2018 - March
Welcome Address by ISCA President Dr Gerard Ee at ISCA New Members’ Ceremony at InterContinental Singapore on 13 March 2018 at 7 pm
13 Mar 2018 Category: Speeches
Ladies and Gentlemen,
A very good evening to everyone and thank you for joining us at our first New Members’ Ceremony for the year.
Today is a special occasion for the Institute to welcome our newly-minted chartered accountants, who have attained the prestigious Chartered Accountant of Singapore designation. On behalf of the Institute, I would like to extend our heartiest congratulations to all of you.
We will also be conferring Fellow memberships to our senior Chartered Accountants of Singapore. The Fellow Chartered Accountant of Singapore title is an illustrious mark of professional distinction and excellence. It is given to accounting professionals in senior positions who have been ISCA members for at least 10 consecutive years.
With their wealth of experience, our Fellow members can be role models and mentors for our younger members. I encourage all our members to connect with other members of the ISCA family and expand your professional network.
This evening, we will also be celebrating academic excellence in accountancy. We will be conferring the ISCA Achievement Awards to university students who possess stellar academic achievements and demonstrate exceptional leadership qualities, alongside strong community involvement, as well as the Professional Examination Awards and Singapore CA Qualification Awards to top candidates in the respective programmes. I would like to take this opportunity to congratulate the award recipients on their outstanding achievements.
Vast Opportunities as a Chartered Accountant of Singapore
As a Chartered Accountant of Singapore, you hold a distinguished title and you are respected as trusted leaders in business, finance and accountancy. The Chartered Accountant designation opens the door to a plethora of roles beyond audit, including risk management, management accounting, forensic accounting and mergers & acquisition. As we see immense changes in the horizon in terms of work, technologies and skills, the true value proposition for Chartered Accountants is trust and the ability to analyse and discern. We need to build on our virtues of commitment to excellence, expertise, resilience and integrity.
As an ISCA member, you will have access to resources that keep you updated on the latest developments in the profession and expand your skill sets through our courses, programmes and seminars.
In addition to courses and seminars, ISCA has developed specialisation pathways and certification programmes that will provide opportunities for our members to enter high-growth practice areas.
Just two weeks ago on 1st March, we started enrolments for the ISCA Financial Forensic Accounting Qualification, or ISCA FFA Qualification in short. The first of its kind in Southeast Asia, this programme provides a pathway for accounting professionals to specialise in the growing field of financial forensic accounting. The ISCA FFA Qualification programme is open to those with a degree in accountancy or finance, as well as those who are currently working in financial forensic fields, such as law enforcement, financial and regulatory compliance and forensic advisory. Upon completion of the programme, candidates will be conferred the ISCA Financial Forensic Professional (or ISCA FFP) credential. A pathway is also available for experienced financial forensic professionals who meet the requirements to be conferred the ISCA FFP credential.
In today’s highly dynamic and digitalised business environment, it is important for Chartered Accountants to possess business analytics skills. Business analytics enables us to turn data into relevant information, and piece together relevant information for analysis, which enables businesses to drive performance and better understand customer needs.
To help ISCA members like yourselves tap the potential of business analytics, ISCA signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Singapore University of Social Sciences (or SUSS) in January, to launch the ISCA-SUSS Business Analytics Certification Programme.
The programme will be customised to individual needs, and offers the option of two certificates: ISCA-SUSS Certificate in Business Analytics and ISCA-SUSS Specialist Certificate in Business Analytics. Registration is expected to start in mid-April.
The increased demand for urban infrastructure and services in developing ASEAN countries opens a new avenue of growth for the profession, with accounting professionals being sought after for their expertise especially in project financing to support the development of infrastructure projects. Investments in developing Asia are projected to be valued at SGD$28.5 trillion from 2016 to 2030. Singapore, with our strong regional connectivity and a track record of successful urbanisation, is well-positioned to ride the wave of urbanisation in the region’s developing countries. With this in mind, ISCA is also working on a new specialisation pathway in project financing, which is expected to be ready by next year.
With our specialisation pathways in financial forensics, business analytics, project financing and others to come, we aim to equip you with the skills and knowledge that will prepare you for the future economy.
As the economy continues to transform, new fields will emerge, and new skills will be in demand. I encourage all members to continue to broaden their skill sets and deepen their expertise.
Heightened Global Recognition
The business environment is increasingly globalised. In recognition of this, ISCA has continued to raise our visibility internationally and forged ties with other globally recognised accountancy bodies. The Institute has signed Reciprocal Membership Agreements (RMAs) with the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW), Institute of Chartered Accountants of Scotland (ICAS), and Chartered Accountants Ireland (CAI).
