Accountancy leaders highlight need for ethics, integrity and life-long learning among professionals
The Malta Institute of Accountants has formally welcomed 222 new accountants as members within its ranks following the completion of their studies through the avenues provided by the University of Malta and the ACCA throughout the 2020-21 academic year.
Addressing the new graduates during the New Members Ceremony, a yearly highlight of the MIA calendar, the Institute’s President David Delicata congratulated the new accountants on their achievement, auguring them an exciting and rewarding career, encouraging them to carry out their duties with a sense of responsibility while upholding the highest ethical standards. Mr Delicata argued that defending the Maltese jurisdiction’s reputation was a nationwide priority at the present time, calling for a collective effort on the matter. “The Institute is a representative of a high standard of governance, ethics in the profession and business community, and that is why the Institute has not shied away from taking appropriate action, ensuring that MIA membership reflected a badge of the highest honour”, Mr Delicata said.
Mr Maria Cauchi Delia, CEO of the Institute, congratulated the new members on their exciting achievement, describing it as “not the end of a path, but the commencement of a new, exciting journey”. She highlighted the importance of patience, perseverance and foresight as three key fundamentals to drive accountancy professionals forward in their career, while promising the Institute’s full support in accompanying them through their career. Ms Cauchi Delia touched on the current labour shortages facing the local market, describing how the MIA was acting on different fronts to address the matter, both by facilitating the employment of other EU and third country nationals but also by fighting misconceptions about the profession itself; through their diverse areas of expertise, accountants help create, noting how accountants sustain and grow organisations and practically work with all major stakeholders in the country and beyond.
The event was also addressed by Dr Emanuel Said, Dean of the Faculty of Economics, Management and Accounting who highlighted the increasing role of technology, particularly Distributed Ledger Technology and Artificial Intelligence, in rendering the accountancy profession increasingly specialised and effective. Dr Said shared three recommendations, which in his view were crucial in ensuring the new graduates’ continued success. These include fluency with international reporting standards, which is essential in today’s realities where professionals move around the globe, possession of competence in increasingly complex technology and demonstrating a strong sense of responsibility, reliance on professional scepticism and high levels of integrity.
Joining remotely, ACCA Global President Orla Collins told the new members that today’s accountants will play an even bigger role in driving climate action and sustainable recovery. “Organisations in private and public sectors will play a crucial role on the growing environmental emergency – and the accountancy profession is an integral part of this change”, she said. Ms Collins offered the assistance of the ACCA for the continuous development of industry professionals.
During the ceremony, four graduates were recognised for distinguishing themselves in their studies. These were Mr Jamie Abdilla (1st in Malta Overall Performance December 2020 MIA-ACCA Top Affiliate), Ms Celine Magro (1st in Malta Overall Performance March 2021 MIA-ACCA Top Affiliate), Mr Jonathan Azzopardi (1st in Malta Overall Performance June 2021 MIA-ACCA Top Affiliate) and Ms Sarah Bonnici (Best UoM Accountancy Student 2021).