bring us on a nostalgic tour of ICPAS’ history and evoke memories of ICPAS over the years.
Mr Teo Ser Luck, ICPAS Adviser, Minister of State for Trade and Industry
Fellow Council Members & Fellow Accounting Professionals
Ladies and Gentlemen
Welcome to ICPAS’ Dinner and Dance 2012. The Dinner and Dance is an annual occasion when members of the profession and stakeholders come together to celebrate the Institute’s achievements as the year draws to a close. This year’s dinner and dance is especially significant as it is the prelude to ICPAS’ 50th anniversary next year.
This evening, we also honour members who have contributed greatly to the Institute and the profession. I would like to convey my heartfelt appreciation and gratitude to this year’s ICPAS Awards winners – Mr Steven Phan, Mr Khoo Ho Tong, Mr Lim Boon Cheng and Ms Wong Lai Yong.
To each one of you, it has been my privilege to have you on board, at various times, on the ICPAS Council. I have on numerous occasions sought your counsel on ICPAS matters and without fail, each time your wisdom has prevailed and our working together as a team has become a hallmark. Together, we have been through some challenging times, and I treasure your support and hard work, especially in recent times when the Institute is undergoing transformative change. I would like to take this opportunity to thank you, for giving much of your time and effort to the development of the profession.
Over the years, ICPAS has continued to grow and develop to meet the changing needs of our members, the profession and the Singapore economy. Last year, ICPAS started the Policy and Strategic Planning and Industry Development divisions. And this year, we set up the Quality Assurance team.
Under the Industry Development team, we have firmed up partnerships with key government agencies to facilitate growth through various government schemes. The Quality Assurance team has rolled out various programmes and initiatives to help raise the quality of audit within the profession.
It is gratifying to know that our efforts so far have gained traction with our membership. In my mid-term message to members on October 29, I mentioned some of the positive feedback that the Institute has received concerning our recent initiatives. I would like to highlight some of the comments, as well as other feedback we have received.
Mr Tan Khoon Guan, Director of K.G. Tan & Co. PAC, said regarding our schemes to help SMPs, “The various initiatives have prepared SMPs like us to be ready for the changes ahead. The Institute has also assisted in bringing like-minded SMPs and SMEs together for collaboration or working opportunities. The technical clinics help to bond the SMP industry, keeping fellow SMPs in check while educating us on the potential pitfalls. Clinics like these help us to understand the new guidelines more efficiently.”
Mr Tan added that, “The focus groups related to productivity and technology advancements have been a great avenue for SMPs like us to know more about the latest updates. In addition, the opportunity to take part in discussions with foreign accountancy bodies like the Japanese Institute of Certified Public Accountants has allowed us to better interact with SMPs beyond geographical boundaries.”
Another member, former ICPAS Scholarship winner Shaun Ng said: “Receiving the ICPAS Scholarship in 2010 and 2011 has been a rewarding experience. The scholarship proves that ICPAS takes a keen interest in developing the next generation of CPAs, from the time that we are in University. It opens us to a network of opportunities in the close-knit accounting community, allowing us to gain recognition even before we join the workforce. I am also grateful to be conferred the 2012 ICPAS Gold Medal Award for Accountancy, presented to the top Bachelor of Accountancy graduate from Singapore Management University. The award shows ICPAS' continued commitment towards developing its potential members from the start. Overall, I have had a fantastic experience with the organisation.”
These are just some of the positive feedback that we have received, and I would like to thank our members for letting us know that we have served them well. Comments like these spur us to do even better and do even more for our members, the profession and the wider community.
The Institute is in the midst of formulating our Strategic Plan for the next three years. ICPAS first embarked on our reform journey with its first Strategic Plan as early as 2009. In 2012, the Institute unveiled an updated Vision and Strategic Plan that provided a new strategic focus and directions that were aligned with the current environment that we operate in. Our 2012 Strategic Plan enabled the Institute to focus on driving improvements in critical areas like industry development, enhancing relations with stakeholders and building brand equity.
Through our Policy and Strategic Planning team, the Institute recently completed a strategic review exercise for our Strategic Plan for 2013 to 2015. For a more robust strategic formulation process, we invited key stakeholders, including senior officials from ACRA, Singapore Accountancy Commission and practice firms, senior members and young accountants, to share with us their vision for the Singapore accountancy sector and the Institute. On behalf of the Institute, I thank all who took part in the exercise for taking the time to provide your valuable views and insights.
Many members I met told me that ICPAS has done a lot in the last few years, and they told me that a number of our initiatives have been impactful, as testified by our members’ feedback which I mentioned earlier. Still, in my mind, we are not there yet.
If there is that ONE top priority that ICPAS needs to focus on in the next 12 to 24 months, what would that be? In my view, it would be a changing perception of ICPAS.
This would be followed by other strategic priorities that will be reflected in our new Strategic Plan, such as:-
-Understanding members’ needs and providing value-add initiatives
-Deepening stakeholder engagement and collaboration
- And enhancing international relations, especially with key bodies such as the International Federation of Accountants and World Bank.
We look forward to unveiling the Institute’s Strategic Plan for 2013 to 2015 early next year.
Next year will be a historic year for us as we celebrate our 50th anniversary. It will be a time for us to not just look back on 50 years of developing the profession, but also present our plans for the future. This evening is just as special as it is the prelude to our 50th anniversary.
On this note, I would like to thank our sponsors and supporting organisations for today’s Dinner and Dance. It is only with their generous contributions that we are able to organise this event successfully. I understand that all seats were taken up weeks before. This shows the level of support that our members and stakeholders have for us, for which we are thankful.
I would also like to thank our members and stakeholders for their continued strong support for ICPAS. It is no mean feat for an organisation to be going on 50. It is only with your collective support that we are still going strong as the national accountancy body.
Before I invite Minister Teo on stage, I would like to take this opportunity to thank him for his wise counsel and firm support of ICPAS. Despite his busy schedule, he has taken the time to offer his advice and lend his support to many of the Institute’s plans.
And now, it is my honour to invite Minister Teo to address us.
Minister Teo, please.