We are all navigating through the new normal arising from the COVID-19 pandemic as well as the disruptions from the emerging digital economy. Nevertheless, we must all remain committed to MIA’s nation building objective while embracing the enhanced use of technology in our daily lives and work, if the accountancy profession is to serve as a key component in the sustainable development of the economy, society and environment.
In order to progress on the nation building objective, it is imperative that the Institute and the profession focus on our most important priorities. As the new MIA President elected by Council on 26 September 2020 to lead the Institute for the next two years, I look forward to working with our stakeholders to prioritise the following initiatives.
Protection of the public interest is paramount. MIA is mandated to uphold the public interest as the regulator and developer of the accountancy profession, under the Accountants Act 1967. We will continue to engage closely with the Ministry of Finance and all relevant stakeholders to move soonest possible on the reforms needed to the Act. This will strengthen MIA’s regulatory powers and enhance the effectiveness of our surveillance and enforcement role, to ensure that our members behave ethically in discharging their services to their clients. To deliver effective regulation and governance, MIA cannot remain a “toothless tiger” imposing minor penalties or fines on members who have not discharged their duties ethically in accordance with the professional standards.
MIA will also continue to emphasise further on competency development and upskilling capabilities in order to build a future-relevant accountancy profession and produce quality professionals who create value while upholding the profession’s ethics, professional standards and practices. To do this, we will focus on the implementation of the Institute’s Competency Framework and Digital Technology Blueprint to ensure that accountants are upskilled in line with international accountancy education standards and prepared for the IR4.0 economy. We will continue to engage with and provide support to MIA members in all four sectors:
- Commerce & Industry (Professional Accountants in Business) – upskilling for CFOs and the finance function in accordance with MIA’s Competency Frameworks for CFOs and Finance Functions in Public Interest Entities (PIEs)
- Practitioners – upskilling on International Standard on Quality Management (ISQM) and audit quality to bridge expectation gaps
- Public Sector – upskilling on accrual accounting, International Public Sector Accounting Standards (IPSAS) and other relevant areas such as digital disruption, risk management and internal audit
- Academia – engaging closely with the universities as well as the public sector in arriving at an appropriate way forward, as well as upskilling on future relevant teaching and accountancy education.
Equally important is to ensure the sustainability of the Institute – in its operations, financials, talent and technology deployment – so it can deliver on these targeted outcomes. In addition to core areas such as financial reporting, auditing and taxation, the Institute will also continue to enhance its brand recognition and articulate its stance on various advocacy initiatives, including digital transformation, upskilling of our members, sustainable development goals relevant to the profession, governance & trust, risk management, integrated reporting and so forth. This will strengthen the Institute’s visibility as the voice of the profession and communicate the value proposition of the accountancy profession to various stakeholders. I would also remind all stakeholders that MIA has limited resources. Therefore, we must focus and prioritise our initiatives so that Malaysian accountants see value in having a national regulatory body.
As we forge ahead, I will work closely with the Council and Management to future-proof the Institute and the profession. On behalf of the Council and the Institute, I thank all members for your ongoing support, and I want all of you to work with us to uphold the profession’s nation building agenda.