hiris_s_04.png A new year always heralds new resolutions and it’s an opportune window for change. MIA intends to ring in several changes concomitant with our priorities in 2017.

One, structural and legislative reforms. MIA is ushering in changes which will create an enabling environment for the profession and business, as per the government’s CSAP reforms. Specifically, in June 2016, the CSAP Implementation Committee was formed and was given the mandate to implement in full, the fifteen recommendations of CSAP. After seeking views and feedback on how to operationalise the recommendations, we have issued the Operational Model to the relevant authorities at the end of last year. Next, we hope to amend the Accountants Act in 2017 to pave the way forward.

Two, enhancing competency. Aside from focusing on certifying professional accountants in public practice i.e. public practitioners and auditors, MIA will also continue to develop the quality and competency of professional accountants working in other strategic segments, such as corporate and business, public sector, insolvency, valuation, Islamic finance, and forensics, to name some. MIA intends to set up “faculties” dedicated to developing these professionals. Recently, at the CFO Dialogue 2016, I spoke about certifying professional CFOs of the future who are expected to assume the role of strategic partners, and thus will need the relevant competencies, in areas such as technical, strategy, operations, compliance, talent, leadership, and technology. To support them, MIA is developing a competency framework for CFOs. MIA has also created linkages with bodies such as IPSAS (International Public Sector Accounting Standards Board) and CIPFA (Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy) to help Malaysian public sector accountants attain professional qualifications. Other similar initiatives will be in the pipeline going forward.

Three, improving governance and enforcement. Apart from strengthening the MIA enforcement team by bringing in fresh blood and working closely with other regulators and authorities like the Companies Commission and the Inland Revenue Board, MIA is working on the new Accountants Act which will strengthen powers to govern members and better protect public interest. We are also putting a great deal of emphasis on audit quality and integrity which affects the profession’s credibility and public trust. Apart from implementing the enhanced auditor reporting rules, MIA will launch its new practice review framework effective January 2017.

Four, embracing the digital economy. We are firmly in a digital world, with fintech, artificial intelligence, robotics, Internet of things and big data gaining traction. Accountants must embrace digital tools and platforms to become more efficient and innovative in delivering services to our clients. We have to craft digital strategies that make us more costefficient and advanced and more in tune with trends like mobile and data analytics.

MIA is walking the digital talk. Last year, we moved to our new headquarters in Bangsar South City, which is part of the MSC Malaysia Cybercentre. We are moving more of our content and training online and because mobile is the way of the future, we launched our proprietary app with more to come in 2017.

And that’s not all. Appropriately, 2017 is not only MIA’s Year of Transformation but also our Annus Mirabilis or Year of Wonders and our Golden Jubilee. To commemorate MIA’s 50th anniversary, we are planning major events throughout the year, culminating in a grand gala for all members. Details will be announced at a later date. So let us truly make 2017 a year to remember.

Dato' Mohammad Faiz Azmi
Malaysian Institute of Accountants