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ISCA opens more doors to careers in accountancy

IE Singapore separately announces new training programme in 4 polytechnics that will develop trade associates and deepen talent pool for trade sector

ISCA chief executive Lee Fook Chiew says providing more pathways to the accountancy profession will broaden and deepen the talent pipeline.


MORE structured pathways now lead to careers in accounting.

On Thursday, the Institute of Singapore Chartered Accountants (ISCA) unveiled a series of programmes to build a sustainable talent pipeline for the accountancy sector.

Separately, International Enterprise (IE) Singapore did the same to open up job opportunities for the trade sector.

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ISCA announced at the Singapore Accountancy Convention on Thursday a new affiliate membership class that will admit non-graduates as ISCA members, and provide them with professional support and recognition.

It will also offer the ISCA Accredited Accounting Technician (ISCA AAT) Diploma in partnership with the Association of Accounting Technicians (AAT). The ISCA AAT Diploma is a flexible, skills-based programme for accounting technicians and is designed to meet the demands of the workplace, said ISCA.

Its chief executive Lee Fook Chiew said: "By providing more pathways for individuals to enter the profession and progress in their careers, ISCA aims to broaden and deepen the talent pipeline. This ultimately strengthens the accountancy sector, where more options are available to individuals from different educational backgrounds to join the profession.

"These changes are in line with the government's SkillsFuture, by providing multiple pathways that cater to diverse individual aspirations and aptitudes, thereby fostering a more inclusive society."

Applications for ISCA Affiliate membership open in June 2016. To apply, applicants must hold accredited accounting diplomas awarded by the local polytechnics, other institutes or the ISCA AAT diploma. (The first batch of ISCA AAT diploma holders graduate in 2019.) Applicants will also need to have at least a year's practical experience verified by their employer. ISCA is working with higher education institutes in Singapore and other professional bodies to accredit equivalent qualifications. The list of accredited qualifications will be available by June.

Separately, to add further diversity to the talent pool, ISCA is allowing for accountancy graduates of foreign universities to become its associate members. Previously, only graduates of local universities, those who have completed the ISCA professional examination and those with recognised accounting qualifications were eligible for associate membership.

Individuals who have at least O levels or who are graduates from Higher Nitec in Accounting from the Institute of Technical Education can also enter the diploma programme. Upon completing the programme and one year of relevant work experience, they will be awarded the Accredited Accounting Technician (Singapore) designation and be eligible for ISCA Affiliate membership. Meanwhile, IE Singapore's effort to build a sustainable pool of talent for Singapore's trade sector will take the form of the International Trade Associate Programme (ITAP) in four polytechnics.

The programme will be supported by the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) Academy, 17 founding industry players from trading and finance companies and the four polytechnics (Nanyang Polytechnic, Ngee Ann Polytechnic, Singapore Polytechnic and Temasek Polytechnic).

The ITAP will comprise the Global Trade Certificate (GTC) programme run by the ICC Academy; students on this programme will undergo three- to six-month internships with the founding industry partners either during or after the programme.

These internships become a foot in the door to full-time jobs with these industry partners. A pilot batch of 100 students is expected within the next year; the programme will be expanded if demand for it goes up.