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January 21, 2015

Singaporean and Irish professions consider membership mutual recognition

The members of the Institute of Singapore Chartered Accountants (ISCA) and Chartered Accountants Ireland may gain mutual recognition through a deal signed today which lays the foundations for a potential mutual recognition agreement between the professional bodies.

ISCA, CAI and the Singapore Accountancy Commission (SAC), a body formed in 2013 whose ultimate goal is to transform the country into a regional accounting hub, signed an Expression of Intent (EoI) to consider the reciprocity of their membership.

More than 50,000 accountants could benefit from a future recognition agreement; 28,000 of them are ISCA members while the Irish institute has more than 21,000 professional.

Singapore’s profession has several fronts opened in the UK to strengthen relationships and gain reciprocity with its global accountancy peers.

In June 2014 ISCA, SAC and the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Scotland signed an EoI pursuing those goals.

In April 2013, a Letter of Intent was signed between ISCA, SAC and the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants.

And in March 2014, a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed with the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales, agreeing to partial mutual credit recognition of the institutes’ respective qualifications.

Other international links of the Singaporean institute include an EoI with the Institute of Chartered Accountants in Australia and the New Zealand Institute of Chartered Accountants (now Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand), as well as a MoU with CPA Australia.

All those efforts are intended to raise the Singaporean profession’s global profile. The country has set a tough deadline, 2020, for its project of becoming Asia-Pacific’s accounting hub.

SAC’s chief executive Uantchern Loh, who is tasked with leading such an ambitious project, told The Accountant in the past:

"If we succeed by 2020 then the SAC will disappear. Our job is to get us there and when we arrive we will be out of a job," adding half-jokingly: "It is a tragic destiny, but a happy ending."

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