It’s that time of the year again when we look ahead with optimism and set our agenda for the new year.

Looking back, amidst the pandemic, MIA was steadfast in its purpose of regulating and developing the profession. Throughout 2021, we carried out regulation and enforcement activities physically and virtually to enhance compliance and protect the public interest. We fortified our development activities and programmes to enhance competency among our members in our key sectors of public practice, professional accountants in business, public sector and academia. We continued to emphasise on digital platforms and virtual connections in order to ensure uninterrupted continuing professional development amidst the new norms and stratified movements of COVID-19 containment strategies. To mitigate the impact of COVID-19 controls, we kept members updated on relevant COVID-19 developments affecting the profession, engaged actively with the Government to enable member firms to operate, and assisted members with business continuity guidance and access to state and private financial support initiatives.

Moving into the new year, I predict three core emerging trends in 2022. First is the hybrid revolution. Apart from the hybrid working model driven by the impact of COVID 19, other activities such as engagement and training will also move into this mode. Therefore, risk management, processes and procedures need to be adapted to ensure targets and outcomes can be achieved. The hybrid revolution also brings opportunities where new products and services can be introduced such as hybrid vehicles and hybrid cloud. Next would be the imminent impact of climate change which may not wait for organisations to be prepared. Despite the plans that are being drawn up to mitigate the risks, disaster recovery plans need to be ready to manage the transitions. Finally, the health and happiness of the employees. Against the backdrop of the COVID-19 pandemic, which has seen death and massive infections, employees will act boldly to safeguard their own sustainability and longevity which may influence the great resignations trend in certain parts of the world.

For our part, MIA will continue to prioritise key initiatives that support our regulatory and development agenda for the benefit of the profession and members, while providing continuing updates and support during the COVID-19 endemic phase as well as facilitating businesses, firms and the public sector to recover and grow.

Also, at the top of the agenda for 2022 are accelerating digitalisation and ESG adoption. We will continue to advocate relentlessly for the digitalisation of the profession and for the integration of ESG (environmental, social and governance) by organisations and MIA members to ensure the future relevance of the accountancy profession (FRAP) and support sustainable economic and social development.

For 2022, members can look forward to increased guidance on adopting and implementing digital transformation, including guidance on choosing the right platform and tools and accessing the financial aid and incentives available in the market. MIA will also deliver more knowledge content on ESG, such as the upcoming series of seven ESG courses specially curated for accountants and financial professionals, kicking off in January 2022.

I strongly encourage members to make full use of MIA’s programmes and facilities to add value to your skillsets and portfolios. It is especially critical for members to become adept in digital business and ESG integration to support your organisation’s business continuity, enterprise purpose and long-term sustainability.

MIA hopes that by acquiring these new skills, our members will be more agile, adaptable, and relevant in an economy being indelibly transformed by digital disruption and efforts towards net-zero carbon to manage climate change. As we can see from the devastation of COVID-19 and the recent floods, none of us are immune to the impacts of pandemics, climate change and other global headline risks. However, MIA strongly believes that by embracing digitalisation and ESG, the profession can influence and lead businesses and organisations to become more mindful and accountable for their impacts, for the wellbeing of the planet and people.

This is an opportune time to make the change. Let’s collaborate and work together to deliver more value and become more sustainable in 2022 and beyond.

Wishing you and your family Season’s Greetings and Happy New Year! May you have a joyful, healthy and meaningful 2022.

Dr Nurmazilah Dato’ Mahzan
Chief Executive Officer
Malaysian Institute of Accountants

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