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Audit firm in Singapore

How to Implement a Robust and Effective Internal Audit

Having sound internal controls is a vital element for every organization. A well designed and implemented internal audit can help a company to realize their objectives and also improve on their overall operational efficiency and effectiveness. Internal audit is such an important component of a business as it helps in ensuring optimal performance of a business management system. Such audits help with analyzing the system and also checking it so as to ensure that it meets performance standards and conformance. The key goal of internal audit is to help gather information about the effectiveness of the system.

Just like the name suggests, internal audit is mostly performed by a person from within the company. However, it’s ideal that the department be associated with another department that’s different from the one being audited. Working with a reputable audit firm in Singapore to oversee internal audit and carry out extensive external audit should be considered so as to ensure that the internal systems are effective.

Here are some of the things that should be given emphasis if effective internal audit is to be ensured.

Identify key areas that need improvement

The internal audit should be conducted in a way that effectively evaluates quality management system. The parties involved should be able to identify key areas that need improvement and work to ensure that the right measures are taken so as to ascertain improvement of those areas. Identifying the key areas that require improvement helps in ensuring that the internal audit process increases the functionality of the systems in place.

Taking time to identify the controls that should be tested on a periodic basis can be quite complex. However, internal controls should be undertaken with the aim of addressing three forms of control; detective, preventive and corrective controls. When determining the areas to test, focus should be on the detective controls. Detective controls identify areas where the preventive measures were not quite effective in preventing errors.

Internal Feedback

Part of the auditing process is to help with gathering input from the employees. These observations can be very insightful to the companies. As the internal audit gets conducted, employees within the company can be engaged to help with the process. The internal auditor can then get to learn the different aspects of the company and in turn become better placed to see the various parts of the company that make the entire process to flow well.

Preparation for external audit

Execution of internal audit helps with preparation for external audit. Engaging in internal audit allows a company to gain knowledge of the areas that needs improvement. Should the external auditors come up with more observations; the company can be in a position where they are well prepared to express the ideas on how the issues can be addressed.

Segregation of duties

Internal audit cannot be effectively implemented without taking into consideration the segregation of duties. Segregation of duties plays such a significant role in creating a good internal control environment. Part of the internal audit process should be focused towards reviewing the functions performed by each employee so as to identify if there are any overlaps in duties.

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Company secretary services

Company Secretary Services: Appointment, Role, and Responsibilities

The roles, responsibilities, and appointment of a company secretary largely depend on the type of the type and size of the business. For a small company, the company secretary may only be required to perform administrative roles while for a larger company; the company secretary services may be required to perform a range of tasks including ensuring legal compliance. According to Singapore Company law, every company is required to appoint a company secretary within six months of its registration.

The company secretary is responsible for a range of tasks such as ensuring company compliance with the relevant statutory requirements and regulations. The company secretary is also charged with keeping the board of directors informed of their stipulated legal responsibilities towards the company. The company law has a defined legal framework within which the company directors and secretary should operate.

Appointment

According to section 88 of the Companies Amendment Act, every company in Singapore is required to appoint a company secretary and should ensure that the company secretary has the requisite experience including both academic and professional qualifications. Working with a reputable firm in Singapore for the delivery of Company secretary services can help in ensuring that an individual with the right qualifications and experience is engaged for the work.

The company secretary must be able to meet the following requirements; must be a natural person and a resident of Singapore. The directors of a company when considering the opening of a company should ensure that the ideal candidate has the required level of experience.

Duties

There are specific duties of the company secretary that are vested in the company law. Here are some of the duties that a company secretary;

Maintenance of statutory registers: The firm engaged for delivery of company secretary services should ensure that statutory registers are well maintained. The registers of substantial shareholders, register of members and charges should be well maintained as required by the law.

Preparation of accounts: It’s the duty of a company secretary to ensure that the accounts of the company are well prepared as per the provisions of the law. Once the documents are prepared, the company secretary should be able to file these statements with the registrar of companies.

