President’s Address – Change!
We are living an era of constant change and finance is a major participant.
Accountancy has a very important role, it keeps economies stable, fairer and transparent and it helps businesses grow and prosper. During the MIA Biennial Conference held last November there was general consensus that the accountancy profession is changing. As outlined by Anthony Walters during his presentation, the world is changing fast, requiring strategic forward-thinking professional accountants. However professional accountants need to keep adding value and need to be more vital than ever.
This change requires that accountants develop and continue expanding their skills. This does not only signify that we need to become experts in our field but that we also develop other skills, such as creativity, emotional intelligence, digital knowledge and vision amongst others. The Institute embraces these changes and is doing its utmost to help its members develop these skills.
Continuous training in diverse fields is not an obligation but a necessity. This year’s MIA CPE event calendar started with an important technical seminar organised by the accounting committee and attended by circa 250 members. The Institute’s training calendar for 2017 will however include seminars on an array of subjects such as tax, data protection, human resource management, business process automation and effective reports, amongst others. The Institute is also presently meeting various associations and institutions to plan future collaborations. Great things are planned for 2017.
Reaching out to students is another new initiative. The Institute’s CEO, Maria Cauchi Delia and members of the technical staff are visiting a number of schools and colleges to explain the importance and the changing role of our profession. Highlighting the diverse working opportunities that the profession offers. Raising awareness that an accountant is not only highly organised and good with numbers, but a very proactive person who understands the business and its environment.
The Institute’s attestation to change is also apparent in the current issue of the journal. The main focus this time is the increase in importance of information technology. Accountants, auditors, professional accountants in business, tax specialists and all the diverse roles undertaken by accountants, use information to fulfill their job. Accountants therefore have to understand the implications of this change and become leaders, not necessarily within the field itself, but they must be aware of all the developments that are evolving around them so that they can benefit to a maximum from the advantages presented.
It seems that more than ever before, particularly in this age of disruptive information technology, the accountant of tomorrow will need more than mere technical acumen in order to excel. That said, having the right combination of emotional intelligence, the ability to empathise, human communication skills, as well as the highest standards of integrity and independence will outshine any technological innovation in enabling tools. Our professional qualities blended with these human competencies will not be replaced by IT. We have stood the test of time and if we remain vigilant, listening in every direction and being smarter using the technology available, then accountancy shall remain an extremely relevant profession going into any length of future.
The Institute intends to continue offering maximum value to its members, by giving them the necessary tools and guiding them, to continue being a major player in the financial world of tomorrow.