Navigating the Shifting Dynamics of Singapore’s Accounting Landscape
In a dynamic scenario where the demand for accounting professionals in Singapore is poised to soar, an intriguing challenge has emerged: a diminishing interest in pursuing careers in accounting. PERSOLKELLY’s comprehensive report sheds light on this dichotomy, revealing critical insights into the industry’s present and future.
Growing Demand, Declining Interest: Despite the anticipated surge in demand, there has been a surprising 10% decrease in the enrollment of accounting degree students in Singaporean universities over the past five years.
Competition and Talent Shortage: Smaller and medium-sized accounting practices face intensified competition from industry giants like the Big Four firms, aggravating the talent shortage. PERSOLKELLY warns of potential market consolidation if this trend persists.
Government Initiatives: Recognizing the severity of the manpower challenge, the Singaporean government has established a task force dedicated to enhancing the attractiveness of the accounting profession. The Institute of Singapore Chartered Accountants (ISCA) has also launched a significant $1 million program to raise awareness about careers in accounting.
Private Sector Response: Leading the charge, Deloitte plans to hire an additional 3,000 professionals in Singapore over the next five years, primarily strengthening regulatory services like audit and tax. KPMG has committed $50 million to enhance financial services, innovation, and environmental, social, and corporate governance (ESG) capabilities.
Sustainability as a Catalyst: PERSOLKELLY suggests that the evolving landscape of corporate sustainability could make the accounting profession more appealing. Accountants might find themselves well-positioned for unconventional roles, including Chief Finance and Sustainability Officer, especially in organizations with robust sustainability initiatives.
Q1: Why is there a declining interest in pursuing accounting careers in Singapore?
A1: The reasons behind the declining interest are multifaceted and can include evolving career preferences, perceptions about the profession, and increased competition from diverse career paths.
Q2: How is the government addressing the talent shortage in the accounting industry?
A2: The Singaporean government has formed a task force dedicated to enhancing the attractiveness of the accounting profession, working towards creating initiatives that make the industry more appealing to potential candidates.
Q3: What measures are private firms taking to fortify the local accountancy industry?
A3: Private firms like Deloitte and KPMG are actively increasing their workforce and committing substantial financial resources to strengthen regulatory services, foster innovation, and enhance capabilities related to environmental, social, and corporate governance (ESG).
Q4: How does sustainability play a role in making the accounting profession more appealing?
A4: The evolving landscape of corporate sustainability presents opportunities for accountants to take on roles that go beyond traditional accounting, such as Chief Finance and Sustainability Officer, especially in organizations with well-established sustainability initiatives.