Is SQP For You?
So, is SQP for you??
Well, it depends which category you belong to.
Luckly degree holders
For local public universities degree holders, lady luck has been shining on you, as you can go straight to the QP professional programme, as explained above.
Otherwise, you would have to take an additional foundation program which comprises the 6 modules.
Each course culminates in an exam held twice yearly. It is a 3-hours closed book paper with 4 questions. According to Singapore QP, successful completion of all six modules in the Foundation Programme is achievable within 12 months. After that, you are ready to embark on the professional programme!
How about ACCA grads?
As for ACCA students, it is unclear if they are required to take foundation program in order to be a chartered accountant. A check with ISCA (Institute of Singapore Chartered Accountants) reveals that discussions are still ongoing and the verdict is not out yet.
Are ACCA students screwed?
Of course not! If you examine the curriculum closely, QP and ACCA are not very different. SQP is Singapore's brainchild while ACCA is an international recognition in accounting. It only makes sense that the development of its own curriculum draws reference on global standards in Singapore's bid to be a global accountancy hub. In terms of knowledge, ACCA students will definitely not lose out to the rest.
Singapore QP professional program vs ACCA professional papers
If anything, the qualification of ACCA has been holding its own for many years in Singapore. Ask any seniors and they all have an inkling of it. Employers have also hired ACCA grads for the longest time. We do not see this habit crumbling down anytime soon. Therefore, the qualification of ACCA itself is still valuable. If you take into account the fact that ACCA can be gotten in as fast as 2 years and at lower cost, it may even constitute a better deal than degrees.
What should I do if I am starting fresh
By now, you should be thinking if SQP is worth it. Some will say "of course!" but if we see it as our job to provoke you to think further...
Sure, having a CA title at the end of your name is a real ego boost. You may get a kick out of giving your namecards.
If, however the purpose of education is something bigger to you, You may realize that SQP is not a default choice.
It is the classic case of social construct vs real benefit. For example, Thomas Edison whom we all know for inventing lightbulbs, does not have a PHD at the back of his name like all scientists do. Similarly, CEOs do not always have MBA. There are countless of such examples, but you get the idea.
At the end of the day, anyone who is out in the work force will be able to tell you this. Its always about performance. Your career prospects hinges on your ability to add value to the company more than anything else including your credentials. Whether you take ACCA or SQP, what is important is that you truly grasp something from your learning and take it to good use. Both curriculum, with strikingly similar modules, will be able to groom you into a great accountant. Our only hope is that you make a choice with due consideration. The future ahead is dazzlingly bright for you.