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Updates From The CEO

FANN KOR
BY FANN KOR


Time flies. This is my 10th year with ISCA. Each year has brought different challenges and tonnes of learning opportunities.

Many of us in ISCA started our careers with accounting firms. At ISCA, we have continued to apply our sector domain knowledge while acquiring new skills. Personally, what I learnt in the last nine years at ISCA was put to the test when many new challenges arose throughout the year. Truly, there hasn’t been a boring day, and no two days have been the same.

Reflecting on my ISCA journey, I would say 2023 has been the most remarkable year so far, and I am delighted to call attention to the milestones we have accomplished. If you have not read ISCA President Teo Ser Luck’s 2023 Year End Message or seen the video, please take a moment to do so.

As we embark on 2024, I would like to present you with a glimpse of our upcoming initiatives.

MEMBERSHIP GROWTH

Our student community has expanded significantly, with a notable 110% increase in aspiring accountants joining the ISCA family. This growth not only strengthens the talent pipeline, it also reinforces the relevance that ISCA brings to the accountancy profession and underscores the profession’s attractiveness.

With ISCA taking a proactive role in running the Singapore CA Qualification (SCAQ) programme, we are excited about the opportunities ahead. We look forward to working closely with our stakeholders, including the schools, parents, employers and the government, to continue nurturing a strong talent pipeline for our sector.

PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT

Given the evolving business and accountancy landscape, it is no longer sufficient for our members to only keep pace with technical knowledge, which is our bread and butter. With our diverse membership profile encompassing students to C-suite leaders, the Institute’s continuing professional development (CPD) offerings must likewise be innovative and captivating, to support their needs.

It has always been our goal to ensure that ISCA’s training offerings meet our members’ requirements by being relevant, affordable and accessible. In 2024, in addition to our full suite of online and in-person CPD offerings, we will focus on two specialised tracks – one on sustainability, and the other targeted at board directors.

Our newly launched ISCA Sustainability Professional Certificates empower our members to ride the sustainability wave and seize new opportunities in the global green push. Launched fewer than two months ago in November 2023, it has already garnered 300 signups. We are heartened by the strong interest in the programme.

The next programme, for directors, will be another collaboration with SAC Capital. The previous programme had proven highly successful, with almost 1,000 signups and a satisfaction rating of 4.08 out of 5. The upcoming collaboration with SAC Capital is once again highly anticipated, and in an area with tremendous market demand. Members can look forward to the programme launch in February 2024.

ADVOCACY AND COLLABORATION

Our efforts to engage government and industry stakeholders have resulted in positive outcomes, ensuring that the voice of the accountancy profession is heard and considered in key policy decisions.

In 2023, we inked 13 MOUs with local and international parties, with 29 areas of collaboration. This year is all about deepening these connections and working towards the fruition of these partnerships.

Building on our accomplishments in 2023, we will continue to proactively engage regulatory bodies, government agencies, and industry stakeholders to advocate for the interests of our members, and generate more opportunities for collaboration.

TECHNOLOGICAL ADVANCEMENT

Having embraced the digital era, ISCA has invested in technology to streamline processes and enhance the member experience. The launch of our mobile app has simplified access to resources, and created other exclusive benefits for members.

ISCA staff are encouraged to leverage digital tools so that they can spend their time on value-added work. The performance of our department heads will be evaluated based on their ability to navigate challenges and innovate our offerings.

To address cybersecurity and data privacy concerns, while catering to our staff’s keen interest in utilising digital tools, we have launched ISCA-GPT. This provides a secure digital environment in which our team can work, to achieve higher efficacy.

We will continue to inculcate a digital mindset at ISCA and integrate digital advancements into the operations of ISCA. This will result in a more efficient and effective service delivery to all our members.

EXPANDING OUR GLOBAL FOOTPRINT

While we are indeed late in our internationalisation journey, it is better late than never.

I am proud of the team’s achievements, to have spread our footprint in 12 cities across 10 countries – Australia, Beijing, Guangzhou, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Shanghai, South Korea, Thailand, United Kingdom, and Vietnam – within a year.

However, there is no time to waste as we must focus on the next steps, the first of which is to deepen market penetration. In 2024, you will see ISCA spreading our presence in the overseas markets. Look out for the details to come.

APPRECIATION AND GRATITUDE

When I was first appointed as ISCA CEO two years ago, I joked about me being a “baby CEO” and hoping for support from the universe. As I pen this note in January 2024, the baby has grown to be a toddler. 😅 Although I still need a lot of guidance and support, I am more confident of standing on my own feet, walking more steadily and at times, even attempting to run.

I offer my heartfelt thanks and appreciation to our Council members, whose wise counsel and strategic leadership helped ISCA accelerate its growth and deepen its impact. I am especially grateful to President Ser Luck. Under his leadership, the Institute has made transformative changes and 10 times our impact on the accountancy profession and sector. Although most of the time, he was dragging me along to keep up with his pace, at rare moments, he would also pause and wait for me.

Of course, I must express my gratitude to my insanely dedicated management team – Suat Lay, Pei Fen, Wai Geat, Qiu Lin, Zoey – and their wildly industrious team members. Thank you for the good work that has led to continuous progress at the Institute. Let’s get more going! 😬

Last but not least, I thank all our members. 🥰 Thank you for your continued support. To the members who have written to me by email, thank you for your encouraging words and constructive feedback. And, to all members, if you have the time, please drop by ISCA House and we shall have a chat!


Fann Kor, CA (Singapore), is Chief Executive Officer, ISCA.

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