Mr David Chew, Director, Commercial Affairs Department
My fellow judges
Participants of the case competition
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Welcome to the SMU-ISCA Case Competition, organised by the Institute of Singapore Chartered Accountants, Singapore Management University’s School of Accountancy and SMU Accounting Society.
We are honoured to have the Commercial Affairs Department of the Singapore Police Force as our strategic partner to develop the case-scenario adapted from a real-life investigation for the competition. David, thank you.
This year, 46 teams from various universities and polytechnics are taking on the challenge of presenting the best solution to the competition’s case-scenario. This is nearly twice the number of participating teams compared to last year, and we are greatly encouraged by the overwhelming response.
We are also privileged to have many experts and industry leaders as our judges today. Besides Mr David Chew, the judging panel includes Ms Lee King See, Director & Head of Banking & Insurance Investigations Division, Enforcement Department at Monetary Authority of Singapore; Mr Lem Chin Kok, KPMG’s Head of Risk Consulting, Singapore and Indonesia and Head of Forensic, Asia Pacific; Mr Tan How Choon, Director, Forensic & IT Services at Rohan, Mah & Partners and Ms Loretta Yuen, Executive Vice-President, Group Legal & Regulatory Compliance at OCBC.
The theme for this year’s competition is financial forensics. Participants will experience what it is like to be a real-life Sherlock Holmes, and apply their accounting, critical thinking, problem solving and communication skills in solving a white-collar crime. Some of you may be thinking “what does accountancy have to do with solving crimes?” Accountants in fact take on varied roles, beyond audit, accounting or tax.
An accountancy background sets a strong foundation for one to go into diverse roles and opens doors to careers in high-growth areas. Accountancy is the language of business. If you speak the language of business, you already have a key that opens the door to diverse roles in different organisations. And financial forensics is just one out of many career paths for accountancy graduates.
What makes a good financial forensic professional? Besides possessing strong financial knowledge and information analysis capabilities, financial forensic professionals must have strong problem-solving skills, and the ability to communicate judgements made and conclusions drawn clearly to other stakeholders in the reporting and investigation process. These stakeholders can include company management, law enforcers and judges.
Today’s financial forensic professionals also need digital skills. Being able to leverage technology to interpret vast volumes of data sets and recover, authenticate and preserve electronic data as a form of legal evidence is becoming a necessity.
In terms of career opportunities, other than accounting and advisory services firms, financial forensic professionals are highly sought after in the private sector by financial institutions and major corporations. In the public sector, law enforcement agencies are staffed by professionals who are trained in financial forensics to analyse financial information and develop financial intelligence to help detect financial crime-related activities. Other than forensic accountants, those who specialise in financial forensics also take on roles such as regulators, law enforcement officers, legal professionals and financial crime compliance specialists.
Financial forensic professionals play an important role because Singapore, being a global financial hub, must be especially vigilant against white-collar crime.
For financial forensic professionals who wish to deepen their expertise and update their skills, ISCA offers the ISCA Financial Forensics Accounting Qualification, which is the first applied learning financial forensic qualification developed by a professional body in the region.
The curriculum was developed with inputs from leading financial forensic experts from public and private sectors and includes practical workshops, including a mock investigation. Upon completion of the programme, candidates are conferred the ISCA Financial Forensic Professional credential (or ISCA FFP in short). The ISCA FFP credential is a mark of excellence for financial forensic professionals.
We hope that the case competition will generate greater interest in financial forensics among students. Besides having the opportunity to showcase your skills today, participants will also hear from our esteemed judges about their experiences in financial forensics. This might just be the spark that ignites a lifelong passion for solving white-collar crimes in some of you.
I wish all of you the best of luck. Regardless of the outcome of the competition, may you have a fulfilling, enriching and fun experience.