Singapore Government

Recommendation 1

Strategic Thrust 1: Leading Global Centre for Accountancy Talent, Education, Thought Leadership & Professional Development.

To develop a globally-recognised, Singapore-branded, post-university professional accountancy qualification programme (“Qualification Programme”). This Qualification Programme should be relevant for training audit professionals and commercial accountants. It should have a unique value proposition, with the following characteristics:

(a) Global recognition;

(b) International portability; and

(c) An “Asian market value factor”.

This Qualification Programme should be developed with the following key elements:

(a) Robust admission criteria: Applicants for the qualification programme should have accredited university degrees;

(b) Mandatory structured practical experience: Professional practice experience should be acquired via employment-cum-training contracts with Accredited Training Organisations (ATOs). ATOs would include public accountancy entities, companies and government agencies;

(c) Pathway to facilitate entry of degree-holders from non-accountancy disciplines: Conversion programme, comprising core accountancy related modules normally undertaken in an accountancy degree programme, should be developed to facilitate the entry of degree-holders from non-accountancy disciplines;

(d) Pathway to facilitate re-entry of former professional accountants: A programme could be developed to facilitate and meet the needs of the re-entry of former professional accountants into the profession through the Qualification Programme.

This Qualification Programme would be administered by the ICPAS, under the independent oversight of the SAC. A strategic tie-up with a leading international professional accountancy body should be forged to expedite the development of the qualification curriculum.

Adequate notice should be given in respect of the date of implementation of the Qualification Programme, and all existing regulatory and professional membership arrangements would continue until the effective date of implementation. Transitional provisions should give appropriate guidance to the following parties who are likely to be impacted by the Qualification Programme:

(a) Current students of local accountancy degree and other existing professional programmes - certain exemptions could be given after a review of the relevant curriculum to be conducted under the oversight of the SAC;

(b) Current ICPAS CPA Singapore members – specific transition should be worked out for this group of existing professionals with due consideration given to the experience and existing qualification of these members;

(c) Public accountants registered under the Accountants Act with the ACRA; and

(d) Employers who may be seeking accreditation as ATOs or who may have existing accounting professional staff who would be affected by the implementation of the Qualification Programme.

Read CDAS’ 2nd recommendation.
Download the complete CDAS final report.
Learn about the Singapore Qualification Programme.

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