Digitalization plays several crucial roles in the accounting industry. It improves the speed and accuracy of various accounting tasks, including complex and repetitive tasks. Digitalization now allows people in the accounting industry to work from any part of the world and share accounting records electronically.
The Singapore government is aware of how vital digitalization is for the accounting industry; hence the government is promoting it through various means. In recent years, the Singapore government has spent a lot of money on different Information and Communications Technology (ICT) projects to help businesses foster technology.
Accountancy Industry Digital Plan (IDP) is one of the most recent government programs to promote digitalization. The purpose of IDP, in particular, goes beyond the adoption of technology. IDP also focuses on improving existing accounting technology and enhancing digital skills. Kindly read on to get in-depth information about the plan.
What is the Accountancy Industry Digital Plan (IDP)?
Accountancy Industry Digital Plan (IDP) was started in Singapore to assist small and medium-sized accountancy businesses in adopting technology. It was launched on the 22nd of August 2019 by the Singapore Accountancy Commission (SAC), the Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA), and the Institute of Singapore Chartered Accountants (ISCA). IDP is part of the SMEs Go Digital Programme of IMDA, which aims to digitally transform local accounting service providers, especially Small and Medium-sized Practices (SMPs) in Singapore.
The Accountancy IDP has a Digital Roadmap to guide SMPs during every stage of their business, from deciding which training the employees should undergo to which digital solutions to adopt. It also advises SMPs at advanced stages of digital development.
The Accountancy IDP supports all the goals of the Accountancy Roadmap launched in June 2018. In addition, another initiative known as SMP Centre was established to provide all the necessary information, tools, and services to SMPs to start their digitalization journey and grow it.
Benefits of Accountancy Industry Digital Plan (IDP)
Going digital won’t only benefit your business but also help your customers. Accountants will be able to provide efficient bookkeeping services, file annual reports on time, and offer add-on services like financial analytics for more accurate financial planning, forecasting, and decision making. As all the documents and records are stored digitally, they would easily be able to access their customer’s data and perform tasks at a click of a button. Your company will save time, effort, and money that you can share with your clients and give your organization a competitive edge.
IDP has many benefits, and a few of them are as follows:
- It equips accountants with the skills needed for the digital economy:
Accountants need to equip themselves with digital skills at this time when the world economy is going digital. Fortunately, IDP can help accountants acquire all the skills they need.
- It allows SMPs to leverage technology:
IDP gives SMPs a direction on how to leverage and take advantage of digitalization. The program ensures more and more accountancy firms embrace technology and innovate in the accounting space.
- It is developing Singapore into a world-leading Professional Services industry:
IDP aims at developing Singapore into a world-leading Professional Services industry. IDP fosters innovation, promotes internationalization, enhances skills, and boosts productivity.
Accountancy Industry Digital Plan (IDP) provides a step-by-step guide on the kind of digital solutions SMPs can utilize at each stage of their development. It also consists of a roadmap that is helpful to build the sector’s workforce’s digital skills. The SMP’s digital development can be divided broadly into three stages, which are:
First stage: Getting Digital Economy Ready
This initial stage prepares SMPs for Singapore’s digital economy and reveals essential digital solutions that can help SMPs stay competitive. These solutions include audit management and tax management solutions to optimize resources and streamline operations.
Second stage: Growing in the Digital Economy
After the basic digital solutions are in place, the companies should adopt advanced solutions to help them with analytics and business intelligence. For example, invest in solutions like data analytics for advisory and integrate some digital solutions for fast transactions, consolidation of data, and easy generation of business insights.
Third stage: Leaping Ahead
At this stage, SMPs are encouraged to introduce advanced digital technologies to render innovative services and make their businesses more intelligent. For example, companies should leverage Artificial Intelligence (AI) enabled digital solutions for providing auditing and accounting services, content management, and bots for accountancy.
SMPs can visit the SMP Centre to get a comprehensive business diagnosis. They can also get advice before choosing digital solutions to use. SMPs that wish to embark on more advanced solutions like AI may seek assistance from the Principal Consultants at the SME Digital Tech Hub.
Advisory and Consultancy
The SMP Centre is a platform that serves all the needs of SMPs that are using technology for greater productivity, competitiveness, and growth. Some of the services available on the platform include:
- An online self-assessment toolkit for determining an SMP’s digital readiness;
- Available funding support;
- Digital training roadmap that shows pre-approved digital solutions and the necessary training for each stage of the digital development of an SMP;
- Information on the upcoming Accounting Technology & Innovation Centre (AccTech Centre), which is usually set up to assist SMPs in innovating business models, processes, and services.
- Refer SMPs to Principal Consultants at the SME Digital Tech Hub, who provide specialist digital technology advisory to SMEs with more advanced digital needs, such as data analytics and cybersecurity.
AccTech Centre is a resource center that speeds up business and technology innovations in the accounting sector. It is a joint initiative between the Singapore Institute of Technology (SIT) and the Singapore Accountancy Commission. Although AccTech Centre isn’t the same as SMP Centre, it helps SMPs achieve some of their business goals. For example, AccTech Centre can help SMPs collaborate with technology partners, government agencies, and academics to test innovative prototype ideas.
Any company that takes advantage of the Accountancy Industry Digital Plan (IDP) will benefit a lot. Such a company will be able to improve its performance and manage profitability seamlessly. Also, they will be able to manage their clients well, carry out transactions very quickly and maintain a quality overview.
If you own an accounting entity in Singapore, it would be best for you to take advantage of Accountancy Industry Digital Plan (IDP). It won’t take you much time or effort to start benefitting from the IDP. Start by visiting the SMP Centre and find out if you are digital-ready. When you visit the SMP Center, you’ll come across various guidelines, so it won’t be challenging to figure out the digital solutions and training that your company requires. As soon as you figure out your company’s needs, you should adopt the pre-approved digital solutions with grant support.