SINGAPORE - The Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority (ACRA) is seeking public opinion on changes proposed for the Accountants Act.
These changes have been proposed with the purpose of improving the rigour of independent industry regulation and maintaining Singapore's reputation as an efficient and reliable business hub.
There are a total of five key areas of change addressed with the amendments which have been proposed for the act.
Proposed changes include the implementation of pre-requisite conditions on audit firms, which audit and review entities tied to a significant degree of public interest.
ACRA also proposes to be granted statutory powers regarding the inspection of audit quality controls and policies. This will allow the organisation to introduce remedial requirements and sanctions when weaknesses are identified.
In addition, there will be changes to the practical experience requirements for public accountants to register with ACRA.
One of the changes proposed also involves the clarification and extension of ACRA's regulation scope, which will include the voluntary audits of financial statements beyond mandatory audits required by the law, and reviews of financial statements and information.
The regulatory body also hopes to aid its own investigation responsibilities with the proposal of a new Special Investigation Process for cases involving the public interest.
The Accountants Act was last reviewed in 2004.
A public consultation paper, which explains the changes proposed, will be made available on the ACRA website for six weeks starting today.