Good morning and welcome to the MIA SMP Forum 2020, with the theme of Future-proofing your Practice in the New Normal. Thank you all for attending. Dr Nurmazilah sends her apologies as she is unable to be with us this morning. My name is Simon Tay, Executive Director, Professional Practices and Technical and I will be delivering the welcome remarks on behalf of Dr Nurmazilah.
Currently, there are about 1,719 holders of audit licence and practicing certificates and 2,436 holders of non-audit practicing certificates, while the total number of members working in public practice is 8,392. SMPs play a significant role in supporting business and the economy across all sectors, especially SMEs. As such, it is imperative that SMPs embrace the upskilling and transformation process to be able to support financial management and business continuity initiatives in the new normal, not just for the benefit of your clients who comprise mainly SMEs but also for your own organisations.
As such, this virtual 2-day MIA SMP Forum 2020 has been carefully designed to prepare our practitioner members to manage effectively in this challenging and changed landscape. Tough situations call for tough measures. Firms need to embed a culture of quality, continuously upskill to face new challenges, heighten professional scepticism and judgement to deal with uncertainty and volatility, and uphold ethics and independence. Resilience, agility and adaptability are the non-negotiable qualities that firms must acquire to be future-proof.
The Forum has identified the most pressing areas that SMPs need to tackle urgently. These are regulatory updates and upskilling to improve practitioner and audit quality and compliance, as well as innovation and SMP transformation.
To talk about the big picture of SMP transformation, MIA is delighted to welcome Robyn Erskine, Deputy Chair of the IFAC’s SMP Advisory Group, who will present an overview of the Practice Transformation Action Plan prepared by IFAC with support and insights from its SMP Committee. MIA would also like to thank all the speakers and experts who will be sharing their expertise at the Forum.
IFAC’s Practice Transformation Action Plan is crucial because it will guide SMPs on how to transform themselves to enhance their quality and services, in order to support clients and businesses in an increasingly demanding landscape. This will be shared through practical sessions on talent management, practice diversification and leadership.
In addition to transformation, the Forum has a strong focus on regulations and compliance, in alignment with MIA’s primary role as the regulator of the accountancy profession. We urge all members to work ethically, be guided by our values of integrity and accountability and to uphold the public interest.
With respect to regulation, there will be sessions on tax audit and investigation, compliance with Bank Negara Malaysia’s (BNM’s) updated anti-money laundering legislation and preparation for an audit in view of COVID-19. There will also be important updates on the ISQM 1 (Revised ISQC 1), new ISQM 2 and ISA 220 (Revised) that were approved for exposure by the IAASB in December 2018, as well as their potential impacts on SMPs, practice risk management and audit quality.
As ISAs are principle-based, firms are advised to continue to exercise professional judgement and maintain professional scepticism. It is also very crucial for firms to leverage on technology and to move away from the traditional and time-consuming methods of auditing to those that are more effective and efficient.
With regards to the revision of the standards, practitioners are encouraged to participate in MIA engagement sessions in order to provide feedback on implementation challenges faced. Members are advised to start preparing early for adoption of the new quality management standards. Please do not underestimate the efforts needed for implementing an appropriate quality management system and do allocate sufficient time and resources.
In closing, I would like to emphasise that MIA has put forward several initiatives to support members in public practice, including major initiatives such as the electronic bank confirmation platform (eConfirm.my), AASB standard setting and guidance issuance, Practical Auditing Methodology Workshops for SMPs on illustrative Audit Working Papers, Quality Assessment Programme (QAP), Pembangunan Leasing Corporation (PLC)’s Professional Liquidity Scheme for MIA Practising Certificate Holders and many others. MIA will continue to organise more capacity building and competency development programmes to support SMPs in the future. We hope that you will be able to apply this content in order to build a sustainable and relevant practice, while enhancing ethical behaviour to uphold public interest and the reputation of the accountancy profession.
Thank you for joining us and I wish you a productive Forum ahead.
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.’