Raising of Standards of Accountancy Sector by Singapore Accountancy Commission Since Inception in 201315 Feb 2022
Parliamentary Question by Mr Don Wee:
To ask the Minister for Finance how has the Singapore Accountancy Commission driven and raised the standards of the accountancy sector since its inception in 2013.
Parliamentary Reply by Minister for Finance, Mr Lawrence Wong:
The Singapore Accountancy Commission (SAC) has implemented several initiatives over the years to raise the standards and drive the development of the accountancy sector in Singapore. These initiatives, which are also part of SAC’s Accountancy Roadmap, aim to grow Singapore into a leading global accountancy hub for high value-adding accounting services.
First, to ensure that accountants have the right skillsets and knowledge, SAC developed the Singapore Chartered Accountant Qualification (SCAQ) in 2013. The SCAQ is Singapore’s national professional accountancy qualification and is internationally recognised. Over the years, the number of SCAQ candidates have been steadily increasing, from 1,554 candidates in FY17/18 to 2,252 candidates in FY20/21. As demand for business valuation services rises, SAC also developed a first-in-Asia Chartered Valuer and Appraiser (CVA) programme to raise the standards of ethics and professionalism in business valuation. To position Singapore as a thought leader in the field of professional development, SAC also organised the Institute of Valuers and Appraisers Singapore – International Valuation Standards Council Business Valuation Conference annually.
Second, to develop the accountancy talent pool, SAC partnered with Workforce Singapore (WSG) to upskill and reskill workers to prepare them for new or expanded roles, especially in growth areas. For example, SAC and WSG collaborated with the Institute of Internal Auditors Singapore to launch the Career Conversion Programme to train and support mid-career individuals to take on Internal Audit roles. In addition, SAC recently launched the Jobs Transformation Maps for the accountancy sector which laid out pathways to transform jobs, and the skills required by workers as job roles evolve.
Third, to help accounting firms to transform and improve productivity, SAC rolled out the Digital Transformation for Accountancy (DTACT) programme to help Small and Medium Practices (SMPs) defray the costs of adopting technology solutions. The programme supported about 140 SMPs from October 2018 to December 2020. SAC has organised annual accounting-related hackathons to ideate new solutions to transform the sector.
SAC’s efforts have yielded good outcomes and contributed to the steady growth of the sector and the creation of good jobs. From 2015 to 2019 (prior to COVID-19), the revenue of accounting entities grew by an average of 5.8% per annum and more than 3,000 jobs were created in the sector.
 Data based on SAC’s Annual Integrated Report.
 Data based on the National Census for Accounting Entities published by SAC, 2016-2020.