2019 - March
Welcome Address by ISCA President Mr Kon Yin Tong at ISCA Members Recognition Ceremony at Pan Pacific Singapore on 21 March 2019 at 7 pm
21 Mar 2019 Category: Speeches
Members of ISCA,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Thank you for joining us today at the Institute’s first Members’ Recognition Ceremony of the year. This evening, we welcome newly conferred Fellow Chartered Accountants of Singapore and Chartered Accountants of Singapore into our growing family of over 32,000 members. On behalf of the Institute, I would like to extend our heartiest congratulations to all of you.
This evening, five senior ISCA members will receive the Fellow Chartered Accountant of Singapore designation, conferred to accountancy professionals in senior positions who have been ISCA members for at least 10 consecutive years. Thank you for your dedication to the profession and for being an integral part of the Institute’s continued success.
We will be conferring the ISCA Financial Forensic Professional (or ISCA FFP) credential to 11 members, as well as presenting achievement awards to two Financial Forensic Accounting (or FFA) Qualification candidates.
The first of its kind in Southeast Asia, the ISCA FFA qualification provides a pathway for accounting professionals to specialise in the growing field of financial forensics. The Institute took in the first batch of applicants for the Financial Forensic Accounting Qualification last year. To date, ISCA has admitted over 100 candidates, with 25 of them in the pioneer batch of graduates. Nine members were also conferred the ISCA FFP credential via a grandfathering scheme.
In addition to awards presented for our specialisation programme, this evening, we will also present two types of awards that celebrate academic excellence in accountancy. The first is the ISCA Achievement Awards, which is awarded to university students with stellar academic achievements, and who have demonstrated exceptional leadership qualities and strong community involvement. The second is the Singapore CA Qualification Awards, which is given to top candidates from the Singapore CA Qualification Programme. I would like to take this opportunity to congratulate the award recipients on their outstanding academic achievements.
Heightened Global Recognition
Tonight, we have over 300 new members who will be conferred the CA (Singapore) designation. As an ISCA member, you are part of a vast network of over 32,000 accountancy professionals, who are serving in varied roles across diverse industries. I encourage you to make full use of your membership to connect with fellow members and like-minded accountancy professionals and expand your professional network.
I would like to take this opportunity to share with you my vision and hopes for the Institute. In my tenure as President, I hope to develop the Institute into a world-class organisation that embodies the four elements - inclusiveness, innovation, infrastructure and impact.
- By Inclusiveness, we strive to ensure that all segments of our membership are well taken care of by providing a range of service offerings to meet our members’ diverse needs.
- Innovation means we constantly deliver new and relevant offerings centred on enhancing member-centricity and improving productivity.
- Infrastructure refers to the systems and services we have in place for our members to plan their development and achieve their career aspirations.
- Impact refers to how we execute our strategy – by focusing on what matters most and creates value for our members.
In line with our goal to empower members to achieve their aspirations, we continue to forge international connections and heighten our global visibility. Raising our global prominence is especially important in today’s globalised business environment. Having a prominent global profile will bring benefits to our members in terms of their career mobility and employability.
To that end, the Institute has enhanced the stature of the CA (Singapore) designation by signing Reciprocal Membership Agreements with internationally recognised accountancy bodies such the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales, the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Scotland, as well as Chartered Accountants Ireland.
In addition, ISCA is a full member of the prestigious Chartered Accountants Worldwide, and the only body other than the group’s founding members to be accorded full membership status. This global group brings together chartered accountancy bodies connecting and representing the interests of over 1.8 million members and students globally.
Vast Opportunities as a Chartered Accountant of Singapore
To our new members, tonight’s ceremony marks the beginning of your journey as an ISCA member. A vast array of resources and opportunities are now open to you.
We have developed learning roadmaps for professional accountants in business as well as audit professionals in Small and Medium Practices. With the learning roadmaps, we aim to empower you to take charge of your professional development and career planning. You can refer to the learning roadmap to discover your learning needs based on your proficiency level. Based on your learning needs, you will be able to identify which Continuing Professional Education (or CPE) courses to take to fill your skills gap.
