15 Jul 2016




Launch of national census of CFOs at CFO Connect Symposium 2016  


The census is the first in Singapore to obtain the demographic landscape of CFOs; census results will validate the Sectoral Manpower Plan of the SkillsFuture initiative, to prepare Singapore for the Future Economy


Singapore, 15 July 2016 – The first national census of Chief Financial Officers (CFOs) was launched at this year’s CFO Connect Symposium held at the Conrad Centennial Singapore. The first undertaking of its kind ever in Singapore, the Census of CFOs will profile the finance leadership demographics as an industry benchmark to value-add and validate findings from the national SkillsFuture initiative’s Sectoral Manpower Plan.

1.            The census, which was launched via the Singapore Accountancy Commission (SAC) website, will provide much needed information about the genetic make-up of CFOs. It will remain open for six weeks, during which it will also be circulated to professional accountancy bodies, business chambers and associations. 

2.             Among some of the topics covered in the census are the type of accounting and finance function that the organisation is looking to grow or outsource in the coming few years. The SAC, which is spearheading the Accountancy Sectoral Manpower Plan, will use the findings of the census for its research and policy formulation purposes.

3.             Organised by the Singapore CFO Institute (SCFOI) and CPA Australia, the symposium was attended by more than 200 CFOs, including the region’s brightest minds in finance. It featured top research presentations and panel discussions revolving around the event’s theme of “Future” – the future economy, the future workforce and the future of transactions – and how CFOs will be impacted in the course of their work. The event also included a one-on-one interview with Guest-of-Honour Mr Chaly Mah, Co-Chair, Working Group on Legal & Accounting Services, Committee on the Future Economy (CFE) and Chairman, Singapore Accountancy Commission.

4.             Mr Mah, who delivered the keynote address, said: “Today’s symposium is taking place at a time of great uncertainty for the global economy. Recent world events like Brexit and the advent of disruptive technologies such as big data, analytics, bitcoin, blockchain have only served to add to this uncertainty. Accountancy and finance as a profession has been around for more than 100 years, and the time is now ripe for disruption. It is my view that the CFOs and accountants of today need to innovate and change in order to stay relevant.”

5.             Mr Chng Lay Chew, Chairman, Singapore CFO Institute Council and CFO, Singapore Exchange, said: “This year’s CFO Connect Symposium marks its 5th year as the annual signature event for CFOs. The future theme for this year’s symposium is especially timely with the recent focus on acquiring and developing skills for the future. The first Census of CFOs will also provide valuable insight into the profile of the CFO, and the information gathered will go a long way towards understanding the profession.”

6.             A new report entitled “Ready for the future economy? The CFO’s perspective“ was also launched at the event by EY and CPA Australia. The study found that Singapore CFOs see an urgent and long-term need to develop strategic thinking skills now and in five years‘ time. Communication and influencing skills, as well as risk management skills, were also top priorities. The study polled nearly 90 Singapore-based CFOs on their challenges, roles and skill sets.

7.             Mr Melvin Yong, Country Head, Singapore, CPA Australia, said: “The fast-changing business environment that is constantly being disrupted means that much more is being demanded of CFOs today, way beyond their traditional finance skills. This study provides practical suggestions on how they can equip themselves with critical skills to future-proof their careers and organisations.”


8.             The symposium is supported by sponsors Visa and the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA). Strategic partners include the Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority (ACRA), Singapore Exchange, Civil Service College, Singapore Business Federation (SBF), Singapore Institute of Directors (SID), Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA), Institute of Singapore Chartered Accountants (ISCA) and the Singapore Institute of Accredited Tax Professionals (SIATP).

9.             For more information and to participate in the Census of CFOs, please visit https://www.sac.gov.sg/cfo-census


For the full symposium programme, please refer to Annex 1.





About Singapore CFO Institute

The Singapore CFO Institute aims to be a globally-recognised body of CFOs and CFO aspirants and is dedicated to advancing the role of CFOs as strategic partners in business and the community, by driving thought leadership, promoting best practices and enabling their professional development. The Singapore CFO Institute. For practitioners, by practitioners. For more information, visit www.sac.gov.sg/advocacy/singapore-cfo-institute


About CPA Australia

CPA Australia is one of the world’s largest accounting bodies with more than 144,000 members working in 127 countries. Our vision is to be the world’s best member service organisation. CPA Australia advances its members’ interests through a focus on education and knowledge exchange, the development of professional networks, advocacy in relation to policy, standards and regulation and the promotion of value of CPA Australia members to employers, government, regulators and the public. The CPA Australia designation denotes strategic business leadership and is recognised and valued throughout the world. For more information, please visit cpaaustralia.com.au


About the SAC

Established in April 2013 as a statutory body of the Singapore Government, the Singapore Accountancy Commission (SAC) is the lead agency in spearheading the development of the accountancy sector in Singapore. The SAC’s Vision is for Singapore to be the Leading Global Accountancy Hub. This will be achieved through developing for Singapore a vibrant accountancy sector that enables the economy to grow, businesses to thrive and talent to flourish. In fulfilling this mission, the SAC seeks to uphold the values of being relevant, insightful, collaborative and advocative. For more information, please visit www.sac.gov.sg 



For media enquiries, please contact:

Adam Chen
Manager, Marketing Communications
Singapore Accountancy Commission
DID: 6325 0535
Email: adam_chen@sac.gov.sg


Sheryl Koh
Assistant Marketing Communications Manager
CPA Australia
DID: 6671 6529
Email: sheryl.koh@cpaaustralia.com.au