By Nazatul Izma Abdullah

MIA’s strategic digital agenda is to future-proof the profession and support nation-building by advocating and enabling technology adoption.

“The accountancy profession is the backbone to a prosperous nation in Malaysia,” said MIA CEO Dr. Nurmazilah Dato’ Mahzan at the AccTech Conference 2019, themed “Advancing Tech for the Next Generation”.

“MIA is the regulator and developer of the accountancy profession in Malaysia, as stated in the Accountants Act 1967. By improving our regulation and development using enablers such as digital and technology, we develop ethical and professional accountants who operate with good values and governance to support healthy business and economic development. This in turn supports good governance in the markets and business and social ecosystems, protects the public interest, creates credibility, confidence and trust, and makes Malaysia more sustainable and competitive,” she explained.

To drive technology adoption in the profession, MIA has put in place an integrated digital strategy that is being driven through several key initiatives:-

– The AccTech Conference franchise – kicked off in 2018, designed to expose accountants to the latest technological solutions and trends impacting them

– The award-winning and internationally recognised MIA Digital Technology Blueprint launched in 2018

  • outlines five principles for accountants to adopt technology in their organisations.
  • a platform for MIA’s increasing global and regional recognition as an authority on digital adoption for the profession.
  • following the launch of the Blueprint, the International Federation of Accountants (IFAC) invited Dr. Nurmazilah to speak at its Chief Executives’ Forum in February 2019 in New York on the “Future of the Profession: Embracing the Drivers of Disruption”.
  • MIA contributed an article on the Blueprint as a guide for ASEAN accountants in AFA’s publication AFAConnect. As the Asean Economic Community (AEC) grows, intraAsean business transactions must be supported by efficient, competent and digitally adept accountants.
  • MIA was awarded the OpenGov Malaysian Recognition of Excellence award for the Blueprint, as part of OpenGov’s regional Recognition of Excellence series in conjunction with the 5th Annual Malaysia OpenGov Leadership Forum held in Kuala Lumpur in 2019. OpenGov is a content platform focused on ICT-related knowledge and information sharing for the public sector and governments in Asia Pacific.

– Strong advocacy for public sector digital transformation to enhance public sector financial management and good governance.

  • MIA has organised several recurring conferences and programmes such as the Data Intelligence Conference 2019 – Public Sector to educate the public sector on related technology adoption.
  • MIA supports the government’s proposed initiative on data sharing between government agencies and statutory bodies to enhance delivery of public goods and services.

– Support for MIA members and the profession as they adopt technology

  • MIA is championing the Industry-Wide Electronic Bank Confirmation Platform which facilitates electronic confirmations by Malaysian auditors in order to enhance the efficiency and security of the external confirmation process.
  • Providing free trial access to the RoboCFO AI-enabled analytical platform that enables members to test accounting solutions and familiarises them with the tools on the market prior to purchase.
  • Delivering learning events and conferences designed to address members’ and accountants’ technology issues such as data intelligence analytics conferences, cashless economy conferences and AccTech

– Digital Policy Recommendations for Economic and Social Development

  • Presented memoranda on digital transformation incentives and policy recommendations from the perspective of the accountancy profession at the NAPSEC Roundtable and MITI CONSULTATIVE DIALOGUE 2019 (MCD 2019)
  • Key recommendations for digital transformation were picked up by the government and incorporated in the upcoming Budget 2019
  • Leading statutory body and voice of the profession advocating for Industrial Revolution 4.0 (IR4.0) programmes and initiatives for the Malaysian services sector

– Strategic Collaborative Leadership 

  • Spearhead collaborations between MIA as the profession’s regulator and developer with expert technical and technology partners to transform the profession, business and the nation.
  • Examples of collaborations with expert partners include the Industry-Wide Electronic Bank Confirmation Platform championed by MIA and endorsed by Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) and the
  • Association of Banks Malaysia (ABM) as well as the RoboCFO workshop.
  • Established a dedicated Digital Technology Implementation committee (DT IC) chaired by an MIA Council Member and comprising five working groups to drive implementation.

– Ensuring MIA’s Digital Transformation to Support the Profession

  • Strengthening MIA as a digital organisation through implementing initiatives such as the MIA Digital Membership Privilege Card, the MIA Membership Information System (MMIS) and e-
  • Accountants Today to support development and regulation.
  • Gathering data from stakeholder engagement and surveys to support informed decision-making, laser-focused initiatives as well as effective and efficient allocation of MIA’s limited resources
  • Launched the 2019 survey on technology adoption in the accountancy profession, as a follow-up to the 2017 benchmark survey.

Embedding Ethics

Even as MIA urges accountants to embrace technology to enhance their relevance and add value in the IR4.0 era, the Institute is placing equally strong emphasis on embedding ethics and upholding digital governance in the public interest. “As accountants, the founding principles of trust and integrity will still prevail in whatever world we live and operate in,” concluded Dr. Nurmazilah.

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