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The Complete Guide To Accounting Services In Singapore

All you need to know about Singapore’s Accounting Firms’ Services: M&A Advisory Singapore, Forensic Support Services, HR Outsourcing Services Singapore

Introduction

image of a person consulting an accountant

For small and large businesses alike, accounting services are essential. Businesses can use the services of an accounting firm to stay on top of local and international accounting, audit and tax standards and achieve financial growth and maintain good accounting and bookkeeping practices. Taking care of business-related activities can drain your mental and physical energies; instead, take the time to channel those energies toward your core services and products. Once your revenue rises above $1 million, or your company has a considerable number of employees, it’s time to invest in professional accounting services.

Depending on your needs and financial requirements, a professional accounting firm can provide a wide range of services including basic bookkeeping, tax services, audits, management consulting, fraud investigations, and even serves as an outsourced chief financial officer to oversee your small business’ finances. A good accounting company can advise startups, SMEs and MNCs on the right investment and the best structure for their business in order to ensure financial stability. For this reason, successful business owners must know what to look for when outsourcing their accounting. Read on as we guide you through the types of services that an accounting firm offers, the functions accounting firms play in companies, and the special financial services offered at our accounting company here at Nexia TS.

 

PART 2 – Accounting Services In Singapore

2.1. Types Of Accounting Services

image of a bookkeeper

In the same way that the life cycles of businesses change, so do the needs of financial management. Bookkeeping is often sufficient for startups and in the early phases of businesses. But as businesses continue to grow and evolve, management accounting becomes increasingly important. Similar to how financial management has shifted from complying with legal obligations to making business decisions based on data, accounting service requirements have evolved over the years. 

Today, accounting firms in Singapore offer many different types of accounting services. The services you can obtain from a professional accounting firm can be customised to meet your organisation’s needs. In this section, we will be going over the various types of accounting services we offer at Nexia TS.

The robust audit firm methodology we employ provides timely and insightful feedback to management, objective and transparent reports to audit committees, as well as reliable information to investors. By gaining a thorough understanding of your business and industry challenges, we strive to consistently deliver relevant and practical solutions that add value to your business objectives.

A successful and sustainable business is built on the confidence of stakeholders and decision-makers in its financial system. As risk management and corporate governance practices are scrutinised, it is more important than ever for companies to ensure that their financial controls are reliable and financial information is accurate. As a trusted accounting firm in Singapore, we believe that a regular, thorough audit process can add value to an organization, help its directors to make informed decisions, and boost confidence through an independent assessment of financial statements, controls and reporting.

 

1. Assurance and Business Advisory Services

Besides adhering to international auditing standards, our audit company is known for its focus on technical excellence and professional objectivity in order to deliver functional solutions for our clients. With assurance accounting, we develop financial assessment solutions and provide better information context to business decision-makers.

As an assurance accounting service provider, we offer the full range of services, including:

  • Statutory audits
  • Special purpose audits, reviews and certifications
  • Other assurance and attestation services

Our expertise extends beyond our core assurance services to transaction-related support and due diligence, leveraging our strong relationships with private equity and financial markets. We serve a broad range of business needs, including acting as reporting auditors for stock market listings in Singapore and abroad.

 

2. Tax Services

Due to increased scrutiny of global taxes, the worldwide tax environment is becoming more complex. From corporate or personal tax compliance to value-added tax planning and GST registration in Singapore, our team of experienced tax professionals offers a full range of tax services to businesses and individuals.

 

Corporate Tax

Businesses that expand into new markets face greater challenges managing tax risks and complying with reporting requirements. Managing a company’s tax exposure in this dynamic business landscape requires a thorough understanding of all relevant taxes. For a company to maximise economic returns, an effective tax plan must be implemented to maximise the benefits from the applicable tax reliefs and incentives. This is particularly relevant for companies that are undergoing restructuring or are launching new business ventures.

