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Singapore unveils plan to help accountancy sector speed up technology adoption

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The plan will help small and medium-sized practices (SMPs) - which make up 98 per cent of the accountancy industry - adopt technology for greater productivity and competitiveness.

SINGAPORE'S accountancy sector will push ahead with digitalisation through a new accountancy industry digital plan (IDP) developed by the Singapore Accountancy Commission (SAC), the Institute of Singapore Chartered Accountants (ISCA) and the Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA).

The plan will help small and medium-sized practices (SMPs) - which make up 98 per cent of the accountancy industry - adopt technology for greater productivity and competitiveness. 

The IDP, announced by Indranee Rajah, Minister in the Prime Minister's Office and Second Minister for Finance and Education, will focus on enhancing digital skills and knowledge, promoting the adoption of technology, and developing accounting technology and innovations. 

It comprises a digital roadmap that provides guidance to SMPs on the digital solutions to adopt, and employee training to undergo at each stage of their digital development.

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An SMP Centre and an Accounting Technology & Innovation Centre (AccTech Centre) were also launched to support SMPs' digital development.

SMPs can visit the SMP Centre for a business diagnosis and advice on adopting digital solutions in their operations, while SMPs looking at more advanced solutions such as AI (artificial intelligence) can seek assistance from the AccTech Centre.

In addition to co-creating ideas with SMPs, the AccTech Centre will also provide networking opportunities with thought leaders and technology partners.

The SMP Centre was set up by the ISCA and supported by the SAC, while the AccTech Centre is a joint initiative between the Singapore Institute of Technology and SAC.

The IDP was developed to support the goals of the accountancy roadmap, which was launched in June 2018 to develop Singapore into a leading global accountancy hub.

Singapore Accountancy Commission chief executive Evan Law said: "We recognise that SMPs are often faced with limited resources to scale up. Leveraging technology will help them offer value-added services to their clients and improve productivity.

"The digital transformation of the accountancy sector and the development of accountancy talent for the future will provide the competitive edge we need to develop Singapore into a leading global accountancy hub."

The IDP is also a part of IMDA’s "SMEs Go Digital Programme" to help SMPs adopt digital initiatives.