ICPAS to transform itself into a global professional accountancy body

In the website of the Institute of Certified Public Accountants of Singapore (ICPAS), a POST-GRADUATE accountancy qualification that can be a passport to finance jobs worldwide has been proposed by a committee set up by the Ministry of Finance to look at ways of transforming Singapore into a global accountancy hub. The national accountancy body is the Institute of Certified Public Accountants of Singapore (ICPAS), which has 21,000 members, most of whom work in Singapore. The president of the institute is Dr Ernest Kan {Refer website: http://www.icpas.org.sg/}

According to research agency,Datamonitor, the Asia-Pacific accountancy market was worth US$30.8 billion (S$42.6 billion) last year, and will reach US$38.3 billion by 2013. Meanwhile,Singapore’s contribution to the market is 2.8 per cent. Australia, at 30 per cent, has the largest share, followed by China with 16.6 per cent and India at 16.4 per cent.

The proposal was announced by Minister in the Prime Minister’s Office and Second Minister for Finance and Transport, Mrs Lim Hwee Hua, at the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year award ceremony yesterday. It is part of a draft of recommendations contained in a consultation paper from the Committee to Develop the Accountancy Sector (CDAS).It has 10 key proposals. Some of key proposal are as follows:

  • The development of a post-graduate professional accountancy qualification. The committee said that in Australia, Britain and the United States, professional bodies have their own accountancy qualification programmes. Having a similar accountancy qualification will help Singapore develop as a centre for accountancy education. The qualification should be globally recognised and be internationally portable, meaning that it opens up access to work in global capital markets. Gaining the qualification can also allow non-accounting trained professionals a chance at a second career.
  • Developing a CFO certification programme that takes on board the evolving role of the chief financial officer. No longer is he just a ‘scorekeeper’ who keeps track of the company’s results.
    Many in the industry say a CFO now needs to go further and implement financial strategy which is in line with the business strategy. The ideal CFO should have a broad base of knowledge, encompassing the business, the industry, financial markets and internal functions
  • The setting up of an accountancy sector development fund to help the sector grow. The fund could assist local accountancy firms expand regionally or help implement technology that would make the sector more efficient. It could also attract global accounting conferences to Singapore.

The consultation paper is available on www.acra.gov.sg and the deadline for feedback is Dec 31.

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