We offer the following corporate tax services:

 

Tax Compliance

  • The preparation and filing of Singapore corporate or partnership tax returns and computations
  • Assistance with withholding tax compliance matters
  • Respond to queries from the Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore (IRAS)
  • Assist with tax audits and investigations initiated by the IRAS
  • Handle objections and requests for advance rulings, voluntary disclosures of errors

 

Tax Advisory

  • Identify and pursue opportunities for Singapore tax incentives, reliefs or grants to maximise tax savings
  • Examine Singapore and cross-border withholding tax and permanent establishment issues
  • Advice on local and cross-border structuring to ensure tax efficiency taking into account tax losses, group relief, capital gains rules, etc.
  • Review contractual agreements to enhance tax risk management
  • Tax due diligence for IPOs and M&A transactions
  • Advice on tax implications of fundraising activities through loans, share and asset sales
  • Deal with transaction tax costs such as stamp duty
  • Explore the applicability of relevant tax treaties in cross-border tax planning

 

Goods & Services Tax (GST)

Due to the ever-changing nature of business models and global trends, it is important for companies to stay abreast of GST developments, coupled with the increasing likelihood of GST rate hikes in the upcoming years, businesses must minimise risks to avoid undesirable consequences. In the event of non-compliance, tax authorities may impose hefty penalties.

Our GST services include:

  • Apply for GT registration or exemption from GST registration or de-registration
  • Review and e-filing of GST returns, and assist with the claiming of pre-registration input tax claims
  • Assist with replies to GST queries raised by the Inland Revenue of Singapore
  • Advice on GST treatment of day-to-day business transactions
  • Perform due diligence reviews
  • Review and improve GST compliance capabilities through Assisted Self-Help Kit (ASK) review for voluntary disclosure of errors, Assisted Compliance Assurance Programme (ACAP), GST health check
  • Evaluate and assist in the application or renewal for GST relief schemes through ASK review

 

Personal Tax

Individuals who own a business in their own name as sole proprietors or partners are responsible for including their earnings accurately on their personal tax returns. Non-residents are taxed at a flat rate of 22% except that Singapore employment income is taxed at a flat rate of 15% or at resident rates with personal relief, whichever yields a higher tax rate.

If omissions occur, the IRAS may launch a tax audit, which can be time-consuming, costly and tedious. We suggest reviewing your current situation and planning ahead to prevent omissions and maximise the benefits you are entitled to.

Count on our team of professionals for assistance with:

  • Prepare, review and file Singapore individual income tax computations and returns to maximise your rightful benefits and claims under the existing tax legislations
  • Perform a tax review of past returns and recommend and assist in risk-mitigating actions
  • Assist in queries raised by the IRAS, voluntary disclosures of errors, tax audits and investigations
  • Apply for tax incentives/rulings

 

3. Risk Advisory

To achieve its business objectives, management must adapt to and respond to the evolving risk landscape in a rapidly changing business environment. It is not easy to manage growth expectations as well as a variety of complex business risks and compliance requirements. Here at our accounting firm, our team of experienced specialists from our Risk Advisory department can assist and provide insight into your risk management journey.

 

4. Sustainability Reporting

When it comes to running a business, we have to look beyond financial assessments. Researchers have also found that companies that share sustainability reports increase investors’ confidence and improve long-term value. Through sustainability reporting, organizations can be transparent about the risks and opportunities they face, along with the economic, environmental and social impacts of their everyday activities. The report emphasises the company’s values and governance model, which is, in turn, an indication of its commitment to stakeholders. In order to achieve a sustainable economy, businesses and governments need to build and maintain trust.

 

5. Valuation and Transaction Services

Our accounting company offers practical financial and advisory solutions tailored to your business considerations and objectives, whether you want to increase revenue, increase profits or improve your business performance. With our primary focus on business strategy, structure, management, and operations, we provide organizations with recommendations, additional resources, or the implementation of solutions.

 

6. Reporting Auditors Services

For any company, going public is often a complicated and time-consuming process. As an experienced audit company, our qualified auditors provide a practical and thorough step-by-step process to assist with your company’s listing requirements with a clear, detailed plan for achieving success.

