An Overview of Macro-Level Opportunities in Accountancy in Singapore

Financial District Singaproe

 

If you are embarking on a course on accounting, whether it’s Principles of Accounts (POA) or at tertiary level, here’s some good news for you. Singapore aspires to be a leading global accountancy hub for Asia-Pacific which is the fastest-growing region in accountancy services, forecasted to reach US$ 38.3 billion by 2013. Singapore contributed 2.8% to the Asia-Pacific market and its US$ 862.4 million formed 0.47% of its GDP, signalling great potential to grow. 1

In order to be on par with developed countries such as the United Kingdom and Australia, Singapore aims to double the sector’s existing GDP contribution (from 0.4% to about 1%) and its contribution from services export (from 22% to 50%) over the next decade. 1

This is exciting times for those seeking employment opportunities in Singapore.

Moreover, 29 of the biggest 30 international accountancy network firms have established a presence in Singapore. Deloitte & Touche, Ernst & Young, KPMG and PricewaterhouseCoopers (the “Big-4”) are part of the international accountancy networks and service a large portion (74%) of Singapore’s listed entities. The medium-sized public accountancy entities comprise those that audit 10 or more Public Interest Entities.

Together they account for 24% of the market share for audit services provided to listed companies. 1

Chic Princples of Accounts SingaporeA world-recognised professional accountancy qualification is key to transforming Singapore’s accountancy sector. Singapore will be the regional hub where international professional bodies offer other accountancy qualifications, and where global accountancy entities operate for Asia-Pacific. The corporate entities and government agencies also offer “on-the-job” training opportunities for accountants in commerce and government service. In terms of employment, the sector directly generates about 12,000 jobs. 1

The ACCA and Robert Half Women in Accounting and Finance Survey showed that the three main industries their respondents worked at were Accounting and Audit, Manufacturing, and Banking and Finance respectively.2

 

 

According to the 2008 survey conducted by the Institute of Certified Public Accountants Singapore (ICPAS),3 only 1 out of 10 accountants are working for an accountancy firm while the majority are working for corporations. Long working hours was found to be the main reason deterring them from working in the accountancy firms. A recent survey by top recruitment company Robert Half also revealed that at least 98 percent of finance or accounting employees in Singapore work longer than what was stipulated in their contract.4 In a separate survey on female accounting and financial consultants in Singapore, it was found that the average working week is 46.1 hours.2

Number of Graduates with Degrees in Accountancy (2011/2012)

University

Degree

Number of Graduates

Nanyang Technological University (NTU)

Bachelor of Accountancy

628

(M: 297; F: 331) 5

MBA (Accountancy)

4

(M: 3; F: 1) 6

National University of Singapore (NUS)

BBA (with Accountancy)

139

(M: 53; F: 86) 7

Singapore Management University (SMU) 8

Bachelor of Accountancy

269

Master of Professional Accounting

31

M – Male ; F – Female

Total number of members in Asia Pacific (2011/2012) for ACCA is 43,704 ; Total number of students is 113,623 (no stand-alone figures for Singapore found). 9

The ICPAS currently has about 21,000 members, of which about 15,000 hold the title of “CPA Singapore” .1

Median Monthly Basic and Gross Wages of Accounting-Related Occupations in All Industries, June 201110

Median Basic Wage ($)

Median Gross Wage ($)

Accountant

4,285

(M: 4,266; F: 4,300)

4,347

(M: 4,310; F: 4,350)

Auditor (Accounting)

4,266

(F: 4,095)

4,285

(F: 4,130)

Accounting Associate Professional

2,952

(M: 3,000; F: 2,950)

3,000

(M: 3,000; F: 3,000)

M – Male ; F – Female

References

1. http://www.acra.gov.sg/Publications/CDAS+Final+Report.htm

2. http://www.roberthalf.com.sg/EMEA/Singapore/Channel%20Descriptors/rh-sg/PDFs/RH_ACCA_Women_in_accounting&finance_survey.pdf

3. http://www.icpas.org.sg/doc/ICPAS%20WP_Young%20Accountants%20Career%20Intentions.pdf

4. http://www.roberthalf.com.sg/id/PR-03432/singapore-finance-accounting-employees-work-longer-hours

5. http://www.ntu.edu.sg/AboutNTU/CorporateInfo/FactsFigures/Pages/AY2011-12FirstDegreeGraduateOutputByProgrammeandGender.aspx

6. http://www.ntu.edu.sg/AboutNTU/CorporateInfo/FactsFigures/Pages/AY2011-12HigherDegreeGraduatesByGender.aspx

