The accounting sector is not safe from the sort of disruption roiling other industries, but professionals who develop new skills will unearth plenty of opportunities, according to senior executives yesterday.
Mr Philip Yuen, chief executive of Deloitte South-east Asia and Singapore, said: "Business disruption, brought about by innovative new business models and emerging technologies, is already making some traditional accounting roles obsolete.
"Building capabilities for companies and accounting and finance professionals is therefore a must and not a nice-to-have, " added Mr Yuen, who was speaking at the CPA Congress yesterday, an event organised by professional body CPA Australia.
This is because new jobs are also being created by developments in robotics, artificial intelligence, big data and blockchain technologies. So if professionals acquire new skills for such jobs, they will be in good stead.
Mr Yuen is also the Singapore divisional president of CPA Australia, which is helping accountants adjust to disruption by expanding its partnership with NTUC U Associate and the Employment and Employability Institute. The collaboration has led to the development of a new training programme called "Your Business & Finance Advantage".
The programme includes a new suite of 20 courses for professionals to get new skills in key areas such as finance and business operations and even personal effectiveness.
This programme is specifically designed to help accounting and finance professionals stay relevant, improve their value to businesses and acquire new competencies of the future - upskilling that is even more critical, given the unprecedented pace of disruption facing the accounting profession now.
MR MELVIN YONG, CPA Australia's Singapore country head.
NTUC U Associate and U Future Leaders director Vivek Kumar said that accounting and finance professionals in the programme will also acquire skills in areas such as cyber security and analytics.
Singaporeans and permanent residents will be eligible for training subsidies of up to 50 per cent of the course fees.
The aim is also to allow for "upward mobility", catering to professionals going from junior and mid- level posts to management roles.
Mr Melvin Yong, CPA Australia's Singapore country head, said: "This programme is specifically designed to help accounting and finance professionals stay relevant, improve their value to businesses and acquire new competencies of the future - upskilling that is even more critical, given the unprecedented pace of disruption facing the accounting profession now."
CPA Australia and PwC Singapore also released a new toolkit to help small and medium-sized enterprises improve efficiency and build capabilities in finance.
The accounting body has also published a new edition of the Corporate Governance Case Studies series, edited by governance expert Mak Yuen Teen, for those in executive and director education programmes.
Mr Yong hopes the case studies "can provide the catalyst for robust and rich discussions to advance corporate governance standards and best practices in Singapore and international markets".
The CPA Congress was attended by Mr Chan Chun Sing, Minister in the Prime Minister's Office, as well as around 370 business people and accounting professionals.