More than 250 ISCA members gathered on September 22 for the ISCA New Members Ceremony, each with a reason to celebrate.
For the first time, the event not only celebrated the achievements of newly-minted Chartered Accountant of Singapore (CA (Singapore)) members, but also the contributions of the Institute’s senior members.
Longstanding members were recognised as Life Members of ISCA, in acknowledgement of the different ways that each of these individuals has contributed to the accountancy profession. As Life Members, they will continue to enjoy all benefits of the ISCA membership for life, on a complimentary basis.
In 2016, the Life Member criteria were changed to include individuals who are at least 70 years of age with at least 30 years of membership with the Institute. This means that 372 existing members were accorded the Life Member status this year. With this larger-than-usual number of newly-conferred Life Members, the celebration for them was divided into two sessions – September 2016 and April 2017. A separate invitation will be sent out later to the members who would be invited to the next ceremony.
The Fellow status was also conferred on senior CA (Singapore) members with more than 10 years of ISCA membership and holding leadership positions with a proven career track record. Fellow members may use the designatory letters FCA (Singapore), which is a mark of distinction that signifies the epitome of professional achievement for accountancy professionals.
Also in line with the theme of celebrating members’ achievements and contributions, eight ISCA committee members whose terms of service ended in 2016 were recognised during the two-hour long event.
Featuring a change in the event programme and format from the previous New Members Night events, the September event not only aimed to welcome new CA (Singapore) members to the Institute, it also provided members with the opportunity to network with and hear from the senior members through three segments in the programme – a networking session, sharing by a senior ISCA member and sharing of inspirational messages by Life Members.
The event effectively started about an hour before dinner commenced as members who had arrived earlier mingled after registering their attendance. Besides networking among themselves, ISCA staff had set up various information booths at the foyer area. Members were able to find out more about their membership as well as other programmes and resources exclusive to members when they approached the staff at these booths.
What better way to hear more about being a member of ISCA than from those who have been members for a while?
In a short video that was presented at the event, new Life Members gave advice to the younger members. The senior members urged them to embrace change and technology, and be open-minded to the advent of artificial intelligence. They reminded them to take advantage of the opportunities that they may come across, and also emphasised the importance of ethics and professionalism as the young accountants progress in their careers. Prior to the event, ISCA had invited the new Life Members to send in their photographs and inspirational messages for the younger ISCA members. In total, 19 messages were received and collated for the video.
Do not stop at being just a Chartered Accountant. To be competitive and useful to your clients, pursue a post-graduate education in other disciplines. Financial innovation will continue and new financial instruments and reporting standards are always being developed to meet it. The quest for new knowledge is never-ending. To ensure that your skills as a Chartered Accountant continue to remain relevant in the next 10 years, be aware of the challenges posed by the developments in artificial intelligence.”
TAN TECK LEE ALOYSIUS, CA (Singapore), Life Member
NG SENG KEONG GEORGE, FCA (Singapore), Life Member
“In the 1960s, to be a woman and an accountant was to venture into uncharted waters. Despite this, I pursued my studies and joined the Singapore Society of Accountants which lent credibility and support for the advancement of my career. Accounting gave me the versatility to take on all the responsibilities in my work in the banking industry. I urge all aspiring female accountants to embrace the opportunities ISCA has to offer.”
KWAN MEE SIN, CA (Singapore), Life Member
“Accountancy is the cornerstone of an economic system. To become an accountant, we have to complete our formal education, but as a CA (Singapore), we distinguish ourselves from other business professionals. All CAs are accountants but not all accountants are CAs. We are globally recognised and respected for technical competence, professional standards and veracity. I am privileged to be conferred a Life Member of ISCA, a reputable national accountancy body.”
LIEW KIM SWEE PHILIP, FCA (Singapore) and public accountant, Life Member, Senior Partner, Philip Liew & Co
The attendees had another source of inspiration from the senior member who was invited to share his experience with them. Tay Woon Teck, FCA (Singapore), Managing Director of Risk Advisory, RSM Singapore, shared the valuable lessons he had learnt from his mentors and from his own experience. He first touched on the willingness to learn, unlearn and subsequently relearn something. With the world becoming increasingly complex, it is necessary to not hold fast to antiquated processes; instead, it is crucial to have the willingness to pick up new skills.
Also according to Mr Tay, maintaining a healthy sense of professional scepticism is an important trait for accountants. Given the nature of the job, accountants must learn not to take things at face value but to exercise appropriate professional scepticism to be more effective.
Mr Tay believes that life is more than just the job and he strongly encouraged young members to have a hobby and other interests outside of work for one’s health and well-being.
We would like to thank all members who took the time to join us at the New Members Ceremony. We look forward to supporting you throughout your journey as an accounting professional.
More photos from the ceremony and the video of the Life Members’ words of wisdom and encouragement can be found at the ISCA Facebook page.