If you or your company are experiencing any of the following situations, get in touch with our team and we can assist you:

  • A private company with no prior experience in accessing the capital markets
  • Financial records which are complicated by a re-organisation, demerger of operations, or recent changes in accounting rules and regulations
  • Requiring support in terms of specialised knowledge and additional resources to better manage your transaction
  • Keeping to your planned schedule for an effective and timely listing outcome
  • Seeking professional advice to better manage your compliance requirements with regulations and investor expectations once your company goes public

 

7. Cybersecurity & Technology Advisory

As technology advances, Cybersecurity and counter-malicious hacking have become key areas of defence for companies today. Cybersecurity support is provided to our clients in times of peace and/or in the event of an unfortunate hacking incident. Our Cybersecurity & Technology Advisory Services help organisations manage cybercrime incidents, determine IP infringements, and minimise business risks. In turn, this will allow companies to maximise their return on IT investment, strengthen their IT capacities, and improve their overall performance.

 

8. Financial Advisory, Insolvency and Restructuring

The present business environment is ever-changing, with incessant regulatory changes, dynamic markets, and swift technological advances, business enterprises that can sometimes come out of the blue. Because of this, companies often face financial difficulties for a variety of reasons. Businesses are exposed to financial difficulties due to a variety of factors including fraudulent practices, corporate mismanagement, and unfavourable market conditions. Our experienced team at Nexia TS provides a full range of insolvency and restructuring services. Having access to a global network of independent member firms, we can assist clients in resolving issues extending beyond their borders.

 

9. Data Analytics

In today’s increasingly complex business environment, the adoption of data analytics is critical to remain competitive and relevant; drive profitability, optimize resource management and improve business performance via data analytics. Our accounting firm will work with you to digitalise data through the use of AI-Assisted business intelligence and enterprise performance management technology so that you can make better decisions based on greater insight into your business operations. 

 

2.2 Functions of Singapore Accounting Services 

There are different functional services that accounting firms provide to their clients in Singapore, namely Human Resource Management, Finance Management, and Customer Service Management.

In Human Resource Management, accounting services can be used to optimise human capital costs and make succession plans such as payroll processing, employee claims management, insurance and statutory deposits. 

With regard to Financial Management, this service involves the preparation of financial statements, which includes balance sheets, income statements, and cash flow statements. Other services offered by accounting firms in Singapore include Procurement and Supplies, Receivables and Payables, Customer/Supplier Order Management, Invoice Processing, and Billing.

Accounting firms in Singapore offer valuable services in Customer Service Management, such as asset management, inventory management, and helping to minimise inventory carrying costs, and sales management including customer relationship management.

 

PART 3 – SPECIAL FINANCIAL SERVICES AT NEXIA TS

Besides offering basic accounting services, our accounting company is known as one of the top accounting firms in Singapore due to the specialised financial services we provide. Read on as we explore all the different special financial services offered here at Nexia TS: Forensic Support Services,  M&A Advisory, and HR Outsourcing Services.

 

3.1. What Is Forensic Accounting? (324 words)

In our Forensic & Litigation Support Services, also known as Forensic Accounting, we apply the skills of accounting, auditing, and investigative skills to examine the finances of an individual or business and uncover any fraud and other financial crimes. Our Forensic & Litigation Support Services provide accounting analysis suitable for use in legal proceedings. At Nexia TS, our forensic accountants understand the importance of analysing business reality rather than relying on numbers alone. An accounting service of this type is commonly used in fraud and embezzlement cases to demonstrate the financial crimes that were committed in court. 

A forensic accountant is generally experienced in reviewing financial statements, computer systems, and other accounting information in order to uncover embezzlement, tampering, and other financial violations. Forensic accountants are often called upon by employers and law enforcement agencies to testify in court cases involving monetary impropriety. Accounting forensics can also assist with setting up fraud detection and prevention systems for your business in order to minimise financial risks from your employees.

forensic accountant investigating a fraud activity

Forensic & Litigation Support Services

The purpose of forensic accounting is to quantify losses in litigation. The quantifications are used by parties in legal disputes to help negotiate settlements or resolve court cases. For instance, there can be disputes regarding compensation and benefits. During these instances, we can provide forensic support services to assist with the dispute if it escalates to a court case where our experienced specialists can serve as expert witnesses.

In partnership with Smith & Williamson, Nexia TS is guided by experts in the area of forensics and litigation support services, which positions us well to provide cost-effective services, including the preservation and collection of information from multiple sources and related investigation and dispute resolution services for your investigation, arbitration, and litigation.