In addition, ISCA is the first accountancy body in Asia to be admitted as a full member of the Chartered Accountants Worldwide. Chartered Accountants Worldwide brings together chartered accountancy bodies connecting and representing the interests of over 1.7 million members and students globally.
With the RMAs and as a full member of Chartered Accountants Worldwide, ISCA has enhanced our global standing, elevating the value of the CA (Singapore) designation. The RMAs allow members who have completed the Singapore CA Qualification programme to be recognised as qualified accounting professionals in many key financial and business centres around the world, enabling them to pursue international career opportunities.
With ISCA being a full member of Chartered Accountants Worldwide, our members are now connected to a global network of internationally-recognised accountancy bodies, which enhances their professional stature and career mobility in a globalised business world.
Opening Doors to Opportunities in High-Growth Areas
On the regional front, ASEAN with one of the highest economic growth in the world, offers increasing opportunities for accounting and finance professionals. For this reason, ISCA actively promoted the acceptance of the ASEAN Chartered Professional Accountant (or ASEAN CPA) designation across the region.
In 2017, we welcomed 199 ISCA members who attained the ASEAN CPA title. ASEAN CPAs are legally recognised and can provide non-regulated accountancy services in ASEAN markets without having to go through extensive re-training and re-qualification procedures. This provides more opportunities for accounting professionals and firms in ASEAN markets.I encourage those of you who have an interest in working in the region or who wish to expand your businesses in these markets to apply for the designation.
Supporting ISCA’s Diverse Membership
This year, ISCA will be expanding our flagship event, the Singapore Accountancy and Audit Convention, from a one-day event to a series of four conferences in the year, targeted at different segments of our membership.
The series will kick off with a Budget Update Seminar, which discusses how the 2018 Budget measures would impact businesses. This will be followed by the ISCA Practitioners Conference, for public accountants and audit professionals. The conference will bring to the forefront, hot topics and issues in areas such as accounting, auditing, technology and cybersecurity.
In the second half of this year, a conference for ISCA Professional Accountants in Business will be organised. The conference aims to provide participants with updates on the latest accounting, ethics and technology topics, and is a platform for Professional Accountants in Business to network across industries.
Rounding off the series is a Technology Conference at the year-end. The conference will showcase the latest innovative solutions impacting the accounting and finance industries.
In addition to the Singapore Accountancy and Audit Convention series, the Institute provides platforms for young accountants to expand their professional network, and enhance their knowledge.
One such initiative is the Young Professionals’ Symposium, to keep accountants informed of the latest trends and developments shaping the future economy. We also conduct career pathway talks for young accounting professionals to hear from experienced professionals in diverse fields.
Do keep a lookout for these events in the months to come.
Supporting worthy and meaningful causes
As you develop in your careers, I hope you would also take the opportunity to give back to society. For this reason, the Institute has set up our charity, ISCA Cares, which has been accorded IPC status. We value education as one of most important keys to a better life. With your donations and support, ISCA Cares has been able to reach out to many needy Singapore youths with academic potential to gain access to quality accountancy education.
Last year, which was the second year since the ISCA Cares Education Programme started, there were 29 recipients of the ISCA Cares bursary. With the increased donations, we were able to offer the bursary to four beneficiaries for the second time, and provide them sustained support. With your generosity and support, we hope to reach out to even more youths in need, and promote a strong social conscience and spirit of inclusivity in the accountancy community.
Introduction to invited speaker
At every new members’ ceremony, we invite an experienced industry leader to share his or her experiences and valuable insights with our newly-minted chartered accountants. Tonight, we have the honour of hearing from Mr Charles Ng, the Finance Director of Club 21 Pte Ltd, and a Fellow Chartered Accountant of Singapore.
Club 21 is an established lifestyle company with business operations across Asia. Mr Ng himself is an established leader with over 20 years of commercial experience in the retail, lifestyle and hotel management industry. We thank Mr Ng for taking time off his busy schedule to be with us here as a guest speaker today, and look forward to listening to the valuable insights he will share with us later this evening.
To our new members, we welcome you as a member of the ISCA family. We are here to support you in your professional journey, and we encourage you to take advantage of many opportunities to develop your career and expand your network by participating in our courses, events and activities. To our newly conferred Fellow members, thank you for your dedication to the Institute and your unwavering support throughout the years.
I wish everyone a wonderful evening ahead.
 1 – According to Report of the Committee on the Future Economy 2017