So, Musk tweets that freedom of speech is the bedrock of democracy. But in this day and age, “speech” is no longer the dominant medium of expressing one’s view. In the digital age, freedom of “speech” is more likely to be the bedrock of misinformation instead. The human mind has been long conditioned to take the written word as more of a Gospel truth compared to hearing them. We question very little of what we read, but it could take up to three different people telling us the same thing before we are convinced it is the “truth”. So when the written medium, though social media platforms, becomes the dominant form of expression of views and opinions, such views and opinions are more susceptible to being accepted.
And we have seen how fake news and misinformation have proliferated our social media platforms. This is largely due to the providers of such platforms not spending enough resources to fact check content that are driving them “eyeballs” revenue. In fact, one could argue it would make more sense for them for such contents to be more sensational and controversial to drive eyeballs instead of establishing the boring truth.
Hence, such conditions prove ripe for misinformation today. But to rule out this freedom of "speech" would also not be acceptable in less totalitarian regimes. What is our defence then?
Well, how about, caveat lector – let the reader beware. And it's importance should even outweigh that of caveat emptor in this digital age.
We need to start training our minds to be skeptical on the things we read, down to even the “comments” level. And with the steady erosion of journalistic integrity, this should also include content from the traditional news sources. Yes, I'm afraid becoming more cynical is sadly our only defence for now.
But, on the bright side, we can now welcome you into our world; the world of professional sceptics.
We are pleased to announce that we are now a silver partner of Xero! It's been an exciting journey for us so far and we continue to recommend Xero to our clients over its competitors. Contact us now to find out more why Xero is our preferred choice!
May it be a roaring one for all of us!
Our office will be closed from 31 January 2022 to 4 February 2022.
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.
We are proud to announce that "Echtual" is now a registered trademark! We would like to thank all our clients for their support in helping us reach this milestone. Moving forward, we will continue to provide the same efficient, reliable and true quality service Echtual is known for in all our services; namely accounting, audit, tax, advisory and valuation services.
Looking for a service provider that keeps it real? Look no further and contact us today!
Even as the world grapples with the delta variant sweeping across countries, technology plays its part in overcoming the challenges presented by this pandemic.
Case in point, the Institute of Singapore Chartered Accountants organized a virtual business networking session with Vietnamese CPA firms last week. Pre-Covid, this would usually be a physical affair. While that is not possible still, we had a virtual session instead, held though zoom.
It was a good session and we learnt many things about the industry in Vietnam and we met new friends as well. Can't wait for this pandemic to end so that we can meet each other in person!
Always wondered if your company's financial statements and accounting records needs to be audited? Find out more about the statutory audit and other financial audit requirements in Singapore here.
Looks like the audit industry in Britain is headed for a shake up after the accounting scandals like BHS and Carillion in the previous years.
Today reported on the changes that would be proposed and the most interesting one would be that of making directors responsible for detecting fraud. It was only just last year that the idea of revising audit standards so that auditors are responsible for detecting fraud was bandied around. This change from Britain, if passed, would definitely be an impact on how the International Audit Standards would be changed.
Interesting enough, one wonders if Britain deliberately waited until Brexit was a done deal to make these changes. There would certainly be less consensus sought from their European counterparts now that Britain is no longer part of the Union.
On a lighter note, their Financial Reporting Council is being renamed to Audit, Reporting and Governance Authority or ARGA for short. One can say, arga arga, theirs now sound like our ACRA...
Please be advised our office will be closed from 11th February to 15th February 2021 for the festive period.
and hopefully, a happier New Year.
As 2020 draws to a close, we would like to thank our clients and friends for their wonderful support during these unprecedented times. We look forward to serving you in a covid-free (hopefully) 2021!
Our office will be closed from 24 December 2020 to 28 December 2020.
Our office will be closed tomorrow due to Polling Day.
We will resume operations on Monday, 13 July 2020.
What is Peppol e-invoicing?
Peppol E-invoicing is a standardised digital way of sending and receiving invoice between the accounting systems of two parties, regardless of the type of software they use.
Peppol is the network that facilitates the exchange of this information digitally.
Does E-invoicing mean online invoicing?
No E-invoicing is different from online invoicing.
In most current business scenarios, online invoicing refers to either a scanned copy of the invoice or a PDF file sent to the recipient organisation via email. The process relies on manual data entry as your recipient will have to re-enter the details of the invoice into his own accounting system (e.g. accounts payable). Similarly, you may be receiving many online invoices in the form of PDFs – you will also need to have someone manually input the invoice details or scan the pages of invoices into your system.
E-invoicing on the other hand is an invoice created digitally in a supplier’s financial system, transmitted electronically through the Peppol network to the recipient (buyer) where it is processed automatically without any human intervention. For example, E-invoices received in a PEPPOL Ready accounting solution can appear as draft bills automatically without any manual data entry.
Free on Xero!
Xero can now connect to the Peppol E-invoicing network launched by the Infocomm Media Development Authority of Singapore to speed up your invoicing process.
It can get you paid faster by your customers and help you maintain healthy cash flow in your business.
Best of all, it comes free with your Xero subscription!
Contact us now to start getting paid faster!
On the back of an economic slow-down made worse by the Covid-19 virus epidemic, this year's budget was highly expected to give a significant boost to the ailing Singapore economy. And with the largest budget deficit in ten years of S$10.9B, it can be said that this was what it sought out to do.
A summary of the measures can be found in the table below (source : Ministry of Finance) :
Apart from the belated "ang bao" ($100-$300 cash) to every Singaporean,the following three initiatives in the Budget are of the greatest impact to businesses:
1. Sending Coal In The Midst of Harsh Winter (雪中送炭)
The businesses hit by the ongoing epidemic are largely in tourism, food & beverage and transport industries. So it is heartening to see the Budget giving relief to these sectors through the following measures :
Although rental and property tax rebates does not seem like much compared to an outright cash rebate, it is still some measure of relief to affected businesses..
2. Other Band Aids
There are also other measures tailored to support workers and enterprises :
These measures are also expected to help alleviate cash flow issues faced by businesses.
3. Seizing Opportunities
Chinese believe that there is opportunity in a crisis ("危机") and Singapore is sizing up opportunities arising from the following trends :
While it's true that some of the measures are not as significant when compared to those implemented during the SARS crisis, this is a reflection that the current crisis is not considered to be as bad as SARS, Should this not be the case, the G has reserved enough gas in the tank to implement more measures.
The management of Echtual will like to wish all our clients a very Happy New Year!
We will like to thank all of you for your wonderful support and we look forward to serving you again in 2020!