Business

Guide to help accountancy sector go digital launched

It includes solutions to aid firms in adoption of tech at various stages of growth

Within a year of local accountancy firm Nexia TS launching in 2017 a cloud-based accounting platform that lets clients upload documents digitally, the firm found that it has helped raise productivity and reduce mistakes.

It has also freed up the employees to spend more time on other activities that add more value.

To help small and medium-sized practices (SMPs) in Singapore's accountancy sector adopt technology for greater productivity and competitiveness, a step-by-step guide has been launched.

Minister in the Prime Minister's Office and Second Minister for Finance Indranee Rajah said yesterday that the guide - the Accountancy Industry Digital Plan - will help these practices, which account for 98 per cent of the accountancy sector, to explore opportunities to go digital.

She said that as digitalisation and new technologies blur traditional sectoral lines and revolutionise the economic landscape, accountants will need to rapidly evolve their skills to meet the changing landscape and redefine their value-add to businesses.

"I would strongly encourage accountants to consider how you can use new technologies to reshape the way accountants provide services to businesses and to leverage Singapore's strategic position in fast-growing Asia as a base to go regional," she said.

The guide follows the introduction last year of a $2.4 million programme that would give SMPs funding support of up to $30,000 each to adopt technology solutions.

The guide is part of an Infocomm Media Development Authority programme for small and medium-sized enterprises to help various sectors embark on their digital transformation journey.

The Accountancy Industry Digital Plan will include a list of solutions to guide SMPs in their adoption of technology at various stages of their growth, from digitalising hard-copy documents to more advanced levels where artificial intelligence- empowered chatbots are tapped to handle routine customer queries such as account balances and status of payments.

Professionals in the sector can check against a list of training courses to acquire new digital skills relevant to their jobs, such as tax data analytics and an introduction to cyber security risks.

BUSINESS & FINANCE