Singapore Expats Forum

US Certified Public Accountant (CPA) moving to Spore

Discuss about getting a well paid job or career advancement. Ask about salaries, expat packages, CPF & taxes for expatriate.

OrangeRose
Newbie
Newbie
Posts: 3
Joined: Tue, 21 Jul 2009
Location: Los Angeles

US Certified Public Accountant (CPA) moving to Spore

Postby OrangeRose » Fri, 24 Jul 2009 2:17 am

Hello there,

I am moving to Singapore from the United States, received PR from my husband. I am an active Certified Public Accountant in the US. I know that the CPA body will be different between US and Singapore. Please advice:
1) Do I need to take the exam in Singapore and start all over - OR - is there any comparison exam so that I can become a CPA in Singapore without starting from zero? (Don't get me wrong, I am not trying to be lazy, just wondering if there is better and efficient path - if there is not, I definitely willing to retake the exam all over. Just please give me some insight)
2) How does CPA/any general accountant careers look like in Singapore? What are the range of the potential earning?
3) Which one is more prestigious & high demand in Spore? Is it CPA or CA (Chartered Accountant)?

Thank you, any input is highly appreciated.
Preferable from people in the Accounting/Finance field.

PS. A little bit more detail - I currently still in the US, thinking to move by the end of the year or early next year.

pm1901
Member
Member
Posts: 28
Joined: Wed, 22 Jul 2009

Postby pm1901 » Fri, 24 Jul 2009 1:22 pm

Hi Orange Rose,
With a US CPA you certainly have the right qualifications. There are plenty of MNCs (US based) - for whom CPA US will be a great advantage/plus.....though not sure how many are hiring in this current market.

Even if you would like to get the Singapore CPA it will not be difficult at all....you can get all the requirements at
http://www.icpas.org.sg/mem_reg.asp

Hope this helps...

Cheers....

Nath21
Chatter
Chatter
Posts: 256
Joined: Wed, 20 May 2009
Location: Singapore

Postby Nath21 » Fri, 24 Jul 2009 2:19 pm

The real question is why you think you need to obtain a Singapore CPA when you have a US CPA.

Its not like its going to effect your chances of getting a job. If your issue is financial reporting differences between US and Singapore then I would suggest you take a local short course on the issue. IFRS is taking hold everywhere so thats a good start. US reporting rules are very tedious and have shown to confuse rather than educate readers so I think if your in that area you find things easier than from back in the US unless of course your working for a US national of which you will have an advantage.

I have found the difference to be the same between CPA and CA in Singapore as Australia in that CA is more Big 4 and larger businesses and CPA is the rest but my understanding of US CPA is its equivalent to the CA course in that its not completely multiple choice based and you must do project work including presentations of issues.

Salaries are equivalent to Australia and therefore equivalent to US. we have the following vacancies as a guide related to accounting at our work - Manager Internal Audit S$105k, Finance Manager S$150k and Junior Accountant S$40k. One advantage of the Singapore CPA is its subs are cheap S$125 compared to US$140 for CPA and Australian CPA is AUD$550. I know because my staff are varied and have every memebership you could imagine.

Im always going to favour CA over CPA because I am one and chose so because I was in BIG 4 environement but 95% of people dont know the difference and and wouldnt care.

User avatar
ksl
Governor
Governor
Posts: 6005
Joined: Mon, 19 Jul 2004
Location: Singapore
Contact:

Postby ksl » Fri, 24 Jul 2009 9:50 pm

Nath21 wrote:The real question is why you think you need to obtain a Singapore CPA when you have a US CPA.

Its not like its going to effect your chances of getting a job. If your issue is financial reporting differences between US and Singapore then I would suggest you take a local short course on the issue. IFRS is taking hold everywhere so thats a good start. US reporting rules are very tedious and have shown to confuse rather than educate readers so I think if your in that area you find things easier than from back in the US unless of course your working for a US national of which you will have an advantage.

I have found the difference to be the same between CPA and CA in Singapore as Australia in that CA is more Big 4 and larger businesses and CPA is the rest but my understanding of US CPA is its equivalent to the CA course in that its not completely multiple choice based and you must do project work including presentations of issues.

Salaries are equivalent to Australia and therefore equivalent to US. we have the following vacancies as a guide related to accounting at our work - Manager Internal Audit S$105k, Finance Manager S$150k and Junior Accountant S$40k. One advantage of the Singapore CPA is its subs are cheap S$125 compared to US$140 for CPA and Australian CPA is AUD$550. I know because my staff are varied and have every memebership you could imagine.

Im always going to favour CA over CPA because I am one and chose so because I was in BIG 4 environement but 95% of people dont know the difference and and wouldnt care.


Interesting and how does the CPA compare with UK? Just curious, becuase I know some professions are easier in the US, than in the UK like helicopter pilot licence, although the US licence is excepted in UK, the standard is much lower and cheaper.