As a result of intense business competition, individual greed and a desire to live an extravagant lifestyle, fraudulent activity has increased in scope and prevalence, posing a serious threat to all businesses.

 

3.2. Tips On Achieving Mergers & Acquisitions Success In Singapore

Accounting Company closing a company

Businesses have had to make significant changes to their operations as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. The shift toward digital technologies and e-commerce has greatly increased the need for companies to revise their business strategies and processes. Consequently, a significant number of companies are searching for ways to grow their businesses through merger and acquisition activity.  

In this section, we will discuss tips on how you can achieve mergers and acquisitions successfully, as well as how to engage a trustworthy accounting firm to assist with the mergers and acquisitions process.

 

Mergers and Acquisitions: What’s the Difference?

In essence, a merger involves the union of two distinct entities coming together to create a new organisation. Meanwhile, an acquisition is the takeover of one entity by another. In order to create value for shareholders, mergers and acquisitions may be completed to gain market share or broaden a company’s reach.

Most mergers are done for the purpose of reducing operational costs, expanding into new markets, and boosting revenue and profits. In most cases, mergers are voluntary and involve companies that are comparable in terms of size and scope.

Acquisitions do not result in a new company. Consequently, smaller companies often cease to exist and their assets become part of the larger company. Generally, acquisitions (sometimes referred to as takeovers) tend to be viewed as more negative than mergers. As a result, acquiring companies may refer to a takeover as a merger, even though it’s clearly the former. During an acquisition, one company assumes all management decisions for another company. Often, acquisitions require substantial cash, but the buyer retains complete control.

 

Mergers & Acquisitions: How To Complete Them Successfully?

It can be tricky to execute mergers and acquisitions well and achieve shareholder and customer value, but this is not impossible. An accounting firm that offers M&A advisory services is an excellent option for expediting and streamlining the entire process.

For more clarity, we have outlined the benefits of having the right M&A advisor supervise your merger-acquisition effort.

 

1. Ability to market your business to potential buyers and sellers

At Nexia TS, we work with both buyers and sellers. The moment you decide to sell your business, you want the transaction to be completed as efficiently as possible. With the help of our M&A advisory services, your business will be marketed to individuals and companies who are qualified and aligned with your search criteria. In the same way, we help you find the right business if you’re looking to buy one. As a client of the top accounting firm in Singapore, you will have priority access to the companies represented by our firm.

 

2.  Align with your business goals

A clear set of business objectives is essential for your company’s success.  Our M&A advisors can guide you in tailoring your exit strategy to meet your goals.  The key to achieving great results is to have a trusted M&A advisor by your side, seamlessly guiding you through the process.

 

3.  Assess your business’s accurate value

An accurate valuation of your company is crucial when you are involved in a merger or acquisition process. In the process, this is an important step since potential buyers will want comprehensive details on the earnings of your company. M&A advisory firms such as Nexia TS will evaluate your company’s assets, profit margins and performance, industry trends, compatible companies, as well as the economy, to determine the value of your business. By doing so, you can gain a clearer understanding of your strengths and weaknesses, while also having more leverage during negotiations.

Importance Of Getting M&A Advisory In Singapore

The process of selling your business can take months or years, and you need to work constantly to find the right buyer, while still running your company. When you hire a skilled M&A advisor, you can focus on your company’s core operations instead of seeking out prospective buyers. A knowledgeable advisor provides guidance from beginning to end including the phases of target identification, strategy development, due diligence, execution and closing of the acquisition deal. 

Nexia TS is a professional accounting firm in Singapore that offers M&A advisory services. Our M&A sell-side advisory helps companies to ensure that the business value is optimised for the client. Meanwhile, our M&A buy-side advisory helps in sourcing valuable targets across our extensive regional and global networks.

 

3.3. The Importance Of Outsourcing HR For Your Business 

Nowadays, as a business’s future is increasingly dependent on its culture and employee loyalty, the role of human resources management, as well as the types of benefits it offers, has become increasingly critical. Nevertheless, small and medium-sized companies often have a difficult time competing in these areas. The budgets of smaller companies often don’t support the necessary personnel, and HR issues can be so complex that they require the expertise of an outsourced HR service provider.

