ASEAN CPA Secretariat

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Singapore

Head of State 
President Halimah Yacob

Head of Government 
Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong

Capital 
Singapore

Language(s) 
English, Malay, Mandarin, Tamil

Currency 
S$ (Singapore Dollar)

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ASEAN CPA

Profile

An island nation located in the heart of Asia, Singapore is a vibrant cosmopolitan city with abundant lush green gardens and tall skyscrapers. Singapore’s multi-ethnic culture is a blend of tradition and customs from the Malays, Indians, Chinese and Eurasians.

With 710 square kilometers of land, Singapore’s strategic location has facilitated our role as a trade and transport hub, connecting the world on both sides – east and west. Singapore has implemented 22 Free Trade Agreements with 32 trading partners. Its robust economy, business-friendly rules and regulatory environment offer companies the ideal landscape for investment.

The law governing the public accountancy profession in Singapore is the Accountants Act 2004[1] (which came into effect on 1 April 2004 and revised in 2005). This Act consists of two other rules:

– The Accountants (Public Accountants) Rules dated 1 April 2004 and,

– The Accountants (Accounting Corporations, Accounting Firms and Accounting LLPs) Rules dated 6 October 2006

For more information on the full act and rules, please refer to the Singapore Statutes Online website.

The Institute of Singapore Chartered Accountants (ISCA) is the national accountancy body of Singapore. ISCA’s vision is to be a globally recognised professional accountancy body, bringing value to our members, the profession and wider community. There are over 32,000 ISCA members making their stride in businesses across industries in Singapore and around the world.

Established in 1963, ISCA is an advocate of the interests of the profession. Possessing a Global Mindset, with Asian Insights, ISCA leverages its regional expertise, knowledge, and networks with diverse stakeholders to strengthen the profession and contribute towards the development of strong economies. ISCA is also a member of Chartered Accountants Worldwide and ASEAN Federation of Accountants. ISCA is the Administrator of the Singapore CA Qualification and the Designated Entity to confer the Chartered Accountant of Singapore – CA (Singapore) – designation.


Membership with ISCA

There are four types of Membership available with ISCA:

–   Affiliate (ISCA) or Accredited Accounting Technician (Singapore)

–   Associate (ISCA)

–   Chartered Accountant of Singapore (“CA (Singapore)”)

–   Fellow Chartered Accountant of Singapore (“FCA (Singapore)”)

All ISCA members are expected to uphold and maintain their professional and ethical standing within the accountancy profession by abiding to the ISCA Code of Professional Conduct and Ethics and the ISCA Constitution & Rules.

For more information on the ISCA Member Obligations, please refer to the ISCA website.


Affiliate (ISCA) or Accredited Accounting Technician (Singapore)

Affiliates (ISCA) are qualified accounting technicians who perform a variety of accounting and financial roles. The official designation of Affiliate (ISCA) members is “Accredited Accounting Technician (Singapore)” or “AAT (Singapore)”.

Accounting technicians can join ISCA as an Affiliate (ISCA) and get the professional recognition, support and resources for career development. Find out more here.


Associate (ISCA)

Associates (ISCA) are professionals with an accounting degree or an equivalent accounting qualification, working in the accountancy profession across diverse sectors and industries. The official designation of Associate is “Associate (ISCA)”.

Accounting graduates can join ISCA as an Associate (ISCA) and be recognised as a highly skilled and knowledgeable accounting professional possessing a grasp of real-world business issues. Find out more here.


Chartered Accountant of Singapore (“CA (Singapore)”)

Chartered Accountants are qualified accounting professionals equipped with financial expertise and business acumen. They are valued by employers and recognised as holding the highest standards in ethical and professional conduct. The CA (Singapore) designation remains the highest form of professional designation conferred by ISCA, with its stringent eligibility criteria unchanged.  

The Chartered Accountant of Singapore or CA (Singapore) professional designation will be conferred to candidates who have completed the Singapore CA Qualification.

Entry Routes to be a CA (Singapore):

–  Complete the Singapore CA Qualification; or

–  Apply for CA (Singapore) through the Reciprocal Membership Agreement (RMA) route

Find out more here.


Fellow Chartered Accountant of Singapore (“FCA (Singapore)”)

Fellow membership is a recognition accorded to long-standing senior CA (Singapore) members. The official designation of Fellow Member is “Fellow Chartered Accountant of Singapore” or “FCA (Singapore)”.

