Harnessing the Best of Technology, Key for the Accountancy Profession to Ensuring Their Relevance – IAI-AFA-IAESB International Conference

(Nusa Dua, Bali – April 11, 2019) – Professional accountants from more than 20 countries in the world, gathered in Bali to find solutions to the global economy that were affected by disruption in the Fourth Industrial Revolution. They participated in IAI AFA in the IAI-AFA-IAESB International Conference 2019 (#iaiintconf2019) which take place on 11-12 April 2019 in Nusa Dua, Bali.

Focusing on the theme of Competencies for the Future: Professionalism of Accountants in the Disruption Era, the Conference looks at key issues such as Information and Communications Technology (ICT) skills and opportunities and challenges for professional accountants in the digital era, the need for professional accountants to become better sceptics, and how professional accountants need to be responsible with their development as a way of enhancing their capacity and accounting competencies.

The Conference provides opportunity for participants to hear the latest trends affecting the profession from key contributors such as Prof Mardiasmo (President, IAI), In-Ki Joo (President, International Federation of Accountants), Kon Yin Tong (President, ASEAN Federation of Accountants), Anne Marie Vitale (Chair, IAESB), CFO/COO from various industry, global accountancy professionals, and more.

Technology continues to reshape the business and economic model into the level of goods and services transactions. This change also affects the interaction of economic players, from the interaction of producers and consumers, to the interaction of shareholders and management. Accounting profession as the main stakeholder of financial reporting is expected to adapt to stay relevant. Technology can be a gift for professional development, but it can also be a serious threat to accountants. Therefore, the accounting profession needs to understand the opportunities and challenges that come in the digital age as a whole, while increasing adaptability capabilities to various shifts in relevant competencies.

President of IFAC, In-Ki Joo, in his remarks said that accountants must embrace with the latest technology development. On that occasion, he appreciated the IAI and Chartered Accountant (CA) which had been launched as an effort to improve the competence of Indonesian professional accountants. In order to deal with changes due to disruption, IFAC has pushed for 3 new standards covered by the International Education Standards (IES), continuous professional development, ICT, and professional skepticism. He urged accountants throughout the world to comprehensively implement the standards so that their contribution in business remain relevant.

President of the IAI, Prof. Mardiasmo said that the changes in the business environment significantly caused disruption in various fields. Big data, blockchain and bitcoin, cloud computing, artificial intelligence, and drone technology are some of the advancements that have brought many challenges and opportunities to the accounting profession. Therefore, accountants in the future need to be equipped with the right skills in order to always meet the expectations of stakeholders. Changes proposed in the IES to develop accountant competencies related to ICT mastery, are one of the right steps by IFAC’s International Accounting Education Standards Board (IAESB) to answer stakeholder requests.

On the other hand, Prof. Mardiasmo emphasized the need for better professional skepticism to minimize fraud in the business world. Corporate financial scandals such as Enron, Lehman Brothers, up to the latest, Nissan, were triggered by the poor corporate governance of their financial reporting. Learning from that case, it takes the role of accountants who are increasingly substantial in maintaining the integrity and accountability of financial reporting in business. Accountants are expected to act on the basis of professional skepticism, in making their professional judgments and maintaining the trust mandated to them.

Another thing that is not less important is the need for continuous learning that enables the competence of professional accountants to stay relevant in the midst of changing business models. Accountants are expected to be able to build a level of public trust based on their professional assessment of the corporate financial performance of the period. Therefore, the assumptions used in making judgments must be based on a mindset that always questions everything that is relevant before arriving at a decision. Continuous professional education can facilitate the development of a professional mindset that includes skepticism as a fundamental part of future professional accountants.

Related to that, Prof. Ainun Naim (IAI National Council member/Secretary General of the Ministry of Technology and Higher Education of Republic of Indonesia) said, lifelong learning should be facilitated by universities, as the education activity, because education will never stop through degree certificate was received before. Speaking in his opening remarks representing the Minister of Technology and Higher Education of Republic of Indonesia, Prof. Ainun revealed, up to now, there have been many universities which facilitate the life-long learning. In USA, 12.8 million students are facilitated by special units. These are provided for advanced students who would like to obtain more and or new knowledge/skills/competencies, which are suitable to dynamic technologies or jobs requirements.

As a professional organization, IAI has launched the Chartered Accountant (CA) certification as an identity for professional accountant in Indonesia. This certification is built based on global best practices, in anticipation of the today’s development of the financial and economic world. IAI has also launched a strategic program Prakarsa 6.1 as a professional concrete step in the face of disruption and the latest developments in the global economy.

In his remarks, President of AFA, Kon Yin Tong highlights how disruptions change the way we do business, the way we live, including how accountants are providing their services. Harnessing the best of technology will be key for any profession, individual or organisations in ensuring their continued relevance. The accountancy profession cannot afford to remain complacent and need to remain relevant in today’s world characterised by the Fourth Industrial Revolution.

This international conference is also assembled with the 128th AFA Council Meeting and IAESB Meeting aimed at strengthening the collaboration of accountant professional organizations in the ASEAN region, and seeking various relevant inputs for the development of the accounting profession in the future. This meeting will also discuss about the implementation of the ASEAN MRA which will regulate the cross-border of professional HR in accounting and finance in the ASEAN region.

This international conference is also assembled with the 128th AFA Council Meeting and IAESB Meeting aimed at strengthening the

For more information about the Indonesian Institute of Accountants (IAI) and the IAI-AFA-IAESB International Conference 2019, please visit www.iaiglobal.or.id or call +6221 31904232 ext. 626.

About AFA (www.aseanaccountants.org)

The ASEAN Federation of Accountants (AFA) was organised in March 1977. It was established to serve as the umbrella organisation for the recognised national Professional Accountancy Organisations (PAOs) of the ten Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) member states. AFA is an accredited Civil Society Organisation of the ASEAN, recognised under the ASEAN Charter.

About IAI (www.iaiglobal.or.id)

Ikatan Akuntan Indonesia (IAI / Institute of Indonesia Chartered Accountants was established in December 1957. IAI is the recognised professional PAO of Indonesia, home for professional accountants and the Chartered Accountant (CA) Indonesia designation. IAI is a co-founder of the International Federation of Accountants (IFAC) and AFA and is currently an Associate of the Chartered Accountants Worldwide (CAW).

About IAESB (www.iaesb.org)

The International Accounting Educations Standards Board (IAESB) is an independent standard setting body that serves the public interest by establishing standards in the area of professional accounting education that prescribe technical competence and professional skills, values, ethics, and attitudes.