Tougher anti-money laundering rules for accountants take effect Nov 1

SINGAPORE - Accountants will have to follow tougher anti-money laundering rules that will come into effect on Nov 1 as part of moves to strengthen Singapore's reputation as a trusted international financial and business centre.

Professional accountants, including public accountants will need to abide by enhanced mandatory requirements on implementing controls and procedures for anti-money laundering and countering the financing of terrorism.

The enhanced requirements are issued by the Institute of Singapore Chartered Accountants (ISCA).

The rules will be applicable to public accountants and accounting entities registered under the Accountants Act who are regulated by the Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority.

The rules are benchmarked to international best practices.

Currently, all professional accountants are required by existing legislations to report suspicious transactions.

While a recent national risk assessment found that Singapore has a robust control regime, it found a number of areas where controls could be strengthened. The professional accountancy sector is among them.