Home' Our Singapore Story : 60 Years in Singapore Contents CREATING A SUSTAINABLE FUTURE -- BEING HEARD AND RECOGNISED 133
Members in Singapore have a wealth of networking opportunities
throughout the year. Divisional councillors Themin Suwardy, Philip Yuen
and Christopher Wong (pictured) join other councillors in flying the CPA
Australia flag among members and other major stakeholders at these
The CPA Australia designation has been a badge of honour
that accountants globally have worn with pride over the years.
In more recent times, the designation has also evolved into a
recognition desired by strategic business leaders working in
both industry and public practice.
As a result, building capabilities of CPAs to meet the needs
of industry and enhancing the value of their designation have
become strategic priorities for CPA Australia.
"We want to produce people who are good at accounting but
also with the breadth of knowledge to allow them to go further
and broaden their capabilities. In terms of what members
expect to have, one is that they and our qualification must be
marketable. And two, we should maintain and upgrade their
knowledge so that they can do their job well and prepare
themselves for the future," said Low Weng Keong, FCPA (Aust.)
President and Chairman of the Board, CPA Australia, 2010-2011.
In Singapore, some three quarters of members work in
corporates and SMEs, with the remainder spread out in public
practice, the public sector and not-for-profit organisations.
CPAs understand the increased volatility and pace of the
business environment and are able to adapt business strategies
accordingly. This makes them valuable and relevant to the
diverse sectors of the Singapore economy.
ENHANCING THE VALUE OF CPAs
"CPAs can partner with business and plan for this volatility.
They can advise the business on how to price in risk, detect a
range of possibilities in a creative way, factor in turbulence and
working through the process, as well as build a strong working
relationship through the business eco-system," said Ms Jean
Lee FCPA (Aust.), Vice President (Finance) at NICE Systems.
Building the right and relevant capabilities is therefore critical if
the value of CPAs is to be enhanced.
This is where CPA Australia, with its wealth of resources for
accountants and finance professionals in business, is helping
through continuing professional development.
"In developing CPAs, we will need a holistic perspective that
includes soft skills competencies to partner with business, a
focus on cross border, multi-cultural, and multi-locations, as well
as being able to handle colleagues and key stakeholders that
span diverse age groups," said Ms Jean Lee of NICE Systems.
CPA Australia's Singapore Division currently organises more
than 80 professional development events annually to build
competencies that span business, technical, leadership and
personal effectiveness. These programmes are continually
updated and refreshed as part of an ongoing strategy to
upgrade the skills of our members in industry and public
Going forward, it is also imperative that CPA Australia continues
to engage and educate employers about the value that CPAs
bring to their organisations.
"We need the right messaging to the business community that
our CPAs have strong commercial and operational capabilities
in addition to their ability to have a financial perspective. We
strive to help our members learn to market and showcase their
extensive skill sets and especially how we can participate in and
contribute to the business," said Mr Christopher Wong FCPA
(Aust.), Assurance Partner at EY.
Enhancing the value of the CPA also means helping our
members tackle the challenges of the new normal in business.
The business environment has been transformed over the
last two decades with major global events such as the Asian
Financial Crisis in 1997, the SARS epidemic in 2003 that slowed
many Asian economies, and the Global Financial Crisis in 2008
triggered by the collapse of the US investment bank Lehman
The role of CPAs therefore cannot be confined to reporting
financial results and guiding an organisation to comply with
"While CPAs have started building their knowledge and
capabilities in areas such as business valuation and risk
management, they must also quickly develop their ability to
better communicate with internal and external stakeholders
about an organisation and its business. Otherwise, the
perception of our profession as being unable to communicate
beyond financial statements will restrict CPAs from participating
as effective key management members," said Mr Ong Pang
Thye FCPA (Aust.), Partner and Head of Audit at KPMG
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