The Singapore Management University’s (SMU) School of Accountancy (SoA) has launched a new Audit and Assurance Work-Study Elective course. Students enrolled in this programme will have the opportunity to undergo a 20-week extended internship at Deloitte in Singapore.

Audit and assurance is one of the major career pathways for accounting graduates. Many of SMU accounting graduates started their careers as auditors in professional services firms. Digitalisation has transformed the audit profession in the last few years. The future of audit has also been evolving due to the various recent geopolitical developments and the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

With the audit and assurance work-study collaboration with Deloitte, the School aims to make it more flexible for students to better interlace academic learning with structured on-the-job training and obtain greater exposure in practice. This work study experience will help lay the foundation for long-term resiliency in the profession by opening the door to the skills and capabilities required for accountancy students to thrive and continue to be of value when they enter the workforce.

This work-study elective follows two other work-study programmes (WSP) for SoA – the Accounting and Data Analytics WSP with EY introduced this year and the SMU Cyber Risk and Forensics WSP with KPMG which was introduced in 2020.

Yang Chi Chih, Audit & Assurance Talent Leader, Deloitte Southeast Asia, said, “We look forward to welcoming the students into our Deloitte family. Our ultimate goal, through this collaboration, is to provide the students a robust and holistic understanding of the real-world processes, so that they can be future-ready, be resilient in a world where change is the only constant and have the skills to position themselves in a good stead amidst the changes. This will go a long way to enhance their employability and readiness to thrive in full-time employment with Deloitte or with any other organisation.”

Cheng Qiang, Dean, School of Accountancy and Lee Kong Chian Chair Professor of Accounting, SMU, said, “An efficient and impeccable audit is of paramount importance to business health. Today’s businesses are run differently and with changes such as the emergence of continuous auditing and data analytics used in audit, SMU is proactively retooling how we teach our students to prepare them for changes in the auditing field. We are very happy to partner with Deloitte to provide this unique opportunity for SMU students to gain a set of versatile technical skills in audit through this work-study collaboration.”

About the SMU Audit and Assurance Work-Study Elective

Students who opt for this Work Study Elective can expect a well-rounded experience where they will  acquire technical knowledge, develop a growth mindset through working with cross border and cross cultural teams, as well as be exposed to analytics and digital tools that can add value to their work. Students will get to witness first-hand from their team leaders and colleagues at Deloitte how these capabilities, skills and technology are enabling Deloitte to deliver as a team. Their mentors will guide them to gain valuable industry exposure and develop skill sets that place them in good stead for their career.

Previously, students embark on a 10-week internship during their vacation break. If they wish to take on an extended internship, students will need to apply for a leave of absence and may have to delay their graduation. Now, under the work-study arrangement, students will have the opportunity to experience an extended 20-week internship during the semester. They will work for four days at Deloitte and study two courses on campus concurrently.

The course is open to all SMU students and the school will be accepting applications in August 2021. The first run of the Work-Study Elective is planned for December 2021 to April 2022.

At the virtual MOU signing ceremony – From top L-R from SMU: Cheng Qiang, Dean, School of Accountancy; Lee Kong Chian Chair Professor of Accounting; Prof Gary Pan, Professor of Accounting (Education); Associate Dean (Undergraduate Admissions and Student Development); Academic Director, SMU-X and Assoc Prof Seow Poh Sun, Associate Professor of Accounting (Education); Associate Dean (Teaching and Curriculum) and Bottom L-R from Deloitte: Mr Shariq Barmaky, Regional Managing Partner, Audit & Assurance; Mr Yang Chi Chih, Talent Leader, Audit & Assurance and Mr Haridas Kanagasabai, Talent Partner, Audit & Assurance.

 

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