President’s Address

Dear Esteemed Members,

The Greek Philosopher, Heraclitus had said ‘ The only constant is change’ and never has this been more apt and true than in this fast moving and dynamic digital world we live in.

The evolution is said to be in its fourth era thus keeping up with the dizzying speed of change can be at times overwhelming and challenging. The Malta Institute of Accountants has embraced this phenomenon and is finding ways to support its members by setting up various initiatives.

One of such efforts was forming a Digitisation Committee with the sole aim of bringing together members from the field where the emerging trends and issues are discussed. Together, solutions are explored and then shared with our wider members. One of the areas of focus is Cryptocurrency and Blockchain, which in spite of the strategic prominence given by the government still remains elusive to most of us. In this regard the Institute endeavours to stay ahead of developments in legislation and regulation with the ultimate intent to offer guidance and insights to the profession when dealing with what could be unchartered waters.

Global forces and technological trends are reshaping the accountancy profession across the whole world. New ways of doing business, shaped by technology and shifting regulatory environments, mean accountants in business and practice are facing tough challenges and exciting opportunities. While some of these are not new, the scale of the change and speed of transformation is without precedent. These are increasingly challenging and exciting times for the accountancy profession. Changes, driven by a range of factors, will transform all aspects of business and society in the coming years, and are reshaping how accountants at all levels interact with one another, their boards and clients.

Firms and businesses, professional accounting bodies and educational establishments need to adjust training, to equip the next generation of accountants with the skills needed to deal with these changes. With increasing adoption of new technologies such as cloud computing, digital accounting and automation, what does an evolving world mean for the profession? As companies and advisors face up to challenges from big data to artificial intelligence and the greater connectivity of the internet of things, how can accountants make sure they have the skills to do today’s job, while also preparing themselves and their juniors for the challenges of tomorrow?

In order to ensure that our esteemed members are kept abreast of all the changes, MIA has dedicated its upcoming Biennial Conference to the impact of digitisation on the practitioners’ profession in the financial world.

We have invited a varied number of speakers who are very relevant to rapidly changing times for the profession. The conference includes panel discussions which would focus on the regulatory, digital tax and accounting aspects of blockchain, and cyber risk in the financial services sector.

During the afternoon we will have an interesting twist where attendees are at will to choose an interactive session on subjects closer to their heart. The participants reassemble once again for more topical subjects such as distributed ledger technologies and AI amongst others.

We encourage you to mark Friday 16th November in your diary as this Biennial is definitely one to attend. We are striving very hard to ensure that the event will both inspire and unlock the digital riddle.

We look forward to seeing you there.

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