TITLE: Digital transformation and future proofing talent stand out as accountants in Malaysia forecast an upward trend in revenue and profit according to the MIA-ACCA Business Outlook Report 2020

DATE: 03/02/2020

Digital transformation and future proofing talent stand out as accountants in Malaysia forecast an upward trend in revenue and profit according to the MIA-ACCA Business Outlook Report 2020

Key Highlights:

  • More than 80% of respondents forecast higher revenue and profit growth amid increased confidence in government policies and positive GDP outlook for Malaysia in 2020
  • 25% of businesses will be looking at spending more than 10% of their budgets on digitally transforming their businesses over the next 3 years with investments in big data analytics, cloud computing and services and machine learning.
  • 69% of respondents have either no plans to reduce headcount or in fact plans to increase headcount over the next 3 years. Importantly, 60% of respondents have plans to evolve and improve their existing employees’ digital skills and competencies
  • Just 41% of respondents have plans to invest in an ASEAN market over the next 3 years, indicating significant room for more Malaysian businesses to tap into ASEAN’s growth potential

A total of 743 accounting and finance professionals of varying ages, organisations and roles responded to the second MIA-ACCA Business Outlook 2020 survey, including top-level finance professionals and public practice leaders who comprised 43% of the total respondents. This was very nearly double the number of respondents to the first survey (399 respondents), giving greater credibility and weight to the insights reported.

The survey was intentionally timed during the last two months of 2019 to cull insights emerging from companies’ annual strategy and budget planning processes, which are typically conducted during this period.

The following are the key highlights of the report based on the survey findings:

Positive Revenue and Profit Growth Trends. Overall, respondents are highly positive on projected business performance for 2020, and they expect this growth momentum to be sustained over the medium term.

83% of respondents are forecasting increased revenue for 2020, of whom 48% expect growth of 5% or more. In terms of profit outlook for 2020, 86% of respondents expect it to be positive with about half of them anticipating profit growth of 5% or more.

This bodes well for corporate earnings going forward, fosters an attractive climate for investment and stimulates more employment opportunities in Malaysia, while enabling investment in digital transformation, product and market innovation and productivity gains.

Driven by Domestic Factors. The survey indicated that domestic drivers – both positive and negative – have the most impact on Malaysian businesses. Malaysia’s economic growth and confidence in government policies to stimulate growth were seen as the top positive drivers, while rising cost of living and low wage growth, and uncertainties caused by government policies were seen as the top negative drivers going forward.

ASEAN – A Potential not to be Missed. Only 41% of respondents have plans to invest in an ASEAN market over the next 3 years. This increases slightly to 52% if only respondents from public listed companies (PLCs) are taken into consideration. “We believe this leaves significant room for more Malaysian businesses, including SMEs, to consider tapping on the ASEAN growth potential. Accounting and finance professionals clearly have a vital role to play in strategically supporting their businesses as they evaluate and navigate these opportunities,” commented ACCA Malaysia Country Head Edward Ling.

Addressing Regulatory Changes and Compliance. Regulatory changes and compliance concerns were repeatedly called out as the leading challenge for organisations, signalling a need for policy-makers to address the design, communication and implementation of policies going forward.

Leading Digital Transformation, Future-proofing Talent. The survey findings provide invaluable insights on the level of digital and technology investment in Malaysia, even as the Government pushes harder for enterprise and corporate digital transformation. A quarter of respondents reported that their organisations are allocating more than 10% of their budget on technology spending and digital transformation over the next 3 years, including investing in big data analytics (64%), cloud computing (57%), machine learning and artificial intelligence (33%), and robotic process automation (27%). “This represents a significant catalyst for driving the digital and technology transformation of Malaysian businesses,” said MIA Chief Executive Officer Dr. Nurmazilah Dato’ Mahzan.

Interestingly, despite these technology adoption plans, 70% of respondents have either no plans to reduce headcount or in fact plan to increase headcount over the next 3 years. Importantly, 60% of respondents have plans to evolve and improve existing employees’ digital skills and competencies. “This clearly demonstrates tremendous opportunities for professional accountants to raise their game and increase their relevance to the organisations and clients they serve,” added Dr. Nurmazilah.

About the Report. The Business Outlook Report 2020 is jointly commissioned by the MIA (Malaysian Institute of Accountants) and ACCA (Association of Chartered Certified Accountants) to provide insights into the collective viewpoints of accounting and finance professionals, with regards to the business outlook for Malaysia in 2020 and in the medium term. Second in a series, this study is part of a collaborative research initiative undertaken by both professional bodies to synergise resources and share critical findings on pertinent topics in today’s business landscape. MIA and ACCA trust that this report will be a useful resource that supports policy-makers and business leaders in developing forward-looking strategies to drive sustainable growth for nation building.

Click here to download the MIA-ACCA Business Outlook Report 2020
https://www.accaglobal.com/gb/en/technical-activities/technical-resources-search/2020/january/business-outlook-report-2020-malaysia.html


NOTE TO EDITOR:

About the Malaysian Institute of Accountants (MIA)
Established under the Accountants Act 1967, MIA is the national accountancy body that regulate, develops, supports and enhances the integrity, status and interests of the profession in Malaysia. MIA accords the Chartered Accountant Malaysia or “C.A. (M)” designation. Working closely alongside businesses, MIA connects its membership to an unmatched range of information resources, events, professional development and networking opportunities.

Presently, there are more than 36,000 members making their strides in businesses across all industries in Malaysia and around the world.

MIA’s international outlook and connections are reflected in its membership of regional and international professional organisations such as the ASEAN Federation of Accountants (AFA), and the International Federation of Accountants (IFAC). For more information on MIA, visit www.mia.org.my.

About ACCA
ACCA (the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants) is the global body for professional accountants, offering business-relevant, first-choice qualifications to people of application, ability and ambition around the world who seek a rewarding career in accountancy, finance and management.

ACCA supports its 219,000 members and 527,000 students (including affiliates) in 179 countries, helping them to develop successful careers in accounting and business, with the skills required by employers. ACCA works through a network of 110 offices and centres and 7,571 Approved Employers worldwide, and 328 approved learning providers who provide high standards of learning and development.

Through its public interest remit, ACCA promotes appropriate regulation of accounting and conducts relevant research to ensure accountancy continues to grow in reputation and influence.

ACCA has introduced major innovations to its flagship qualification to ensure its members and future members continue to be the most valued, up to date and sought-after accountancy professionals globally.

Founded in 1904, ACCA has consistently held unique core values: opportunity, diversity, innovation, integrity and accountability. More information is here: www.accaglobal.com


FOR MORE INFORMATION, PLEASE CONTACT:

Malaysian Institute of Accountants ACCA Malaysia
THANE MEYYAPPAN ADELINE FONG
Team Lead Senior Manager, Public Relations
012-248 9534 012-381 5589
communications@mia.org.my adeline.fong@accaglobal.com