Charities get to tap accountants' skills

Charities get to tap accountants' skills
Uantchern Loh, the chief executive of Singapore Accountancy Commission (SAC).

Accountants and finance professionals wishing to use their skills to help charities will soon find it easier to do so.

A new platform announced yesterday promises to match them to charities that need help in areas such as accounting or risk management.

Called Pro Bono Accountancy Singapore, the platform is the first of its kind in the local accountancy sector and aims to reach out to 30,000 accountants and finance professionals.

The platform is the initiative of CPA Australia, one of the world's largest professional accounting organisations, and the Singapore Accountancy Commission (SAC), a government agency.

In a statement yesterday, SAC chief executive Uantchern Loh said: "Making a difference to the local community should go beyond monetary donation.

"This is an area where accountants and finance professionals, armed with their skilled expertise, can demonstrate commitment to serve the public good and increase public trust in the profession."

SAC and CPA Australia will collaborate to encourage accountants and finance professionals to volunteer. Last month, they signed a memorandum of understanding with two partners.

The partners are Shared Services for Charities, a non-profit group which provides independent review and documentation services for charities, and Empact, a social enterprise that promotes skill-based volunteerism. They will highlight volunteer opportunities and act as the middlemen to match volunteers to organisations. Meanwhile, CPA Australia will give its members here free professional indemnity insurance for their pro bono work, said its Singapore general manager, Mr Melvin Yong.

Ms Low Hwee Ming, an audit senior manager, told The Straits Times she has not volunteered because she was not aware of how to do so. But she would be interested to take part in the Pro Bono Accountancy Singapore initiative.

"It would allow me to use my skills to make a positive impact and contribute to society," she said.

Ms Carmen Wong, an accountant who has been helping to review book-keeping processes for charities for about a year, welcomes the initiative. "I have some spare time, and it's great to be able to use it to make a difference," she said.

The online platform - www.probonoaccountancy.sg - will go live next week.

For more information, call CPA Australia on 6671-6500.

goyshiyi@sph.com.sg


This article was first published on April 3, 2015.
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