While a lot of audit firms in Singapore provide the same types of services at their core, the qualifications, reputation and experience of various companies can set top firms apart.
In this article, we are going to explore some of the audit and assurance services typically provided by top accounting firms in Singapore and identify the leaders in each.
You won’t have far to look to find an accounting firm that provides you with the most common of audit services – financial audits. Whether one of the “Big 4” top accounting firms (KPMG, Deloitte, EY or PwC) or a smaller boutique firm, most accounting companies in Singapore provide financial auditing services. These can include financial statement audit (one of the services provided by our partner Paul Wan & Co.), financial reporting, review of periodic financial information and much more to ensure that your business’ financial statements are in order.
Statutory and International Standards
It is of particular importance that companies in Singapore align themselves to local and international regulations such as SFRS (Singapore Financial Reporting Standards) and IFRS (International Financial Reporting Standards), among others. Most accounting firms in Singapore will be able to assist with statutory audits that will help assess the fairness of your business’ financial reports, making them more transparent for shareholders. Some of the firms that provide statutory audit services include Deloitte, Foo Kon Tan, and KPMG.
Due Diligence for mergers and acquisitions
With M&A activity almost doubling in 2019, many of the top audit firms in Singapore have been positioning themselves as leading advisors in this field. Whether related to mergers, acquisitions, equity or due diligence, several firms now offer advisory in this arena, the most well-known being Deloitte, RSM, Bain, and BCG.
In the case of fraudulent activity or a breach of business protocol, it is vital to partner with a trusted audit firm to conduct an investigative review. Several firms in Singapore like Kroll, SBS Group, and BDO, to name a few, provide due diligence, forensic accounting, compliance review, and other investigative audit services. These services can help to identify the root causes of these breaches and suggest plans for recovery.
Information systems audit
68% of business leaders feel that their cybersecurity risks are increasing, according to a recent report from Accenture. With an increasing number of cyber threats such as hacking, malware, and phishing on the rise, organisations must remain vigilant to ensure that they minimise cyber risk or learn how to effectively respond in case of a breach. Some of the auditing firms in Singapore that provide cyber risk management solutions are Deloitte, KPMG, and Foo Kon Tan.
Another approach to assessing the performance of your business is to conduct an operational audit. This helps to identify whether key controls, such as policies and procedures, are structured to produce optimal efficiency and effectiveness. A lack of efficiency often leads to increased costs or reduced productivity, which could result in the business making losses. Accounting firms like SBS, KPMG, and AG are well known for their operational audit services.
A growing emphasis on labour taxes and the increasing complexity of payroll jurisdiction have brought tax and payroll audits under scrutiny by the authorities. In Singapore, the IRAS (Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore) and the CPF (Central Provident Fund) Board have become increasingly proactive in seeking out tax, payroll, and CPF noncompliance, giving rise to a need for payroll audit services. PWC is the most reputed company to conduct this type of audit, though other accounting companies in Singapore also provide similar services.
Choosing the right audit firm can be integral to the success of your business. Since audits are a recurring activity, ensuring that you are partnered with a top audit firm is critical to the longevity of your business.
There are several further types of audit services, but the key is to identify the primary risk areas faced by your business and to conduct a periodic review with a top audit or accounting firm to ensure that your business remains compliant.