Search
Close this search box.

We are creating some awesome events for you. Kindly bear with us.

The role of technology in Singapore’s vision to be a global accountancy hub

The role of technology in Singapore’s vision to be a global accountancy hub

As reported
earlier
, accountancy is one of five key sub-sectors of the
Professional Services Industry Transformation Map (ITM) launched in January
this year to develop Singapore into a globally-leading Professional Services
Industry driven by innovation and partnerships. Sharing the collective goal
with the other four key subs-sectors are advertising, architecture and
engineering, consulting, and legal, the ITM targets an annual growth rate of
4.6% to reach $31 billion in value-add by 2020, and to create 5,500 new PMET jobs
per year.

Singapore recently
launched a S$2.4-million Digital Transformation for Accountancy Programme to help firms adopt
technology, and the Professional Conversion Programme (PCP) for Financial Forensic
Professionals.

The announcement was made by Ms Indranee Rajah, Minister, Prime
Minister’s Office, and Second Minister for Law, Finance and Education, who shared
the accountancy roadmap and new initiatives to develop the sector to be
future-ready, at the Practitioners
Conference 2018
, organised by the Institute of Singapore Chartered Accountants
(ISCA).

Developed by the
Singapore Accountancy Commission
(SAC) together with other
government agencies including the Economic Development Board (EDB), Enterprise
Singapore
(ESG) and Workforce Singapore (WSG), the Roadmap
charts the direction for the sector over the next 5 to 10 years to develop
Singapore into a leading global accountancy hub. It targets an annual growth of
5.6% to reach S$2.03 billion in nominal value-add and to create 2000 new PMET
jobs by 2020.

According the Mr Evan Law, Chief Executive of the SAC, the
Roadmap will position Singapore well to lead in providing high value specialist
services and will require close collaboration among all industry players to
realise our shared vision of developing Singapore into a leading global hub.

The accountancy roadmap comprises four pillars:
Productivity; Re-skilling and Upskilling; Innovation; and Internationalisation.

(1)
Productivity

According
the Singapore’s national accountancy census conducted by SAC, AEcensus
2016/17
, Accounting Entities (AEs) which adopted
technology indicated significant improvements with time savings of around 28%,
cost savings of 14% and 8% increase in revenue.

The accountancy
sector can streamline work processes by leveraging technology. However,
perceived high cost and lack of knowledge to choose appropriate software were
cited as reasons for not adopting technology.

Through the
roadmap, initiatives will be put in place to help firms adopt technology to
spur growth and productivity:

The Digital
Transformation for Accountancy (DTACT) Programme

A total of S$2.4 million has been allocated to the DTACT
Programme
to help Small and Medium Practices (SMPs) adopt baseline
technologies. SMPs will be able to get funding support of up to 70% for the
first year of adoption of solutions, with total grant amount capped at
S$30,000,  in each of the following
software: Practice Management System, Tax, and Internal Audit.

The programme is funded by Enterprise Singapore and will be
administered by SAC, with assistance from the Infocomm Media Development
Authority (IMDA) to pre-approve and curate digital solutions. It will open for
applications in the third quarter of 2018.

“Enterprise Singapore partnered Singapore Accountancy
Commission on the DTACT Programme to help more accounting entities improve
their productivity with technology. It is about using technology to help the
accounting fraternity be more rigorous and freeing them to do higher value-add
work. This programme hopefully will enable these companies to sharpen their
competitive edge as they look to capture more opportunities both locally and
globally,” said Mr Satvinder Singh, Assistant Chief Executive Officer,
Enterprise Singapore.

IMDA e-invoicing Framework

To ensure seamless transactions between businesses, SAC is
working with IMDA on the nationwide
e-invoicing framework
which will utilise the international
Pan-European Public Procurement On-Line (PEPPOL) standard. E-invoicing is
expected to bring about significant efficiency gains and cost savings to
businesses in Singapore. Accounting professionals can expect improved
productivity from the automation of invoice generation and processing. It could
also potentially offer improved cross-border e-invoicing with overseas
businesses which are also on the same e-invoice standard.

As reported earlier, IMDA is the first national PEPPOL
authority outside of Europe and the first National Authority in Asia to adopt
the e-invoicing standard which enables the exchange of standardised
machine-readable documents over its network.

(2)
Skills development

The roadmap
plans to attract and train PMETs to move into new accountancy jobs in high
growth areas, upskill workers in jobs affected by the digital disruption,
and strengthen AEs’ Human Resource capabilities.

On top of
the current
programmes
to develop future-ready professionals, a new Professional
Conversion Programme for Financial Forensic Professionals
(PCP-FFP)
has been launched. As part of the Adapt and Grow initiative, this new PCP
targets and helps mid-career PMETs to re-skill and embark on a new career in
Financial Forensic. Individuals with background in law enforcement, information
system, accounting and finance will be preferred.

