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MIA News

  • 19 May 2023 15:37 | Anonymous

    The metaverse, as well as technological developments in the field of blockchain and AI, create a vast array of opportunities, according to Malta’s budding accountants, but establish new risk of abuse associated with money-laundering, tax evasion and financing of terrorism.

    A Forum hosted by the Malta Institute of Accountants’ (MIA) Young Members Focus Group highlighted how metaverse, blockchain and NFTs are opening up new realities in the space of digital ownership, supply chain transparency, and investment opportunities while creating new revenue streams in diverse sectors of the economy.

    Opening the event, MIA President David Delicata highlighted the economic opportunities that such technology presents. Comparing the impact of this technological revolution to the rise of the Internet, Mr Delicata recalled that just a few decades ago, the widespread availability of the Internet was met with concern, but through time, not only were these concerns addressed accordingly but the internet has transformed the way we do things, including business. Similarly, society has to learn how to regulate the developments associated with the subject matter to ensure that while the opportunities are fully utilised, abuse is identified and addressed.

    MIA CEO Maria Cauchi Delia observed how, while technology is acting as a major disruptor within the financial industry, it has also enabled the creation of new opportunities for accountancy professionals and will continue to do so. Despite the challenges that such developments bring about, at the same time this reality is another living proof of how dynamic the profession is.

    Three panels of knowledgeable speakers shared their views on the impact of recent advancements in these fields on matters relating to investment, the regulatory, legal and fiscal sphere and accounting and taxation, also with an eye on developments initiated at European level. Across the panels, a recurrent consideration focused on the fact that digital elements such as NFTs will require a rethinking of fundamentals related to their nature, given that their role could range from that of tradeable securities to possessions equivalent to intellectual property.

    Touching base on the main challenges when it comes to these aspects, including AML, the speakers highlighted the need for technology, law and finance professionals to consult and come together when dealing with these areas, and the importance of communicating with the relevant authorities.

    Besides regulation, accountancy professionals highlighted the need for education across the board, from the general public, to the authorities and regulators, with the latter facing a continuous race for time against money-launderers, fraudsters and tax evaders who keep seeking to maximise the opportunities given to them by evolving technology.

    Mr Dean Micallef, Chairperson of the MIA Young Members Focus Group, brought the event to a close by underlining the fact that these new technological developments required a change in mindset and highlighting that the responsibility of industry professionals to take it on. "Remain interested because it is going to keep moving”, were Mr Micallef’s final words of advice to all those present for the event.

    The well-attended event, held at Villa Arrigo, also featured the traditional networking element at the end of the sessions, helping to bring together the vibrant community of young professionals within the Institute as well as strengthen connections across different professions.

  • 15 May 2023 15:52 | Anonymous

    Over the past couple of decades, the financial services industry in Malta has undergone remarkable expansion, emerging as an appealing destination for global players and creating thousands of high-quality and well-paying employment opportunities. This sector remains a crucial catalyst for economic growth and plays a significant role in the country’s overall development.

    While this growth is testament to the resilience of the industry, it does not guarantee future success on its own. The recent grey-listing was a major wake-up call which prompted all stakeholders to take determined and decisive action. Authorities, regulators, and professional organisations, including the Malta Institute of Accountants, collaborated to address existing weaknesses and enhance the system’s ability to combat financial crime.

    Concurrently, it is also acknowledged that it is time to look forward. Other countries have quietly leveraged smart technologies to gain a competitive edge, highlighting the importance of adaptability and flexibility in today’s global economy. As a jurisdiction which has always been forward-looking in its approach, there is a clear opportunity to embrace a new era of digitally empowered financial services and reaffirm Malta’s position in a highly competitive global market.

    With this background, a unique joint effort of public and private forces, led by the Malta Financial Services Advisory Council (MFSAC), mapped the way forward and came up with a new Strategy for the financial services sector. This Strategy aims to strengthen Malta’s position as a professional jurisdiction supported by a digitally enabled and user-friendly financial system. A total of 175 tangible initiatives have been proposed, which will truly take the industry to the next level. Even better, the Strategy goes beyond the identification of solutions, but it assigns responsibilities and timeframes, ensuring their feasible implementation.

    It covers a number of industry verticals namely Banking and Payments, Capital Markets, Insurance and Pensions, Wealth & Asset Management and Fintech, while also tackling requirements related with Taxation, Human Resources and Education, and Sustainability and Sustainable Finance.

    The Malta Institute of Accountants played a central role in formulating the Strategy and will continue to actively participate by representing the concerns of its members and addressing them at the relevant levels, including regulatory bodies. Additionally, the Malta Institute of Accountants has been entrusted with the responsibility of planning and overseeing the implementation of recommendations related to human resources and education, with human resources and skills gaps being major limiting factors for the financial services sector.

