EXPANDING OUR PRESENCE REGIONALLY AND GLOBALLY
ISCA’s first-ever virtual technology fair was held in September 2021, catering to the accountancy community in Singapore and across the region.
The fair brought together service providers and solution vendors, who showcased service offerings in the digital space, as well as accounting and auditing tools. About 1,400 participants from Singapore and ASEAN visited the fair, and more than 1,100 viewers tuned in to the livestreamed event each day, with an average satisfaction rating of 4.2/5. The fair featured 13 plenary sessions and tech talks and 15 virtual booths, which had live demonstrations of innovative digital solutions for the accounting sector.
The inaugural event was supported by ISCA’s strategic partners – AFA and VACPA.
ISCA has been appointed to be part of AFA’s Working Committees (WC) 1, 2 and 3. As an AFA primary member, it is important for ISCA to be participating in the AFA Working Committees and contributing towards AFA’s mission of developing and promoting the growth of the accountancy profession in ASEAN. This facilitates ISCA’s efforts to forge stronger relations with AFA and its member bodies. This may also provide opportunities for ISCA to collaborate with AFA member bodies on mutually beneficial projects. In addition, the participation will help raise ISCA’s global prominence and further entrench our role as a leading PAO in ASEAN.
ISCA Deputy Director (Members and Stakeholders Engagement) Ms Fua Qiu Lin sits in WC 1 which supports and contributes to AFA’s efforts in supporting adoption and implementation of international standards (and best practices) in the ASEAN Member countries. ISCA Council member Mr Henry Tan is a member of WC 2 which contributes to regional thought leadership (on topics relevant to AFA and the ASEAN accountancy profession). ISCA Director (Members Experience and Communications) Ms Jennifer Toh sits in WC 3 which leads and contributes to the capacity building of ASEAN Professional Accountancy Organisations (PAOs), particularly AFA primary members.
Representing ISCA, ISCA Director of Executive Office and Practice Monitoring Ms Ang Pei Fen participated in the Statements of Membership Obligations (SMO) 6 – Investigation and Discipline Workshop organised by AFA and IFAC in December 2021.
The workshop enabled representatives from AFA member organisations to share their strategies, challenges and fulfilment status in addressing IFAC SMO 6, and ISCA had the opportunity to discuss the strategies and actions it had implemented to comply with the requirements of SMO 6.
ISCA inked a reciprocal agreement with CA ANZ in May 2021. The agreement enables eligible CA members from Singapore to obtain the CA ANZ CA designation without having to fulfil additional professional or educational requirements, and vice versa.
This is the fourth reciprocal agreement that ISCA had signed with a leading professional accountancy body. Earlier agreements were signed with Chartered Accountants Ireland (CAI), ICAEW and the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Scotland (ICAS).
ISCA Council member Adjunct Professor Chan Yoke Kai has been re-appointed to be part of the IFAC International Panel on Accountancy Education (IPAE).
Professor Chan was first appointed in 2019, and IPAE has recommended his re-appointment for a second term – from 2022 to 2024. This recommendation reflects IFAC’s confidence in ISCA as a strategic partner, underscoring the Institute’s growing reputation as a global leader in the field, and positions ISCA as an agent of influence in accountancy education.
IPAE was established in 2019 to develop and grow accountancy education and expertise on an international stage.
ISCA was part of a key tripartite meeting with ICAEW and the Chongqing Institute of Certified Public Accountants (CQICPA) in December 2021.
The meeting discussed important elements of talent cultivation, such as member training, membership structure and membership pathways. With the China-Singapore (Chongqing) Demonstration Initiative on Strategic Connectivity (CCI), these discussions are especially significant, since there is deepening cooperation between the two cities.
The ISCA team in attendance comprised ISCA President Mr Kon Yin Tong, ISCA CEO Ms Fann Kor, Director of Professional Development and Qualifications Ms Soh Suat Lay, Director of Members Experience and Communications Ms Jennifer Toh, and Deputy Director of Members and Stakeholders Engagement Ms Fua Qiu Lin.
