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Public Accountants Conference 2012 Discusses Challenges & Solutions For Auditing Field

The Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority of Singapore (ACRA) reported the successful Public Accountants Conference (PAC) 2012 recently. ACRA’s yearly flagship event, the PAC saw the attendance of over 800 audit personnel and stakeholders of the audit industry who discussed the biggest challenges and offered solutions for the field.

Among the key challenges identified were talent crunch, how to raise productivity in personnel, and how to increase audit quality in general. This gathering aims to empower audit firms to perform better by identifying best practises from other players, experts, and the government.

The gathering saw the release of the Survey on Talent Attraction and Retention in Singapore audit firms. This survey is recognised all over Singapore as the most comprehensive of its kind ever done. Over a thousand audit personnel gave job satisfaction ratings, as well as insights into the factors that will encourage them to stay in or leave their professions.

The survey found out the following data: 38% of respondents indicated satisfaction with their current external audit career. Furthermore, the proportion was higher for the more senior staff compared to the junior staff (41% against 34%). Seniority was defined as holding `senior’ positions and above.

Furthermore, a significant portion at 82%-expressed their interest in accepting overseas assignments, as these are deemed important for their professional growth. Males below 25 years old are particularly keen on taking up the said opportunity.

With these findings, the survey also recommended that the industry review its international mobility policy and open more opportunities for overseas assignments to increase job satisfaction as well as retention rates and to cultivate a more diverse workforce in the audit. It also encouraged the industry to institute a structured programme so as to facilitate the rotation of different divisions in a single audit firm.