The majority of Singapore’s finance and accounting professionals (79 percent) feel unequipped to meet the demands of their job in 10 years’ time, revealed an EY and CPA Australia survey of 150 professionals, reported Straits Times this month. Lack of time, financial pressure and lack of employer support were cited as the main factors preventing them from picking up the skills needed. Nearly eight out of 10 respondents do not feel future-ready. Respondents believe that professional bodies, educational institutions and the government can help by introducing technology-related courses.
SAICA speaks out about Gupta-KPMG scandal
The South African Institute of Chartered Accountants said that it was supporting calls for an independent judicial inquiry into the work that embattled firm KPMG did for the politically connected Gupta family’s businesses. According to South African news website Times LIVE on 22 September, the institute said it supports any initiative addressing unethical behaviour. “The reputation of South Africa’s chartered accountants has received a significant setback from this week’s events,” said the SAICA’s Chief Executive Officer‚ Terence Nombembe. He added that the probe would be conducted by a retired judge or advocate. “This is about [the institute] supporting an independent inquiry so that disciplinary action against our members‚ who have breached our codes‚ may be speeded up.”
Investors urged to oppose Toshiba accounts
Institutional Shareholder Services, a global proxy advisory, recommended shareholders of Toshiba to oppose the Japanese company’s financial statements for the past financial year ending March 2017 after the accounts received a mixed review from Toshiba’s auditor, PwC, Reuters reported on 11 October. The firm gave Toshiba’s financial statements a “qualified opinion” that endorsed its finances despite some minor problems, but also made an “adverse” statement on its internal controls. As a result of a qualified endorsement, the company is obliged to seek shareholders’ approval for the most recent financial statements.
SASB seeks public input on sustainability reporting standards
The Sustainability Accounting Standards Board released its full guidelines on sustainability reporting earlier this month, and kicked off its public comment period. The exposure draft identifies key sustainability topics, including greenhouse gas emissions, drug safety and labour relations, that affect 79 industries across 11 major sectors. It offers guidance on suitable metrics and disclosure practices. The guidelines are designed to be used by United States and foreign public companies that are required to report to the Securities and Exchange Commission and disclose investor information that is considered material, or likely to influence investment decisions, according to The Wall Street Journal.
A world of numbers
The percentage of chief financial officers who are confident about saving their company’s financial data on the cloud, compared with the 33 percent of CFOs who were willing to do so three years ago, according to a study by cloud performance management company Adaptive Insights.
The amount of venture capital (VC) investments recorded in Mainland China in Q3 2017, according to a quarterly global report on VC trends published by KPMG. The report highlighted that artificial intelligence, robotics and other technology-enabled next- generation sectors are attracting the highest levels of investment.
The percentage of millennial accounting, banking and finance professionals who consider salary as the most important factor when contemplating a job offer, according to a March 2017 Google Consumer Survey. The top three factors also includes opportunities for growth (19 percent), and company culture (13 percent). ◆