While the world is busy dealing with the economic impact of lockdown due to the pandemic, Singapore strives hard to move forward to overcome its worst-ever recession in 2020. Businesses learn to adapt to the new normal, which is why the employment demand rises. And among all other choices, chartered accountancy is one of the most popular careers people chose as their field of endeavour.
On the other hand, this profession is not an easy career path everyone could take. If you were wondering how to become a chartered accountant in Singapore, one thing you should know—it is hard. Some people say it is one of the, if not the most difficult, professions in demand today.
Nevertheless, if you are determined to become a chartered accountant, this article would show you the harshest details about this profession that you need to know. So, keep your eyes peeled and read the following carefully.
Your Top Questions About Becoming a Chartered Accountant in Singapore, Answered.
Becoming a chartered accountant is so in demand these days. Accounting students are not the only ones who want to become one, non-accounting degree holders and undergraduates, too.
With this trend going on, more and more people want to choose this career path. However, even with its soaring popularity, this profession is something new to some. You are probably part of this category, too. Therefore, reading the answers below would help you have peace of mind.
Question 1: What does a chartered accountant do?
This profession works in various sectors, but what they mainly do is handle finances. When you become a chartered accountant, expect to help out with money management. It could be for an individual, a business or the government.
Of course, this would depend on where you want to work. However, there is nothing you have to worry about if you finished and learned the ICAEW modules in Singapore. You would be prepared to manage all of that.
Question 2: Why choose this career?
The answer is simple. A chartered accountant is a secured profession. You get well paid each month, and you would not have to worry about your finances. What you need to worry about is how you would handle the finance management of your client.
If having a stable income does not convince you to choose this career path, the following might be.
Thequalification of a chartered accountant in Singapore is known all over the world. That means if you decide to migrate and work abroad, you would not need to change your career. All you need to do is show them your ICAEW certification and recognition from ISAC,
In case you are wondering what an ICAEW is, it is a qualification that has existed since 1800 in London, United Kingdom. Therefore, your potential to manage finance is not something to ignore. You will get a job related to accounting wherever you go.
Has wide career opportunities
Once you have passed the chartered accountant course in Singapore, you will mostly get a high position in any industry. Besides accounting firms, you can work in capital market services and even do your independent practice.
In short, when becoming a chartered accountant, you can work for anyone who needs financial management support.
Question 3: What are the jobs for chartered accountants in Singapore?
Given the fact that Singapore is economically competitive, the demand for chartered accountants is more than ever. When you become one, you could be anything. The variety of career opportunities you could have in any industry is chief financial officer, chief executive, management accountant, business valuator, internal auditor, risk management officer, etc.
Whichever of this job you would choose, one thing you should remember—it could be stressful. There is a lot of computation and balancing of accounts involved when you become a chartered accountant.
Question 4: How much is the salary a chartered accountant receives?
The salary you would get depends on what industry sector you are working for. It could also change depending on what skills you could offer and how many working experiences you have so far.
Nonetheless, as a rule of thumb, the average amount you would get per month is S$6,880, while the highest is S$10,600. In short, you would get a stable income for your monthly expenses.
On the other hand, if you only have less than two years of working experience, expect to receive S$3,930 as your monthly salary.
Question 5: How long does it take to become a chartered accountant in Singapore?
The shortest answer to this question is that there is no exact time frame. To become a chartered accountant, you need to meet the qualification in Singapore. Of course, that would depend on how you exert your efforts.
However, if you already completed the chartered accountant course in Singapore, the only thing you need to get is working experience. Ideally, you should have at least three years of post-qualification working experience.
Question 6: To become a chartered accountant in Singapore, is there anything that I need to pay for?
Like most applications, you also have to pay the admission fee to become a chartered accountant. If you want to submit your application between May to the middle of November, S$321 is the amount you need to pay. The amount you need to pay before or after those months would cost you S$449.40, and this is for an annual subscription fee.
Nonetheless, no matter how much you pay for your application, it is non-refundable. It means you can’t get it back, whatever the outcome of your application is. The non-refundable policy also applies if you have accidentally withdrawn your application upon submission. So, be careful about what you do when paying for the admission fee of your application.
