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Singapore’s Accountancy Industry Digital Plan (IDP)
The Accountancy Industry Digital Plan (IDP) was launched as part of ongoing efforts by the government to help small and medium enterprises (SMEs) adopt more digital technologies and encourage digital transformation.
Accountancy Industry IDP Digital Roadmap
All IDPs contain a Digital Roadmap which provides a 3-stage guide on digital solutions for SMEs:
Stage 1: Getting the Digital Economy Ready
The first stage will help SMEs in the Accountancy Industry to prepare for the digital economy. The following basic digital solutions are outlined and can help to streamline operations, optimise resources, and improve productivity:
- Audit management
- Cloud accounting (e-Invoicing)
- Data analytics for audits
- Online document management
- Know Your Customers (KYC)/anti-money laundering screening
- Practice management
- Tax management solutions
Stage 2: Growing in the Digital Economy
The second stage provides digital solutions that help to connect businesses for seamless transactions and enable the consolidation of data from SMEs, hence generating business insights. The following digital solutions are outlined:
- Data analytics for advisory
- Integrated e-Platform for seamless transactions
Stage 3: Leaping Ahead
The third stage outlines advanced digital technologies that SMEs can use to develop innovative services and more intelligent businesses, while simultaneously augmenting operations and the delivery of accountancy services.
This centres on the use of Artificial Intelligence (AI) enabled digital solutions for business operations and provision of services in audit and accounting. Examples include allowing digital trails for audits that can help to highlight high-risk areas based on industry and data patterns and using AI enabled chatbots for routine customer-handling.
Digital Roadmap for Skills and Training
As the Accountancy Industry expands and progresses, the digital skills required to follow suit.
Job roles will likely require upskilling to keep up with digitalisation and it is best to prepare early by providing the relevant training.
IDPs outline two types of courses for basic and advanced users respectively:
- Basic Courses
These are required for all users as they cover important foundations to improve digital literacy and awareness. Examples of such courses for the Accountancy Industry include:
- Introduction to Cybersecurity
- Using Data Analytics to Enhance Audit Effectiveness, Risk Management and Business Analysis
- Introduction to Blockchain Technology for Accounting & Finance Professionals
- Machine Learning in Finance
- Advanced Courses
These are recommended for users who want to attain high proficiency in digital skills. Examples of such courses for the Accountancy Industry include:
- Regulations, RegTech and Digital Risk with Learning Journey
- Cyber Forensics and Cybersecurity for decision Makers
- Business Analytics for Strategic and Organisational Performance
- Practical Foundations in AI with Python
SMEs are also provided with additional help through basic advisory or specialist consultancy services through SME Centres and SME Digital Tech Hubs. Resources available include self-assessment checklists for digital readiness, consultation to provide digital advisory or project management information, and more.