The changing operations of trans and multinational companies has had important effects on many developing economies today. Such is the case in the accounting industry in Singapore.
Today, large international companies and conglomerates opt to outsource vital operations functions off-shore. This means moving operations outside their geographical base into foreign territories with cheaper labor costs. In Asia, this has led to the booming of man outsourcing companies particularly in the search engine optimizations, service call center companies many of which are sub-contracted by major global businesses. In Singapore, a similar trend has likewise encroached the accounting services industry with many companies now opting for shared accounting operations in the last 3 years.
New Demands on Accounting Professionals
Understandably, with the rise in shared accounting arrangements, there is also a significant increase in demand for accounting experts. As countries aim to fill these demands, many educational institutions are also shifting into short-term training solutions to quickly fill the void. In Singapore, there has been a noteworthy increase in number of educational institutions offering both formal and informal, accounting courses.
But the question on the quality of graduates has come along with these developments. Many companies seem to believe that short-term diploma or accounting certificate in Singapore may not be sufficient to provide the necessary skills and competencies required of globally-competitive accounting professionals. Still, graduate of such courses seem draw lower salaries and has cost-benefit advantages. On the other hand, full degrees are still the more competitive options in terms of complete technical training however, individuals with complete accounting degrees fend for higher salaries.
And then too, there is the issue of shifting industry requirements. Whereas before, employees were specifically hired to perform very particular tasks and therefore accounting majors were hired specifically to perform accounting functions, this is no longer the case. As companies aim to further reduce cost of employment, they now require employees capable of multiple functions. In other words, international companies now prefer accounting professionals capable of assuming extended or expanded roles and functions in company operations. In other words, the criteria for hiring accounting professionals now go beyond simple technical expertise in the field but include a host of other requirements including strong interpersonal skills, creative thinking, managerial and other soft skills and over-all productivity potential. Even technological proficiency have become a major criteria and simply put, accounting degrees and courses no longer suffice in securing employment opportunities and a career direction the field.
Responsive Accounting Curricula
As such, many Singapore education institutions offering advanced, special or basic accounting courses in Singapore are currently adjusting their curriculum, program and even teaching strategies in order to meet the new demand and expectations of the accounting industry. Specifically, both formal and informal accounting courses in Singapore now emphasize the need to develop complementary skills including 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 that are important in the changing landscape of trans and multinational operations.
Aside from developing accounting basic and intermediate aptitude, certificate programs can help develop strategic skills and thinking, high-level communication skills, and analytical problem solving abilities, accounting educational institutions are also providing more career options in consulting, assurance services, or setting up practices and protocols internationally, including on-the-job trainings abroad.