The Concept Surrounding Accountancy Industry Digital Plan in Singapore
As part of embracing technology in the accountancy industry, the accountancy industry digital plan was developed by the Singapore Accountancy Commission, the Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA) and the Institute of Singapore Chartered Accountants. The idea behind the plan is to help small and medium-sized practices (SMPs). It is also for them to adopt technology for greater productivity and competitiveness. In fact, there are three main strategies – improving digital skills and knowledge; enhancing the adoption of technology, and developing accounting technology and inventions. Now, what the plan has done is creating a roadmap to offer guidance to SMPs on the digital solutions to espouse and staff training with each stage of their digital development.
Then, let’s look at the three stages of SMP’s digital development roadmap.
Stage 1: Obtaining Digital Economy Ready
Under this stage, whose aim is to help SMPs get set for Singapore’s digital economy and highlight the crucial digital solutions that enable SMPs to remain competitive. Some of the solutions include Practice Management, Audit Management, and Tax Management to simplify operations and optimize resources.
Stage 2: Developing in the Digital Economy
The stage focuses on digital solutions like Data Analytics for Advisory, and the incorporation of digital solutions for seamless transactions that ensure the merging of data for SMPs to create deeper insights.
Stage 3: Leaping Ahead
This stage recognizes advanced digital technologies that SMPs can execute to provide new innovative services and create more intelligent businesses. These include the use of Artificial Intelligence (AI) enabled digital solutions. It is for business operations and the establishment of services in audit and accounting.
Now, how then can the SMPs get access to the services relating to the accountancy industry digital plan?
Every SMPs have an opportunity to visit the SMP Centre for all-inclusive business diagnosis and advice on adopting digital solutions in their operations. The centre is also a one-stop platform. It serves the requirements of any SMP on its digital journey to exploit technology for greater productivity, growth, and competitiveness. Staff at an SMP can also access and use the online self-assessment toolkit. It is to establish their firm’s stage of digital readiness, ascertain the relevant digital solution and training programmes, and track for available funding schemes.
Getting Ready for a Digital Future
It’s imperative to know that as much as tools are essential in this digital era, the human component remains significant in comprehending and using them. Not having the right talent to make use of evolving technologies and tools may lead to unsuccessful sector transformation. Now, the signing of the accounting industry digital plan target to heighten the digital abilities of local SMPs in two main areas:
- Creating certification courses in RPA that are customized for local SMPs
- Reinforcing SMPs in the adoption of audit software to automate and streamline their audit workflow.
Creating New Technologies – Accountancy Industry Digital Plan
AccTech Centre, instituted by SAC and the Singapore Institute of Technology (SIT), is a resource and elaborate centre that aids the collaboration and catalyzes technology and business inventions in the accountancy sector. Several SMPs will be able to innovate business processes, business models, service delivery, and products through the centre. The SMPs have an opportunity to work with academics, technology partners, and government agencies to research and prototype inventive ideas. The SMPs participant can profit from workshops and symposia on superior accounting technologies, attending training and acquiring certification through SIT.
To attain the right skills on the accounting industry, digital plan features a training roadmap intended at equipping the sector’s human resources with the right skills. At each of the stages, the SMPs acquire digital skills to prepare them for the digital economy. Generally, the training is dissected into wide segments that are basic and advanced skills. Then, they’d acquire general knowledge and comprehension of tech trends and their influence, and boost a mindset change; whereas advanced skills are available for professionals who need deeper knowledge and skills.
The following three stages are the training roadmap for acquiring the right skills.
The tech basics constitute learning about innovation design thinking and RPA and how they influence the industry. In case accountancy professionals are seeking greater expertise in digital skills, they should learn data analysis for audit and investigation.
Then it’s more of practical understanding of fintech and other disruptive technologies like the Internet of Things and cloud computing. For additional advanced skills trained here involves the use of analytics for organizational functioning and visual dashboards for presentations.
The competence sets within this stage involve big data and machine learning for finance. The more advanced skills for professionals will involve learning about artificial intelligence and its influence on the sector.
The practicability of the accountancy industry digital plan is real, but it still faces some challenges. One challenge several SMPs encounter is the relentless grind of the regular business cycle. Some may find it a rather new trend that hasn’t been tested anywhere else and feel reluctant. But the help offered by IDP, there is a fresh stimulus for several SMPs to jump into the bandwagon to be part of the journey.
Conclusion About Accountancy Industry Digital Plan
The prospects of the accountancy industry digital plan are promising in Singapore. Therefore, the plan has been accessed by the relevant authorities and deemed market and cost-effective. Any SMPs aspiring to get into the next frontier techno wise should embrace this solution. It also increases productivity, job redesign, and real-time response abilities. Digital transformation in the accountancy sector and the creation of accountancy talent bounds to provide a competitive edge in the future. Therefore, SMPs has a chance to get their digital accountancy onto the next level. It is by using the available assessment toolkits to roll out.