Singapore aims to be a leading global accountancy hub for the Asia-Pacific region by 2020.
Accountancy in Singapore
The Singapore accountancy sector has an integral role in the growth and development of the Singapore economy, in terms of providing access to professional accountancy services and talent needed by the various sectors of the economy. While predominantly catering to domestic demand, the accountancy sector itself is experiencing strong growth opportunities on the export of its professional services to the region.
The Asia-Pacific market beckons with dynamic economic growth that will fuel foreign demands for exports of professional accountancy services and talent. Singapore, located in the heart of the Asia-Pacific region, is suitably poised to ride on the growth possibilities that are opening up the accountancy sector.
The then-Committee to Develop the Accountancy Sector (“CDAS”), in April 2010, set out ten recommendations that would help Singapore achieve its vision of transforming its accountancy sector into a leading global accountancy hub for the Asia-Pacific region by 2020.
The recommendations include:
- Develop a globally-recognised, Singapore-branded, post university professional accountancy qualification;
- Develop a centre of excellence in business valuation, internal audit and risk management and tax;
- Set up a Chief Financial Officers Institute for the professional development of CFOs;
- Set up an Accountancy Services Research Centre (ASRC) to promote high quality market relevant research to position Singapore accountancy sector for new and emerging opportunities in the professional services market;
- Develop Singapore into a leading centre for high value-adding accountancy services by being a hub for global accountancy organisations and centres of excellence, centre for global accountancy conferences and conventions and centre for high value-adding accountancy services to be provided out of Singapore, serving the markets in the Asia Pacific region;
- Liberalise the ownership rules for public accountancy entities to facilitate the growth of multi-disciplinary professional practices in Singapore; and
- Establish an Accountancy Sector Development Fund (ASDF) to raise the productivity of and build value-adding capabilities for the sector and to encourage regionalisation of Singapore-based public accountancy entities.
The vision is for the city state to be a leading global centre for accountancy talent, education, thought leadership and professional development, underlined by a globally-recognised Singapore-branded professional education with diverse talent mix, and high-quality market-relevant research in accountancy-related issues.
Growth Areas and Talent Demand
The Singapore Accountancy Academy Global Education (SAA-GE) established in 1985, also caters for the training and professional development of ICPAS members.
According to Robert Half’s Asia-Pacific Salary Guide for 2010/2011, companies are taking the opportunity to rethink staffing strategies despite the ongoing uncertainty. Many are in fact ramping up their hiring in order to lure valuable talent and position themselves for growth. Hiring demand for specific finance and accounting talent in Singapore is increasing in response to the promise of better times ahead. Specifically, most employers have indicated that they are recruiting finance and accounting staff to fill new positions with regional opportunities. Accounting and operational staff are the two functional areas that are notably in demand.
To deepen Singapore’s expertise in the accountancy sector as a leading global centre for accountancy talent, there would be greater focus on talent with key competencies in business valuation, internal audit, tax expertise and risk management.
Read more about Singapore's accountancy services sector at www.acra.gov.sg.
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