7. https://share.nus.edu.sg/registrar/info/statistics/ug-grad-20112012.pdf

8. http://www.smu.edu.sg/sites/default/files/smu/downloads/statistical_highlights_20120907.pdf

9. http://www.accaglobal.com/content/dam/acca/global/pdf-agm/ar2011-12.pdf

10. www.mom.gov.sg

2012 GCE O’ Level Principles of Accounts (POA) Suggested Solutions!

After hearing that Miss Loi’s Joss Sticks website crashed even before E MathsPaper 2 solutions were out,

I wondered if we had to do backups to avoid the same fate… except that I’m reminded that POA is taken by only approximately 20% of the cohort. 😉

So I have 1/5 the same risk. 😉

The weekend was abuzz with activity at YMCA, where we had the largest party turnout for the annual crash course over two days.

Predicted topics include doubtful debts, liquidity, profitability, partnership, control accounts, bank recon, amalgamation, control accounts, correction of errors and incomplete records.

75% of the Sample Paper 1 & 2 collectively came out in this year’s paper. Much to our delight. 🙂

And without further ado…. we present,

RE-UPed Version 2 with contributions from commentators.

7092/01 GCE O’ Level Principles of Accounts 2012 Paper 1 Suggested Solutions

7092/02 GCE O’ Level Principles of Accounts 2012 Paper 2 Suggested Solutions

Right Click on Each Link And “SAVE AS.” File size may be quite big, so be patient.

 

 

Caleb’s Comments

THEORY

Paper 1  – 17 marks

Paper 2  – 16marks.

Total        33 marks.

This is fairly consistent with 2011 paper (32-34 marks, depends on which question you chose for Section B for Paper 2).

Student’s ability to make comparison on performance and liquidity of business (consisting 15 marks of 33) should excel in this year’s papers.

ACCOUNTS & APPLICATION

Paper 1

Students complain the paper was too easy.

Working capital was a generous 5 marks. Complacency might have killed those who failed to show workings. The instruction was extremely clear. I hope you caught that and did accordingly.

Paper 2

U NO BALANCE NO?

This year’s Paper 2 had some notably challenging questions. I am happy that challenging questions which require understanding and application came out so that deserving students can get a decent shot of doing well.

P2 Q1 NP figure is $28,250. Balance Sheet $83,320.

Student’s ability to account for Decrease in Doubtful Debts, Bank Charges (Dr Bank Charges and Cr Bank) and setting Surjit’s $150 dr balance as negative in the balance sheet were perceived to be differentiators of those who do well and those who will excel.

P2 Q4 Tests the student’s ability to calculate depreciation using NBV figures of fixed assets.

P2 Q5 Bad Debts Recovery T-account was asked for the first time. Dates and remembering to transfer it to Profit and Loss are the two major landmines to watch out.

P2 Q5 Capital Account – Students must know to put the right details in the Capital account for additional capital contributed and Drawings made.

Discussing Answers Online. 

Constructive comparison to achieve understanding is fine.

However, I’m no genie. This remains as Suggested Solutions.

I’ll be happy to stand corrected and update the document from your contributions. 🙂

Please don’t ask me if this or that mistake will cost me 1 or 2 marks. Your guess is as good as mine.

Errors can be carried forward and will not be marked down twice, provided you showed workings for the remaining figures. It amazes me constantly that students take workings, dates and details for granted.

Concluding Thoughts

Of course I’ll say I wish you guys, especially my students, the very best grades and may getting your As and Bs help you advance in your academic journey towards the next step. Suffice to say, I’ll end by sharing with you a note by Tong Yee, director of The Thought Collective, for his batch of General Paper students.

“My Last Lesson to You: For the Batch of 2012” (FaceBook note)

It deeply resonates with my heartbeat as an accounting educator. My wish is that the accounting knowledge you learn in POA help you understand and appreciate in future the volatile financial landscape we are in and develop skills to cope with challenges and overcome them with good, critical thinking.

With that, all the best for your remaining papers!

Cheers,

Methods & Suitability of Depreciation Calculations

Several depreciation methods have been coming out for the O Level examinations such as the Revaluation and Units of Production method. We will discuss the two main methods commonly used – the Straight Line Method (SLM) and the Reducing Balance Method (RBM). 