    Furthermore, the Malta Institute of Accountants is extensively involved, occasionally even taking a leading role, in fulfilling other supporting requirements such as taxation and sustainable finance.

    Understanding the profound impact of these reforms, the Malta Institute of Accountants will be dedicating its traditional Biennial Conference to a comprehensive examination of these proposals. The objective is to delve beyond a mere overview but rather to provide participants with in-depth insights into the anticipated changes in the coming months.

    This year’s event, being held on the May 31, 2023 in collaboration with the MFSAC, will offer a unique opportunity to receive first-hand insight on the Strategy and gain visibility of the new growth avenues being identified for the months and years ahead.

    The MIA Biennial Conference 2023 Rethink and Reform, A Blueprint for Malta’s Competitiveness in Financial Services will be held on May 31, 2023 at the Hilton Hotel. Book your place at www.miamalta.org/Biennial23

  • 25 Apr 2023 13:57 | Anonymous

    Are you struggling to build strong relationships with your clients? Do you find it challenging to give and receive feedback effectively? Do you wonder what really matters to your clients when it comes to features versus benefits? Do you want to learn how to increase your connection with your clients using mirroring techniques? If so, then join me for an upcoming training session where we will cover all of these essential topics and more.

    During this training session, you will gain a deeper understanding of the essentials of relationship management for different clients. You will learn how to tailor your approach to different types of clients in order to build stronger, more meaningful relationships with them. We will explore different communication styles and how to adapt your communication to match your clients' needs and preferences. Because communications is a two-way stream, due focus will be placed on how to give and receive feedback based on active listening.

    Additionally, we will cover the topic of features versus benefits to help you understand the difference between these two concepts and why it is important to focus on benefits when communicating with your clients. We will explore different ways to identify your clients' needs and how to communicate the benefits of your products or services in a way that resonates with them.

    Finally, we will explore the concept of mirroring and how it can increase your connection with your clients. You will learn how to use body language, eye contact and mannerisms to mirror your clients and build rapport with them.

    By the end of this training session, you will have a solid understanding of the essentials of relationship management, effective feedback, features versus benefits, and mirroring techniques. You will be able to apply these skills and techniques to build stronger, more meaningful relationships with your clients, communicate more effectively with them, and ultimately, drive better business outcomes.

    Don't miss out on this valuable opportunity to improve your relationship management skills. Sign up for the training session today and take the first step towards building stronger, more meaningful relationships with your clients.

    Register here.

  • 19 Apr 2023 14:01 | Anonymous

    The Institute had the pleasure of presenting a cheque of €7300 to Dr Klown, a non-governmental organisation that has been providing clown doctor services to children at Mater Dei Hospital in Malta since 2010. This generous donation was made possible thanks to the funds raised through various events, including the Football Tournament, World Cup Predictor, and Quiz Night, as well as the generous donations from supporters and talented artists who contributed through their artworks.

    Dr Klown was founded by a group of people who shared the goal of providing entertainment and humour to children in the hospital. What started as a pilot project has now evolved into a professional NGO that prides itself on delivering joy and laughter to young patients. The clown doctors of Dr Klown are volunteers who are artistically and psychologically trained to entertain children in hospital. To clown doctors, the person matters more than the illness, and even when kids are very sick, they are still kids who can benefit from some levity.

    The healing power of humour has been recognised since ancient times, and international research has found real physiological and psychological benefits to patients. To provide this cheer, clown doctors might visit and stay with the children during treatment, improvising around each child's situation and interests.

    The Institute's donation will allow Dr Klown to continue to bring smiles to the faces of young patients and make a positive impact on the lives of their families. These funds will go towards ensuring that the organisation can provide its services to as many children as possible, spreading joy and laughter throughout the hospital.

    As we celebrate this milestone, Dr Klown is currently on the lookout for new volunteers to join their family as clown doctors. Those interested are encouraged to fill in the application form on their website and attend the Dr Klown Recruitment Day on April 29th. Volunteers must be over 18 years old and will receive training and support to ensure that they are prepared to provide the best possible experience to young patients.

    In conclusion, the work of Dr Klown is an important reminder that even in the most difficult times, a smile and a bit of laughter can make all the difference. We urge everyone to consider volunteering their time and support this wonderful organisation that spreads joy and laughter to children in hospital and their loved ones!

    Those interested in donating can do so on Dr Klown’s website.

