Finance professionals feel unprepared

This article is more than 12 months old

Singapore's finance and accounting professionals have said they are unprepared for the demands of their jobs amid disruptions in the economy.

They also said they lack workplace support to develop crucial skills, showed a survey by Ernst & Young and CPA Australia, out yesterday.

The survey polled 150 Singapore-based accounting and finance professionals this year.

Seventy-nine per cent of the respondents said they are not yet equipped with the vital skills to meet the demands of their job in 10 years. The main factors preventing them from acquiring new skills include lack of time, financial resources and employer support.

The survey showed six in 10 found the current curriculum offered insufficient to develop skills to help them down the track. A similar number said their organisations are not helping them to do so.

The respondents said professional bodies, educational institutions and the Government can help by incorporating technology into the accounting curriculum or by introducing courses on related skills so they can upskill.

The survey showed that the drivers of change with the most impact on the accounting profession are the spread of digital technologies and business model disruptions; increased regulation and governance; and rising globalisation.

The top skills finance and accounting professionals think they will need in 10 years are strategic thinking, business acumen and leadership, communication and influencing capabilities.

Information management skills, such as data mining, are also gaining prominence.

Mr Melvin Yong, Singapore country head at CPA Australia said there was so much that organisations and learning bodies could do. He added that the organisation is launching a training programme consisting of 20 courses that will cover areas such as key accounting standards and taxation.