Filing of statutory forms: The company secretary is also responsible for the filing of returns and forms with the registrar within the specified time. The filing of forms and returns such as the annual returns return of the allotment shares and notice of appointment of a director are all responsibilities of a company secretary. Engaging a reputable firm for such company secretary services should be considered as they have a team of skilled professionals with the needed expertise.

Preparation of company minutes during meetings

It’s the duty of the company secretary to prepare minutes for the meetings which are considered as records to be maintained by the company as per the law. These minutes form a part of the records that a company has. Company secretary services continue to evolve and the responsibilities may change depending on the activities that a company is involved in.

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Local director services

Budget 2021: How it’s tackling the Impact of Covid19

During the Covid-19 crisis, Singapore has incurred one of the largest overall budget deficits in its post-independence of S$64.9 billion which amounts to 13.9 percent of the GDP in the 2020 financial year. Budget 2021 while still remaining expansionary; also adds to an overall deficit of S$11 billion. The government has proposed to draw on the past reserves to fund the S$11 billion Covid-19 resilience package.

A total sum of $4.8 billion has been set aside as Covid-19 resilience package to help with public health, vaccination, and for the safe reopening measures. Another amount of S$5 billion has also been set aside to cater for continued support of businesses and workers. Out of this S$2.9 billion is to take care of the Jobs Support Scheme alongside S$700 million that’s to take care of the hardest hit tier 1 sectors such as aviation, tourism, aerospace and tier 2 sectors

Safeguarding Public Health

In order to continue with the efforts geared towards curbing the spread of coronavirus, the Finance Minister, Mr. Heng mentioned that S$4.8 billion package is to be dedicated towards safe-reopening and public health. It covers expanding nation-wide vaccination program, contact tracing system, maintaining existing precautionary measures, testing regime and safe-distancing requirements. Vaccination of people is vital and the Prime Minister urged those who are medically eligible to take the vaccine whenever their turn comes.

Support for the Hard Hit Sectors

Since the global travel isn’t likely to recover as many international borders remain closed; the government in this year’s budget has committed to providing S$870 million to help support the aviation sector. Towards the end of January; the total passenger movements at Changi Airport was only at 2 percent in comparison to what it was before Covid-19. The amount set aside for aviation industry is to sustain the sector and also help it upgrade its capabilities as they prepare for recovery.

According to a statement delivered by Singapore Airlines Chief Executive Officer; Goh Choon Phong; he reported that the budget measures will enable the company to effectively navigate the disruptions that have been caused by Covid-19 pandemic. The support is to help the aviation sector remain flexible enough so that they can seize opportunities that might arise when the international borders open.

SG United Jobs and Skills Package

An amount of S$5.4 billion has been allocated to the SGUnited Jobs and Skills Package. This allocation is in addition to the S$3 billion that’s channeled to various schemes that seek to create jobs and training opportunities for Singaporeans in 2020. Out of the S$5.4 billion, S$5.2 billion is to be set aside to cater for Jobs Growth Incentive which has been extended to run up to September 2021.

The scheme provides companies with salary support of up to one year from month to month in which a new Singaporean worker is hired. The older workers including those with disabilities and ex-offenders have been set apart for salary support of up to 1.5 years.

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5 Keys Areas Impacted by Singapore Budget 2021

As much as the GDP of Singapore shrank to 5.4% in 2020; the government has taken a bold approach and put measures in place that are meant to spur growth and cushion businesses and workers from the impact of the prevailing economic changes. Here are some of the five key areas impacted by budget 2021;

The Funding of Large Local Businesses for Global Scaling

Singapore government has talked of helping the large local enterprises to scale globally by providing S$500 as growth capital. The funding capital is to be co-invested by Temasek Holdings which will then be matched by the government’s funds on a one-to-one basis. An amount of S$1 billion has been made available for investing in the large businesses.

The new platform for funding comes as the changes taking place in the global economic space have made it harder for the large local enterprises to attract private equity players. The government previously was focusing on aiding small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) that have annual revenues of up to S$100 million.

