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Deloitte and KPMG announce salary raises for selected groups of employees in Singapore

Deloitte and KPMG announce salary raises for selected groups of employees in Singapore

The firms' announcements come following recommendations by the Accountancy Workforce Review Committee released on 10 May, which focus on ensuring good careers, creating quality pathways, and strengthening professional capabilities.

KPMG in Singapore has announced salary raises for its employees across Audit, Tax, and Enterprise Risk Services, effective October 2024. Totalling an aggregate investment of S$30mn, these raises are expected to "substantially benefit eligible staff up to the manager level."

Through this move, the firm said it aims to signal its resolve in offering a compelling remuneration framework amidst fierce competition for skilled professionals, while further aligning with latest developments for the profession, such as the recommendations from the Accountancy Workforce Review Committee released on 10 May.

To add on, KPMG’s audit professionals achieving certifications from the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants or CPA Australia, and tax professionals with the Accredited Tax Practitioner certification, are set to receive salary enhancements, effective the same month. With this, the firm hopes to foster professional growth and accreditation, reflecting its "commitment in rewarding a broad spectrum of professional accreditations and qualifications that enhance the capabilities of its workforce."

The raise comes as part of KPMG's announcement that it is investing S$100mn in growing its talent for the future, over the next five years. Building on previous investments, this latest move is geared towards expanding comprehensive learning opportunities for its 3,500-plus employees, enabling them to secure qualifications and acquire new skills.

Apart from competitive salary adjustments for eligible employees, the funds will also be directed to the adoption of leading-edge technology. 

Lee Sze Yeng, Managing Partner of KPMG in Singapore
, acknowledges the complexities reshaping the business environment and the professional services sector at large: "In response to the evolving dynamics within the accounting profession and the broader challenges presented by macro-economic uncertainties, regulatory changes, and the growing significance of emerging technologies and ESG factors, KPMG’s strategic investment in competitive salaries, technological advancements, and comprehensive training initiatives aims to support our people in navigating these complexities."

KPMG is also channelling investments into creating a future-ready workforce, looking to emphasise that attractiveness in professional services extends beyond financial incentives. Over S$25mn will go towards training and upskilling programmes for its employees in the next five years. This includes support for staff to achieve globally recognised professional qualifications and certifications, the firm added.

As affirmed in its statement, KPMG said it actively supports its audit and tax employees in pursuing professional accreditations. These efforts, such as by offering paid study leave, exam fees and tuition fees, align with its goal to elevate the excellence of its people by encouraging further education and continuous learning. Training initiatives include critical skills such as futurist capabilities, artificial intelligence, data literacy, analytics and ESG, among others.

Lastly, KPMG is dedicating around S$50mn towards technological advancements, including the development of emerging technologies and generative artificial intelligence. These investments will enable employees to undertake more strategic and value-added tasks, maintaining the profession's appeal through meaningful job roles.

In related news, Deloitte Singapore has also announced that it will be increasing the starting salary for graduates joining the firm as first-year audit associates.

The starting salary for first-year hires joining Deloitte under its FasTrack programme, an accelerated audit career programme, will be S$4,500 starting 1 September 2024 — coinciding with the entry of this year’s batch of fresh graduates. 

On the other hand, the starting monthly salary for non-FasTrack first-year hires joining Deloitte as auditors will be S$4,100. These adjustments mark an increase of 20% in the annual salary package for fresh graduates joining Deloitte as auditors, compared to the current annual salary package.

The firm said this increase is "in support of the government’s plans to strengthen the attractiveness of the accountancy sector and grow Singapore’s pool of skilled accounting professionals."

With these salary adjustments, Deloitte's overall investment to nurture audit talent within their first five years with the firm from 1 September 2024 will amount to around S$62mn. This encompasses professional qualification courses as well as training courses and modules to equip them with future-forward skills such as generative artificial intelligence, data analytics, and sustainability assurance.

Beyond monetary investment, the firm will also provide mentorship, apprenticeship and on-the-job training that prepares employees for a career in Deloitte, or outside of service delivery, for instance as finance and accounting professionals in organisations across industries and sectors.

This announcement also comes in line with the recommendations by the Accountancy Workforce Review Committee.

Sharing some context, Shariq Barmaky, Country Managing Partner, Deloitte Singapore, said: "There has been an imbalance in recent years, where interest in an accountancy degree has waned as undergraduates explore emerging fields of study, such as new technologies and environment and sustainability, even as the demand for auditors is increasing given that businesses are transforming to meet the changing needs of today’s marketplace.”

In an effort to boost the accountancy profession, Deloitte has also been working closely with the Institute of Singapore Chartered Accountants, Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority, and other regulatory and professional bodies, alongside the accounting faculties at the universities, to develop programmes and opportunities to make accountancy an attractive career.

Yang Chi Chih, Audit & Assurance Leader, Deloitte Singapore
, added, “This investment allows accounting graduates to have stable career progression as auditors at Deloitte from Associates to Managers, generally over the course of four years or less, for graduates under our FasTrack programme. We provide them with the technical training that will equip them with future-forward skills such as generative artificial intelligence, data analytics and sustainability.”

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