Starting from 1 January 2011, Singapore's public accountants may meet their continuing professional education (CPE) requirements over a rolling three-year period instead of over a single year, says the Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority (Acra).
The new rules still require 120 CPE hours, but instead of fulfilling 40 hours a year, public accountants may complete the required hours over three years, but must do at least 20 hours of structured learning a year.
Acra says the enhanced CPE syllabus puts a clearer and tighter focus on core areas of auditing, financial reporting standards and ethics. It provides more flexibility in selecting CPE for non-core areas of expertise, and is tailored for public accountants who are judicial managers and approved liquidators.
CPE is a very important obligation for public accountants to ensure that they keep their expertise up-to-date. ACRA takes this requirement seriously and will not renew the certificates of registration of public accountants who fail to meet the CPE requirements, except in very limited circumstances, such as illness. The introduction of the three-year rolling period will
enable public accountants to adjust their annual CPE according to their professional needs or in the event that their professional work is interrupted by a study sabbatical or family commitments.