(Updated on 29 June 2021)
With effect from 1 January 2019, an individual who wishes to be registered as a public accountant will need to:
- Have completed the Singapore Chartered Accountant Qualification (SCAQ), formerly known as Singapore Qualification Programme, or a recognised equivalent professional qualification*;
- Have passed the final examinations in accountancy in any of the qualifications prescribed under the Second Schedule to the Accountants (Public Accountants) Rules before 1 January 2019, and
- Be a member of the Institute of Singapore Chartered Accountants (ISCA) and conferred with the Chartered Accountant of Singapore (CA (Singapore)) designation; and
- Have completed the practical experience requirements and other requirements (such as continuing professional education requirements) at the time of application.
*A recognised equivalent professional qualification refers to accountancy qualification prescribed by accountancy professional bodies that have established reciprocity agreement with the Singapore Accountancy Commission (SAC) and ISCA. Applicants also have to pass the specified module(s) relating to advanced audit and assurance in the final examination of the recognised equivalent professional qualification.
Details of the registration requirements can be found at this link.
About the Singapore Chartered Accountant Qualification (SCAQ) and CA (Singapore)
As part of efforts to transform Singapore into a leading global accountancy hub, the Singapore Qualification Programme (now known as the SCAQ) was launched in 2013. A candidate who has successfully completed the SCAQ and acquired the relevant working experience is conferred the professional designation CA (Singapore).
For more information on the following topics:
- Various entry routes to be a CA (Singapore) - click here
- SCAQ - click here
Transitional Arrangements for registration as public accountants
In April 2013, transitional arrangements were announced for stakeholders impacted by changes ensuing from the introduction of the SCAQ and the CA (Singapore) designation. This included transitional arrangements relating to the changes in the requirements for registration as a public accountant with ACRA which would take effect on 1 January 2019.
QUESTIONS ABOUT PROFESSIONAL EXAMINATION REQUIREMENTS
1. What is SCAQ?
SCAQ is the national CA qualification, developed by SAC and administered by ISCA.
2. How can I register for the SCAQ and what are the pre-requisites?
More details on the SCAQ such as the application form, pre-requites and modules are set out at https://www.sac.gov.sg/scaq.
3. I have obtained an accountancy qualification recognised as equivalent to the SCAQ. Why is there an upfront requirement that I also have to pass a specified examination module offered by the same professional body?
It is an upfront requirement that an applicant has to pass a specified examination module for each qualification (see table A), as the specified module generally relates to advanced audit and assurance knowledge that an applicant should possess to undertake various aspects of auditing work.
Table A: Specified examination modules that an applicant has to pass besides obtaining the professional qualification.
|Name of SCAQ-equivalent professional qualification
|Examination module that a candidate has to pass
The Association of Chartered Accountants Qualification under the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW)
|Advanced Level: Corporate Reporting
|The Chartered Accountant Qualification under the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Scotland (ICAS)
||Test of Professional Skills: Assurance & Business Systems
|The Chartered Accountancy Programme under the Chartered Accountants Ireland (CAI)
|Final Admitting Examination (FAE) Elective: Advanced Auditing and Assurance
|Chartered Accountants Program under the Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand (CA ANZ)
|| Audit and Assurance
4. I have obtained an accountancy qualification recognised as equivalent to the SCAQ (e.g. the Chartered Accountancy Programme under the Chartered Accountants Ireland) but did not pass the specified examination module (e.g. FAE Elective: Advanced Auditing and Assurance) for that qualification. In this regard, how can I still meet the professional examination requirement to be a public accountant?
You would be deemed to have met the professional examination requirement if the foreign professional body conferring the accountancy qualification has granted you an exemption from the specified paper on the basis that you have completed an equivalent of the advanced audit and assurance module in your entry-level qualifications (e.g. your degree). Otherwise, in the absence of said exemption by the foreign professional body, you could either:
- approach the foreign professional body (which conferred the qualification to you) to take the write to ACRA for us to refer you to take the examination of SCAQ’s Professional Programme: Assurance module offered by the SAC.
5. It is indicated that one of the professional examination requirements I have to pass an examination in Singapore Company Law and Singapore Taxation and Tax Management, if I have less than 2 years of relevant local experience and have not passed the final examination in accountancy from a specified Institute of Higher Learning. What are the relevant Institutes of Higher Learning?
For those who graduate prior to 1 January 2019, the relevant Institutes of Higher Learning and qualifications are:
- The Singapore Polytechnic for the years 1961 to 1969;
- The University of Singapore;
- The Nanyang University of Singapore;
- The National University of Singapore;
- The Nanyang Technological Institute;
- The Institute of Singapore Chartered Accountants Association of Chartered Certified Accountants of the United Kingdom Joint Scheme;
- The Nanyang Technological University;
- The Institute of Singapore Chartered Accountants Professional Examination;
- The Singapore Management University; and
- The Singapore University of Social Sciences.
For those who graduate on or after 1 January 2019, the relevant Institutes of Higher Learning are:
- the National University of Singapore;
- the Nanyang Technological University;
- the Singapore Management University;
- the Singapore University of Social Sciences; and
- the Singapore Institute of Technology.