Categories: SpeechesPublished On: 27/11/2021

Distinguished Speakers, Students and Future Accountants,

Good morning and welcome to this Webinar Session on the topic of Leveraging Opportunities for Accounting Graduates, organised by the Malaysian Institute of Accountants (MIA) supported by the Young Professionals Working Group (YPWG).

We are pleased to have more than 580 Accounting students from various universities, both IPTA and IPTS, with us today. Thank you for joining us on a Saturday. I would also like to thank our three panellists who will be generously sharing their different experiences as accounting professionals working in public practice, entrepreneurship and management. Many thanks as well to the Young Professionals Working Group for facilitating the programme.

As the regulator and developer of the accountancy profession in Malaysia, MIA is committed to ensuring the future relevance and employability of all accountants, especially young talents such as yourselves. Today’s webinar is highly important as you will be exposed to the expectations of employers and the workplace as well as the new jobs and roles emerging in the post-pandemic business environment. You will be graduating into a world where virtual interviews, hybrid internships, hybrid work, and digitalisation have become the norm. As a vital contributor to business and the economy, the accountancy profession is evolving and embracing technologies and tools such as AI and analytics, big data and blockchain, cloud and cybersecurity, drones and smart contracts, and you will need to be upskilled and adept to navigate this digital world. At the same time, the profession is providing leadership on issues such as ESG (environmental, social, governance), climate change and the global sustainability agenda which are moving to the forefront, and you will need be upskilled on these as well.

In addition to new skills in digital, ESG and sustainability, you will need the basics of technical competency and proficiency in standards, fluency in communications and English language, critical thinking, good judgement, strategic, analytical and problem-solving skills; all built upon an internalised code of ethics and values that differentiate the accountancy profession from other vocations. You will also need the right attitude and approach, namely being adept and adaptable to manage pressures and emerging developments amid unceasing volatility and uncertainty.

Dear Students, it is a very exciting and rewarding time to be an accountant as tools and technologies reinvent the profession and enable us to deliver more innovation and value. In this era of tremendous change, accountants can also look forward to navigating new horizons and expanding opportunities as you take on new roles aligned with your diverse skillsets. Your training, not just on technical knowledge but also critical thinking, problem solving, decision making and the ability to exercise professional judgement enable you to be agile and to perform different roles.

Indeed, accountants have come a long way. Prior to the digital revolution, accountants did the same things. With technologies, accountants did the same things but differently. But in the future, in the IR4.0 era that the International Federation of Accountants (IFAC) has hailed as ushering in a revolution for the profession, accountants will do different things. You have a whole universe of opportunities at your fingertips and the ability to make a tremendous difference with your skills.

I hope that this webinar and the invited panellists will provide useful guidance and insights into the new and exciting opportunities available for fresh accounting talents as well as the skills that you need to acquire and what you can expect once you start working.

As an organisation that is increasingly data-driven, MIA’s insights and strategy for the future-relevance of the profession is backed by profound data and analysis. Recently, MIA launched a Report on a Study of Emerging Technology Adoption within the Accounting Programmes by the Higher Learning Institutions in Malaysia, which covers among others, findings on the future skillset of accounting graduates in Malaysia and the required emerging technologies for accounting programmes. We hope that these recommendations on emerging technologies will be incorporated into the syllabus of accounting programmes to benefit students such as yourselves and prepare you for work in the digital economy.

Elsewhere you can also refer to MIA’s Competency Framework for guidance on future skillsets. The Framework illustrates the benchmark required for the three proficiency levels for accountancy professionals in line with International Education Standards (IES), so you can rest assured that Malaysian accounting professionals are on par with global standards and your skills are marketable worldwide.

As you can see, MIA has put in tremendous effort for young talents like yourselves and we are committed to ensuring your wellbeing and growth now and in the future. To ensure your continuing development, MIA would like to invite you all to eventually join us as members once you have graduated and gained the requisite experience. You must be an MIA member to practise as an accountant in Malaysia.

As of today, MIA has more than 37,000 members and MIA’s goal is to achieve 60,000 members by 2030. Growing the pool of accounting professionals is vital as the Malaysian economy needs more accountants to support and steer business for a sustainable economy. To find out more about membership and MIA’s work, do approach any of the MIA team or visit our website. I encourage you to also download the MIA Integrated Report 2021 at the MIA website, to learn more about MIA’s role, advocacy and initiatives as the regulator and developer of the accountancy profession in Malaysia.

Finally, I would like to wish you all a productive day. I trust that this webinar will be beneficial in expanding your knowledge and horizons as you chart your future as accounting professionals. I will leave you now with a short video on the Future Relevance of the Accountancy Profession. Thank you and stay safe.