Accountants should have "stewardship" mindset, says Josephine Teo

Senior Minister of State Josephine Teo.
Senior Minister of State Josephine Teo.PHOTO: ST FILE

ACCOUNTANTS should adopt the mindset of a "steward" when carrying out their duties as Singapore aims to become an accountancy hub in the Asia Pacific.

A steward can be regarded as "a person who manages another's property or financial affairs", said Senior Minister of State for Finance and Transport Josephine Teo today.

Based on such a mindset, one would give careful consideration to the long-term implications of decisions made today.

She urged those in the accounting profession to invest in capability development and specialisation such as in internal audit as well as business valuation.

"These investments will help accouting firms and professionals stay relevant and grow (their) businesses," she told the 280-strong crowd at the fifth CPA Congress.

Mrs Teo also suggested that industry players should share their resources and knowledge so that smaller firms here can expand their range of services and tap into growing regional markets.

Accountants can take heed from the Government's example of factoring long-term implications when it comes up with new policies and programmes, she added.

For example, instead of implementing relief measures to help Singaporeans cope with the rising cost of loving, the lasting solution would be to help them stay employed and earn higher incomes.

This is done through the restructuring of the economy towards productivity-driven growth.

"A stewardship mindset compels us to do not only what is expedient but to focus squarely on addressing fundamental issues," she said.

"It also emboldens us to pursue deep transformations that a stop-gap quick fix mindset is not interested to attempt."

The day-long CPA congress also covered topics such as business leadership and profiting from Asian opportunities.