Accountants have to be the enabling partners to their clients and stakeholders

6 minute read.

At the first meeting of the new Council, Mr William Spiteri Bailey was re-elected as President, Mr Fabio Axisa as Vice-President, Mr David Delicata as Secretary and Mr Noel Mizzi as Treasurer

“Accountants have to be the enabling partners to their clients and stakeholders and help them harness disruption by providing the necessary peace of mind. The accounting professionals and the Malta Institute of Accountants are uniquely placed to facilitate the smooth adjustment to new situations.”

The Malta Institute of Accountants (MIA) President, William Spiteri Bailey said this when addressing the Institute’s 54th Annual General Meeting.

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“The turbulent global world order and how things are evolving, where the adage ‘the only constant is change’, is leading to a situation where we need to ensure that apart from embracing the change, we’re also sensitive to the fact that most of the times, we are the ones who have the multiple roles of bringing change, supporting change and enabling change,” said MIA President in his opening address.

The AGM delved into the complementary functions of the Institute as a body and those of individual accountancy professionals. With its mission to empower accountants, the MIA laid out a strategy to help professionals not only adapt to changing scenarios, but spur change themselves. To achieve this the Institute has undergone a number of significant changes within its structures to be able to deliver the necessary tools so that it enhances the potential of its members and the profession in general.

During the AGM, the following members were elected for the two year Council term 2018 – 2020: Mr Fabio Axisa, Mr Christopher Balzan, Mr David Delicata, Mr Jonathan Dingli, Mr Shawn Falzon, Dr Ivan Grixti, and Ms Annabelle Zammit Pace.

They joined the following Council members, whose terms expires in 2019: Mr Franco Azzopardi, Mr Etienne Borg Cardona, Mr Simon Flynn, Ms Maria Micallef, Mr Noel Mizzi, Mr Franz R. Wirth, and Mr William Spiteri Bailey.

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MIA President, William Spiteri Bailey, thanked outgoing Council members, Mr Anthony Doublet and Mr Stephen Paris for their dedication and contribution towards the Institute and the local profession. Both had served on Council for a long period of time. Mr Shawn Falzon and Ms Annabelle Zammit Pace were welcomed as new Council members.

The AGM also served for members to unanimously approve the financial statements for the year 2017, elect auditors for the year 2018, and approve the proposed resolutions.

Mr Spiteri Bailey said the Institute is committed to keep the profession relevant and continue to attract the best talent to it. This is one reason the MIA sharpened its focus on holistic formative and educational development that included a series of well-attended Continuing Professional Education (CPE) events, specifically designed to equip members and students with new skills and knowledge required in today’s environment.

Throughout the year, various local and international speakers of high calibre were invited by the Institute to share insight with members on key issues such as the fourth AML Directive and the risk-based approach, the MIFID II and MIFIR, and the New General Data Protection Regulation. Other training initiatives concentrated on changes in Direct and Indirect Taxation, Financial Reporting elements, and the impact of shifts in technology.

The success of a string of conferences, namely: The Anti-Money Laundering Conference, ‘Inspire to Achieve’, and the SME Forum, goes beyond the topics covered. These events helped position the Institute and the profession as a whole as leaders in areas that are relevant to industry and other key stakeholders.

During the past year, the MIA Council put the theme of digitalisation high on the agenda and pursued the theme in different ways and means. The Institute is actively preparing the profession not simply to adapt to disruptive technologies and processes, but to find new opportunities in this wave of changes.

The theme of the upcoming Biennial Conference on 16th November will, in fact, focus on the challenges and openings brought about by digitalisation. Accountants need to be at the forefront of these transformations, said Mr Spiteri Bailey: “The changes happen too fast to keep abreast let alone master them. But that’s not us.”

The President clearly stated, however, that changing methods does not mean changing responsibilities: “While disruption necessitates change in the way we think, operate, do business and interact, it doesn’t equate to the destruction of what we stand for and what is expected from us. Disruption does not diminish the values we represent but strengthens them.”

With its vision to lead, train, support and promote its members, the MIA earnestly upholds respect to professional and ethical standards for the benefit of the accountancy profession and the public.

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