Salary hike for KPMG Singapore auditors who pursue accreditation

03 September 2019 3 min. read

Auditors at KPMG Singapore will be in line for a 20 percent salary boost should they complete their Singapore Chartered Accountant qualifications before July of next year.

In a bid to enhance the quality of auditing in Singapore, the local office of KPMG has announced a 20 percent pay-rise for its staff who complete their Singapore Chartered Accountant (SCA) accreditations before the 1st of July 2020 – in what the firm states will lift salaries significantly above the industry benchmark. KPMG Singapore will also grant ten days of study leave per sitting for its auditors who pursue the SCA qualification.

“KPMG believes in investing in our people’s development and elevating the audit profession,” said KPMG in Singapore’s Head of People, Performance and Culture Ang Fung Fung, who holds a Bachelor of Accountancy degree from the National University of Singapore. “Which is why we are pleased to announce a 20 percent salary increment for auditors who obtain their Singapore Chartered Accountant qualification before 1st July 2020.”

Salary hike for KPMG Singapore auditors who pursue accreditation

Administered by the Institute of Singapore Chartered Accountants (ISCA), the national qualification was developed by the Singapore Accountancy Commission (SAC - a statutory body under the Ministry of Finance) and is a post-graduate accountancy programme designed to equip accounting professionals with financial expertise and business acumen. According to reports, the SCA qualification costs around $7,500 and is also fully sponsored by KPMG.

“Over the years, we have invested heavily in people, technology and programmes to enhance audit quality,” said KPMG Singapore managing partner Ong Pang Thye. “This move to peg pay to enhanced qualification represents one of our largest investments in audit quality to date, and the importance we place in recognising accreditation in line with the global profession. Our focus on audit quality is intrinsically linked to our commitment to promote public trust.”

The novel approach to lifting auditing standards (as far as is understood, the direct differentiation between SCA and non-SCA qualified staff as to remuneration is a first among the local Big Four) comes amid growing regulatory and public backlash as to auditing standards around the world, fueled by a number of high-profile business collapses and breaches of ethical standards – including at KPMG, with KPMG Malaysia among those currently in the spotlight.

While operating independently as separate legal entities, the reputational hit from the more serious of the scandals can no doubt reverberate around the world (both KPMG and McKinsey – also under external pressure – slipped a spot in this year’s commercial services rankings compiled by Brand Finance), which can harm recruitment in turn. According to KPMG, the pay-scale adjustment will also ensure that its “salaries are leading the market in order to attract and retain the best talent.”