Steered by the theme “Navigating a Sustainable Future with Agility and Resilience”, the MIA International Accountants Conference 2021 (MIA Conference 2021) sought to upskill accountants with future-relevant competencies to support and drive the global sustainability agenda, by leveraging the profession’s core competencies and ethics to advocate for business continuity and sustainability, climate solutions and digital empowerment.
Organised by the Malaysian Institute of Accountants (MIA) from 8 – 10 June 2021 and held for the first time ever on a virtual platform in compliance with pandemic SOPs, the virtual Conference drew more than 2,200 Malaysian and international delegates and over 100 expert speakers from around the world including the International Federation of Accountant’s President, Alan Johnson as well as global supporters and partners to defend its position as one of the largest accountancy conferences in the world.
Finance Minister, YB Senator Tengku Datuk Seri Utama Zafrul Tengku Abdul Aziz officiated the MIA Conference 2021 virtually this morning.
In his remarks, Tengku Zafrul expressed his appreciation to MIA and the accountancy profession for its ongoing efforts in the following key areas:
- Support for business continuity particularly during these challenging times, including advising companies on cashflow, financial and strategic management
- advocacy for tax governance that focuses on addressing non-compliance and systemic inefficiencies to enhance tax collection
- applauding MIA’s continuous efforts in encouraging digital leadership and transformation through its MIA Digital Technology Blueprint
- MIA’s efforts to strengthen the competencies of public sector finance functions as well as internal auditors working in operational audits and/or financial audits
- advocacy on sustainability, particularly on Malaysia’s commitment to embed environment, social and governance (ESG) principles as well as the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
“The MIA has been advocating that SDG reporting should be included in corporate reporting, and this is very valuable as accountants bring unique skills and expertise within the global discourse and engagement on sustainability. Specifically, accountants are uniquely qualified to measure and assign climate impact costs such as carbon and greenhouse gas emissions, to provide independent assurance on sustainability processes and impacts, and to issue reports and communications on these impacts to support decision-makers and influence positive change,” stated Tengku Zafrul.
Earlier in his address, MIA President Dr. Veerinderjeet Singh stressed that accountants must continue to uphold the profession’s code of ethics across all situations. Commitment to ethics and ESG are part and parcel of the journey to sustainability. “In everything that we do, especially in public practice and the public sector, the profession must always uphold our code of ethics and our core values of accountability, integrity and trust in the public interest,” emphasised Dr. Veerinderjeet. “By virtue of their expertise and competencies, accountants should be taking the lead in fighting corruption, fraud and other leakages that threaten the development of the nation,” and therefore affect the nation’s long-term sustainability.
In her opening remarks, MIA CEO Dr. Nurmazilah Dato’ Mahzan emphasised the profession’s growing advocacy on climate change issues. Climate change has been identified as a top risk in the World Economic Forum (WEF) Global Risk Report 2021 and climate is also an important component in ESG strategy and information. “Climate impacts are likewise becoming an increasingly visible element of reporting on value creation, as global corporate reporting moves towards convergence of integrated reporting and sustainability reporting frameworks,” she said.
As a member body of the International Federation of Accountants (IFAC) and the national advocate for integrated reporting as well as an training body accredited by the International Integrated Reporting Council (IIRC), MIA shares “IFAC’s stance that accountants’ expertise in measurement, reporting and assurance and our adherence to professional and ethical codes positions us as frontliners in upholding climate sustainability, for good governance and the public interest,” concluded Dr. Nurmazilah.