Budget 2020 is clearly designed to grow the Malaysian economy sustainably and to future-proof key stakeholders for the digital revolution and developments, said Dr. Nurmazilah Dato’ Mahzan, CEO, MIA in her response to the tabling of Budget 2020.

According to Dr. Nurmazilah, many of MIA’s core initiatives and activities – both current and future – are already aligned with the Budget and its Shared Prosperity Vision.

Advocating Digital Transformation

For example, Budget 2020’s measures to accelerate the digital economy are timely and aligned with MIA’s aspiration for its members to play a larger role in the digital transformation of their respective organisations, as strategic business advisors and partners, she explained.

The MIA welcomes the following incentives to drive digital transformation:

  • 50% matching grant of up to RM5,000 for subscription to selected/approved digital systems
  • Allocation of RM550 million for Smart Automation matching grants worth up to RM2 million per company
  • One-stop Digital Enhancement Centres
  • Digital Social Responsibility (DSR)
  • Widening SME access to digital financing options such as Equity CrowdFunding (ECF) and Peer-to-Peer (P2P) platforms, which will improve access to finance for underserved SMEs.

Attracting Sustainable Value-Added FDI

MIA supports the government’s commitment to channel resources in improving governance and service delivery in line with its principles of Competency, Accountability and Transparency (CAT).

Dr Nurmazilah

These are integral to good governance and building trust in public institutions, which is a key driver in attracting FDIs and assuring investor confidence.

“To strengthen trust and bridge the trust deficit, it is important that these public institutions provide accurate and complete financial and non-financial information, in order to demonstrate accountability and stewardship and to reinforce their credibility,” said Dr. Nurmazilah.

The reliability and transparency of financial reporting is also important in attracting FDI.

Accountants play a pivotal role in these areas either as preparers, auditors, regulators or those charged with governance.

Building Capabilities for Local Accountancy Firms

MIA is constantly exploring ways to build capabilities among local accountancy firms to improve productivity. Building regional alliances is one means of building capabilities and will enable local firms to tap the growing potential of ASEAN and Asian markets.

The government’s move to raise the ceiling on Market Development Grant (MDG) by Malaysia External Trade Development Corporation (MATRADE) to RM300,000, will be very useful in incentivising and supporting local accountancy firms to go regional.

The cap on entry to export exhibitions has also been raised to RM25,000, enabling better access to export marketing opportunities and formation of regional alliances and networks for local accountancy firms.

Strengthening Leadership in Islamic Finance

The establishment of the Special Committee in Islamic Finance (JKKI) will provide further impetus to further promote and develop the Islamic finance (IF) ecosystem and strengthen Malaysia’s leadership as a centre of excellence in IF.

One of the objectives of JKKI that will be established is to organise outreach initiatives and professional courses to promote deeper understanding of Islamic finance nationwide. “This is in line with MIA’s ongoing IF Pupillage Programme as well as the development of our upcoming Islamic finance textbook which have the aim to build competency and capacity in Islamic finance among accountants,” said Dr. Nurmazilah.

Strengthening the Talent Pipeline Through Education

MIA also welcomes the generous funding of RM192 million for professional certification programmes, including professional accountancy programmes, under Yayasan Peneraju Pendidikan Bumiputera.

This allocation will enable greater numbers of Bumiputera students to take up professional accounting qualifications. This will ultimately lead to the upskilling and diversification of talent, strengthening of the accountancy talent pipeline and uplifting of the Bumiputera community.

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