August was a special month for ICAEW. One of the oldest accountancy bodies in the world celebrated the 10th anniversary of the establishment of their regional office, ICAEW South East Asia (SEA). With offices in Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, and Vietnam, ICAEW SEA has guided the expansion of the ACA qualification in the region since 2009, through collaborations with prestigious higher education institutions, professional education providers, employers, and other organisations.
Together, ICAEW SEA and its partners offer young graduates and professionals several pathways to chartered accountancy through globally recognised professional qualifications (you can find out more here). At the same time, ICAEW SEA has continually supported thousands of qualified chartered accountants (ACAs) in the region with cutting-edge industry resources and advisory services across various fields.
As it was a truly significant milestone, ICAEW went the extra mile to commemorate its success across Southeast Asia by hosting 4 key initiatives in Singapore, to celebrate its progress.
1. A Dynamic Roundtable Discussion on the Current State of Accountancy
On 29th August Michael Izza, ICAEW Chief Executive, travelled all the way from the UK to host a luncheon with ICAEW senior members in Singapore at the Tower Club. Michael shared his updates on the accountancy & audit professions in the UK, as well as international initiatives in the area of technology.
As rapid changes in the profession take place due to advancements in Artificial Intelligence (AI), accountants have begun to use computer applications such as ‘Leonardo’, a robust software to raise productivity and take over administrative functions previously carried out by accountants. ICAEW’s members also shared challenges in their own fields of business in the scope of accountancy both in Singapore and the rest of South East Asia.
2. A Celebratory Dinner at the Heart of Marina Bay
On 29 August, ICAEW SEA hosted a memorable dinner at the heart of Singapore’s iconic Gardens by the Bay. Guests found themselves amid tall plant canopies and a breathtaking view of Marina Bay Sands by the waterfront (you may remember the iconic wedding party scene from Crazy Rich Asians).
The dinner, which was attended by over 200 people, was hosted by ICAEW Chief Executive Michael Izza. The attendees were made up of ICAEW members, as well as honorary guests and members of other professional bodies in South East Asia and China. Michael Izza opened the festivities with a welcome speech. He spoke about ICAEW’s vision of ‘A World of Strong Economies’, future of the accountancy profession in the face of technology, and also its commitment to support the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals to achieve responsible and sustainable businesses of the future.
Mark Billington, ICAEW Regional Director, Greater China & South-East Asia, joined Michael Izza onstage to kick-start the celebration. Throughout the night, guests were treated to high-tech experiences at five booths featuring virtual & mixed reality applications, as well as other exciting activities. Guests were treated to delectable dinner prepared by gourmet chef.
3. Screening of the ICAEW Drama Film at Gardens by the Bay
The high point of ICAEW SEA’s 10th anniversary dinner was a screening of ‘Without Question’, ICAEW’s engaging drama film (request access to view here). ‘Without Question’ explores the challenges faced by senior-level directors, auditors and advisors in the accounting and finance professions, how to identify and address as well as overcome those issues from different perspectives; why it is important to emphasis on the importance of ethics in business and the role of internal versus external auditors plays, and more.
After the screening of the film, Chief Advisor of the Singapore Exchange, Dr. Ernest Kan, facilitated a lively discussion to related to the scenarios in the film with guests. He provided guidance and hints from his perspectives from the questions raised by the audience. Thereafter the guests took part in a fun ICAEW trivia using their mobile to vie for the special prize of a staycation.
4. Exclusive Roundtable on the Professional Services & Trade in ASEAN
30th August – Following the 10th anniversary dinner, ICAEW hosted a breakfast roundtable to discuss the professional services industry and its role in contributing to the development of trade in ASEAN.
The roundtable was hosted by Michael Izza and attended by Natalie Black, Her Majesty’s Trade Commissioner for Asia Pacific (HMTC) and Margaret Manning, OBE, Partner at EY Digital Advisory ASEAN. Other participants included business leaders, senior ICAEW members, representatives of national professional bodies in Myanmar, Malaysia and Singapore, and academics from around the region and China. Delegates pro-actively share their experiences and insights of the trends, challenges faced by professionals, and also opportunities in business, accounting, and finance in the era of Industry Revolution 4.0 and digital disruption in ASEAN and also China.