Singapore

SG flagSingapore recognises that strong corporate governance practices play an important role in upholding the country’s reputation as a well established capital market in Asia and one of the world’s leading international financial centre. Like many other countries, the corporate governance profile in Singapore has been shaped by regulations, culture, shareholder activism and governance interest groups. Governance standards continue to develop as evidenced by recent reform initiatives introduced by the Singapore  Exchange (‘SGX’) and the Monetary Authority of Singapore (‘MAS’). Against this backdrop, The Center for Corporate Governance has been established with the objective of promoting dialogue amongst stakeholders and providing thought leadership on current and emerging issues.

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The 2013 Directors' Alert assists boards of directors in identifying the issues of importance to their organisations for 2013. The report entitled "Lead or be led: Time to take advantage of the new business reality", promotes boardroom discussions around the strategies that management has put forward to address key challenges and seize opportunities that lie ahead. It outlines 10 key issues that boards of directors may face in these uncertain economic times. For more information, visit Deloitte.com.

Changes to the financial reporting framework in Singapore 2011 
Changes to the financial reporating framework in SGThe 12th Edition of the annual publication by Deloitte Singapore includes a summary of the new and revised Singaporean Financial Reporting Standards (FRS) and Interpretations of FRSs (INT FRS) issued since the 11th edition and up to 31 December 2011.  The publication includes an updated comparison with the International Financial Reporting Standards.

News

ACRA facilitates investors panel on Asian perspectives on audit quality and independent audit oversight (April 2012)

On 16 to 18 April 2012, the Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority, Singapore (ACRA) participated in the eleventh meeting of the International Forum of Independent Audit Regulators (“IFIAR”) along with 32 other independent audit regulators, in Busan, Korea. Please click here for further details.

ACRA hosts the Inaugural Regional Audit Regulators Inspection Workshop (January 2012)

ACRA hosted the first Regional Audit Regulators Inspection Workshop in Singapore from 11 – 13 January 2012. Reflecting the growing importance of audit quality to the development of markets across the region, the workshop was attended by participants from six ASEAN jurisdictions including delegates from the Securities and Exchange Commission of Cambodia (SECC), Ministry of Finance in Indonesia, Securities and Exchange Commission Office (SECO) of Lao PDR, Audit Oversight Board (AOB) of Malaysia, Central Bank of Myanmar (CBM) and the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) of Thailand.  In addition to the delegates from the ASEAN countries, delegates from the Certified Public Accountants and Auditing Oversight Board (CPAAOB) of Japan also attended and contributed to the workshop. Please click here for more details.

ACRA attends the 10th meeting of the International Forum of Independent Audit Regulators (October 2011)

The tenth plenary meeting of the International Forum of Independent Audit Regulators (IFIAR) was held in Bangkok from 26-28 September 2011 and attended by independent audit regulators from over 30 jurisdictions. The Singapore delegation from the Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority (ACRA) was led by Ms Juthika Ramanathan, Chief Executive of ACRA. Please click here for further details.

Enhance the role of audit, say global finance experts (2010)

Audit adds considerable value to business by increasing confidence ion financial statements, finds a new report from ACCA (the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants) which gathers expert opinions from a series of roundtables held during 2010 in key financial markets around the world, including Singapore. Read the report, Reshaping the audit for the new global economy.

Audit Committee Chairmen reaffirm the value of audit (July 2011)

We are pleased therefore to present a survey by the ACCA (Association of Chartered Certified Accountants), commissioned by ACRA (Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority Singapore), which reaffirms that external audit is extremely valuable to Audit Committee Chairmen, especially for the assurance it brings them and stakeholders of the company. The report is available for download on the ACCA website.

Stat boards lead the way in boardroom gender diversity (April 2012)

New research reveals that women are better represented in the boardrooms of local statutory boards than in the boardrooms of listed companies in Singapore. Read more, here.

Singapore government's model of corporate ownership an asset: US academic (March 2012)

A visiting US academic said the Singapore government’s model of corporate ownership is an asset that helps to maximise shareholder value. Read more, here.

Family firms play key role in Singapore’s economy but score lower on governance (March 2012)

A study into family firms has found that they play a key role in Singapore‟s economy, making up the majority (52%) of companies listed on the Singapore Exchange (SGX) and representing about 30% of total market capitalisation. They also perform better than non-family firms, enjoying an average of 5% returns on assets, compared to 3% for non-family firms. Read more, here.

Hot Topics

Mitigation, not regulation, the key to risk control (May 2012)

Financial loss is inevitable in commerce and trade; hard and fast rules will not prevent it. The ongoing eurozone crisis and the recent unexpected losses suffered by some major organisations have thrust corporate governance issues directly under the spotlight across the globe, in turn fuelling the call for more stringent regulations. But are regulations the solution to all the financial woes? David Chew explores this in his article.

Risk Governance Guidance for Listed Boards (May 2012)

The Corporate Governance Council (Council) has released its Risk Governance Guidance for Listed Boards (Guidance) in May 2012. The Council intends the Guidance to provide key information on risk governance to all Board members. Its purpose is to enhance the awareness of Board members, and spur them to work towards strong corporate governance in their companies. The Guidance is available for download on the MAS website.

