Professional Services, Progression Pathways (Singapore)

Facilitating Business Diversification and Technology Adoption for SMPs (Small and Medium Accounting Practices)

Image of downtown Singapore at night that is on the cover of the report.

As an economic hub, Singapore not only attracts professional services, but also increasingly provides them to the region and the world at large. The  CFE (Committee on the Future Economy) report recommends that professional services providers build their expertise to participate in the region’s growth, as well as facilitate the expansion of Singapore-based companies into the region. 

With rapid globalisation and pervasive business automation, SMPs in the professional services sector are well poised to evolve into the next generation of digital firms.  

This study conducted by ACCA and SAC found that some professional services subject to high demand are in short supply.   The  report aims to present the implications on possible approaches that SMPs can take to meet these changing demands and move up the value chain via two key pathways – business diversification and technology adoption.

Mr Evan Law, Chief Executive, Singapore Accountancy Commission (SAC) shared ‘Businesses today are increasingly looking at areas such as technology adoption, mergers and acquisitions, and business model innovation as key priorities for growth.

With the hit from the COVID-19 pandemic, it is more important than ever for SMPs to innovate their business strategies through means such as diversifying beyond traditional services and adopting technology to improve productivity and enhance competitiveness. 

The framework that SAC has developed with ACCA is a useful guide to help SMPs adopt a pathway for growth that is suitable for their firm.’

To ease the transition from current services to more innovative future services, this report recommends step-by-step progression pathways. These can be found in Quick Guide to Digitalisation and Business Diversification for SMPs (Small and Medium Accounting Practices). This guide provides information on specific illustrative progression pathways and resources that maximises the core competencies of the SMP to enable them to scale and innovate their business models to take advantage of opportunities that arise because of increasing digital connectivity and globalisation.

Mr Reuter Chua, Head, ACCA Singapore said ‘The growing demand for professional services from businesses worldwide means that there is an urgent need for external advice. This is especially the case as more businesses, including SMEs, undergo digital transformations. The Covid-19 pandemic also emphasizes this.  

In order to remain resilient in the volatile market, It is important for SMPs to diversify their practices and widen their spectrum of professional services. With the suggested framework in this report, we hope SMPs can take this chance to ease the transition from current to more innovative services.’

This report is the follow up to Market Demand for Professional Business and Advisory Services,, a research study conducted by ACCA and supported by SAC, published in May 2018 (the Market Demand report).