The Institute of Singapore Chartered Accountants (ISCA), and Singapore Polytechnic (SP) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on 22 August to work on programmes that will enhance the digital capabilities of local accounting Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs). The MOU was signed by Lee Fook Chiew, Chief Executive Officer, ISCA and Lim Peng Hun, Deputy Principal (Academic) of Singapore Polytechnic.

There are more than 600 accountancy SMEs in Singapore, comprising 98% of public accounting firms in Singapore. Under the collaboration, ISCA and SP will work on two main areas:

  • the development of certification courses in Robotic Process Automation (RPA) that are customised for local accountancy SMEs,
  • supporting accountancy SMEs in the adoption of audit software to automate and streamline their audit workflow.

Under the partnership, ISCA and SP will jointly develop certification courses that are customised for accounting SMEs. More than 100 accounting SMEs are expected to benefit from the programme within the next two years.

Soh Wai Wah, Principal and Chief Executive Officer of Singapore Polytechnic, said: “As the accountancy landscape continues to evolve, the only way forward is to embrace change, upskill our workforce and leverage technology to be productive and efficient.  SP is proud to be part of the digitalisation journey, where our students can work with the industry to innovate creative solutions.

At the same time, Singapore’s Accountancy Industry Digital Plan (Accountancy IDP) came a step closer to implementation with a launch ceremony headlined by Indranee Rajah, Minister, Prime Minister's Office, Second Minister for Finance and Second Minister for Education.

Ms Indranee said: "I would strongly encourage accountants to consider how you can use new technologies to reshape the way accountants provide services to businesses and to leverage Singapore's strategic position in fast-growing Asia as a base to go regional."

Evan Law, chief executive of the Singapore Accountancy Commission, said: "The digital transformation of the accountancy sector and the development of accountancy talent for the future will provide the competitive edge we need to develop Singapore into a leading global accountancy hub."

Straits Times reports that the accountancy sector is expected to see 2,000 new jobs created and annual growth of 5.6% in 2020.