Good morning and welcome to the MIA AccTech Conference 2022 which is the grand finale of the MIA Digital Month 2022, a virtual, month-long convention on the digitalisation of the accounting profession in Malaysia. Themed ‘Digital Agility: Stay Ahead of the Curve’, the MIA Digital Month 2022 sought to support digital technology adoption by the accounting profession in Malaysia, hence enabling members to move in tandem with emerging digital technologies. On behalf of MIA, thank you all for joining us virtually today.
MIA as the regulator and developer of the accountancy profession in Malaysia has been emphasising the urgency of digital transformation since 2016. Digital adoption is critical for members to become future-proof and remain relevant in an environment that is increasingly hyper digital, regardless of whether you are a public practitioner, a professional accountant in business, an accountant in the public sector or an academic.
Digital transformation for the profession and the Institute is guided by the MIA Digital Technology Blueprint launched in 2018. Since then, the Institute and our collaborators have worked relentlessly to roll out digital initiatives under a 3-year operational plan from July 2019 – June 2022. There are 39 initiatives and over 250 outputs and activities guided by the Blueprint.
MIA’s foresight in driving digitalisation since 2016 has paid off, especially in mitigating the impact of the pandemic measures such as the movement control orders which severely constrained unprepared companies and organisations. Digital transformation has been miraculous for the profession as businesses were able to accelerate digitalisation and adopt technologies for remote and hybrid work to ensure business continuity during the crisis.
MIA also took this opportunity to shift many of the Institute’s key activities – such as regulation and enforcement, strategic collaboration, and professional development and delivery of CPE – further online by utilising remote and virtual technologies, for example meeting and webinar software. Amidst the challenges of the pandemic, leveraging on technology enabled us to heighten productivity and achieve our KPIs.
To support the profession in digital adoption, particularly the SMPs and public practitioners, MIA was able to achieve key milestones during the pandemic including the launch of eConfirm.my, the industry-wide electronic bank confirmation platform, the launch and dissemination of the interactive e-Book of the MIA Illustrative MPERS Financial Statements with Commentaries and Guidance Notes and the launch of the e-Library to support members’ continuous learning.
As we enter the endemic phase, MIA will continue to roll out tools to expedite and facilitate the continuing digital transformation of members. In the past months, MIA introduced digital assessment tools and solutions support, including MIA Guidance on Software and Software Vendor Selection, the MIA Software Vendor Database and guidance on developing a Technology Adoption Strategy for SMPs. As financing is usually the biggest hurdle to adoption, MIA provides guidance on how members and SMPs can access Government and State financing schemes for digitalisation to stay relevant in a digital economy.
It is equally critical to transform accountancy education by integrating technologies, in order to enhance the relevance of accounting talents to employers and organisations in an increasingly digitalised workplace. Recently, MIA launched the Report of a Study of Emerging Technology Adoption within Accounting Programmes by Higher Learning Institutions in Malaysia which addresses the future skillsets of accounting graduates in Malaysia and the incorporation of emerging technologies in the accounting programmes to meet employer and industry expectations.
At the Institute level, MIA is pursuing enterprise digital transformation to support the members’ and profession’s development and provide an enhanced and tech-enabled user experience for our members. MIA has also invested in IT infrastructure and upgraded Internet bandwidth to deliver stable high-speed services, optimise the online access experience, support business needs, and tighten security measures.
MIA is also continuing to invest in virtual meeting and webinar software to enable continuing provision of CPE and manage the challenges of the COVID-19 protocols, hence supporting MIA’s business continuity and financial sustainability.
Going forward, MIA’s plans include establishing a secondary data centre to enhance disaster management which is critical in today’s high-risk environment and implementing data analytics and reporting to analyse data supporting MIA’s decision-making and actions. To learn more about MIA’s digital milestones and benefits for members, do visit the MIA website and download the latest MIA Integrated Report which features a case study on digital transformation of MIA and the profession.
Ladies and gentlemen, that was the big picture of MIA’s digital advocacy and efforts. Now, I would like to share a bit on the AccTech Conference 2022. We have designed the AccTech Conference to upskill participants on the technologies that are especially pertinent to the profession. AccTech 2022 focuses specially on sharing the developments, best practices and practical technologies that will benefit the profession’s digital transformation.
