While contemplating the proposed new amendments to the Accountants Act, it suddenly dawned on me that currently, the Act only applies to public accountants. While this might not seem strange at first, one must remember how the profession have changed it's designation over the years.
As explained in our previous post, there was a time when we were all known as certified public accountants (CPAs) and the Accountants Act back then applied to all of us, whether we were practising or non-practising CPAs.
Fast forward to today, the segregation between practising and non-practising CPAs is via the designation of Public Accountant (PA) and Chartered Accountant (CA) titles respectively. But yet the terminology in the current Accountants Act had not change and merely mentions and defines "public accountant" only. I daresay this means that CAs are no longer governed by the Act now. But in the past, they were when they were still known as non-practising CPAs.
Surely this must be an oversight! Surely it cannot be the intent of the powers that be to have CAs operate outside any legislation? With this in mind, I tabled a motion for a group of PAs to consider including in their feedback on the proposed amendments to legislate CAs to be back in the Act again.
Until this is done, it will appear that it is far easier to be a CA in Singapore as they are being made different by being outside the law; a true difference maker indeed.