A CA (Singapore) who has been a member of ISCA for 10 years or more and has no less than 5 years at senior management level or has been in full-time practice as a public accountant is eligible to be advanced to the status of Fellow of the Institute. A Fellow of the Institute shall use the designation “Fellow Chartered Accountant of Singapore” or the designatory letters “FCA (Singapore)”. Find out more here.

Under the Accountants Act, anyone who wishes to practice public accountancy must register as a public accountant (PA) with ACRA, the national regulator of business entities and public accountants in Singapore.

A public accountant can provide public accountancy services such as audit and reporting on financial statements, and such other activities (e.g. judicial management) as required by law. Persons who intend to provide only bookkeeping, accounting, taxation or consultancy services i.e. non-audit services do not need to be registered as public accountants.

For more information on the prescribed professional requirements for registration as a Public Accountant, please refer to the Singapore’s Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority (ACRA) website.

Under the Accountants Act, all entities that provide public accountancy services must register with ACRA.

Public accountancy services refer to the audit and reporting on financial statements and the doing of such acts that are required by any written law to be done by a public accountant.  There is no need to register a public accounting entity with ACRA if the purpose is to provide non-public accountancy services such as accounting or tax services.

To find out how to set up a public accounting firm to provide public accountancy services, please refer to the Singapore’s Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority (ACRA) website.

Under the ASEAN Mutual Recognition Arrangement on Accountancy Services (MRAA), the Singapore Monitoring Committee (SMC) was set up to :
  • Develop and maintain a process of submitting ASEAN CPA applications to the ASEAN Chartered Professional Accountant Co-ordinating Committee (ACPACC) for approval; and
  • Assess and certify the qualification and experience of the ASEAN CPA applicants.
Members of the Monitoring Committee, Singapore (as at 14 June 2022) :
  1. Mr. Teo Ser Luck (Chairman) ISCA President
  2. Ms. Fann Kor (Deputy Chairman) ISCA CEO
  3. Mr. Frankie Chia (Member) ISCA Membership Committee Chairman
Secretary and Contact Person : Ms. Yin Su Maw Business Partner, International Relations, ISCA e-mail: yinsumaw@isca.org.sg

Regulated Accounting Services

NAB Membership and/or PRA Registration

NAB & PRA requirement

Approved external auditor must be a member of ISCA (CA Singapore) and approved by the Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority (ACRA).



NAB Membership and/or PRA Registration Requirement
(such as examination, test, recognised qualifications, etc)

NAB requirement:

For registration as a CA (Singapore), there are three entry routes:
  1. Complete the CA (Singapore) Qualification; or
  2. Satisfy the conditions of the Transitional Arrangements within the specified timelines; or
  3. A full member of another professional accountancy body through the Reciprocal Membership Agreement (RMA) route

 

Transitional Arrangements:

Associates of ISCA who are graduates of the Bachelor of Accountancy degree programmes offered by NTU and SMU and the Bachelor of Business Administration (Accountancy) degree programme offered by NUS, and who graduated in 2012 or earlier, but have yet to fulfil certain criteria such as relevant work experience and successful completion of the ISCA Pre-Admission Course (ISCA PAC), will have until 31st March 2014 to complete the ISCA PAC and until 31st December 2016 to satisfy the relevant work experience in order to qualify for the “Chartered Accountant of Singapore” professional designation.

Associates of ISCA who are graduates of the MBA (Accountancy) degree programme offered by NTU and the Master of Professional Accounting degree programme offered by SMU, and who graduated in 2012 or earlier, but have yet to fulfil certain criteria such as relevant work experience and successful completion of the ISCA PAC, will have until 31st March 2014 to complete the ISCA PAC and until 31st December 2016 to satisfy the relevant work experience in order to qualify for the “Chartered Accountant of Singapore” professional designation.

Holders of recognised professional qualifications (including ACCA and CPA Australia), but who have yet to fulfil certain criteria such as relevant work experience, proficiency in local law and tax and successful completion of the ISCA PAC, will have until 31st December 2016 to complete the ISCA PAC, satisfy the proficiency in local law and tax and relevant work experience in order to qualify for the “Chartered Accountant of Singapore” professional designation.

Associates of ISCA who are graduates of the Institute of Singapore Chartered Accountants Professional Examination (ISCA PE), but have yet to fulfil certain criteria such as relevant work experience and successful completion of the ISCA PAC will have until 31st March 2014 to complete the ISCA PAC and until 31st December 2016 to satisfy the relevant work experience in order to qualify for the “Chartered Accountant of Singapore” professional designation.

