KUALA LUMPUR – The Malaysian Institute of Accountants (MIA) has proposed for the country’s services sector to have a national initiative on the Fourth Industrial Revolution 4.0 (IR4.0) to drive digital transformation among the segment.
Chief executive officer Dr Nurmazilah Mahzan said a proposal was submitted to the International Trade and Industry Ministry (MITI) a few weeks ago to enable the initiatives to be mapped to support nation-building.
“Last year, MITI introduced the IR.40 initiative, Industry4WRD for the manufacturing sector and has done a lot of programmes on this.
“So, for the future, we are proposing that MITI looks at the IR.40 agenda for the services sector. We are very happy to support the agenda and would like to be part of the conversation,” she told the media at the MIA AccTech Conference 2019 here on 8 July.
Launched in October last year, the Industry4WRD is tailored to facilitate the manufacturing and manufacturing-related services sector, to embrace the IR 4.0 in a systematic and comprehensive manner.
“We are very encouraged by the government’s initiative in various aspect in term of the moving the agenda on IR.40.
“While the government did a lot of initiatives by bringing business owners and communities into the digital agenda, we are preparing the accountants, who are the business advisors, to also move in tandem.
“So, when we are there, we are all in one ecosystem and digitally enabled,” she added.
Nurmazilah said among technologies required by the accountant’s profession to adopt are artificial intelligence, data analytics, blockchain, virtual reality and 3D printing.
She said to embrace the change, the sector also needs new skills that fit the new digital economy.
“The future skill sets that MIA has identified go beyond numeracy, which is the domain of the profession, to encompass complex problem solving, critical thinking, creativity, people management, communications and collaboration, emotional intelligence and cognitive flexibility.
“We are focusing on all these in our development programmes and continuing professional education and training,” she said.
Hence, she said MIA also proposing a framework of useful data science skills for accountants that align with its competency frameworks, currently at the draft stage.
“Specific areas of data expertise and competency might cover skills such as data exploration, creation, storage and cleaning, data transformation and modelling, governance, strategy as well as algorithmic decision making,” Nurmazilah said.
For Budget 2020, she said MIA has also submitted a proposal on tax incentives, among others to drive technology in the accounting sector.
On its side, the institute is also working with crowdfunding platforms to assist its members to get funding.
About 36,000 accountants are currently registered with MIA.