The 15th Washington SyCip Lecture went new normal when it became an online activity. Department of Finance Assistant Secretary Atty. Dakila Elteen M. Napao, delivered the lecture “The Accountants’ Role in the Revival of the National and Global Economy” on November 5, 2020 via Zoom.
In his lecture, Napao presented the government’s programs and initiatives in combatting the impact of COVID-19 pandemic to the economy such as the four-pillar strategy which consists of the lifeline assistance to vulnerable groups, improvement of the healthcare system, the recovery programs, and the bold fiscal and monetary initiatives. Moreover, the Assistant Secretary highlighted the accountants’ role on the path to strong economic recovery re-counting the story of Mr. Washington Z. Sycip, a UST alumnus, who played a vital role in the revival of the Philippine economy after the World War II by providing management advisory services and adding value to the financial reports of the business entities.
The lecture was followed by the discussions of the panel of reactors composed of representatives from the faculty, professional organizations, industry partners, and alumni. Prof. Yew Kee Ho, visiting faculty of the UST-Alfredo M. Velayo College of Accountancy from the Singapore Institute of Technology talked on the re-positioning of the accounting education in the next economy. In his discussion, Prof. Ho expounded on the attributes of the next economy, the key technology megatrends, the skills of the future, and the future of the accounting education.
Industry representative Mr. Allan W. Ocho, Consulting Partner of SGV & Co., discoursed on the three transformative value drivers: placing humans at the center of their organization, leveraging technology at speed, and enabling innovation at scale, which according to him are what the companies need to look into in order to thrive in the market place specially during this time of economic crisis.
Representing the ASEAN Accounting Education Workgroup, Prof. Zubir Azhar, a Senior Lecturer from the Universiti Sains Malaysia, talked on the technical skills and competencies needed by the accountants in terms of meeting the demands of the industry. According to him, skills for contemporary accounting success include effective data and technology, communication, accounting knowledge, problem solving, and professionalism. Moreover, he added that the qualities of working effectively with others, self-awareness, critical thinking, enterprise and self-management and responsibility must also be emphasized.
Finally, Mr. Ace Ver C. Vargas, a Senior Audit Associate of the PWC Isla Lipana & Co. and representing the alumni talked on the resiliency of accounting and finance professionals in the face of socio-economic uncertainty. Mr. Vargas also discussed the challenges of businesses and industries to combat the economic hurdles brought about by the pandemic.
The 15th Washington SyCip Lecture (WSL) served as the highlight of the 16th Founding Anniversary Celebration of the UST-Alfredo M. Velayo College of Accountancy. Named after an eminent figure in the Asian business landscape and a Thomasian, the annual lecture is conducted in memory of the late Mr. Washington SyCip, one of the founders of the accounting giant SGV & Co. which stands for SyCip, Gorres, Velayo & Co., and features a discussion on relevant topic affecting the accountancy profession and the business landscape as a whole.