2016 - August
Welcome Address by ISCA President Gerard Ee at Singapore Accountancy Convention 2016 at Marina Bay Sands Convention Centre on 25 August 2016 at 9am
25 Aug 2016 Category: Speeches
Ms Indranee Rajah, Senior Minister of State for Finance and Law
Ladies and Gentlemen
Good morning and welcome to Singapore Accountancy Convention 2016.
For the first time, the Convention is jointly organised by ISCA and the Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority, and incorporates ACRA’s annual Public Accountants Conference. We are pleased to partner ACRA in providing a holistic line-up of discussions on a wide range of topical issues in accountancy, and we believe today will be an enriching, thought-provoking experience for participants.
This year’s theme is “Financial Reporting: Meeting Investors’ Needs, Strengthening Market Confidence”. High quality financial reporting is vital in maintaining confidence in Singapore’s capital markets and upholding the country’s reputation as a trusted global business hub. With investors being key users of financial statements, this year’s convention will focus on meeting investors’ needs and strengthening their confidence in financial reporting and audits.
In an increasingly globalised marketplace, international comparability of financial statements is crucial. The new IFRS financial reporting framework for Singapore-incorporated companies listed on SGX will further increase Singapore’s competitiveness as a global financial centre. With the new IFRS framework coming into effect from January 2018, companies must prepare themselves to ensure a smooth transition. Companies adopting IFRS for the first time should also start to consider key decisions such as revisiting relevant accounting policies and choice of reliefs.
There are many facets to the issue of financial reporting quality. Having high quality financial statements requires the combined efforts of all stakeholders. We are pleased to have Singapore Accountancy Commission and Accounting Standards Council as our strategic partners for the convention, supporting our efforts to enhance financial reporting quality.
I am also delighted to share with you some of ISCA’s initiatives towards enhancing financial reporting quality. By providing the assurance that an organisation’s risk management, governance and internal control processes are operating effectively, internal auditors are key players in the financial reporting value chain. Today, I am pleased to announce that ISCA has partnered the Institute of Internal Auditors, also known as IIA, and the Institute of Internal Auditors, Singapore to establish an accelerated pathway for Chartered Accountants of Singapore to hold the Certified Internal Auditor, or CIA, designation. IIA Singapore members are part of IIA Global, which counts more than 180,000 internal audit professionals in over 170 countries and territoriesas its members.
Under the accelerated pathway, Chartered Accountants of Singapore can become CIA certified and gain membership into IIA Singapore by successfully completing the CIA Challenge Exam. The customised exam allows Chartered Accountants of Singapore to pass one condensed paper, instead of the usual three papers, to be CIA certified.
With the CIA designation, Chartered Accountants of Singapore can now gain professional recognition in the field of internal audit. Conferred by the IIA, the CIA designation is a globally accepted certification for internal auditors and is the standard by which individuals demonstrate their competency and qualifications in the internal auditing field. With this scheme, we aim to broaden the internal audit talent pool by offering another specialisation pathway for our members to enter the profession.
We will also be unveiling survey findings on some of the most topical issues in financial reporting. This morning, there will be a presentation on the Investor Perception Survey, commissioned by ISCA and ACRA to understand Singapore’ investors’ views about financial reporting.
Ahead of the FRS116 Leases accounting standard, which comes into effect in 2019, ISCA collaborated with Nanyang Business School to survey the readiness of Singapore companies for the new standard, as well as the anticipated impact of FRS 116 on companies’ financing and business decisions. Half of the companies surveyed have not started preparing for the new leases accounting standard. This is cause for concern, as the new standard will have considerable impact on businesses, such as the need to modify or upgrade IT systems and processes to store new or updated data, calculate new journal entries, and generate the analysis and disclosure reporting required by FRS 116. The impact is beyond accounting and financial reporting. With half of the companies responding that implementing the standard would be a moderate to major challenge, it is imperative for companies to start their preparations now. For those who wish to learn more about the findings, the survey is available for download via the Convention app.
This afternoon, there will be a presentation, followed by a panel discussion, on preparing for the changes arising from the new standard. We hope the sessions will be a timely reminder for those who have not started preparing for FRS116, and provide useful guidance for those who have.
Within financial reporting, the practice of fair value accounting has been open to debate, drawing both detractors and supporters. ISCA has collaborated with Singapore Management University, Institute of Valuers and Appraisers of Singapore, Singapore Institute of Technology and Hong Kong Polytechnic University on a study to examine the attitudes and concerns of over 700 respondents toward fair value accounting and how it affects the level of trust in financial statements. The findings will be presented this afternoon.
Besides these topics, this year’s Convention will also touch on other leading issues in accountancy, including the Enhanced Auditor Report, Observations from ACRA’s Practice Monitoring Programme and Base Erosion and Profit Shifting in the area of taxation.
The business landscape is rapidly shifting. The accounting profession must continue to keep up to date on latest trends and learn new skills, in order to add value to business. May today’s Convention equip you with the knowledge you need to stay ahead of the curve, and offer thought-provoking discussions to inspire you in your role as a trusted adviser to business.
Click on the following links for key findings of :