User avatar
sundaymorningstaple
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 34783
Joined: Thu, 11 Nov 2004
Location: Still Fishing!
Contact:

Postby sundaymorningstaple » Fri, 24 Jul 2009 10:31 pm

ksl wrote:
Nath21 wrote:Im always going to favour CA over CPA because I am one and chose so because I was in BIG 4 environement but 95% of people dont know the difference and and wouldnt care.


Interesting and how does the CPA compare with UK? Just curious, becuase I know some professions are easier in the US, than in the UK like helicopter pilot licence, although the US licence is excepted in UK, the standard is much lower and cheaper.


I could take issue with both statements as I am both a CPA and a former chopper pilot (albeit with only a military rating as I didn't convert it to a civilian license upon discharge).

BIG 4 environment? I daresay, there are more BIG 4 accountants with CPA's than CA's unless you are only talking about Singapore and the UK/Aust. The US BIG 4 presence dwarf's all three in multiples......

As a trained chopper pilot I reckon the training from a military standpoint is equal to anything the UK pumps out. As far a civilian training goes, I don't have a clue as the majority of US chopper pilots are ex-military conversions...

But I don't have any hard data to support either. Do either of you two have hard data to support your claims? Or, is it just opinion?

Nath21
Chatter
Chatter
Posts: 256
Joined: Wed, 20 May 2009
Location: Singapore

Postby Nath21 » Sat, 25 Jul 2009 11:14 am

I could take issue with both statements as I am both a CPA and a former chopper pilot (albeit with only a military rating as I didn't convert it to a civilian license upon discharge).

BIG 4 environment? I daresay, there are more BIG 4 accountants with CPA's than CA's unless you are only talking about Singapore and the UK/Aust. The US BIG 4 presence dwarf's all three in multiples......

But I don't have any hard data to support either. Do either of you two have hard data to support your claims? Or, is it just opinion?


If you read what i said you will see that USA CPA is the same as Aus/uk CA except i think they issue on a state basis whereas CA is on a country wide basis. So in the US that true in the rest of the world that I have seen its rare. The reason is because the BIg 4 set up and support the CA.

In uk its a bit different because they have another good qualification CIMA. But they also let anyone sit the exams over there for CA or CPA. So they get people with no accounting experience at a tertiary level try and do their courses. I have never met so many accountants that did engineering, arts and sciences in any other country. That said many fail the exams because they are pretty tough.

I can only answer the accountant query not a chopper pilot query though I have always wanted to learn.

OrangeRose
Newbie
Newbie
Posts: 3
Joined: Tue, 21 Jul 2009
Location: Los Angeles

Postby OrangeRose » Tue, 28 Jul 2009 2:54 am

pm1901 wrote:Hi Orange Rose,
With a US CPA you certainly have the right qualifications. There are plenty of MNCs (US based) - for whom CPA US will be a great advantage/plus.....though not sure how many are hiring in this current market.

Even if you would like to get the Singapore CPA it will not be difficult at all....you can get all the requirements at
http://www.icpas.org.sg/mem_reg.asp

Hope this helps...

Cheers....


Hello pm1901,

Thank you for answering my question, and for the link :) it was really helpful.

OrangeRose
Newbie
Newbie
Posts: 3
Joined: Tue, 21 Jul 2009
Location: Los Angeles

Postby OrangeRose » Tue, 28 Jul 2009 2:57 am

Nath21 wrote:The real question is why you think you need to obtain a Singapore CPA when you have a US CPA.

Its not like its going to effect your chances of getting a job. If your issue is financial reporting differences between US and Singapore then I would suggest you take a local short course on the issue. IFRS is taking hold everywhere so thats a good start. US reporting rules are very tedious and have shown to confuse rather than educate readers so I think if your in that area you find things easier than from back in the US unless of course your working for a US national of which you will have an advantage.

I have found the difference to be the same between CPA and CA in Singapore as Australia in that CA is more Big 4 and larger businesses and CPA is the rest but my understanding of US CPA is its equivalent to the CA course in that its not completely multiple choice based and you must do project work including presentations of issues.

Salaries are equivalent to Australia and therefore equivalent to US. we have the following vacancies as a guide related to accounting at our work - Manager Internal Audit S$105k, Finance Manager S$150k and Junior Accountant S$40k. One advantage of the Singapore CPA is its subs are cheap S$125 compared to US$140 for CPA and Australian CPA is AUD$550. I know because my staff are varied and have every memebership you could imagine.

Im always going to favour CA over CPA because I am one and chose so because I was in BIG 4 environement but 95% of people dont know the difference and and wouldnt care.


Hello Nath,

Thank you for your answer.
It's great to hear directly from someone in the field :).


  • Similar Topics
    Replies
    Views
    Last post

Return to “Careers & Jobs in Singapore”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 3 guests