Singapore: Stricter registration requirements for public accountants

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startups in SingaporeThe change proposed by the Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority (ACRA) on stricter registration requirements for public accountants (PA) will take effect from February 1st, 2015 in Singapore. Applicants will have to acquire more years of work experience. In particular, this includes audit management experience which will be made mandatory. In Singapore only a public accountant or an accounting body approved by ACRA may provide audit services. ‘Audit is a cornerstone of public confidence in capital markets. We must ensure that audits in Singapore remain of the highest quality. Audit opinions rest on sound judgement and healthy scepticism, the application of which can only be gained through adequate and relevant experience. ACRA is raising the bar to ensure that all new public accountants are sufficiently experienced for their responsibility’, Mr Kenneth Yap, Chief Executive of ACRA, said. All applicants must have gained 2,500 hours of experience in audit management, which would take about two years. Besides, certain key audit functions involving planning and leading an audit, such as forming and reporting on the audit’s conclusions, must be performed independently and competently. In practice, an applicant would need at least five years of experience before registering as a public accountant, compared to the current three years of experience. In addition, the applicant’s experience needs to be supervised and attested by an Audit Principal. Please find more information on the audit and accounting in Singapore on our website.