The ISCA PE will cease receiving new candidate applications with effect from 1st April 2014, and all ISCA PE candidates will have until 31st December 2018 to complete their ISCA PE and the ISCA PAC, as well as to satisfy the relevant work experience in order to qualify for the “Chartered Accountant of Singapore” professional designation.

Students (except for National Service men in paragraph 23.8) of the Bachelor of Accountancy degree programmes offered by NTU, SMU and UniSIM and the Bachelor of Business Administration (Accountancy) degree programme offered by NUS, who matriculated in 2012 or earlier and graduating between 2013 and 2016, will have until 31st December 2016 to complete their degrees and the ISCA PAC and until 31st December 2020 to satisfy the relevant work experience in order to qualify for the “Chartered Accountant of Singapore” professional designation.

Students of the MBA (Accountancy) degree programme offered by NTU and the Master of Professional Accounting degree programme offered by SMU, who matriculated in 2012 or earlier and graduating in 2013, will have until 31st December 2016 to complete their degrees and the ISCA PAC and until 31st December 2020 to satisfy the relevant work experience in order to qualify for the “Chartered Accountant of Singapore” professional designation.

National Service men who have enrolled and been accepted into the Bachelor of Accountancy degree programmes offered by NTU, SMU and UniSIM and the Bachelor of Business Administration (Accountancy) degree programme offered by NUS in 2011 and 2012 and matriculating in 2013 and 2014, will have until 31st December 2018 to complete their degrees and the ISCA PAC and until 31st December 2022 to satisfy the relevant work experience in order to qualify for the “Chartered Accountant of Singapore” professional designation.

Existing students of ACCA and existing students and associates of CPA Australia will have until 31st December 2018 to complete the ISCA PAC and satisfy the relevant work experience in order to qualify for the “Chartered Accountant of Singapore” professional designation.

Individuals will have until 31st July 2013 to register as new students of ACCA and as new students and associates of CPA Australia, for a course that will commence no later than in 2013, and until 31st December 2018 to complete the ISCA PAC and satisfy the relevant work experience in order to qualify for the “Chartered Accountant of Singapore” professional designation.
 

PRA Requirement:

Must obtain audit license from ACRA.

 

Other regulatory requirement:

Singapore Exchange (SGX) Rulebook :

The auditing firm appointed by the issuer must be

  • Registered with ACRA;
  • Registered with and/or regulated by an independent audit oversight body acceptable to the Exchange (i.e. SGX); or
  • Any other auditing firm acceptable by the Exchange.

SGX has the right to object to the appointment of auditors if the Exchange does not find them to be suitable.

For Financial Institutions/Insurance companies, the appointment and/or reappointment of auditors must be approved by the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS).


Citizenship Requirement

No.


Remarks

Subject to domestic regulations such as Accountants Act, Companies Act immigration & employment laws etc.

Eligibility requirement, where applicable (ACPA/RFPA)

This service is regulated by ACRA. A license issued by ACRA and membership with ISCA is required for practice. (Read more here)

Liquidator


NAB Membership and/or PRA Registration

NAB Requirement

No


PRA Requirement

Prior to 30 July 2020

Yes. Approved liquidator can be either a public accountant or non-public accountant and must be registered as such with ACRA. An approved liquidator is required for compulsory winding up by the Courts or creditors. Voluntary winding up by members or creditors are not required to be performed by approved liquidators.

Subsequent to 30 July 2020

The Insolvency, Restructuring and Dissolution Act (IRDA) came into effect on 30 Jul 2020.

Under the IRDA, individuals who wish to act as a liquidator, judicial manager (JM) or Trustee in Bankruptcy (TIB) are required to be registered as Insolvency Practitioners with the Ministry of Law for the purpose of undertaking new winding up, JM or TIB cases that are commenced on / after the IRDA comes into effect.

Accordingly, ACRA will no longer be accepting new applications to be approved liquidators or Public Accountants for the purpose of becoming Judicial Managers.

Further details on the transition can be found here.

NAB Membership and/or PRA Registration Requirement
(such as examination, test, recognised qualifications, etc)

NAB Requirement:

No


PRA Requirement :

Prior to 30 July 2020

Required to provide sufficient evidence of :

  • Experience; and
  • Capacity.

And also passed such other examination and have fulfilled such other requirements as may be determined by the Public Accountants Oversight Committee (PAOC).

Please see here for details of what entails sufficient evidence of experience and capacity.

Subsequent to 30 July 2020

Please refer to here for further details on the criteria for application of an insolvency practitioner’s licence from the Ministry of Law.



Citizenship Requirement

No.


