Ms Indranee Rajah, Senior Minister of State for Law and Finance
ISCA Advisor, Mr Teo Ser Luck
Ms Lim Soo Hoon, Chairman of the Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority
Mr Chaly Mah, Chairman of the Singapore Accountancy Commission
Ladies and Gentlemen
Good morning and welcome to Singapore Accountancy and Audit Convention 2017. I would like to thank our Guest of Honour Ms Indranee for taking time off her busy schedule to officiate our event today.
The Convention this year is jointly organised by ISCA, the Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority and the Singapore Accountancy Commission. We are pleased to partner ACRA and SAC in providing a line-up on a wide range of topical issues in accountancy and audit.
The theme this year is “Gearing up for the Accountancy Futurescape”. Indeed, the future holds many possibilities. With the rapid pace at which technology is developing, accountants and auditors will have to find ways to capitalise on the opportunities presented, or risk being left behind. At the same time, stakeholders expect the quality of corporate reporting and audit to be raised. Therefore, the focus of the convention is to prepare participants for these upcoming changes, and to ensure that the profession remains ‘future-ready’.
You will notice that the afternoon segment of the convention programme is divided into three tracks. As many of us come from diverse fields, we have scheduled the programme in such a way that topics for each track are relevant to your line of work. Whether you are a professional accountant in business, a public accountant or an accountant in the public sector, we have specific topics to address your needs.
With digital innovations such as blockchain, artificial intelligence, data analytics and cloud accounting set to transform businesses and the global economy, we are pleased to have with us speakers from leading technology firms who will share ways to apply these technologies in your businesses. We will also have a lively panel discussion on how to stay ahead of the digital curve.
The new and revised auditor reporting standards, which require auditor’s reports to contain more insightful information in the form of key audit matters, were issued in 2015. Today, we are pleased to share the findings of a joint study by ISCA, ACRA, ACCA and Nanyang Technological University, which examines the impact of the enhanced auditor reporting standards in its first year of implementation in Singapore. The findings provide a glimpse of the state of disclosures in financial statements, as well as the value of the enhanced auditor’s report to investors.
Come 2018 and 2019, several significant changes in the corporate reporting landscape are set to take place. Investors in particular will be keeping a close watch on the impact of IFRS Convergence and the two new major accounting standards for revenue recognition and financial instruments on companies’ results. These will be followed by SGX’s mandatory sustainability reporting and the new leases accounting standard.
With less than 8 months before the first set of IFRS compliant interim financial statements are due to be announced, listed companies should have been well-advanced in their implementation process for IFRS Convergence. However, ISCA’s recent poll found that only 9% of listed companies surveyed had substantially completed the impact assessment of IFRS 1; 25% are at the early stages of preparation; and 31% had not commenced preparation work for IFRS Convergence. These findings are consistent with feedback received by ISCA that many listed companies have not commenced preparation work for IFRS Convergence as they view this as a ‘non-event’.
To guide listed companies back onto the IFRS Convergence track, I am pleased to announce that ISCA, in collaboration with the Singapore Institute of Directors (SID), has developed the “IFRS Convergence 2018: Implementation Roadmap Publication”, to provide guidance on how to navigate the maze of accounting change that the IFRS Convergence exercise requires.
One other major accounting change is the new revenue standard, which has been a key area of focus for the accountancy profession. Based on dialogues with representatives from various industries, we understand that revenue recognition is a pertinent issue for property developers in Singapore. To address this issue, ISCA has developed the Guidance on “Revenue Recognition for Sale of Uncompleted Residential Properties in Singapore”. You will hear more on this issue in the afternoon segment.
It is said that the best way to predict the future is to create it. To have a stake in the future economy, the accountancy profession must continue to keep up with latest trends and skills, in order to add value to business. May today’s Convention be fruitful in equipping you with the knowledge you need to stay ahead of the curve, and offer thought-provoking discussions to inspire you in gearing up for the accountancy futurescape.