December 13, 2017
The case of accounting courses in Singapore is an interesting phenomenon. There is an increasing number off-shore operations among multi-national companies that prefer Singapore as an ideal location for shared accounting services due to lower operational cost. As a consequence, there is a rising number institutions offering advanced and basic accounting courses and diploma in view of the broadened opportunities in accounting employment and career development. Yet, there is a noticeably decreasing number of enrolees in many accounting courses in Singapore. This has led to various speculations that many accounting courses in the country may not be meeting the demands and expectations of modern industry and have not become attractive enough for many aspiring accountants even those who want to take advantage of current frenzy of hiring accounting professionals.
One trend is further worth noting. As multinational companies begin to take minor operations offshore and shift to shared accounting arrangements overseas, particularly in Singapore and China, there is a growing demand for accounting professionals but this has also substantially changed both competition and expectations. Since most multinational companies aim to cut costs, they have also set higher demands for those that they employ. In other words, these multinational companies are hiring more accounting professionals but at the same time giving them with extended or expanded roles and functions in company operations.
The result is apparent and obvious. Since most accounting personnel are expected to do various other tasks aside from regular accounting functions, the criteria and qualifications for aspiring accounting applicants also go beyond simple technical accounting expertise. As it is, a significant premium is now placed in strong interpersonal skills, creative thinking, managerial and other soft skills and over-all productivity potential. Even technological proficiency have become a major criteria and the trend suggests that accounting degrees and courses in Singapore is not the only basis in securing employment opportunities let alone assuring stable career in many industries.
Within this analysis, it is reasonable to explain why despite the increasing number of institutions offering degrees and trainings for some basic accounting course in Singapore, there is generally low enrolment in these courses. Patently, many aspiring accountant do not seem to believe that accounting courses in Singapore or at least very few educational institutions can provide the necessary education and training to meet the new demand for accounting professionals.
As such, the movement to improve accounting courses in Singapore has shifted into lesser technical training but into developing holistic individuals that are technically proficient in basic accounting concepts and practices but are also higher competencies in communication, interpersonal, analytical, managerial skills, and creativity to assume multiple office functions. Many higher education institutions offering formal accounting degrees have started strengthening their programs with minimal core and basic accounting subjects but has put in place more soft skills training compared to traditional curricula.
Further still, manyinstitutionsofferingbaccalaureate, graduate, basic and advanced and special diploma accounting courses in Singapore are currently reviewing their current curriculum and teaching methods with a new emphasis in honing over-all professional skills like analytical/critical thinking, written communication, oral communication, and decision-making and a host of technological competency like spreadsheet software, Windows, and word-processing software management.