Revised Code of Corporate Governance (May 2012)

The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) has accepted the recommendations made by the Corporate Governance Council (Council) on the Code of Corporate Governance (Code), and issued the revised Code of Corporate Governance in May 2012. The revised Code of Corporate Governance is available for download on the MAS website.

Revised Code of Governance for Charities and Institutions of a Public Character (January 2011)

The refined Code provides greater clarity and relevance about good governance to the charity sector.  The revised Code is available for download on the MCYS website.

Guidance for Charities Engaging in Business Activities (July 2011)

The Guidance serves to clarify when and how charities may engage in business activities. It also advises when business subsidiaries have to be set up to conduct such activities.  The guidance is available for download on the MCYS website.

Rules for risk management: culture, behaviour and the role of accountants (February 2012)

Integrated risk management can be regarded as the holistic implementation of risk management through sound decision-making and day-to-day business activities rather than as a separate activity. This report examines ACCA members’ views of integrated risk management and the role that accountants play, both in terms of the role that they play now, and the extent to which their expertise could be used in more effectively managing risk in the future.

The report is available for download on the ACCA website.

Audit reform: aligning risk with responsibility (June 2011)

The aftermath of the global financial crisis has seen a series of inquiries into the role played by audit. Given the circumstances in which this re-assessment has taken place, it is striking that studies have revealed continuing high levels of support for audit. There is also a developing interest in increasing competition in the audit market. However, there are costs associated with conducting additional professional work. Auditors would need to develop new skills in order to perform new tasks, and there are implications for audit firms’ exposure to liability. The publication, available for download on the ACCA website, examines these issues.

MAS Proposes Extending the Corporate Governance Framework to all locally incorporated direct insurers and reinsurers (February 2012)

In February 2012, the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) issued a consultation paper proposing an extension of the MAS Corporate Governance (CG) Framework, which comprises the Regulations and Guidelines, to all direct insurers and reinsurers incorporated in Singapore. This is in line with MAS’ emphasis on the importance of effective corporate governance, given insurers’ responsibilities to safeguard policyholders’ interests and the important role they play in the financial system and economy. The consultation paper is available for download on the MAS website.

Guidebook for Directors ACRA & I: Being an Effective Director (July 2011)

ACRA launched its first handbook for directors titled “ACRA & I – Being an Effective Director” on 28 July 2011. The handbook is written for new or aspiring directors to better understand their responsibilities and duties. It also serves as a practical hands-on guide for these directors on the know-how in performing their statutory duties and meeting their legal and compliance requirements. The director’s handbook is launched as a part of ACRA’s suite of initiatives in the promotion of voluntary compliance among companies. For more information on the Guidebook, click here.

Risk Assessment for Small Companies (November 2011)

This Practice Guidance aims to provide some practical considerations to auditors in identifying and assessing the risks of material misstatement during the planning stage for audits of small companies where it is more efficient to adopt a substantive audit approach. The Practice Guidance is available for download on the ICPAS website.

The Value of Audit: Views from Retail (Private) Investors (July 2011)

A report prepared by ACCA for the Singapore regulator ACRA which examines the value of audit as perceived by private investors. Please click here for further details.

A Framework for Extended Audit Reporting (July 2011)

A report commissioned by ACCA to examine a possible framework for extended audit reports in response to criticisms of the role of audit during the global financial crisis.

Audit Under Fire: A Review of the Post-financial Crisis Inquiries (May 2012)

Throughout 2010 and 2011 the role of audit has been the subject of a number of high-level inquiries in several jurisdictions.  ACCA has released a paper outlining their position on the key issues that have been raised in those inquiries. The publication is available for download on the ACCA website.

Walk the Line: Discussions and insights with leading audit committee members (February 2012)

The Institute of Chartered Accountants in Australia, the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Scotland and the Financial Reporting Council in the United Kingdom have collaborated to present an international view on the role of audit committees in helping their boards discharge their financial and fiduciary responsibilities to shareholders. The publication is available for download on the FRC website.

What constitutes an explanation under 'comply or explain'? (February 2012)

The Financial Reporting Council (FRC) released a report to develop further the effectiveness of the ‘comply or explain’ concept after discussion meetings between senior investors and companies.  The consensus it contains reinforces that the right way to address current corporate governance challenges is to make the existing system work better rather than to introduce new prescriptive regulation. The publication is available for download on the FRC website.

Investor Demand for Environmental, Social, and Governance Disclosures Implications for Professional Accountants in Business (February 2012)

This report from the Professional Accountants in Business Committee considers trends in investor demand for and use of environmental, social, and governance (ESG) information, and recommends how professional accountants can better support their organizations in responding to these demands, and ultimately improve the management and reporting of ESG performance.

Corporate governance, value creation and growth: The bridge between finance and enterprise (May 2012)

This publication examines the role of corporate governance arrangements in providing the right incentives to contribute to the value creation process within private enterprises.

Corporate governance reform priorities in Asia (March 2012)

This report defines corporate governance reform priorities in Asia and makes recommendations that reflect the specific conditions and needs within the region. It includes an overview of corporate governance frameworks in 13 Asian economies.

Governance of Listed Companies in China (July 2011)

This self assessment by the China Securities Regulatory Commission looks at the institutional framework of corporate governance in China by assessing a broad range of laws, regulations and codes.

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