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Ministry of Finance Accepts Pro-Tem Singapore Accountancy Council's Recommendations on Transitional Arrangements Relating To The Designation of Chartered Accountants of Singapore

01 Apr 2013

Introduction of the ‘Chartered Accountant of Singapore (CA Singapore)’ professional designation signals a new phase of development for the accountancy sector.

1      The Ministry of Finance (MOF) has accepted the Pro-Tem Singapore Accountancy Council’s (“Pro-Tem SAC”) recommendations on the transitional arrangements relating to the Chartered Accountant of Singapore (“CA Singapore”) professional accountancy designation.

2      The Institute of Certified Public Accountants (“ICPAS”) has been designated as the entity to confer the CA Singapore designation, which is owned by the SAC and will replace the current Certified Public Accountant of Singapore (“CPA Singapore”) designation. Moving forward, candidates who successfully complete the Singapore Qualification Programme (“Singapore QP”) and have acquired the relevant working experience will be conferred the CA Singapore designation. The Singapore QP is a rigorous programme which comprises 6 learning modules together with a 3-year practical experience component that is comparable to the professional qualifications in leading jurisdictions. This change will raise the capabilities of the accountancy profession and pave the way for further mutual recognition with leading international jurisdictions, as well as open up overseas practicing opportunities for Chartered Accountants of Singapore.

3      The Pro-Tem SAC recognises that this change will impact members of the accountancy community and had convened a panel to study the transitional arrangements. This Transitional Panel (“ Panel”) was led by Mr Yeoh Oon Jin, Executive Chairman of PricewaterhouseCoopers, and comprised respected members from the industry and academia (See Annex A (icon_pdf53 KB) for the composition of the Transitional Panel). They actively engaged key stakeholders, such as accountancy firms, professional bodies and students to seek feedback. The Panel had carefully considered all feedback when developing their recommendations, which have been endorsed by the Pro-Tem SAC and accepted in full by MOF.

4      The transitional arrangements for three main groups of stakeholders are highlighted below:

  • Existing ICPAS members who are designated as CPA Singapore: All CPA Singapore holders will be automatically converted to the CA Singapore designation in July 2013. This timing coincides with the enrolment of the first batch of Singapore QP candidates. Many CPA Singapore holders are respected professionals with substantial industry experience. Such an arrangement will allow them to enjoy their current standing and ensure that the professional practice of existing CPA Singapore holders remain unaffected.
  • Students who are either enrolled to commence or are currently in the midst of taking accountancy degree programmes at our four local universities[1]: Students who have matriculated in 2012 or earlier will be given until 31 December 2016 to complete their studies and the ICPAS examination for the CPA Singapore designation so as to be eligible to be automatically converted to the CA Singapore designation. Students who are unable to meet the 31 December 2016 deadline will be required to complete the Singapore QP to qualify for the CA Singapore designation. An exception is granted for male Singaporeans who have been accepted into the accountancy degree programmes and are currently serving their full-time National Service. They will be given an additional 2 years until 31 December 2018, so as to ensure that they are not disadvantaged as compared to their female peers.
  • Holders of recognised professional qualifications, including full members of Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) and CPA Australia: This group of stakeholders will have until 31 December 2016 to complete the ICPAS examination to be conferred the CPA Singapore qualification so as to be eligible to be automatically converted to the CA Singapore designation.

The full list of the transitional arrangement is available at Annex B (icon_pdf175 KB).

5      MOF would like to thank the Chairman and members of Pro-Tem SAC and the Transitional Panel, as well as members of the accountancy community who had provided feedback on the transitional arrangements. The Singapore Accountancy Commission (“SAC”) will be engaging key stakeholders in the upcoming weeks to provide more details on the transitional arrangements and the timelines.

6      Please contact SAC or the respective professional bodies for enquiries on the transitional arrangements.

Issued by: Ministry of Finance
1 April 2013


[1] NTU, NUS, SMU and UniSIM