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Singapore University of Social Sciences

Singapore University of Social Sciences

Signing of the MOU

To prepare their undergraduates for a career in the social service sector, the Singapore University of Social Sciences (SUSS), expressed a keen interest in forging an Internship cum Service Learning Programme with Shared Services for Charities (SSC). The SUSS students, coming from the School of Business, Accountancy Programme, will be attached to SSC for a specified duration, in order to develop professional skills required of accountants, working in Singapore’s charity sector. The programme will cover a one-month internship period, either in June or December each year.

To seal this relationship, a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) signing ceremony, between SUSS & SSC, was held on Monday, 13 November 2017 at the Singapore University of Social Sciences. Signing on behalf of SUSS was Associate Professor Lee Pui Mun, Dean School of Business (right of photograph) and Chris Ong, Chief Executive Officer, Shared Services for Charities (left of photograph).

Miss Jasmine Tay, made history, when she became the first SUSS student to participate in the  Internship Programme. Read about her internship experience, in the sub-page entitled, “Interns.”

Practicing Accounting With A Social Aim

The subject title, conjures in my mind, the image of the Tin Man in the Wizard of Oz. This affable character yearned so much for a heart, that he was willing to travel along the Yellow Brick Road, to meet the proverbial Wizard. Thinking all the while that he had no heart, when, he was indeed, more caring and compassionate, than his other intrepid travellers. Nevertheless, when he was finally given a symbolic heart, the Tin Man felt complete; without realising that he had, not just a heart, but a big heart.

Accountants are also people with hearts. Yet their “cold & distant” persona, pervades the mistaken impression of them being persons of no heart. Their being scrupulously meticulous, miserly with their accolades, albeit fair and balanced, devoid of emotions in their reporting, perpetuates this popular urban myth.

The School of Business at the University of Social Sciences (SUSS) offers a Bachelor of Accountancy programme. The primary focus of this programme is to provide professional training and the spirit of this training is encompassed in our guiding aim; students are trained to be “qualified, competent and confident accountants. It equips them with strong academic and professional knowledge & skills in key subjects, such as accounting, assurance and attestation, law, taxation & information technology.”These are skills required of all professional accountants. What this programme aims to do further, besides providing professional training, is to inculcate in our graduates a habit of serving society.  Wanting to leverage on its own eponymous as a university for supporting social sciences, SUSS intends suffusing the tenets of social sciences into their accountancy curriculum, with the aim of graduating“Accountants with a Heart.”One way is to have the students doing the internship in the charity environment.

Forging a partnership with Shared Services for Charities (SSC), SUSS & SSC will jointly run workshops and seminars on the charities sector. These workshops and seminars shall promote the importance of robust accounting practices in this sector, such as clarifying the Code of Governance for Charities & IPCs and propagating internal audit as a value-add function.  Together with providing internships to SUSS students, these SSC activities hope to help achieve the “Big Heart”.

SUSS and SSC are excited to start this transformative journey to cultivate the “Accountants with a Heart” to contribute to Singapore and eventually to spread the goodwill among our neighbouring countries.

An Internship Experience – Jasmine Tay

I spent 6 memorable weeks during my internship at Shared Services for Charities (SSC). Through this 6 weeks, I was given the opportunity to learn and uncover for myself, the intricacies of internal audit. I contributed in two internal audit projects which allowed me to gain different insights into the different charity sectors and it furthered my understanding of internal audit controls. It was an eye-opening experience for me to be able to see and better understand how internal controls were carried out at the organisation’s level, which was unlike what I have learnt in school.

Other than helping in the audit team, I have also helped in SSC’s outreach efforts. I had helped to transform SSC’s various and scattered existing donors’ data into a consolidated donors’ list with relevant contact information. The consolidation of data would greatly benefit and improve SSC’s future outreach processes. I am glad that my contributions were able to make an improvement in SSC’s current operations!

The colleagues at SSC has been very friendly and welcoming. They have welcomed me into their little family for the past 6 weeks and I always looked forward to having lunch together with them. They were always available whenever I needed help or further clarifications. The colleagues were also always willing to share their own personal experiences and advice with me which I am deeply grateful for.

In conclusion, my internship journey at SSC was extremely rewarding as I gained valuable insights in internal audit and further knowledge on the Charities sector in Singapore. I am thankful to have the opportunity to intern at SSC.