ingapore’s accounting industry has been integral to the country’s overall economic growth and development. Accountancy remains one of the city-state’s most thriving industries, and a major focal point in Singapore’s economic blueprint.
Singapore’s accountancy sector caters to both domestic and regional demand. On the domestic front, the industry supplies professional accountancy services and talent to the various sectors of the economy. In a regional and global scale, Singapore’s accounting industry has experienced a surge in demand for the export of its expertise in recent years.
To maximize the potential of the sector, the Committee to Develop the Accountancy Sector (CDAS) was established in December 2008 to position Singapore as the region’s epicentre of accounting services and professionals. The committee has since mapped out a vision to transform the sector into a leading international accountancy hub for the Asia Pacific by the year 2020.
In 2010, the CDAS submitted a series of recommendations to deepen the sector’s expertise, upgrade the value of services from Singapore-based public accountancy entities as well as promote the regionalization of accounting services.
In line with this, the CDAS vision is anchored on the following strategic thrusts:
In addition, the Singapore Accountancy Commission (SAC) was established in April 2013 to drive accountancy excellence in the city-state. As a statutory agency, the SAC collaborates with local and international groups to focus on key areas to improve the both the profession and the industry.
With the CDAS final report as its guide, the SAC aims to ultimately transform Singapore into a leading global accountancy hub for the region by 2020.
The Asia-Pacific is, to date, the fastest growing region among international accountancy networks. The APAC market is estimated to reach an overwhelming US$43.4 billion by 2014.
Singapore, located in the heart of the region, is at the forefront of this growth. With its ideal location, sophisticated financial system, infrastructure, and pro-business environment, the city-state is well placed to harness and expand the robust growth opportunities for the sector in the region.
Singapore’s reputation as a leading financial and business hub in Asia reinforces its positioning as an accountancy hub.
As a financial and business centre, Singapore maintains a strong local demand for accounting services, thus fueling the growth of the sector. Congruently, the accountancy sector’s robust international outlook and solid global standing have increased the competitiveness and positioning of Singapore as an international nucleus of trade and business.
In essence, the vibrant accountancy sector serves as a catalyst for the Republic’s continued economic growth.
Indeed, there is an immense potential for growth, particularly in the areas of audit, internal audit & risk management, business valuation, and tax expertise, among others.
The rapid expansion of the Asia Pacific market, complemented by CDAS’s strategic thrusts, have created countless opportunities to form a Singapore company amidst the thriving industry and its complementary sectors.
Many of the assumptions that would have gone into planning for the future have been disrupted this past year. As noted by the Finance Minister Mr Heng Swee Keat in his Budget speech, we are in a time of change.
What is unprecedented, is that there was no herald to this change. It is a stark reminder of how quick and unpredictable change has become in the world today. This period of change drives the theme of the entire 2017 Budget – Moving Forward Together. It lays out in a way that best befits this time of change – a strategy, rather than a plan.
Not prescribing, it instead enacts policies to help Singapore stay agile and adaptive, especially as our external environment changes rapidly.
As technology brings forth the convergence of industries and new business models disrupt traditional businesses, leveraging the benefits brought on by digitalisation and increased connectivity can promote innovation.
Beyond measures promoting innovation capability building to ensure our people have the right skills, there are also proposals to encourage our local enterprises to digitalise so as to improve their operations.
Besides business related measures, building an inclusive and caring society by introducing more household support measures have also been announced.
Totalling an expected $850 million, it will include GST vouchers, education bursaries and more service and conservancy charge rebates, and also provides more support to the disadvantaged.
The Budget is far-sighted. It encourages greater innovation through initiatives such as the Global Innovation Alliance, Innovators Academy and Innovation Launchpad. It also pushes local enterprises to change their mind-set and embrace the need to digitalise, as evident in the new SMEs Go Digital programme.
Overall, Budget 2017 strikes a balance between the need to be responsive in a rapidly changing world while remaining fiscally prudent.
Besides developing future-ready skills and infrastructure, it also fosters a caring, inclusive society and a quality living environment, while managing a fiscally sustainable system