Our CPE e-learning library has over 400 courses for our members to acquire new skills at their own time and convenience.
In addition, our seminars, guidance materials and other offerings continue to keep members up to date on the latest standards and developments in the profession. One of our seminal events is the Singapore Accountancy and Audit Convention Series or SAAC series. This year, the SAAC Series will comprise four conferences with specific themes that appeal to different membership segments.
Last Friday, we kicked off the 2019 SAAC Series with the Budget Update Seminar, which focussed on the impact of tax changes in Budget 2019 on companies and individuals.
In July, the Institute will hold the Professional Accountants in Business (PAIB) Conference, curated specially for the accountants in business. The Conference will update accountancy professionals on the latest issues and topics that are pertinent to today’s rapidly changing business landscape.
In the same month, we will hold the Conference on Financial Forensics and Cybersecurity. The conference will bring to the forefront the impact of digitalisation on forensic investigations, financial crime, fraud prevention and risk management by businesses, and will feature speakers and panelists from accounting firms, financial institutions, financial regulatory and law enforcement authorities and other government agencies to speak on financial forensics and cybersecurity.
The 2019 SAAC series concludes with the Practitioners Conference in October, the Institute’s annual flagship event for the audit profession in Singapore. Key topics to be discussed at the conference will include data analytics, cybersecurity, anti-money laundering, and countering the financing of terrorism.
Explore other possibilities of an accountancy career besides audit
Besides conferences and events to keep members up to date, ISCA also offers you opportunities to develop new skills and transit into high-growth practice areas. Our specialisation pathways aim to broaden members’ career options and enable them to gain professional recognition in specialised fields that are in demand.
This year, members can look forward to a new pathway in infrastructure finance scheduled for launch in the latter half of 2019. Developed jointly with Ernst & Young, the pathway seeks to equip members with the skills necessary for finance roles in the dynamic infrastructure sector. I encourage all interested members to keep a lookout and drop in your applications when the pathway is launched.
The Institute is also developing a cybersecurity certificate programme. The need for understanding the role of cybersecurity in finance and its impact on financial reporting grows increasingly relevant for accountants in the digital age. With the need for organisations to enhance their cyber resilience, accountancy professionals can play a role in protecting their organisation against cybercrime by strengthening their cybersecurity awareness and helping their organisation navigate cyber threats.
Beyond Singapore, I would also like to encourage our members to leverage the growth opportunities in ASEAN, which could become the world’s fourth largest economy by 2030. As an ISCA member, you have the opportunity to apply for the ASEAN CPA designation. Those with the ASEAN CPA designation are allowed to provide non-regulated accountancy services in other ASEAN markets.
With ASEAN poised for greater economic growth, I encourage you to take advantage of this pathway to gain market access to the rest of ASEAN.
Beyond enhancing your professional development, ISCA also organises activities that foster camaraderie and encourage work-life balance within the accountancy fraternity. These include the popular ISCA Run and ISCA Games. This year’s ISCA Run will be held on 4th May, at the Singapore Sports Hub. Registration is now open and I encourage you to join us.
Introduction to invited speaker
At every Members Recognition Ceremony, the Institute invites an ISCA member who is an experienced industry leader to share with us valuable insights and experiences.
Tonight, we have the honour of hearing from Mr Yip Yew Chong, a Chartered Accountant of Singapore and a former Director of Asia Shared Services at Informa Group. With a two-decade long career as an accountant in the commercial sector, Mr Yip has led numerous teams and built cultures in businesses in various countries.
Though he has retired to concentrate on art, he continues to offer his technical expertise by contributing back to society, and he has previously served as treasurer of the Nature Society of Singapore. Mr Yip is an avid painter and has painted more than 50 heritage murals in Singapore and overseas. His murals have been developed into a multimedia installation at the National Museum of Singapore.
We look forward to hearing more from him later.
Congratulations once again to everyone here today. I invite you to make full use of your ISCA membership by actively participating in the many events and activities, as well as accessing the various training opportunities and publications the Institute has in store for you. I wish you all the best in your professional journey as a Chartered Accountant of Singapore.
Thank you and have a pleasant evening.