Challenges and Opportunities for the SMP in Singapore Mr Don Ho, Council Member, ICPAS 19th March 2012 1
Being an SMP in Singapore (cont’d)• Key Challenges: – Rising Costs of rent and labour in Singapore One of the most expensive cities in the world (ranked 9th most expensive according to the Economic Intelligence Unit Survey) Singapore is a rising Financial Hub with Global reach High inflow of Financial Capital ,new businesses & competitiveness Attaining Global city market status without boundaries/time – Young professionals with high aspirations and expectations
Being an SMP in Singapore (cont’d)• Result: – The Accounting Profession is losing its attractiveness in comparison to jobs in the Financial Institutions, Commerce and Industry. The Pressure is on! Challenge: What are the possible solutions to meet the Challenges?
Suggestions for the SMP• Enhance Productivity: – Commitment for training to raise productivity growth – Increased Efficiency and effectiveness by relooking work methods restructure and remove duplication and redundancy of work processes – Acquiring specialised knowledge & skill – Better understanding of complexities of business environment to offer solutions to increasing demands. – Right skills for the right jobs – Singapore Government has a S$2Billion National Productivity Fund set aside to support efforts to restructure and upgrade skills The Change has to start from the top - Management have to be receptive to suggestions to change for Better Performance.
Suggestions for the SMP (Cont’d)• Willingness to Invest in Human Capital and Human Resources to reduce voluntary turnover: – More attractive working conditions much of the staff’s waking hours are spent at workplace – Build a framework for talent creation and retention mid and long-term perspective required for skill development, rather than short term – Relevant HR monetary incentives in place to motivate performance. Delicate balancing is needed: – Besides structured instructions, proper guidance is required for staff motivation and career prospects – But hands-on “on the job” experience are essential ingredients for training of professionals
Suggestions for the SMP (Cont’d)• With technological advancements, an SMP should look to innovation and technology as powerful aids to meeting challenges: – Audit and risk management software capable of performing multi audits. They enable : • Easier documentation (linked working papers) • Faster reviews (in built checklists and consistency checks) • Explore productivity improvement & costs reduction opportunities with cloud computing – Staff and self-training to optimise efficiency and productivity in the use of relevant software technologies.
Suggestions for the SMP (Cont’d)– Joint collaboration or mergers amongst SMPs to develop resources to overcome constraints in resources, budgets and skills.– Through combined efforts, SMPs are able to establish: • Joint infrastructural enhancements to cope with technological changes (i.e. Joint subscription plans for secure IT network, shared database, shared storage) • Range and skills and depth of business understanding required to serve increasingly complex demands from clients. • Regional expansion for marketing with local partners to capitalise on collaborative efforts.