Welcome Address by ISCA President, Mr Gerard Ee, at the Singapore Accountancy Convention’s ISCA Accounting Conference on 31 July 2014 at the Heliconia Ballroom, Marina Bay Sands Expo and Convention Centre
ISCA Advisor and Minister of State for Trade and Industry Mr Teo Ser Luck,
Ladies and Gentlemen
1. Good morning. Welcome to the ISCA Accounting Conference, the leading segment in this year’s Singapore Accountancy Convention 2014. The Singapore Accountancy Convention seeks to bring thought-leadership and insights on pertinent developments impacting the accountancy profession.
2. The event is into its fourth year and we have the honour of having with us a panel of distinguished international and local speakers who will share their insights and thoughts on issues and challenges shaping our sector.
3. Yesterday at the ISCA Ethics Forum, I mentioned in my welcome address that accountants are in a unique position of trust where the public relies on our professional judgement to make decisions. While this “trust” is normally associated with morality, it encompasses areas like technical competency in financial reporting and the ability to adapt to changing needs to stay relevant. Consequently, these are also challenges faced by our profession the world over.
4. The global financial crisis of 2008 and the spate of corporate misconduct  that have grabbed our attention in recent times have showed that the business environment and the transactions involved have evolved in complexity and sophistication.
5. In order for the accountancy profession to capture and communicate the essence of these increasingly complex business models and dealings, the International Accounting Standards Board has undertaken several projects to provide unbiased, transparent and relevant financial information. These projects include guidance on fair value measurement and reforms to financial instruments accounting.
6. With the impending completion of these projects, the Board has now turned their attention to other key projects, of which, the review of the Conceptual Framework and the Disclosure Initiative are two of the more important ones.
7. While the Conceptual Framework is not an actual standard, it is essential to keep up with its development as it provides a consistent point of reference and is the foundation upon which standards are developed, defined and understood. The Disclosure Initiative is also important as it aims to improve financial statement disclosures in communicating with investors. These two topics will be addressed later during the conference.
8. In terms of local developments, Singapore-listed companies are set to embrace full convergence with the International Financial Reporting Standards by 2018 and our profession needs to gear up for full compliance with the IFRSs which include the new and upcoming IFRSs on revenue, financial instruments and leases.
9. To help us address these issues are our panel of thought-leaders. In the morning segment, our speakers will be sharing their insights and views on a range of issues like how Singapore can develop into a thought leader on international standards development, what is IASB’s long-term strategic direction and upcoming projects, how the proposed revisions to the Conceptual Framework will impact standards development and what are the interesting findings of a SMU-ISCA Survey on the Conceptual Framework. The session will round off with a panel discussion that will explore areas like whether the evolution in standards development will lead to the desired improvements in financial reporting.
10. In the afternoon, speakers will share their perspectives on issues surrounding complex financial reporting requirements. For example, they will delve into how the new standard on revenue is different from FRS 18 Revenue and FRS 11 Construction Contracts. Recent developments and issues surrounding Leases and the new hedge accounting requirements in IFRS 9 Financial Instruments will be discussed too. Our speakers will also touch on the implementation challenges with regards to FRS 113 Fair Value Accounting and the consolidation standards. And lastly, a panel discussion will explore issues like the effectiveness of financial reporting in communicating with investors and whether the new standards can cut through the complexity of the business environment today to report the essence needed by stakeholders.
11. As accounting professionals, it is essential we keep abreast of accounting developments to stay ahead of the curve. I hope today’s Conference will provide the information you need to holistically consider the issues impacting our industry and how we, as a profession, can further add value.
12. I wish you a fruitful day ahead and hope to see you tomorrow at the ISCA Auditing and Assurance Conference and the Singapore Accountancy Awards Dinner tonight. Thank you.
 http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2008/12/30/the-biggest-business-scan_n_154337.html and http://www.accounting-degree.org/scandals/