ACRA registers public accountants, monitors their work, publishes information about audit quality in Singapore and works with partners in the profession and the business community to strengthen the financial reporting eco-system.
ACRA's audit regulation is administered under the Accountants Act by the Public Accountants Oversight Committee (PAOC). The PAOC comprises experienced professionals from the public service, the business community and the audit profession. To ensure independence, a majority of PAOC members are not public accountants.
Ensuring that public accountants are prepared for the responsibilities of an auditor
The main reason for registering as a public accountant is so that a person can be appointed as an auditor of financial statements in Singapore. A public accountant is responsible for the issuance of audit opinions, and this responsibility includes ensuring that audits are conducted in accordance with the Singapore Standards on Auditing (SSA) and other requirements.
Registration as a public accountant is also necessary for performing other acts that are required by law to be done by a public accountant, such as appointment as a judicial manager under the Accountants Act.
There is no need to register as a public accountant to provide other accountancy services in Singapore, such as accounting, tax and corporate advisory work, unless the law stipulates that a public accountant must perform the task.
To register as a public accountant, ACRA requires applicants to have:
- the prescribed qualifications
- the prescribed audit experience
- the prescribed amount of continuing professional education
- membership with the Institute of Singapore Chartered Accountants (ISCA).
Find out more about the registration requirements and how to register as a public accountant.
Ensuring that public accountants base their audit opinions on appropriate work and sufficient evidence
Registered public accountants must adhere to the Code of Professional Conduct and Ethics, keep technically up to date through continuing professional education and have their audit work inspected under ACRA’s Practice Monitoring Programme (PMP).
Under the PMP, ACRA inspects audits performed by public accountants to check if they have complied with the Singapore SSA and other requirements. The SSAs are fully equivalent to the International Auditing Standards, which are globally accepted auditing standards.
For accounting entities with clients listed on the Singapore Exchange (SGX) or that are of public interest for other reasons, ACRA assesses the quality controls of such entities against the Singapore Standards on Quality Control 1 (SSQC 1).
Find out more about ACRA’s PMP.
ACRA's Audit Quality Indicator Disclosure Framework
To enable Audit Committees of listed companies to better evaluate and select the right auditor, ACRA has introduced an Audit Quality Indicator (AQI) Disclosure Framework.
The AQI framework comprises 7 comparable quality markers that correlate closely with audit quality based on ACRA’s observations from inspecting auditors over the past decade. These include involvement of audit team members during each audit phase, years of audit experience and industry specialisation of audit team members as well as results from internal and external inspections of auditors.
Find out more about AQI Disclosure Framework.
Working with partners to promote high quality audit
Many groups contribute to audit quality in addition to auditors, especially directors, preparers of financial statements and investors. To foster a strong eco-system that promotes audit quality, ACRA works with partners in the profession and the business community in a concerted effort to provide help to public accountants, and educate business people about their roles in the audit process as well as the value of a good audit.
Learn more about ACRA's events and resources relating to audit quality