SMU’s School of Accountancy takes the lead to groom talent in digitalised world

The university’s Second Major in Accounting Data and Analytics, the first of its kind in Singapore, covers skill sets that employers are now looking for in accounting graduates

Grooming future accountants to meet the industry's demands. PHOTO: SINGAPORE MANAGEMENT UNIVERSITY
Grooming future accountants to meet the industry's demands. PHOTO: SINGAPORE MANAGEMENT UNIVERSITY

Singapore’s position as a global business hub means that there is always a pressing need for industry players to constantly adapt to remain competitive. This also means that talents have to constantly upgrade their skills to remain relevant and keep their jobs secure.

Like many other sectors, accounting is facing disruptions caused by new technologies like artificial intelligence and robotics, cloud computing, innovations in tax software, mobile accounting, and social media. For instance, accounting technologies now enable analysis of a complete set of data instead of sampling transactions for audit purposes.

While automation in accounting poses new challenges, it is also opening up new roles and opportunities. These are especially exciting times for accountants. No longer shackled by the traditional definition of their job, accountants are now encouraged to explore roles beyond their technical skill set.

Singapore’s first Second Major in Accounting Data and Analytics

The first ever Second Major in Accounting Data and Analytics in Singapore. PHOTO: SINGAPORE MANAGEMENT UNIVERSITY

Understanding that there is a shortage of professionals who not only have accounting domain knowledge, but can also work with data, Singapore Management University (SMU) realises the need to nurture graduates who can better meet the changing demands of the industry. In August last year, SMU launched a Second Major in Accounting Data and Analytics under its School of Accountancy.

SMU is the first university in Singapore to offer Accounting Data and Analytics to all SMU undergraduates as a second major.

It aims to groom a new generation of accounting professionals who will understand emerging technologies and are able to use the knowledge and skills in data management, statistical programming, predictive modelling and forensic analytics to anticipate future trends and adapt to the evolving needs of clients.

The programme is designed to nurture future-ready talents who will be:

  • A strategic advisor with sound accounting knowledge and judgement;
  • An articulate communicator to effectively communicate analyses; and
  • A tech-savvy professional fluent in accounting data and analytics applications.

How does the programme do it?

  • Through a rigorous curriculum accredited by 11 professional bodies.
  • Through SMU’s unique seminar-style teaching method.
  • Through experiential learning in an accounting analytics capstone course that involves real-life projects provided by industry partners.

Students develop proficiency in accounting data and analytics applications. PHOTO: SINGAPORE MANAGEMENT UNIVERSITY

Unlike the data analytics courses offered by other business curriculum in Singapore, SMU’s Second Major in Accounting Data and Analytics delves deeper into the relevance and application of data technology in the accounting domain.

Graduates will be able to perform higher-level tasks that are increasingly expected of accountants. The curriculum is also constantly updated to meet the ever-changing demands of the industry.

Strong support from industry partners

Designed in consultation with industry stakeholders, which include the four biggest accounting firms in the world — Deloitte, Ernst & Young, KPMG and PwC — and major banks, this programme covers skill-sets that employers are now looking for in new graduates. They include programming, accounting application, data visualisation and data management.

One of the elective modules, Audit Analytics, is the first such elective designed and taught by Deloitte Singapore under SMU’s School of Accountancy.

Students taking this second major can expect benefits such as priority internship placements with Deloitte, including overseas attachments, sponsored book prize(s) for the top performing audit analytics students and priority job placements after graduation.

Future career paths under the SMU Bachelor of Accountancy programme

Advisory & Consulting Audit & Compliance
Banking & Investment Corporate Accounting & Finance
Entrepreneur Financial Controller
Forensic/Fraud Investigation Risk Management

For more information on the 2nd Major in Accounting Data and Analytics programme, visit SMU’s website.