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Accountancy Sector Receives More Government Support With The Launch Of New Skills Framework And Sapphire Initiative

Singapore, 3 October 2017 – Ms Indranee Rajah, Senior Minister of State for Law and Finance, launched two initiatives – the Skills Framework for Accountancy; and SAPPHIRE for the Accountancy sector today at the Singapore Accountancy and Audit Convention 2017. These initiatives were launched to equip the workforce with relevant and emerging skills to support the rapid transformation of the Accountancy sector in today’s digital age.

Launch of the Skills Framework for Accountancy

2.         The transformation of the Accountancy sector will bring about many new job opportunities. By 2020, accounting firms are expected to employ about 21,000 accountancy professionals. To support the growth and manpower requirements of the sector, SkillsFuture Singapore (SSG), Workforce Singapore (WSG) and the Singapore Accountancy Commission (SAC), together with employers, industry associations, and education and training institutions have developed the Skills Framework for Accountancy. A total of 14 validation sessions were conducted, engaging more than 100 accounting and finance leaders from accounting entities, corporates, institutes of higher learning and government agencies to map out the skills required. 

3.         The Skills Framework for Accountancy allows individuals to explore career advancement opportunities along or across 6 identified tracks within the sector, which cover 25 job roles. These tracks include Assurance, Financial Accounting, Management Accounting, Internal Audit, Business Valuation and Tax.  The framework provides key information on the sector, and identified a total of 84 current and emerging skills and competencies required for each job role.  Some of the emerging skills and competencies include Data Analytics, Infocomm Technology Adoption and Innovation, and Valuation Research and Analysis. It also informs individuals on training programmes available to help them acquire these skills and competencies. (See Annex 1).

 

4.         Mr Ng Cher Pong, Chief Executive of SSG said, “Developed in partnership with the industry, the Skills Framework for Accountancy serves as a guide for individuals who wish to understand how they can stay relevant and benefit from new opportunities in the sector. Across six tracks and 25 job roles, the Framework identifies emerging skills required in the industry and the training programmes that are available to acquire these competencies.  SSG will continue to collaborate with strategic partners across different industries to help Singaporeans stay relevant and be prepared for the future economy.”

SAPPHIRE for the Accountancy Sector

5.         The SAPPHIRE initiative helps accounting firms to adopt the Skills Framework and integrate technology at the workplace.

6.         Companies can tap on the initiative to incorporate progressive HR and Industrial Relations (IR) practices and the skills framework into their HR function, helping them to improve talent attraction and development capabilities. They can also integrate technology with the culture, work processes and skills upgrading to enhance the company’s productivity and growth. They will receive a 70% subsidy from WSG for up to 100 hours of consultancy advice per project.

7.         The initiative helps companies to transform into progressive and manpower lean organisations with a strong human capital strategy to enhance competitiveness and sustain business growth. It is particularly helpful to Small and Medium-sized Practices (SMPs) to leverage technology to build sustainable practices.

8.         The SAPPHIRE initiative for the Accountancy Sector is a collaboration between the Singapore National Employers Federation (SNEF) and SAC, and supported by WSG.

From the Chief Executive, Singapore Accountancy Commission

9.         “Our vision for Singapore’s accounting sector is to be a centre for high value adding professional accountancy services.  As such, our professionals must have the right skills, and businesses must have the ability to constantly innovate and adopt technology. The Skills Framework and the SAPPHIRE programme are critical initiatives to prepare accountants for the future economy, and help businesses to develop their capabilities to capture growth opportunities both in Singapore and the region. The two initiatives will play a significant role in helping to transform the accountancy sector to develop Singapore into a leading global accountancy hub,” said Mr Evan Law, Chief Executive, Singapore Accountancy Commission.

About the Singapore Accountancy and Audit Convention 2017

10.       The inaugural Singapore Accountancy and Audit Convention 2017, themed ‘Gearing Up for the Accountancy Futurescape’, focusses on how the accountancy sector can capitalise on technological innovations to meet the challenges of the digital world. The one-day Convention, held at Marina Bay Sands Expo & Convention Centre, was attended by about 1,100 participants, who discussed the opportunities and growth potentials in the accountancy sector in the face of rapid advances in technology and digitalisation.   It was organised by the Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority (ACRA), the Institute of Singapore Chartered Accountants (ISCA) and the Singapore Accountancy Commission (SAC). (Please refer to www.isca.org.sg for more information).

11.       Please refer to the following for more information:

Annex 1 – Factsheet on the Skills Framework for the Accountancy Sector

Annex 2 - Factsheet on SAPPHIRE for the Accountancy Sector