2017 has been an eventful year. Many global and local events made huge impact on our professional and personal lives. Most significantly, it is the waves of rapid change in technology acceleration and innovative business models that has left its wake in the year that past.
As finance professionals, we must constantly keep abreast, if not, ahead, of these changes in our environment. Instead of resisting, we must ride the trends and tides of these in technology changes and embrace this new environment quickly to help us and our organisations transform and stay relevant.
It is with this in mind that I have laid out my vision to “Transform, Adapt & Boost” (TAB).
I am grateful that my fellow members understand this and saw fit to endorse it. As your elected Chairman of the ACCA Singapore Network Panel, I look forward to working with each and every one of you over the next 1.5 years to excel in the face of continuous evolvement and expand personal and professionalism capacities.
2017: A year in review
Many thanks to my fellow network panel members, sub-committee members and the ACCA Singapore team for the various successful initiatives that we rolled out in 2017:
In May 2017, ACCA Singapore moved into our new international office in the heart of the central business district. Officiated by His Excellency Mr Scott Wightman (British High Commissioner to Singapore), Ms Helen Brand and over 50 distinguished guests, the new office serves as an international hub to reach out and support everyone across Asia Pacific. It places ACCA in close proximity to our major partners helping to facilitate thought leadership amongst members by bringing world class academic and professional accountancy education to Singapore and the region.
At the 3rd ACCA Singapore Annual General Meeting, the ACCA Network Panel was rejuvenated with the introduction of new members. I was honoured to be elected as your new Chairman, supported by the very capable Mr Gajendran Vyapuri, as vice chairman. Mr Vyapuri brings with him a wealth of audit experience in multinational enterprises both in the public and private sector. We would also like to take this opportunity to thank Mr Amos Ng and Ms Nina Tan for their leadership and contribution to the Association as chairman and vice-chairman over the last two years.
ACCA held its annual signature conference in July 2017. In his address, Guest of Honour, Mr Chan Chun Sing (Prime Minister’s Office) reiterated the need for finance professionals and the sector to tap global opportunities and expand their suite of services to prosper amid the disruption from fast-evolving technology. To leverage on the opportunities and enhance their competiveness, he urged accountants to continually up-skill and go beyond Singapore’s shores. We are sure ACCA members are more than ready to take on these challenges based on a quick poll done by Mr Chan at the event. He was pleasantly surprised that ACCA members appeared more optimistic as opposed to financial professionals from other bodies that did the same poll.
ACCA’s global AGM that took place in November 2017, sought mandate from members to future proof ACCA in governance, operational efficiency, members’ engagement and public interest. Despite Singapore members’ strong support, the three candidates from Singapore did not succeed in their attempt to be elected as council members. The experiences that our candidates brought back with them will only serve to enhance our representation with Singapore members at the global council in 2018. We appreciate-and will be counting on– the continued support of our Singapore members as we rally more candidates to prepare and step forward to meet the challenges of bringing the Singapore’s voice globally.
ACCA reinitiated its community service project – “Fly with the Silver” also in November 2017. A corporate social responsibility project led by members, it brought smiles to our participants and seniors from the Tanjong Pagar GRC, and we were honoured to have Ms Indranee Rajah, Member of Parliament for Tanjong Pagar GRC to join us for lunch. She expressed the GRC’s gratitude to ACCA members for taking time to work on something so meaningful.
Most significantly, ACCA Singapore launched our inaugural Ethics Film Festival 2017. This is a first for a professional body to use film to promote the discussion of ethics and professional awareness amongst its members.
The Festival was well received by our members as an innovative and non-traditional way of continual development, and they found the post screening discussions and related professional development seminars helpful as it allowed them time to reflect and internalise the lessons learnt portrayed on screen.
Other events such as the members’ and affiliates’ ceremonies demonstrated our commitment to celebrate your successes and continually support your career ambitions.
We are motivated that you acknowledged our efforts to serve you as reflected in the improvement of the members’ satisfaction and net promoter scores. And, we definitely look forward to having a more robust interaction with you going forward.
Our path forward
It was a fulfilling year for ACCA Singapore. I am encouraged by the active participation of our members. With your voices guiding and encouraging us, it will spur our team to explore more ways to engage and serve our members well.
We will also be strengthening our engagement with key stakeholders like the United Nations, the British Trade Office, NTUC, Ministry of Finance, Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority, ISCA (to name a few) to better serve our members. For example, our engagement with the United Nations on United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) Sustainable Development Goals was an important link in ACCA’s research and insight to serve our members in integrated reporting.
ACCA is a member of U Associates, a professional guild that provides opportunities for engagement and supporting our members. ACCA will continue to work closely to advance our members’ growth; we will foster more B2B and B2G relationships to open more opportunities for our members. More importantly, we will strengthen our alignment with the Future Economy Council and be involved in the Industry Transformation Mapping exercise for professional services.
In conclusion, 2017 was a year to be celebrated as we saw our membership reached 200,000. The professional trust that our members have placed in ACCA is not something we will be taking lightly.
With your support and our TAB vision, we will steer this leading professional body towards our goal of becoming the #1 in developing professional accountants the world needs by 2020!
Chairman of the ACCA Singapore Network Panel