Singapore Launches First Financial Forensic Accounting Qualification in Southeast Asia

As a global financial center, Singapore has to be especially vigilant against financial crime, which has grown in complexity and scale in tandem with technological advancement and globalization.

In combating financial crime, financial forensic professionals, with their specialized skills and training, play a key role.

To develop the talent pool for such professionals, the Institute of Singapore Chartered Accountants will launch the ISCA Financial Forensic Accounting (FFA) Qualification, the first financial forensic accounting qualification in Southeast Asia. Applications for the Qualification will commence 1 March 2018.

“As the national accountancy body, ISCA is preparing the profession for the future economy,” says Lee Fook Chiew, Chief Executive Officer of ISCA. “This includes offering specialization pathways which enable accountancy professionals to deepen their area of expertise in specialized areas that are in high demand. The ISCA FFA Qualification is one such pathway for existing and aspiring financial forensic professionals to further their professional development.”

ISCA developed this programme with inputs from leading financial forensic professionals from public and private sectors to ensure it is market-relevant and practical. They include financial and regulatory compliance leaders from financial institutions to meet the market’s needs for qualified financial forensic professionals.

Currently, there are about 1,000 financial forensic professionals working in the public and private sectors, including law enforcement agencies, the Monetary Authority of Singapore, banks, insurance companies as well as accounting and advisory firms that offer financial forensic-related services.

Qualification Entry Requirements

The ISCA FFA Qualification is not just open to those with a degree in accountancy or finance but also to those who have a degree or equivalent in other disciplines and are currently working in financial forensic fields, such as law enforcement, financial and regulatory compliance and forensic advisory.

Applicants who hold a degree or equivalent in other disciplines are required to have at least one year of recent work experience in financial forensics-related fields.

Qualification Curriculum

The applied learning programme, which can be reasonably completed in 12 months, comprises four modules that cover forensic accounting methodology and investigation approaches; digital forensics investigation, data analytics and cyber response; financial crime compliance and investigation in banking and finance sector. It will also cover professional requirements on the code of professional conduct and ethics as well as anti-money laundering and countering the financing of terrorism guidelines. KPMG Singapore will be providing practical workshops, including a mock investigation, for three of the modules.

Upon completion of all four modules and acquiring at least three years of recent and relevant work experience in financial forensic related fields, ISCA FFA Qualification graduates who are ISCA members will be conferred the ISCA Financial Forensic Professional, or ISCA FFP credential.

Grandfathering Scheme

The ISCA FFP credential can be conferred to ISCA members who are financial forensic professionals with at least 6 years of work experience.

Eligible applicants are required to have a minimum of 3 years work experience in financial forensics, with the remaining years in accounting or finance.