finance tech

Tech readiness and capacity building for the accountancy profession

Microsoft CEO, Satya Nadella, has aptly pointed out that pretty much every industry, every function in every industry, has a huge element that’s driven by information technology.

Finance is not immune to this change, and in fact it could be said this sector and/or function is one of the top few to spend the most on technology.

Closer to home, the Malaysian Institute of Accountants (MIA), recognised this from early on, and have launched several initiatives to address technology readiness and capacity building for the accounting profession.

MIA has also identified a number of main initiatives for their members, the foremost of these being the Digital Technology Blueprint2018-2023, which was launched in 2018.

This blueprint aims to help the accounting fraternity, manage sweeping changes from an emerging digital economy and Industry 4.0.

MIA CEO, Dr. Nurmazilah Dato’ Mahzan said, “The MIA Digital Technology Blueprint outlines 5 driving principles that guide the Malaysian accountants to respond appropriately to digital technology.”

These 5 principles are i) assessing digital technology trends, ii) identifying capabilities, iii) harnessing digital technology, iv) funding and v) governance.

The Blueprint also sets out the MIA’s roles in supporting members in the 5 principles, which entail educating and upskilling MIA members and accountancy professionals in Malaysia on emerging core technology areas such as big data analytics, cloud computing, automation and artificial intelligence.

Digital tech for MIA

Other MIA initiatives, or areas they want to drive more awareness and education in, are data intelligence and analytics, robo-advisory, e-wallet or cashless payment methods, an electronic bank confirmation platform, as well as digital leadership for the accounting profession.

MIA’s Executive Director of Strategy & Development, G. Shanmugam said, “As the national body entrusted to regulate and develop the accountancy profession, MIA has been rolling out several initiatives to ensure the profession is agile and able to embrace technology to remain relevant and enhance value proposition to business and the economy”

For example, with RoboCFO, MIA wants its practitioners to embrace robo-advisory technology and provide value added services to their clients.

“When an audit is completed, they can also probably use RoboCFO to diagnose issues the company is facing and value-add in terms of advising clients the areas to pay attention to,” he explained, adding that there is a steady progress of technology transformation at MIA.

Within MIA itself, a few of its initiatives include an IT roadmap to improve the IT infrastructure and systems, as well a goal to be a data-driven organisation

Shanmugam said, “Our digital transformation initiative actually started a few years back.

“MIA is continuing to look at this and especially at how the profession will take advantage of the opportunity and be at the forefront in driving strategies and supporting business initiatives,” he concluded.