Welcome to the ISCA Financial Forensic and Cybersecurity Conference, the third event in our Singapore Accountancy and Audit Convention series this year. ISCA held the inaugural Financial Forensic Conference in 2017. Since then, the pace of digitalisation has accelerated, with technology playing a larger role in diverse areas, including financial forensics.
Digitalisation has transformed the way business is conducted. While bringing about many new possibilities, it can potentially make us vulnerable to cyber threats. With rapid advancement in technology, criminals can now employ more complex methods to mask their tracks while carrying out their illegal activities. On the flip side, financial forensic professionals can also leverage technology to combat financial crime more effectively.
With today’s conference, we aim to help financial forensic professionals enhance their skills for the Digital Age, as well as expand the knowledge and awareness of accountancy professionals on the opportunities that technology can bring.
Reflecting the growing use of technology in combating financial crime, the theme of this year’s conference is “Enhancing Resilience in the Digital Era”. With today’s conference, we aim to encourage professional accountants to play a greater role in strengthening the governance and compliance environment in their organisations. We have brought together experts to discuss cutting-edge topics in financial forensics, including digital forensics, data analytics, cyber and data security.
Speakers and panellists will provide insights into the impact of digitalisation on fraud prevention and detection as well as financial crime investigations. They will also discuss data and cyber security issues pertaining to the accountancy profession and business community.
Building capabilities in financial forensics
As a global financial hub, Singapore has to be especially vigilant against white-collar crime. And in the age of Industry 4.0, financial forensic professionals will have to continuously learn to leverage new technologies to stay one step ahead in detecting financial crime. It is also vital to build the talent pipeline for financial forensic professionals to meet growing market demand.
To foster interest in this growing field, ISCA has partnered with Singapore Management University’s School of Accountancy, to organise the SMU-ISCA Case Competition in August this year. We are pleased to have the Commercial Affairs Department of the Singapore Police Force as our strategic partner to develop a case-scenario adapted from a real-life investigation for the competition. The Case Competition will enable the university and polytechnic students to grasp the requisite knowledge, skills and attributes required to conduct a financial investigation, as well as learn about the various career pathways and employment opportunities in the field of financial forensics.
Last year, we began accepting applications to the ISCA Financial Forensic Accounting (FFA) Qualification. The programme is a pathway for professional accountants and individuals who are keen to specialise in financial forensics. It also enables existing financial forensic professionals to deepen their knowledge in local regulations, forensic accounting methodology and digital forensics.
The FFA Qualification also serves as a training programme for the Professional Conversion Programme (PCP) for Forensic Professionals to reskill mid-career individuals. For accountancy professionals, modules from the programme can be taken as a Continuing Professional Development course to provide a means to be equipped with valuable knowledge and skill sets in identifying and preventing financial crimes. This gives them an edge over their peers in their day-to-day work.
To date, the programme has received about 160 candidates and produced more than 50 graduates. Graduation from the ISCA FFP Qualification leads to the conferment of the ISCA Financial Forensic Professional credential or ISCA FFP in short. This is a trusted mark of excellence for qualified financial forensic professionals. Now, let us watch a video featuring the career story of one of the ISCA FFP credential holders, Ms Belinda Tan.
Belinda is one of the panellists for the discussion on “Keeping Your Business Clean”, so we will have the opportunity to hear from her this afternoon. We will also be hearing from Mr Dan Yock Hau, Director of the Cyber Security Agency’s National Cyber Incident Response Centre, who will be sharing ways to defend against cyber threats in the digital age.
Mr Lem Chin Kok, Head of Risk Consulting of KPMG Singapore will be speaking on the future of financial forensic investigators. With the advent of blockchain technology, how does one go about detecting and analysing any suspicious transactions? Mr Chng Tze Wei, Head of Computer Forensics Branch and Head of Technology of the Corrupt Practices Investigation Bureau (CPIB) will shed some light on this.
Besides these experts, we have other leading practitioners in disciplines like law, internal audit, and financial crime compliance, data and cybersecurity and risk management who will share their knowledge with you today. We have a full programme line-up today with many experts sharing on diverse topics. On this note, I wish you a fruitful and enjoyable session.