At the 22nd AFA Conference, ISCA CEO-Designate Ms Fann Kor presented the key challenges experienced by ASEAN SMPs in technology adoption, and the requisite technological skills and competences to future-proof an SMP practice. She shared the 4 W’s of digital transformation and illustrated the application with case studies.
Ms Kor was also a panelist for the panel discussion titled: “Future Proofing our SMP Practice: Building Technological Skills and Competencies”. During the discussion, the panellists focused on the latest developments in the reporting landscape, and how ASEAN accountants can respond to stakeholder demands and prepare for the future of reporting.
ISCA AASC Chairman Mr Hans Koopmans shared Singapore’s views on IAASB’s Proposed Standard for Audits of Less Complex Entities at the IFAC-IAASB-AFA Roundtable, which was jointly organised by IFAC, IAASB and AFA. Among other comments, Mr Koopmans suggested for IAASB to consider the inclusion of audits of group financial statements within the scope of the proposed standard.
ISCA was part of a workshop on “Strengthening the Capacity for Professional Services for Accountancy Services” – a project under the ASEAN-Hong Kong, China Free Trade Agreement (AHKFTA) Economic and Technical Co-operation (ECOTECH) Work Programme. ISCA’s presentation discussed the business perspective regarding the regulatory framework and professional practices in Singapore.
Organised by the Ministry of Industry and Commerce of Lao PDR in November 2021, regulators and businesses from the ASEAN Secretariat, AFA, Hong Kong, China, Laos, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam participated in this workshop.
Representing ISCA, former ISCA Professional Standards Division Deputy Director Ms Lim Ju May participated in a webinar organised by the Jeju Group on IASB’s Discussion Paper (DP) for Business Combinations under Common Control in April 2021.
As business combinations under common control transactions fall outside the scope of IFRS 3 Business Combinations, entities that engage in common control must select an appropriate accounting policy in accordance with the requirements set out in IAS 8 Accounting Policies, Changes in Accounting Estimates and Errors. This may result in a diversity in practice. The DP proposed that the acquisition method should be applied to some combinations while a book-value method should be applied to other combinations.
ISCA’s Recommended Accounting Practice 12 (RAP 12) Merger Accounting for Common Control Combinations for Financial Statements explained how merger accounting (book-value accounting) can be applied to common control transactions. RAP 12 currently recommends that for the book-value method, the receiving company should measure the assets and liabilities received at the book values reported by the controlling company. This diverges from the proposal in the DP, where these assets and liabilities are to be measured by the receiving company based on the book values reported by the transferred company instead.
In addition, the DP proposed for pre-combination information of the transferred company to be excluded in the financial statements of the combined company for group restructuring. This is unlike the recommended accounting practice in RAP 12, where pre-combination information is to be included in the financial statements of the combined company.
ISCA Financial Reporting Committee (FRC) Chairman Mr Reinhard Klemmer shared Singapore’s views on the prioritisation of IASB’s projects in the joint outreach webinar organised by the AFA and IASB in July 2021, in consultation of IASB’s workplan for 2022 to 2026.
Based on the list of potential projects listed by IASB, ISCA believes that the projects on “Climate-related Risks” and “Pollutant Pricing Mechanisms” should be ranked as high priority and to be addressed together. This is in line with the increased focus on climate change and sustainability in Singapore where regulators are placing greater emphasis on green/sustainable finance, climate change and disclosure of sustainability issues for corporates. Correspondingly, investors would require quality information about effects of climate-related risks in the financial statements, including better disclosures.
ISCA FRC Chairman Mr Reinhard Klemmer shared preliminary views on a new proposed IFRS Standard containing reduced disclosure requirements that can be applied by subsidiaries without public accountability in a webinar organised by the Jeju Group and IASB in December 2021.
ISCA supports the objective of the project to reduce the cost of preparing IFRS financial statements by subsidiaries which are not publicly accountable while maintaining the usefulness of information provided. One key concern shared is on the interaction between the new proposed standard and the IASB’s ED on Disclosure Requirements in IFRS Standards – A Pilot Approach, whereby the former focuses on having a list of simplified disclosures for eligible subsidiaries whereas the latter focuses on defining disclosure objectives and not specifying a list of disclosures for entities.