In some cases, even if a business is capable of employing a HR department, it’s not always considered a worthwhile investment. By outsourcing HR services, companies are able to save funds, which allows them to invest in core activities that ultimately contribute to business growth. Here are some reasons why businesses today should outsource all or part of their HR needs:

 

1. Support and guidance from qualified and experienced HR specialists

By outsourcing HR services, your company will receive professional guidance and advice from a complete team of HR, payroll, compliance, recruiting, and HR technology specialists without having to incur overhead expenses such as salaries, taxes, insurance, vacation, and office rent. As a result, you get access to their expertise and wealth of experience at a reasonable rate.

 

2. Reduce your employment compliance risks

Laws and regulations governing employment are constantly evolving and becoming more complex. By working with a competent and reputable outsourced HR service like us, you can be sure that we are kept apprised of any recent changes to employment laws and regulations and that we can help you stay in compliance.

 

3. Offer better benefits to your employees

By enlisting in our professional HR Advisory Services, we can help you gain access to the entire marketplace of benefits as well as provide you with sound advice on how to structure a competitive and attractive reward package for your employees. As a result, your company will not only retain competent employees, but it will also be more attractive to potential candidates in the near future.

Our HR Advisory Services at Nexia TS include the following:

  • Drafting of standard employment contract
  • Develop a standard employee handbook
  • Evaluate jobs and salary & reward structure
  • Other ad-hoc duties as needed

Conclusion

To wrap things up, outsourcing accounting services in Singapore comes with a myriad of benefits. Firstly, it saves you a lot of costs. Typically, the hiring of internal accountants, accounts managers, and a CFO involves a lot of employee expenses in addition to indirect costs arising from administrative costs and statutory regulations.

Additionally, outsourcing accounting services allows business owners to maximise their productivity. Most business owners and top management executives take on a variety of tasks, including product and service development, marketing management, CRM, and risk management, among others. In any case, accounting outsourcing can liberate them from all of these administrative and accounting-related issues. Instead, their time can be better spent on developing business strategies, improving product and service quality, and expanding their businesses. On top of that, by outsourcing the best accounting services in Singapore, you ensure that your accounts are handled by a team of experts with extensive knowledge, thus simplifying compliance with tax laws and possible savings.

 

How Are Accounting Firms In Singapore Adapting To Post-Covid-19?

Lastly, the recent COVID-19 pandemic has forced the entire world to accept virtuality as the new norm, including the accounting services industry and accounting firms that have embraced technological innovations in the cloud accounting field are much more prepared to handle the threat of COVID-19.

In spite of the fact that safety measures to combat COVID-19 such as the circuit breaker period have been discontinued in 2020, there are safe management guidelines that accounting firms should adhere to when adopting new working methods such as working from home, flexible working hours, and alternate working days of on-site attendance. The Singapore economy is heavily digitalised and encourages accounting firms to embrace cutting-edge technologies like artificial intelligence. In Singapore, we believe that the accounting industry needs to be more technology-driven. That is why here at Nexia TS, we strive to integrate these new practices:

  • Onboarding clients online

We no longer share documents online; our accounting firm works with clients via digital means. In addition to improved client retention, client onboarding also results in a higher level of client satisfaction as it ensures clients’ needs and expectations are met. 

  • Moving to cloud-based accounting

In Singapore, cloud accounting services have already become commonplace, and all small firms, including startups, should begin using online cloud accounting services, which can be accessed at any time and from anywhere.

  • Collaboration and communication through virtual means

As social distancing becomes the norm, Singapore’s accounting firms will gradually move from the real world to the virtual one. In the future, video communication with customers is likely to become the norm.

With all the information that has been provided to you about our basic and specialised accounting services, we hope that this article helps you make more informed business decisions that will eventually lead to more growth for your business. Our goal is to assist you with financial matters related to your company so that you remain at the forefront of your industry. Contact us today to learn more about what we do at Nexia TS.

Topics in this Pulse

Pulse, 2022, Accounting & Outsourcing

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