This year’s ACCA Annual Conference saw a strong turnout of close to 500 professionals from the Finance, Law and Technology sector. The theme for 2018 was Professional Accountants - The Future: ASEAN Digital Perspectives. Speakers and experts from the business, finance, economics and legal community came to discuss trends, opportunities and challenges in the emerging ASEAN Digital economy.
Our Guest-of-Honour, Ms Indranee Rajah, Minister in the Prime Minister's Office, Second Minister for Finance, Education and Law who delivered her keynote address on ‘Harnessing Digital Connections to Grow the Accountancy and Legal Sectors’. Access the speech
The delegates also had the opportunity to hear from key industry, policy and decision makers who shared their thoughts on a spectrum of issues—including, the role of professional accountants in ASEAN in the development of digital economies; harmonisation of laws in ASEAN; the future of digitalisation; cybersecurity; the transformation of professional talent dynamics through the use of Artificial Intelligence (AI).
Ms Helen Brand, OBE, chief executive for ACCA presented at the conference on the topic about ‘Shaping the global accountancy profession across three dimensions: digital, social and ethical’, she highlighted that, “What this generation recognises is that they have a great opportunity to influence their organisations and lead the way with technology. This could be in terms of improving business processes, driving better knowledge collaboration, influencing employment models and the working at home agenda, virtual working or shaping future learning interventions.
They may even be able to help with reverse mentoring of older colleagues with technology in the organisation.”
In addition, the two panel discussions were helmed by a distinguished bench of panelists that included, Professor Walter Woon, Senior Consultant, RHTLaw Taylor Wessing and Singapore’s Former Attorney General; Dr Robert Yap, Chairman, ASEAN Business Advisory Council Singapore and Executive Chairman, YCH Group; Mr Ruben Stappers, Chief Financial Officer, Zalora; and Mr Richard McLean FCCA, Regional Chief Financial Officer, SAP of Asia Pacific Japan, to name a few.
Leong Soo Yee, director of ACCA, ASEAN & ANZ concluded that, “ASEAN and the digital economy has great importance and impact in the region across multiple dimensions. This is further compounded with the scale and speed of activity in the digital economy sector. This conference serves as a platform that keeps the business, accounting and finance community up to speed with the latest trends in the region, as well as facilitates the formation of networks and partnerships in the ASEAN region.”
The report “Market demand for Professional Business and Advisory Services” launched at the conference by ACCA Singapore’s Head of Policy and Technical, Mr Joseph Alfred, supported this view when it highlighted that IT solution business, as a service line; and IT advisory as a service category; was among the top 3 most demanded professional services by corporates in the next 3 years.
The report supported by Singapore Accountancy Commission examines market demand for specific professional business and advisory services in Singapore, the ASEAN region, and China, over the next 3 years, based on corporate budgets.
The report provides feedback to businesses on areas where their competitors are leveraging on external advice for a competitive edge and aims to help consultancies (including accounting entities) review and tune their service offerings and business models to maximise growth and revenue in the coming years.
Commemorating another milestone for ACCA, the Global Member Wall containing all 200,000 names of ACCA members all over the world also made its debut at the annual conference in Singapore.
More than 240 ACCA members in Singapore visited the wall on 24 May to find their names and sign their greetings on the wall.
A pledging ceremony took place on the side line of the ACCA Annual Conference 2018, with ACCA, NTUC, AI Singapore pledged to help accelerate capability development in the finance and accounting functions of Small and Medium Enterprises’ (SME) and to help them go global.
The partnership will provide training, workshops and solutions in the three areas of talent development, digitisation and internationalisation, under the ACC(X)ELERATE program.