As always, there will be an update on AI, machine learning, Robotic Process Automation (RPA) and IoT, how digital transformation is helping accountants to adapt to their changing roles and what this means for them and their clients. There will be sharing on how to transform finance functions into agile finance functions using technology. As data governance is becoming an increasingly important risk globally for business, AccTech 2022 will also address critical matters such as data ownership, decision-making, reliability, security and best practices on data governance for organisations. AccTech 2022 will also discuss how to scale your business and make it more sustainable with the use of Cloud ERP solutions.
In addition to AccTech Conference, MIA also offers various CPE programmes on technology to develop the profession’s digital competencies and proficiency. MIA is pleased to have delivered the joint certification programme with the Asia Pacific University of Technology and Innovation, namely the MIA-APU Professional Certificate in Digital Business Transformation that followed on the success of the MIA-APU Professional Certificate in Digital Leadership, as well as a CFO Circle event which focused on leading a data-driven organisation and applying ethics in technology.
At the same time, MIA consciously integrates technology transformation content across our CPE programme offerings for digital proficiency building, including our flagship MIA International Accountants Conference. On that note, I would like to cordially invite all our members to attend the second virtual MIA International Accountants Conference 2022, to be held on 8th and 9th June. The Conference this year focuses on the theme `Leading ESG, Charting Sustainability’ which will provide insights on how to adopt and integrate ESG issues such as climate change, carbon reporting and sustainability into business strategy and operations, while harnessing technologies and digital tools for long-term agility, resilience and relevance.
By attending the MIA International Accountants’ Conference as well as your choice of MIA’s CPE programmes, members, accountants and finance professions will be prepared to contribute effectively to businesses in the evolving digital and sustainability-oriented economy. We have designed the Conference and our CPE programmes such that you will be upskilled on the quotients necessary to achieve proficiency in digital and sustainability – be it technical knowledge, non-financial measurement, disclosure and assurance, materiality assessment, change management skills and digital transformation leadership, among others.
However, digital and ESG proficiency are not the end-goals but milestones in the repositioning and rebranding of accountants to become future relevant. Therefore, MIA also emphasises the acquisition of timeless skills including emotional intelligence, problem solving including judgement and professional scepticism, and leadership abilities, so accountants can be ahead of the curve.
Importantly, all our competencies, decision-making and actions must be founded on our bedrock of professional values that differentiate accountants from other vocations. MIA always emphasises on the requirement to uphold ethical behaviour and our values of integrity, accountability, and trust, to protect the public interest and national interest.
Ladies and gentlemen, today’s AccTech Conference marks the culmination of the MIA Digital Month. AccTech Conference is the result of MIA’s strategic collaboration with our partners and diligent teamwork by the MIA team. I would like to thank our gold sponsors – ABJ Cloud Solutions, Intuit Quickbooks, Oracle, UI Path and Pricewaterhouse Coopers as well as our esteemed subject matter experts and speakers for making AccTech 2022 possible. I would also like to thank our participants for attending and I wish everybody the best on your continuing journey of digital transformation and professional reinvention.
It is MIA’s aspiration that the MIA Digital Month, including AccTech 2022 and all our digital initiatives will enable accountants to create more value for organisations, better support business continuity and help build the nation sustainably. We are committed to upskilling accountants to be future-proof, innovative and resilient in navigating whatever life brings.
Once again, thank you all for being here. Do enjoy the AccTech Conference and we will work to bring you more programmes that will keep you agile, adept, and abreast of the curve. Thank you!
Unit 33-01, Level 33, Tower A, The Vertical, Avenue 3, Bangsar South City,
No.8 Jalan Kerinchi, 59200 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
The use of the word ‘Accountant’
In Malaysia, the word ‘Accountant’ is protected as provided for under the provisions of the Accountants Act 1967 which states that no one can hold himself out or practise as an Accountant unless he is registered as a member of the Malaysian Institute of Accountants.
‘The Malaysian Institute of Accountants is committed to the observance and practice of the highest ethical standards of the accountancy profession. All PC holders are reminded that under the MIA By-Laws (On Professional Ethics, Conduct And Practice), no person shall practice or hold out anything on audit/tax services without a license approved by the Ministry of Finance. Every PC holder is therefore expected to comply fully with Section B200.1 to B200.6 of the MIA By-Laws (On Professional Ethics, Conduct And Practice) failing which, you may be held liable for unprofessional conduct and disciplinary action may be taken against you.’