SINGAPORE – Media OutReach – 10 October 2023 – In collaboration with the office of the Commissioner of Charities (COC) and the National Council of Social Service (NCSS), the Institute of Singapore Chartered Accountants (ISCA) will introduce a new programme to support charities in digitalising their accounting and finance processes for better governance and strengthen their accounting capabilities.
The new programme aims to accelerate the digital transformation of over 2,000 charities in Singapore, especially smaller charities with limited resources, by:
i. reviewing and improving the charities’ processes and controls to foster better risk management which will boost stakeholder confidence; and
ii. supporting the implementation of accounting software to strengthen documentation practices and improve charities financial operations for better accountability and governance.
Mr Teo Ser Luck, ISCA President, said: “Many of us have benefited from society whether professionally or personally. At ISCA, we want to do our part to give back to the community by helping those in need. As a profession, we can make a difference to the charity sector with our knowledge and skills. This is an opportunity for our members to make a positive and meaningful impact.”
The new programme will pilot with four charities, before it is scaled for wider implementation in early 2024. Identified by ISCA for the programme, four accounting firms – Helmi Talib Accounting & Advisory, Nexia Singapore, Singapore Corporate Services, and Unity Assurance – will be offering their services on a pro bono basis. Through the firms’ skills-based volunteerism and corporate contribution, they will help charities digitalise their accounting systems and strengthen charities’ governance and controls. Interested charities can write to ISCA at [email protected].
As part of this new programme, Xero, an online accounting software company, will offer a specially discounted accounting software package to help charities in their digitalisation journey. Charities that onboard the programme will enjoy 50 percent off standard subscription rates for the first three years and 25 percent off lifetime subscription.
The new programme is driven by the ISCA Charity Accounting Committee, comprising of industry experts from the accountancy sector. The committee will also be supporting the implementation of accounting standards for charities through guidance and sharing of best practices. Professor Ang Hak Seng, Chairman of the ISCA Charity Accounting Committee, said: “In our discussions with the charities, we identified two major pain points that smaller charities face when implementing digital accounting practices – the cost of accounting software and the transition from manual to digital accounting. For the former, ISCA worked with a software company to offer software to charities at community rates. For the latter, pro-bono/low-bono consultants will be attached to each charity to guide them step-by-step in their journeys. Standard operating procedures will also be created to ensure continuity even after the departure of the consultant. These best practices will be shared sector-wide, enabling rapid adoption of digital accounting by more charities.”
Mr Desmond Chin, Commissioner of Charities, said, “This collaboration is part of our efforts to support charities in building up their capabilities to better serve the community, and to strengthen public trust in the sector. Charities are encouraged to leverage ISCA’s programme to strengthen their accounting process and controls to ensure transparency and accountability within their organisations.”
The new programme further complements ISCA’s vision to rally its stakeholders to do more for those in need. In support of Community Chest’s Change for Charity initiative, ISCA will donate $5 for every new subscription to its e-learning platform, ISCAccountify from 1 August 2023 to 31 July 2026.
Ms Tan Li San, Chief Executive Officer, National Council of Social Service, said, “We are grateful to ISCA for taking the lead in encouraging its members to volunteer expertise to strengthen the charities’ finance and accounting practices, and to adopt Change for Charity. We hope to partner more professional associations to enable businesses to tap on their competencies and volunteer their skills to uplift social service agencies, so that they can better serve Singaporeans.” In addition, NCSS provides funding support to NCSS members as well as exempt and registered Charities and Institutions of a Public Character (IPCs) for accounting systems under Tech-And-GO! schemes.”
Corporations, social service agencies and charities who are keen in engaging volunteers to augment resourcing needs may find out more about the Skills-Based Volunteerism Toolkit for Organisational Development at https://go.gov.sg/ncss-sbvtoolkit.
Hashtag: #ISCA #COC #NCSS
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About the Institute of Singapore Chartered Accountants
The Institute of Singapore Chartered Accountants (ISCA) is the national accountancy body of Singapore. ISCA’s vision is to be a world-class accountancy body of trusted professionals, contributing towards an innovative and sustainable economy. There are over 33,000 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. Complementing its global mindset with Asian insights, ISCA leverages its regional expertise, knowledge, and networks with diverse stakeholders to contribute towards the advancement of the accountancy profession.
ISCA is the Designated Entity to confer the Chartered Accountant of Singapore – CA (Singapore) – designation.
ISCA is a member of Chartered Accountants Worldwide, a global family that brings together the members of leading institutes to create a community of over 1.8 million Chartered Accountants and students in more than 190 countries.
For more information, visit www.isca.org.sg.
About the Commissioner of Charities
The Office of the Commissioner of Charities (COC) was set up on 1 July 2006. Together with our five Sector Administrators, namely the Ministry of Education, Ministry of Health, Ministry of Social and Family Development, People’s Association and Sport Singapore, the COC registers and regulates charities and Institutions of a Public Character (IPCs). The vision of the COC is to nurture a well-governed and thriving charity sector with strong public support. To achieve this, the COC regulates charities by advising them on how to operate in compliance with the requirements of the Charities Act and subsidiary legislation and how to maintain high standards of governance and internal controls. It also regulates all private and public fund-raising appeals in Singapore, be it for local or foreign charitable purposes, with a view to promote transparency and accountability in the appeals administered.
About National Council of Social Service (NCSS)
NCSS is the umbrella body for over 450-member social service agencies in Singapore. Its mission is to provide leadership and direction in enhancing the capabilities and capacity of our members, advocating for social service needs and strengthening strategic partnerships, for an effective social service ecosystem. Community Chest is the fundraising and engagement arm of NCSS and Social Service Institute (SSI) is the human capital development arm of NCSS. For more information, please visit www.ncss.gov.sg.