About the industry
With accountancy and financial management qualifications, you can find work opportunities with all kinds of establishments, ranging from the “Big Four” – Deloitte, EY, KPMG and PwC – and other large organisations, to smaller accountancy firms, as well as public and private sector employers.
In recent years, businesses have started to use digital technology such as cloud accounting software and applications to increase efficiency for accounting and financial management, so you’ll have to constantly upskill in order to stay relevant in the industry. Additionally, in this current volatile climate, although demands for consulting services have weakened, accounting firms continue to profit due to their auditing solutions.
Another benefit of being in the accountancy field is that it will give you a good perspective of how companies are run, thus opening doors to start your own enterprise in the future should you wish to do so.
Besides excellent numeracy skills, employers look for candidates with strong communication and analytical skills, the ability to work in a team and having commercial awareness. You’ll also be expected to cope with the intensity of working and studying at the same time, so having both effective time management skills and resilience are paramount.
With new technological developments infiltrating the sector, there’s also a need to keep up-to-date with advancements and develop strategic views on potential risks and opportunities on your own
In Singapore, if you want to enter the accountancy and financial management scene, you can do so through two routes. The first option is to complete a diploma or degree in accountancy and go on to work in a junior position while continuing the pursuit of professional accountancy qualifications. Alternatively, if your degree or diploma is unrelated, you can join an accountancy firm when you have completed, or intend to complete, certification programmes.
There are numerous certification programmes offered by professional bodies, such as the Institute of Singapore Chartered Accountants (ISCA) and the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) to choose from. However, completion of the “Singapore CA Qualification”, developed by the Singapore Accountancy Commission (SAC), is a must if you’re an aspiring chartered accountant who wishes to practise locally.
Areas of work
In the accountancy and financial management field, you’ll be expected to identify an area of expertise. Some areas of specialisation include:
The main role of the assurance department is to review financial data and working procedures of an enterprise in order to accurately update investors on how their money is being used.
Tax consultants are engaged to advise management on tax-related problems and offer solutions. They also help clients understand complex tax laws and assist them with the filing of returns, especially during the annual tax-filing season that runs from 1 March to 18 April.
Responsible for monitoring key business areas to assess financial risks and operational inefficiencies, internal auditors devise and present solutions to management.
Risk assessors are tasked to methodically identify and evaluate potential risks before recommending appropriate measures. This area of work allows enterprises to capitalise on opportunities while considering all factors in making major decisions.
When companies fail, corporate recovery specialists decide if it’s possible to keep it running through certain measures. Otherwise, they help creditors, suppliers and employees salvage the remaining capital.