New Launchpad Innovation

In order to encourage companies and drive innovative ideas, the government of Singapore announced of investing in a corporate venture launch pad which will be useful for the larger businesses that intend to stir up start-up mindset within their organizations. The minister of finance also added that a cloud based digital bench will be created to for its open innovation platform to help businesses further in gaining access to digital solutions alongside funding for prototype and the deployment of the innovative ideas.

With businesses innovating, the minister foresaw a rise of intellectual property and the intangible assets that businesses may need to commercialize and also protect their businesses. The government in response plans to unveil the Singapore Intellectual Property Strategy 2030 which is aimed at not only supporting businesses towards supporting such properties but also is aimed at training skilled professionals in the respective fields.

Extension of GST to Imported Low-Value Goods

While the minister of finance said that goods and service tax will not increase from 7% to 9% in the year 2021 due to the prevailing economic situation; he added that the tax will be extended to the low value goods especially the items that are valued at up to S$400 on goods imported via air or post.  GST tax is designed to take effect from January 2023 onwards and is more likely to affect international purchases form eCommerce platforms.

GST will also affect the non-digital services for consumers such as counseling, fitness training and the tele-medicine services offered by overseas parties.

Adoption of Emerging Technologies

Singapore government is set to inject S$1 billion in the various sectors to help mature enterprises adapt well to the emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence, trust tech, and 5G. During the announcement for budget 2021, it was announced that the government will be launching a CTO-as-a-service initiative which is meant to provide businesses with access to digital solutions such as IT consultancies.

Support to sectors that are hardly hit

The government has taken drastic measures to support the sectors that have been badly hit by the covid-19 pandemics such as aviation, tourism, and aerospace in 2021. The government through budget 2021 is also committed to helping businesses in Singapore digitalize and also innovate as a way of building the country’s reputation as the global-Asia node.

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Company Secretary Services

3 Advantages of Outsourcing Company Secretary Services

The majority of companies not only in Singapore but the world over are opting to outsource company secretary services and this is mainly due to a number of reasons. Previously, most companies preferred handling important roles within the confines of an in-house team due to factors such as reliability, accessibility, accountability, and reasons related to preference. Such a move gave the company control over the entire process, however, that has so far changed due to the intricacy and the ever-changing roles of a company secretary.

Majority of companies are being incorporated without having a company secretary in place and that’s creating an immediate demand for company secretary services. The increased use of technology has made the company business processes to be streamlined in such a way that makes outsourcing of such tasks to be effective as the company still remains capable of monitoring the process and exercising control. Many companies are therefore entrusting corporate service providers with professional support tasks due to their experience, expertise, and efficiency.

Competitive Pricing

Outsourcing of company secretary services has been proven to be less costly when compared to hiring a fulltime in-house company secretary. Offshore companies that are considering incorporation of company in Singapore tend to prefer dealing with a reputable corporate service provider for company secretary services as that also provides them with access to a range of other vital services. Professional tasks can be quite time consuming and outsourcing helps with freeing up the in-house team some valuable time that can be concentrated to other tasks.

There is more control and efficiency that can be realized when vital tasks such as company secretary services are outsourced to be handled by experts. The company personnel will then be free to engage in other vital tasks while also having the confidence that matters pertaining statutory obligations and compliance are effectively handled.

Execution of Support Duties

Once you outsource company secretary services to a corporate service provider such as Onestop CA Singapore; you also gain access to a range of support services such as auditing, accounting, advisory services and such can have a huge impact on your company.

Ensures Compliance

Observation of statutory compliance is an area that many companies find to be challenging. Whether it’s tax-related matters, monthly returns, and other related compliance issues; working with a reputable firm for company secretary services will help in ensuring that compliance is observed. Failure to ensure compliance has led to many companies paying unnecessary and such can be avoided if the right corporate service provider is engaged.

Outsourcing of company secretary services to a great extent provides that additional assurance on compliance processes and also helps in addressing the lack of compliance skills that could be existing within an organization. Many small and mid-level companies also lack the capability to hire skilled staff that can handle such tasks on full-term basis. Working with a corporate service provider therefore helps in making the entire process seamless.

With a reputable corporate service provider, a company can effectively streamline their internal and external compliance effectively.

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Originally published by onestop-audit.com