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Transforming Jobs to be Ready for the Future  

Professionals who learn continuously, and firms that invest in technology, redesign jobs and train staff will remain relevant in the long run.

New programmes will help professionals and firms be ready for the future of work. 

Digitalisation is transforming the world. Companies which adopt new technologies quickly will reap the benefits of this transformation. To survive and grow in this changing business environment, companies need to look into the impact of technology on jobs roles. Which technologies are driving change in accountancy jobs, and how have they affected job roles? How can employers transform existing jobs to adapt to new demands, and how can workers acquire the right skills for these changes? 

The Jobs Transformation Maps (JTMs) for Accounting Practices and In-house Finance & Accounting (F&A) functions were launched on 5 January 2022 by the Singapore Accountancy Commission (SAC) and the Singapore Economic Development Board (EDB), supported by Workforce Singapore (WSG) and SkillsFuture Singapore (SSG), to address these questions. The JTM studies can be found here: 

  1. JTM for Accounting Practices (PDF, 4.7MB)
  2. JTM for In-house F&A Functions (PDF, 2.7MB)

The JTM studies found that the accountancy sector will continue to grow, creating new job roles and increased demand for manpower; and companies will grow if technology is embraced at all levels. New initiatives will support companies and professionals to get ready for the future of work.

Rise in demand for manpower 

Demand for accounting and other professionals will continue to grow in the accountancy sector.   Accounting Practices will require increased manpower as their clients grow in digital maturity and their needs become more sophisticated. The In-House F&A segment will also see a rise in demand for manpower as they are critical in supporting companies which grow and expand from Singapore into the region. In all, there is a projected demand of 6,000 to 7,000 new accounting jobs by 2025. This will add to the current workforce of more than 100,000 employees, comprising about 80,000 employees in the In-house F&A functions and about 20,000 employees in Accounting Practices. 

Emerging job roles 

New job roles are emerging to meet the new requirements of the changing global business environment. The JTM study identified 11 job roles emerging over the next two to five years.  

Emerging Job Roles

Accounting Practices

In-House Finance and Accounting

Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) Specialists

Regional Controller Vendor Relationship Manager
Citizen Data Scientist Governance, Risk and Compliance Lead

Ethical Hackers

Finance Data Steward Finance Automation Lead

IT Auditors

ESG Lead Finance Transformation Lead

Skills in demand 

Technology and soft skills are increasingly in demand. Some of these technology skills include the ability to apply Artificial Intelligence, Cloud Computing, Data Analysis and Interpretation, and Robotics and Automation. As the need for accountants to work with various stakeholders grow, soft skills such as interpersonal skills, adaptability, creative thinking, and customer orientation, will become more important. 

Embracing technology at all levels 

The JTM studies indicate the need to embrace technology at all levels to remain relevant in today’s increasingly complex business and regulatory environment. 

The JTMs studied 58 job roles of which the majority, ie, 45 job roles, will require minimal or moderate job redesign over the next two to five years. The studies found that these job roles are not susceptible to displacement as they involve more value-adding tasks. Nonetheless, these professionals will benefit from the automation of some tasks to enhance their ability to focus on higher value-adding tasks requiring judgment, deep technical knowledge and business acumen.

The remaining 13 job roles studied will see a high degree of change in job tasks and require greater job redesign and reskilling of employees over the next two to five years. These roles predominantly involve repetitive tasks that can be automated. Job roles that focus on process-oriented tasks will benefit from greater automation for improved efficiency and accuracy. These  jobs should be redesigned to allow employees to add greater value to the business; and staff should be re-skilled for these new roles. 

New programmes: Get ready for the future of work

New programmes will help employers and employees in their transformation and upskilling efforts. 

Accountancy Job Redesign Initiative 

Through the Accountancy Job Redesign Initiative, enterprises with In-House F&A functions, and Accounting Practices can receive funding support to engage consultants to streamline accounting work processes and implement accounting technology solutions to improve productivity and increase job value. They can receive up to 80% of the job redesign consultancy cost, capped at $ 30,000 per enterprise till 31 March 2022, through the Productivity Solutions Grant for Job Redesign (PSG-JR). Beyond 31 March 2022, the PSG-JR funding rate will revert to up to 70% of the job redesign consultancy cost, capped at $ 30,000 per enterprise. 

The Job Redesign Initiative was developed by WSG, SAC and the Singapore National Employers Federation (SNEF). Click here to apply. 

Accountancy Job Redesign Toolkit

The Accountancy Job Redesign Toolkit is a guide to redesign the top four job roles impacted by technology as cited by the JTMs. These are Accounts Executive, Senior Accounts Executive/Accountant, Tax Associate and Audit Associate. It includes a job evolution and training roadmap, change management strategies, case studies, and funding options for job redesign and adoption of technology solutions. The toolkit was developed by WSG, EDB, SAC and ISCA. 

In-House Finance & Accounting Self-Assessment Questionnaires 

Corporates and Individuals can assess their current level of F&A sophistication, and take steps to progress to their desired level of sophistication with EDB’s In-House Finance & Accounting Self-Assessment Questionnaires (SAQ). The results of the online self-assessment are compiled in a Report Card which will show a customised set of recommendations and links to resources that support F&A transformation. The SAQ is on the EDB website

Accountancy Career Hub

The Accountancy Career Hub provides employment and employability support for the accountancy sector. It offers jobseekers career guidance, job matching services, skills upgrading courses, and industry-specific events. Jobseekers looking to enter the industry and accountancy professionals exploring new career tracks within the sector will find relevant help at the hub.  The Accountancy Career Hub was set up by NTUC’s e2i, SAC and ISCA. Click here for more information.

Career Conversion Programme for Accounting Professionals 

Local PMETs without an accounting background can acquire accountancy skills through the Career Conversion Programme (CCP) for Accounting Professionals. Visit here for more details.

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