Public Accountant – How to be one?

Currently, the registration framework for public accountants comprises five elements:-

  1. Academic qualifications;
  2. Practical experience;
  3. Completing the course on ethics and professional practice subjects as determined by the Public Accountants Oversight Committee; and
  4. membership with the Institute of Certified Public Accountants of Singapore.
  5. Continuing professional education.

The above first 4 are the various doors that a person aspiring to be a public accountant would have to go through before you gain your official registration and recognition as a Public Accountant. The 5th door is a maintenance factor.

What is a Public Accountant?

Public accountants are persons who are registered with ACRA in accordance with the Accountants Act (the “Act”) to provide public accountancy services of audit and reporting on financial statements or any other professional services that are required by any written law to be done by a public accountant.

What is the problem?

We have a shortage of them now and in future to promote high quality audit and corporate financial reporting to build confidence in Singapore’s corporate financial reports.

Any idea?

ACRA has proposed the following alternative pathways:-

  • entry of international auditors (with specialist expertise);
  • entry of mid-career professionals with specialist expertise which are relevant to audit; and
  • re-entry of former public accountants who had left the profession.

Any other way?

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