2013 - July
Welcome Address by Dr Ernest Kan, President of the Institute of Certified Public Accountants of Singapore, at the Singapore Accountancy Convention 2013 on Tuesday, 2 July 2013
02 Jul 2013 Category: Speeches
Mr Tharman Shanmugaratnam, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Finance
Ladies and Gentlemen,
1. On behalf of the Institute of Certified Public Accountants of Singapore, I am proud and delighted to welcome all of you to the Singapore Accountancy Convention 2013.
I would like to take this opportunity to thank our Guest of Honour, Mr Tharman Shanmugaratnam, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Finance, who has kindly taken time off his busy schedule to grace today’s Convention.
2. To our distinguished foreign guests from the International Federation of Accountants, and the International Valuation Standards Council, who have travelled from other parts of the world including the US, UK and New Zealand, welcome to Singapore and thank you for joining us at this Convention. I would also like to welcome our distinguished guests from Beijing Institute of Certified Public Accountants and the ASEAN Federation of Accountants, including representatives from accounting bodies in Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Thailand, and Vietnam, as well as the AFA associate members ACCA, CPA Australia, ICAA and ICAEW.
3. Also, this event would not have been possible without the support of a number of people and organisations. I would like to acknowledge the generous contributions of all our sponsors. Thank you very much!
THEME: The Singapore Chartered Accountant: A Beacon of the Asian Economy
4. The theme for the convention - The Singapore Chartered Accountant: A Beacon of the Asian Economy is timely as it is based on the next phase of growth for the accountancy profession, and its significance to the development of Singapore as a leading global accountancy hub.
5. Last year, according to the International Monetary Fund, developing Asian countries, which include China and Vietnam, contributed 17 percent to the Global GDP. By 2020, 43.2% of the global GDP is expected to be from Asia, With the centre of economic gravity shifting, or re-balancing, from the West to the East, the Convention and its panels will share on how such global and regional trends will impact the accounting profession, both on an international scale and locally, and how Singapore can identify the opportunities, including niches of excellence as well as serving as a node to connect and bridge the East and West, seek first-mover advantage, develop the requisite capabilities, and help promote a conducive environment for such services at least in the Asia-Pacific region, so as to establish and entrench Singapore as a leading global accountancy hub.
6. We are delighted to have with us distinguished speakers, especially our overseas speakers who have travelled across continents to be with us here today. They will be sharing with us insights on these key issues. And the speakers include Mr Warren Allen, President of the International Federation of Accountants, Sir David Tweedie, Chairman of the International Valuation Standards Council and Former Chairman of the International Accounting Standards Board, and Mr Mark Spofforth, Immediate Past President, Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales.
ICPAS’ ROLE IN THE DEVELOPMENT OF A GLOBAL ACCOUNTANCY HUB
7. As the national accountancy body in Singapore, ICPAS plays an important role in the development of the accountancy sector to become the leading global accountancy hub for the Asia-Pacific region by 2020, as envisaged in the report of the Committee to Develop the Accountancy Sector, CDAS in short.
8. ICPAS provides the platform to facilitate this development, to encourage the sharing of ideas, facilitate the building up of human capital expertise and support the strengthening of the infrastructure that the accountancy sector is built upon. The Singapore Accountancy Convention 2013 is one such platform and signature event, which brings together local and international experts to discuss our development as a global accountancy hub.
9. Our talent forms the basis for the accountancy hub to become a reality. To bring our professional development to the next level and to build up a strong pool of well-rounded accounting professionals, ICPAS has been continually working with stakeholders, such as the Government and educational institutions to develop relevant professional programmes to equip them with the expertise and skills to meet the increasing demands of the dynamic market.
10. In 2010, CDAS released its Final Report on “Transforming Singapore into a Leading Global Accountancy Hub for Asia-Pacific”. Among the recommendations were plans to develop a Singapore-branded post-university professional accountancy qualification programme, offering global recognition, international portability and an “Asian market value factor”, and to transform ICPAS into a professional accountancy body with global membership, outlook and standing.
At an Extraordinary General Meeting in 2011, more than 90 percent of members present voted in favour of the amendments to the Institute’s Constitution, Having amended its Constitution, the Institute’s governance and leadership structure and system are now aligned with, if not more rigorous than, those of other global professional accountancy bodies. The Institute has also built a strong infrastructure, with departments looking into various aspects of the profession’s development, including Industry Development, Research, Policy and Strategic Planning, Quality Assurance and Professional Development. Going forward, there will be more.
THE CA (SINGAPORE) AND THE INSTITUTE’S NAME CHANGE
11. The Singapore Accountancy Commission (SAC) was established earlier this year, in April 2013 as a statutory body to drive accountancy excellence in Singapore. The Institute will be working closely with the SAC on several aspects in the development of the accountancy sector, including as the administrator of the Singapore Qualification Programme and Designated Entity to confer the new Chartered Accountant of Singapore (CA (Singapore)) designation, which replaces the CPA Singapore designation. This will take effect as soon as our Guest of Honour DPM Tharman launches our new name in a while later this morning.
12. With the transition to the CA (Singapore) designation, it is necessary for ICPAS, as the conferrer of the title, to undergo a name change for strategic alignment. The new name will be officially unveiled by DPM shortly.
13. On this note, I am pleased to also share that ICPAS has revamped the CPA Singapore journal. The new title of the journal, IS Chartered Accountant (ISCA), will reflect the Institute’s new name and casts the spotlight on members, and the profession. Taking in feedback from our members from a readership survey, we have strengthened the depth and scope of the content with articles that are directly related to the work of our members. The articles go beyond the listing of updates and sharing of insights to include guidance on how accounting professions can apply these updates to their client projects and within their organisation. The new look and feel draws its inspiration from global standards of design and makes reading a breeze. As our distinguished guests at today’s convention, you will get the first-hand privilege to receive the first issue of the revamped journal after the tea break. I hope you will enjoy reading the journal as much as my ICPAS colleagues and I have in producing the journal for our members.
14. Today, we have gathered a distinguished line-up of international and local thought leaders, industry experts, policy makers and top decision-makers. I believe the exciting programme will leave you enriched with knowledge of best practices and updated on the cutting-edge issues on the accountancy sector.
15. This year is also the Institute’s 50th anniversary, and this evening we are celebrating 50 years of Accountability, Professionalism & Trust at our Golden Jubilee Dinner. I believe many among us will be attending the celebratory dinner. It will be a golden opportunity for us to look back on our evolution as the national accountancy body, and the historic milestones that shaped our existence. ICPAS has indeed come a long way, but we are aware that there is still a long way to go. The theme of this year’s Singapore Accountancy Convention, “The Singapore Chartered Accountant: A Beacon of the Asian Economy” underscores the common vision that unites the accountancy sector, a vision that will propel Singapore onto the global arena as a leading accountancy hub. Our new name, which will be unveiled shortly, reinforces our commitment to this vision. It will be a dynamic time ahead and I urge every one of us to come on board and lend your support to make this vision a reality.
16. Thank you.