At this point, is there anything you do not understand? If none, then proceed reading the following. You would find out what qualification you need to meet, and you have to do to become a chartered accountant in Singapore.
Qualification to Become a Chartered Accountant in Singapore.
You could start your journey of becoming a chartered accountant either after senior high school or finishing your bachelor’s degree. Even though both have similar criteria, you could skip a few steps if you have a college diploma, which is compulsory for those who only finished senior high school.
Whichever of the two you choose, here are the steps you need to remember to become a chartered accountant.
Step 1: Determine your entry point
Entry points have four categories. Direct degree holders, accredited, other degree holders or undergraduates, and senior high school graduates. The only difference between the four is the level of education you had in the past year.
If you want to make things easier for you to become a chartered accountant, you should either be an accredited, other degree holder or undergraduate. That way, you would be eligible to have up to five exemptions.
These exemptions are the ICAEW modules in Singapore that you have an option not to take because of your entry point level.
On the other hand, if you only have an entry point level of senior high school graduate, expect not to receive any exemptions. You have to finish all six ICAEW modules of the foundation programme.
That is the complete opposite if you are a direct degree holder. You could skip the foundation programme and apply to become a candidate for a chartered accountant.
Step 2: Enrol to become a candidate.
Once you know what entry point level you are in and have already completed the foundation programme, you can apply for yourchartered accountant candidacy.
The first thing you need to do is log in to the ISCA eServices Portal if you already have an account. After that, fill out the form with the updated information about yourself.
Next is to submit a copy of the necessary documents: NRIC, academic transcript, academic certificate. Testimonials of your current employer and deed poll if applicable. Once you upload everything, you need to pay for your application upon submission.
Within eight to ten weeks of your application submission, you would receive an update from ISCA.
Additional details you need to remember is that some applications require certified-true copies of the documents mentioned above. While for the testimonials of your employer, you have to use the company’s letterhead. Ensure the letter contains the details about what your job is and your duties are.
Step 3: Complete the foundation programme (only if required)
The foundation programme usually lasts for five days. The ISCA often calls this a pre-admission course. Once you have completed this, that is the only time you can seek employment either with ATO or ICAEW authorised training employer (ATE).
Step 4: Look for employment with an Accredited Training Organisation (ATO) or ICAED ATE
These employers offer ACA training agreements that will help you hone your accounting and analytical skills. Therefore, once you have found the right employer for you, make sure to take things seriously and complete the 450 days of work experience with them.
Even though there are only four steps here, you have things to do in between these steps. So, make sure you drop by at ISCA and see what else you should do. Or you could directly call them and ask what other qualification you need to meet to become a chartered accountant.
How to Have a Successful Career as a Chartered Accountant in Singapore?
As mentioned above, this job is not easy. As a chartered accountant, you have to be flexible with what you do. To know how to become a successful chartered accountant in Singapore, develop the following qualities below. It will help you do your job better.
Can communicate well
As a chartered accountant, you would interact with tons of people, and most of them are shareholders. That is why you have to communicate well both in oral and written communication. When you become an eloquent speaker, you could get your message across without any misunderstandings.
So, as much as possible, practice your communication skills and increase your vocabulary. It will help you communicate well. Also, familiarise yourself with what type of English they use.
Has a business awareness
Since this profession helps manage a business, you should have more awareness about budgeting and taxation. That way, you would know how much your expenses are and what change you need to make later on.
To develop your business awareness, you have to know things. Besides reading the news, you should find out the latest changes in the law. It would also help you understand a bit about the social trend.
Requires a lot of patience
You need a lot if you want to last in this industry. So, work on your patience and try not to get angry if you do not understand something. Figure out the problem when your nerves are already calm. It helps so you would not make any impulsive decisions.
Possess an analytical mindset
Since you are often computing and balancing numbers, you have to sharpen your analytical skills. So, it would not be hard for you to understand the problem. As a result, you would be able to solve it right away.
At first glance, you might think that it would be impossible for you to become a chartered accountant. However, you could be one as long as you meet the qualification of a chartered accountant in Singapore. Also, on how much effort you exert to meet its requirements.
In any case, you need help to achieve this profession, go to ICAEW Singapore. Their ICAEW foundation modules and training could help you go through the entire process. So, what are you waiting for? Go to their website today and find out what they could do for you!
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