 

1. Straight Line Method

Calculation of Depreciation:

Depreciation can be calculated if the following items of information are available:

  • Cost of the asset includes all expenses incurred for freight, carriage, and installation costs.
  • Scrap or residual value of the asset. I call it the garang-guni value – that amount we estimate the trash collection uncle will take when he collects from your place.
  • Useful life (not the physical life) of asset.

2. Reducing (Diminishing) Balance Method

Calculation of Depreciation:

Depreciation = Rate x Net Book Value (NBV)

where

NBV = Cost* – Provision for (Accumulated) Depreciation

In Year 2,

Depreciation expense using RBM = 10% x (10,000 – 1,000)

 

EXAMPLE

Using two different methods, a $10,000 asset with no scrap value at a depreciation rate of 10% will result in a different depreciation expense and net book value of the asset from Year 2 onwards.

· Straight Line = 10% X $10,000 = $1,000 per year

· Reducing Balance = 10% x Net Book Value Asset at the end of the previous period

Often, the depreciation rate used in RBM is usually between two and three times greater than under the SLM. Besides the depreciation charges, there are also the maintenance and repairs costs element and these running costs usually increases with age.

In Reducing Balance Method,

Suitability of Methods

How suitable the depreciation method is on an asset depends on how well it reflects the benefits the business derives from the used of assets.

Straight line method is more suitable for fixed assets that generates a more constant benefits such as Furniture and Fittings. it is fairer and more realistic.

Reducing balance method is used for fixed assets which depreciate more in the early years and in later years due to the efficiency of the fixed asset is higher in the early year. Therefore, reducing balance method used for assets such as motor vehicle and computers.

Revaluation Method (for loose tools and cutlery) – see notes below on Materiality Concept

Other Methods of Providing Depreciation:

Machine Hour Rate Method, Sum of Year’s Digit Method, Production unit method or Depletion method etc.

Why Different Methods?

To adhere to the Matching principle, because the revenue earned must be matched with the expenses incurred (depreciation) from the fixed asset that was used to generate that income within the same accounting period.

Prudence/Conservatism principle is adhered because the fixed asset is valued based on their net book value after accumulated depreciation so that assets and profits will not be overstated.

Materiality Concept is applied when the amount is insignificant. Loose tools which are immaterial in dollar amount may be written off as expense in one period, even though it may have a useful life of more than an accounting period.

 

SUMMARY OF DIFFERENCES

2011 N Level Results Out!

The results of 2011 Singapore-Cambridge General Certificate of Education (GCE) Normal (Academic) and Normal (Technical) Level Examinations are out!

 

Received great news from all my students. U-graders passed and the best went from F9 to B3 (taught him over 5 months). Did some screen shots of the smses. Rewards from tutoring comes in many ways – this being the greatest! Can’t wait to see what comes from the O’ – Levelers!

“Thanks Caleb, Bryan got 1 for POA. Because of your effort, he managed to top the school. Thanks 🙂 “ – Annie, Bryan’s mom. St Patrick’s School

“F9 to B3 is a big jump. I’m happy!” – Rigzin

“Hello teacher, grade1 for POA :)”Sheri

 

IMG_3371

“… and I didn’t expect to pass my POA! Hahah thank you caleb for the time you spent on me, helping me on my POA 🙂 see you next time! “Joseph Kim, my Korean student from Assumption English School.

A little note on Joseph – Joseph struggled to understand accounting concepts in school and even during my lessons as his command of English was not strong. It was over 4.5 months we worked together on his understanding of the subject. Unlike my student from Hangzhou  in 2010 who scored a C5 from Ungraded in 2.5 months, I was not able to teach in his native language (Korean). I’m so proud of Joseph Kim.

 

Congratulations to all my N-Levelers and all you guys who worked hard for this N levels.

2012 GCE N Levels Principles of Accounts (POA) Suggested Solutions!

Suggested Solution

It’s 8 days since your last paper.

Hope you guys are having a great time with your holidays!

This year’s suggested solutions came in a little late as the O’ levelers are ramping up their revision. 😉

Anyhow, it’s here now!

Tell me what you think.

Right click and choose “Save As” to download:

Paper 1 7092/02 GCE N’ Level Principles of Accounts 2012 Paper 1 Suggested Solutions

Paper 2: 7092/02 GCE N’ Level Principles of Accounts 2012 Paper 2 Suggested Solutions

Thanks guys!

Caleb

Why is there no depreciation for land?

sheep by A. Roger Davies

Short Answer:

Land generally does not depreciate in value because it is a limited resource with an
infinite life and can be used for a range of purposes.

Explanation:

All assets wear out and eventually cease to exist, except land. Land is not considered to ever be able to be destroyed, so it can’t lose value and go down to zero value like other assets.

