It is an honour to have been elected and to represent you as President of the Malta Institute of Accountants. I must begin by giving special recognition to Franco Azzopardi for his outstanding work as my predecessor. Under his supervision the Institute has continued growing in success and recognition. The accountancy profession is undergoing considerable change, creating unprecedented challenges and opportunities. During my term of office my plan is to ensure that the Institute responds to the evolving needs of the members, fostering a culture of innovation.
My intention is to bring the Institute closer to its members and increase the involvement of the younger members, in existing and newly set sub-committees. I firmly believe that the Institute is there for all its members. I will be working hard to meet with and understand the needs of the different sectors of accountants within the Institute. Professional accountants whether in public practice, in employment or in business have different responsibilities and require the Institute to respond differently to their needs. They all play an important role in contributing to the overall stability and progress of our local economy. Therefore, discussing and following up on their concerns and needs will ensure that the quality of our profession is maintained and the public continues to have confidence in the professional accountant.
Younger members have the energy and enthusiasm and their involvement is important if the Institute is to remain vibrant and representative of the profession. The Institute needs to continue finding new members who are keen to volunteer and be involved in the continued transformation of our profession through the Institute’s committees. I will work towards increasing the involvement of the new generation in the various committees of the Institute. This experience will also serve as a stepping-stone for them to obtain the right skills and competencies to become future Council members and leaders in our profession.
Continuity is fundamental to the Institute, and this is also possible with the continued involvement of the more senior members of the Institute. They have made significant contributions to our profession and have helped create what the Institute stands for today. Their experience will be an invaluable source of knowledge, for the successful completion of ongoing and new projects.
Increased use of information technology has entirely changed our society. All the industries and professions, including our profession are following the same trend. Technology is radically redefining what we do and how we do it. The change is driving the evolution of accounting services from transactional services to value-added services. It is my intention to ensure that Institute will be a prime catalyst to ensure that accountants embrace the new Digital Era confidently.
The Institute already has strong ties with a number of international professional bodies, including Accountancy Europe, International Federation of Accountants, International Accounting Standards Board and European Financial Reporting Advisory Group, amongst others. During my term, I will strive to continue strengthening these ties, as this alliance will give the members of our Institute a significant advantage in terms of shared ideas and resources.
Last but not least, I intend to pursue in rebranding the Institute’s name and terminology, wherein the term ‘Accountant’ is changed to ‘Professional Accountant’. Becoming a Professional Accountant requires that we attain the necessary qualifications and experience and continue to update ourselves by attending a number of continued professional training hours on an annual basis. This ensures that we keep ourselves informed of any changes and updates. A professional accountant is an expert in the field, with strict adherence to moral integrity and ethics. I firmly believe that the Institute should assist its members to ensure that Professional Accountants are given their due recognition in society.
I look forward to working closely with all of you in order to attain the above mentioned objectives and more for the benefit of our Profession, our Institute and You, ‘our members’.
William Spiteri Bailey