ACCA, NTUC, AI Singapore Pledged to Help Accelerate Capability Development in the Finance and Accounting Functions of Small and Medium Enterprises’ (SME) and Help Them Go Global

Singapore, 24 May 2018 – Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA), the largest global professional accounting body in the world, together with the National Trades Union Congress (NTUC) and AI Singapore, pledged to support capability development for finance and accounting professionals in small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) and for small and medium-sized professional services firms (finance and accounting) [SMPs]. This took place on the sideline of the ACCA Annual Conference 2018 at the Marina Bay Sands Convention Centre earlier today.

To illustrate their support, the organisations will be partnering on a new ACC(X)ELERATE program to help professionals in SMBs and SMPs in the areas of talent development, digitalisation and internationalisation. Insights were drawn from the following studies to formulate the program:

  • ACCA’s global research ‘Professional accountants – the future: Generation Next’ highlighted the skills finance and accounting professionals need to enhance their employability.
  • ACCA’s report ‘Market Demand for Professional Business and Advisory Services’ revealed a growing demand for non-regulated professional services ranging from IT solutions advisory to risk advisory and process improvements.
  • NTUC’s Future Jobs, Skills and Training (FJST) Forum 2018 report highlighted the key enablers of success for companies to transform and stay relevant in a changing world of work
  • From a NTUC roundtable discussion with Chief Financial Officers, 76 per cent of them indicated technology as the key driver of change for jobs and skills in the accountancy sector, while 20 per cent felt that the change came from changes to business models and the remaining four per cent felt that it was due to globalisation.

ACCA will engage SMBs and SMPs to take the lead in leveraging technology to transform their businesses and take active steps to develop their workforce’s skillsets. To enrich accountants and finance professionals’ digital skills and knowledge, it will also provide training and workshops focused on technology education that enhances productivity and facilitates internationalisation, including cloud technology. Tapping on NTUC’s suite of progression and placement programs, workers will also be guided through this transformative process, enabling and ensuring that they stay competent to take on the jobs of tomorrow.

The program draws on the digital expertise of AI Singapore and will work with technology solution partners that operate in the cloud and small business space, to accelerate the digital awareness and transformation in the finance function. ACCA and AI Singapore will also explore robotic process automation (RPA) as a potential industry solution and AI talent recruitment program for accounting and audit firms.

Reuter Chua, Country Head, ACCA Singapore, said, “ACCA’s global insights present the future of the profession and what global business leaders need from their finance functions to guide the direction of our program.

We are thrilled to pledge this new initiative with the NTUC and AI Singapore today, and we are also progressing the opportunity with other technology solution partners within their domains of progressive training and technology expertise. ACCA is confident that this partnership will help transform small and medium businesses and to go global.”

Patrick Tay, Assistant Secretary-General, NTUC, shared, “As highlighted in various studies including the one done by NTUC’s FJST, our finance and accountancy professionals will increasingly need to incorporate technology into their daily work as businesses and business operations transform. 

NTUC is glad to partner ACCA and AI Singapore as well as other future cloud technology partners in this program to support capability development of our finance and accounting professionals. We urge employers in this sector, especially our SMEs, to leverage the program to develop their talents, digitalise their businesses and work with NTUC on the continued progression of their workforce. Collective action on the part of all stakeholders is a key driver to enable deep, sustained and meaningful change, and we look forward to partnering our industry partners, our employers and our workers to transform the sector for the future economy.”  

More details on the ACC(X)ELERATOR program will be released end of the year.