The land generally retains or increases in value  Over the long term, land will go up in value over because the demand is always increasing, while they are not “making” any new land.

If there is something built on the land which the business owns,  the accountant has to subtract the cost of the land from the overall cost of the property in order to determine the depreciation expense for the buildings,

2011 GCE O’ Level Principles of Accounts (POA) Suggested Solutions!

image

So guys, it’s a few more weeks before your O’s are finally over!

Yes, I know some of you have been waiting long for the suggested solutions.

Braving thunderstorm and huge downpour some slight drizzle, I’ve been able to receive both Paper 1 and Paper 2 of 2011 GCE O’ Level POA Paper yesterday afternoon, thanks to an equally brave student. 🙂

In response to a student’s question on my thoughts for this year’s paper:

———-

Summary:

Overall difficulty was similar to the last 2-3 years (prior comparison to that was meaningless since it was old syllabus). It’s the kind of paper I would set.

What worked

Questions like:

1. MV, Prov for Dep and Disposal, Margins,

2. ratios and analysis (liquidity and profitability) in both P1 and P2

3. Sales ledger (compared to 2010’s purchase ledger)

came out big time as predicted (to my students).

Amalgamation of businesses and effect of transactions on type of capital did not come out as predicted (phew!). It was a bet while we had to decide what was important for the crash course.

Surprises

Many were surprised with the Drawings and Capital accounts which were Sec 3 work and were of substantial weightage. Students who have strong foundation of debits/credits and ratios + commentary will cruise through these sections..

Current A/c and partnership didn’t come out – I think to compensate for the surprise in P1, I think… It’s a disappointment.

The repeat of Trial Balance and Errors not revealed by it was both a good news and bad news. Most of my students will do well because of the many practices we did throughout the year. Bad news for those who predicted it will not come out because it would have been a repeat of 2010. Even that, Trial Balance was a simple question – although (with much embarrassment) my first upload of P1 had some mistakes related to it.

For P2, except for additional information part 4 in Q1, not many questions can substantially differentiate the A1 and A2 student. Only difficulty I imagined is to get the full 5 marks when you comment on the liquidity position in Q3c.

Conclusion

Past questions can be repeated.

Spotting questions worked around 60% for us this year.

Always be prepared emotionally for surprises. Stay cool.

————

Suggested Solution

Tell me what you think. Here it is!

Right click and choose “Save As” to download:

4 Nov:

7092/02 GCE O’ Level Principles of Accounts 2011 Paper 2 Suggested Solutions

Solutions for Paper 1 cannot be uploaded due to copy right reasons.

Thanks guys!

Caleb

POA Crash Course 2011 Registration is Open

5 Seats Remain. Click Here to find out more!

2011 GCE N’ Level Principles of Accounts (POA) Paper 2 Suggested Solutions!

The GCE N’ Levels Principles of Accounts was over yesterday!

Good news for our friends who are not taking O Level Emaths & D&T – happy holidays!
It was an intensive weekend for my students and I as we racked our brains over the POA crash course from Friday to Sunday.

We identified several questions that came out during yesterday’s paper, including:
1. Source documents
2. Capital & Current Accounts
3. Different treatment for carriages
4. Cash book
5. Partnerships
6. Methods of depreciation and its appropriateness for various assets.

Well, I could go on, except that I’m still in the midst of getting the Paper 1 for analysis/autopsy. 🙂

So, the BIG question is, was the Profit and Loss a Net Profit or Loss in Paper 2?

Check out what most of my students got:

2011 GCE N’ Level Principles Of Accounts Paper 2 Suggested Solutions

Tips:

1. Clicking on it will take forever to load.

2. For faster results, right click and choose “Save Link/Target As”

Look forward to discussions with you on the comments below!

Cheers,

Caleb

Suggested Solutions for 2010 GCE ‘O’ Level Principles of Accounts

 

 

7092/01 GCE O’ Level Principles of Accounts 2010 Paper 1 Suggested Solutions

7092/02 GCE O’ Level Principles of Accounts 2010 Paper 2 Suggested Solutions

 

Previous Post

The rough working for this afternoon’s GCE O’ Level Principles of Accounts Paper 2 Trading, Profit and Loss is out. Please click here download the pdf file.

Goodness, and you are almost all done for the exams! Freedom is Near. Hang On!

Crash Course students, look out for the remaining answers in Paper 1 and 2 your email soon. Will be uploading it to this website in 3 days!