The Charity Council collaborated with the Centre for Social Development Asia (CSDA) and the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA) to launch two publications on Singapore’s Social Service sector at the Book Launch Event: Doing Good Better in Singapore on 15 April 2019.
The publications are:
- Doing Good in Singapore Part 1 – Adapting to the Future, and Doing Good in Singapore Part 2 – Resourcing for the Future
- Accounting and Finance Handbooks for Charities
156 participants from 86 charities attended the book launch event held at Shaw Foundation Alumni House, National University of Singapore (NUS). The event started off with a Welcome Address by Associate Professor Corrine Ghoh, Associate Professor (Practice), Department of Social Work, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (FASS), NUS. Dr Ang Hak Seng, Commissioner of Charities also provided his Welcome Remarks, thanking the various partners for contributing towards the building of a well-governed charity sector.
The event was followed by an Opening Address from Guest of Honour, Mr Desmond Lee, Minister for Social and Family Development. Minister Desmond Lee showed his appreciation for the academics, regulators, corporate partners and leaders from various social organisations for developing resources that would benefit the charity sector. Minister Lee urged charities to make good use of the publications to build up their financial and accounting management, as well as to have a better understanding of the future challenges of the social service sector.
Dr Isabel Sim, Senior Research Fellow, Department of Social Work, FASS, NUS followed on to provide participants with a background on the topics and content covered in each of the books, together with Associate Professor Alfred Loh and Retired Professor Teo Chee Khiang from NUS Business School. After which, they presented the publications, Doing Good in Singapore; Accounting and Finance Handbooks for Charities to Minister Lee.
After a short break, the session continued with the first Panel Session: Transforming the Singapore Charity Sector – Leading Towards Future Readiness. The session consisted of the following panellists:
- Ms Peh Kim Choo, Chief Executive Officer, Tsao Foundation and Director, Hua Mei Centre for Successful Ageing (Moderator)
- Dr Ang Hak Seng, Commissioner of Charities
- Mr Sim Gim Guan, Chief Executive Officer, National Council of Social Service
- Mr Tim Oei, Chief Executive Officer, National Kidney Foundation
The panel session started with the panellists providing key insights on the trends and challenges facing the social service sector as well as how charities should resource and adapt for the future. Dr Ang Hak Seng emphasised the directive towards co-regulation in building a thriving and trusted charity sector. He said donors, charities, intermediaries and beneficiaries all have a role to play. Mr Sim Gim Guan shared the model of social service in Singapore and the initiatives available to support charities in building their capabilities. The panellists urged charities to make good use of the resources and programmes available.
The event was followed by a second Panel Session: Best Practices in Accounting and Finance for the Charity Sector. The session consisted of the following panellists:
- Dr Gerard Ee, Chairman, Charity Council (Moderator)
- Ms Susan Foong, Partner, Baker Tilly
- Ms Woo E-Sah, Partner, RSM
- Mr Simon Ng, Deputy President, CFA Society Singapore
- Ms Choo Shiu Ling, Chief Executive Officer, Assisi Hospice
The second panel session focused on topics such as Fund Accounting, Cost-effective Audit, Reserves and Investment. The panellists demonstrated the importance of good accounting and Ms Choo Shiu Ling also shared a case study of Assisi Hospice in successfully implementing Full Cost Recovery. Participants raised questions on the topic of investing their charity’s reserves and sought panellists’ advice on how to manage accountability and expectation of the Board and donors.
To end off the event, Mr Venkkat Ramanan, Regional Vice President – Asia Pacific, Chartered Institute of Management Accountants and Dr S. Vasoo, Associate Professorial Fellow, Department of Social Work, FASS, NUS gave their Closing Address and Closing Remarks respectively. Dr S. Vasoo reiterated that these publications will provide charities a step-by-step guidance on accounting and leadership practices and will be provided at no cost to the public. He hoped that the resources would help charities build up their competencies and develop sustainable good governing practices.
Presentation materials and Publications:
- Book Launch Event: Doing Good Better in Singapore Presentation Slides
- Doing Good in Singapore Part 1 – Adapting to the Future
- Doing Good in Singapore Part 2 – Resourcing for the Future
- Handbook 1 – Budgeting and Cash Flow Management
- Handbook 2 – Fund Accounting for Charities
- Handbook 3 – Full Cost Recovery for Charities
- Handbook 4 – Reserves and Investment
- Handbook 5 – Cost-effective Audit