ACCA Develops ESG-Skilled Finance Leaders In Malaysia

ACCA (the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants) today held its Malaysia Stakeholders’ Appreciation Reception 2023 in Bangsar South, Kuala Lumpur, to commemorate its 86 years of collaboration with its strategic partners that have contributed to shaping the accountancy profession in Malaysia. These included employers, national professional bodies, government agencies, regulator and ACCA members as well as universities.

The annual reception – the first post-pandemic physical event after nearly three years of suspension – attracted about 500 representatives from the finance and accounting fraternity.  

The event was graced by Yang Berhormat Rafizi Ramli, Minister of Economy of Malaysia, who delivered the keynote address during the reception, emphasising the importance of accountancy and finance services in ensuring the smooth-running of the country’s economy and highlighting the role ACCA and its stakeholders play in developing the profession, and ultimately, the nation.

As evident in its efforts over the years, ACCA, as a global voice leading the accountancy and finance profession, remains committed to growing and developing the profession in Malaysia with its partners in the public and private sectors, including the Malaysian Institute of Accountants (MIA), and the Malaysian Institute of Certified Public Accountants (MICPA).

Central to this mission is its pledge to support the Malaysian government’s targets of significantly increasing its population of qualified accountants to 60,000 by 2030.

Lucia Real-Martin, Executive Director, Relationships, ACCA, said such collaboration is crucial to better understand the changing and multi-faceted needs of businesses and the economy as a whole in today’s increasingly challenging environment. This, in turn, would enable ACCA to come up with the right programmes and up-to-date courses to develop qualified accountants and equip its members and students with the necessary skills and knowledge for them to excel in their career and effectively contribute to the success of their respective organisations, she said.

In her welcome remarks for the Malaysia Stakeholders’ Appreciation Reception 2023, Lucia Real-Martin noted there was a unique opportunity for the accountancy profession to be at the heart of leading and driving positive change in society as the issue of sustainability continued to gain traction. She added that professional accountants could play a vital role in helping society navigate the various global challenges through their skills and knowledge.

“Our current brand theme is called ‘Accounting for a better world’ to promote the vital role the profession can play in supporting governments and policy makers as they navigate change and strive towards building more sustainable economies,” Lucia Real-Martin said.

In tandem with the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), she said, ACCA has identified seven priorities where its profession, and individual professional accountants, could contribute towards a better world.

These seven priorities are building resilient economies; supporting entrepreneurial growth; transforming the public sector; strengthening ethics and trust; developing the talent of tomorrow; driving sustainable business; advancing standards and regulation.

Echoing the sentiment, YB Rafizi Ramli said in his keynote address that accountants are a pillar of good governance due to a unique combination of skills and ethics.

“The values and qualities upheld by the profession – of integrity, accountability, trustworthiness, independence and sound professional judgement – are the foundation of good governance, and hence pivotal to the strategic and governance reforms being implemented by the Unity Government,” he said.

With ESG (Environmental, Social and Governance) matters becoming an increasingly critical agenda for businesses around the globe, YB Rafizi Ramli said accountants could play a major role in integrating the sustainability agenda into organisational strategy and operations.

“Accountants can contribute to upholding the ‘G’ in ESG by advising and supporting companies on business continuity, ESG and sustainability in the post-pandemic and endemic economy; advocating for and supporting tax reforms to support the economy and people; leading good governance and anti-corruption efforts, such as in anti-money laundering and anti-graft; and embracing digital transformation and supporting good digital hygiene and governance to strengthen cybersecurity and combat rising cybercrime,” he explained.

For more information on ESG and sustainability courses and to help students and working professionals gain valuable insights on how to chart their career pathway, ACCA provides a helpful digital tool here.