Eligibility requirement, where applicable (ACPA/RFPA)

Prior to 30 July 2020

This service is regulated by ACRA. A License issued by ACRA is required for practice.


Subsequent to 30 July 2020

Subsequent to 30 July 2020, individuals who wish to act as a liquidator, judicial manager (JM) or Trustee in Bankruptcy (TIB) are required to be registered as Insolvency Practitioners with the Ministry of Law.

Further details on the transition can be found here.

NAB Membership and/or PRA Registration Requirement
(such as examination, test, recognised qualifications, etc)

Capital Market Services (CMS) license will only be granted to a corporation, by Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS)

Details of CMS license can be found here.

 

Citizenship Requirement

No.


Eligibility requirement, where applicable (ACPA/RFPA)

Not open to Individuals.

Non-Regulated Accounting Services

Example :

  • CFO
  • Finance Director
  • Finance Manager
  • Group Accountant
  • Tax Accountant
  • Accounts Executive


NAB Membership and/or PRA Registration

NAB Requirement :

No

Note: Since May 2010, tax professionals are encouraged to be accredited by Singapore Institute of Accredited Tax Professionals (SIATP).

Accreditation is based on three categories -Accredited Tax Advisor, Accredited Tax Practitioner and Accredited Tax Practitioner (Provisional) – and two areas of specialisations – Income Tax and GST.

Details of accreditation can be found here.

PRA requirement:

No


NAB Membership and/or PRA Registration Requirement
(such as examination, test, recognised qualifications, etc)

NAB requirement:

No

PRA requirement:

No

Other requirements(from other regulator):

No


Citizenship Requirement

No.


Remarks

Subject to domestic regulations such as Accountants Act, immigration & employment laws, stock exchange rules, Income Tax and various tax statutes (eg GST, property tax) etc.

Eligibility requirement, where applicable (ACPA/RFPA)

This is a non regulated service and hence open to all including ASEAN CPA/ RFPA.

NAB Membership and/or PRA Registration

NAB Requirement Registration Requirement :

Yes

PRA requirement:

No


NAB Membership and/or PRA Registration Requirement
(such as examination, test, recognised qualifications, etc)

NAB requirement:

To Apply for ISCA FFP Credential, one will first have to be an ISCA member and satisfy the following requirements :
  • Successfully complete ISCA Financial Forensic Accounting Qualification exams within 2 years; and
  • At least 3 years of full-time, relevant and recent work experience in financial forensic related field within six years from date of credential application. More details on Experience Requirements can be found here


PRA requirement:

No


Other requirements (from other regulator):

No

 

Citizenship Requirement

No.


Eligibility requirement, where applicable (ACPA/RFPA)

This is non-regulated service and hence open to all including ASEAN CPA and RFPA.

NAB Membership and/or PRA Registration

NAB Requirement Registration Requirement :

Yes

PRA requirement:

No


NAB Membership and/or PRA Registration Requirement
(such as examination, test, recognised qualifications, etc)

NAB requirement:

To Apply for ISCA FFP Credential, one will first have to be an ISCA member and satisfy the following requirements :
ISCA is offering a one-off grandfathering scheme until 31 December 2020 for experienced infrastructure and project finance professionals to be conferred the IFPF credential if they have:
  • At least 7 years of recent and relevant work experience prior to the application; and
  • Completed at least two (2) projects worth a total value of S$100 million, up to financial close.

More details can be found here.


PRA requirement:

No


Other requirements (from other regulator):

No

 

Citizenship Requirement

No.


Eligibility requirement, where applicable (ACPA/RFPA)

This is non-regulated service and hence open to all including ASEAN CPA and RFPA.

Non-accounting roles but working within the accountancy profession, for example:
  • Internal Auditor
  • Risk Manager
  • Governance Advisory Consultants
  • Management Consultant


NAB Membership and/or PRA Registration

No


NAB Membership and/or PRA Registration Requirement
(such as examination, test, recognised qualifications, etc)

NAB requirement:

No

PRA requirement:

No

Other requirements(from other regulator):

No


Citizenship Requirement

No.


Remarks

Subject to domestic regulations such as immigration & employment laws, stock exchange rules etc

Eligibility requirement, where applicable (ACPA/RFPA)

This is a non-regulated service and hence open to all including ASEAN CPA and RFPA.

All About Registered Foreign Professional Accountant (RFPA)

Application / Processing Fee      :  B$ 150.00 (Non-Refundable)

Annual Registration Fee              :  B$ 120.00

Documents

Assessment Statements

Accountancy Services

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