PCP-FFP is a place-and-train programme that comprises
on-the-job training and completion of the ISCA Financial Forensic Accounting
(FFA) Qualification. Trainees will be able to complete the programme in 10
months or longer, with salary support available for up to 6 months. The ISCA
Financial Forensic Accounting (FFA) Qualification is the first applied learning
financial forensic qualification developed by a professional body in the
region.

(3)
Innovate

The roadmap also supports firms to diversify into high value accounting
services through business model and technology innovation. This will be achieved by having
more Centres of Excellence to drive new capabilities in emerging high value
services and new innovation labs to promote technology collaborations within
the industry. International accounting technology players will also be courted
to set up their regional R&D centres in Singapore.

To drive
business and technology innovation within the accountancy sector,
Singapore launched its first
accounting Hackathon
on 2 June. Called the Accounting Innovation Challenge, participants will work with mentors
from the accountancy firms to co-create new business ideas and innovative
solutions to solve problems from the industry.

(4)
Internationalisation

To position Singapore well to be a market leader in
high-value specialist services, initiatives will be launched to capture international demand in high
growth areas; and promote Singapore as a leading exchange for accountancy, and
thought-leadership. Enterprise Singapore, together with other
Government agencies, will strengthen efforts to assist AEs to leverage on trade
missions, and business and networking platforms to build inroads into overseas
markets.

In conclusion,these
four pillars will help accounting entities and individuals capture
opportunities in the high-growth practice areas as cited by the Committee
for the Future Economy’s Working Group for Legal and Accounting Services
,
which are Business Valuation, Debt Restructuring and Insolvency, Finance,
Internal Audit, and Risk Management & Corporate Governance.

PARTNER

Qlik’s vision is a data-literate world, where everyone can use data and analytics to improve decision-making and solve their most challenging problems. A private company, Qlik offers real-time data integration and analytics solutions, powered by Qlik Cloud, to close the gaps between data, insights and action. By transforming data into Active Intelligence, businesses can drive better decisions, improve revenue and profitability, and optimize customer relationships. Qlik serves more than 38,000 active customers in over 100 countries.

PARTNER

As a Titanium Black Partner of Dell Technologies, CTC Global Singapore boasts unparalleled access to resources.

Established in 1972, we bring 52 years of experience to the table, solidifying our position as a leading IT solutions provider in Singapore. With over 300 qualified IT professionals, we are dedicated to delivering integrated solutions that empower your organization in key areas such as Automation & AI, Cyber Security, App Modernization & Data Analytics, Enterprise Cloud Infrastructure, Workplace Modernization and Professional Services.

Renowned for our consulting expertise and delivering expert IT solutions, CTC Global Singapore has become the preferred IT outsourcing partner for businesses across Singapore.

PARTNER

Planview has one mission: to build the future of connected work. Our solutions enable organizations to connect the business from ideas to impact, empowering companies to accelerate the achievement of what matters most. Planview’s full spectrum of Portfolio Management and Work Management solutions creates an organizational focus on the strategic outcomes that matter and empowers teams to deliver their best work, no matter how they work. The comprehensive Planview platform and enterprise success model enables customers to deliver innovative, competitive products, services, and customer experiences. Headquartered in Austin, Texas, with locations around the world, Planview has more than 1,300 employees supporting 4,500 customers and 2.6 million users worldwide. For more information, visit www.planview.com.

SUPPORTING ORGANISATION

SIRIM is a premier industrial research and technology organisation in Malaysia, wholly-owned by the Minister​ of Finance Incorporated. With over forty years of experience and expertise, SIRIM is mandated as the machinery for research and technology development, and the national champion of quality. SIRIM has always played a major role in the development of the country’s private sector. By tapping into our expertise and knowledge base, we focus on developing new technologies and improvements in the manufacturing, technology and services sectors. We nurture Small Medium Enterprises (SME) growth with solutions for technology penetration and upgrading, making it an ideal technology partner for SMEs.

PARTNER

HashiCorp provides infrastructure automation software for multi-cloud environments, enabling enterprises to unlock a common cloud operating model to provision, secure, connect, and run any application on any infrastructure. HashiCorp tools allow organizations to deliver applications faster by helping enterprises transition from manual processes and ITIL practices to self-service automation and DevOps practices. 

PARTNER

IBM is a leading global hybrid cloud and AI, and business services provider. We help clients in more than 175 countries capitalize on insights from their data, streamline business processes, reduce costs and gain the competitive edge in their industries. Nearly 3,000 government and corporate entities in critical infrastructure areas such as financial services, telecommunications and healthcare rely on IBM’s hybrid cloud platform and Red Hat OpenShift to affect their digital transformations quickly, efficiently and securely. IBM’s breakthrough innovations in AI, quantum computing, industry-specific cloud solutions and business services deliver open and flexible options to our clients. All of this is backed by IBM’s legendary commitment to trust, transparency, responsibility, inclusivity and service.