  • 3 Mar 2023 13:30 | Anonymous

    This three-hour webinar is beneficial for real estate professionals (such as estate agents, valuers and advisors) and professionals who review valuations and property investors as it will advance their skills in the core methods used for the market valuation and investment appraisal of investment and commercial real estate. This is useful as commercial real estate valuation is a crucial element of the local real estate market but can be opaque and difficult to decipher.

    Traditionally, commercial properties have been valued using the traditional capitalisation method. This is an inflation implicit valuation method where the rental value is divided by an all-risks yield (or cap rate) in order to obtain the Market Value.

    However, the world is experiencing a shift towards the discounted cash flow method as it is an inflation explicit method which is more versatile which makes it able to cater for changing complexities in lease structures.

    This shift has been slow in Malta as there remains a reluctance within the real estate sector to adopting valuation approaches in which these factors are made more explicit for a variety of reasons.

    The webinar will discuss the key concepts and principles of the plethora of yields out there and of these two valuation methods, being the two main methods in the income approach. It will comment upon the on-going debate about the preferred use of the traditional method of valuation as opposed to their explicit (DCF) counterparts by giving an overview of the processes and pros and cons of both methods, and will give guidance about when to use both methods.

  • 1 Mar 2023 17:30 | Anonymous

    Analysing a set of financial statements is an important skill for any accountant or financial advisor.

    During the session, we will be discussing the importance and relevance of applying key accounting ratios to historical financial data to build a better picture of a company’s health, overall performance and trends. Furthermore, by analysing and interpreting key accounting ratios and historical financial data correctly, a financial advisor is better equipped to identify areas of strength and weakness, and to devise and implement appropriate and effective procedures. Through this, accountants and financial advisors should be able to provide key stakeholders with valuable data to facilitate better decision making.

    Accountants and financial advisors are frequently required to provide senior management and board members with financial projections in an attempt to predict the future performance of an organisation. A proper set of financial projections can only be drawn up if historical data is correctly analysed and interpreted. During the session, we will also be analysing the historical performance of a global brand with a view of formulating a set of financial projections based on such analysis.

  • 13 Feb 2023 12:00 | Anonymous

    The European and local drive towards a knowledge-based economy championing research, creativity and innovation has led to an increased number of intangible assets to be recorded on company balance sheets. This strengthens the importance of an accountant’s knowledge on the correct treatment of intangible assets both from an IFRS and a GAPSME perspective.

    An intangible asset is an identifiable non-monetary asset without physical substance. Assets which fall within the scope of this definition include licenses, patents, copyrights, software and import quotas, all of which may typically be transferred by an owner without the need to transfer any related physical assets. On the other hand, goodwill (which also meets the definition of an intangible asset) incorporates the residual intangibles or synergies which cannot be reliably measured separately in a business combination, implying the need for an actual transfer of an entity’s physical assets.

    Whilst IAS 38 ‘Intangible Assets’ is quite descriptive on the subject and provides extensive detail about the identification, measurement, and amortisation requirements for intangible assets, some may argue that the standard may fail to capture the key value in certain cases. Various contrasting views arise especially in the case of organically grown companies who’s internally generated intangibles can only be recognised in specific circumstances. On the other hand, IAS 38 generally requires acquired intangibles to be recognised. As an example, most brands are internally generated over several years with little to no historical cost to be recognised.

    An intangible asset with an indefinite useful life reflects no foreseeable limit to the period over which an asset is expected to generate net cash inflows, yet this does not necessarily mean that its life is infinite. In the case of intangible assets with a finite useful life, the amortisation of these assets shall be considered. The determination of an intangible’s useful life is not a straightforward matter and should include consideration of various internal and external factors to a company. Nevertheless, difficulties in determining the useful life of an intangible asset should not be interpreted to mean that an intangible has an indefinite useful life.

    Neville Saliba, Financial Reporting Team Leader at Zampa Debattista and an active member within the MIA’s Young Members Committee shall be delivering a 3-hour detailed CPE on the subject matter. This shall include looking into not only the definition, recognition and accounting treatment of intangible assets under IFRS and GAPSME, yet also delving into more specialised areas such as the practical considerations faced by a company in capitalising internally generated intangible assets and considerations from the pharmaceutical industry, amongst other matters.

    Those interested can register here.

  • 27 Jan 2023 14:30 | Anonymous

    The Financial Controller in a family business is normally viewed as one of the top key players in the running of the family business. The influence that financial controllers can exert can be significant as they can provide an independent and impartial view of what is happening in the family business and how it can best improve and adapt to the challenges such business would be facing.

    Whether inhouse and employed, or through external service providers, financial controllers need to make sure that they understand the forces at play in a family business, whilst making sure that they use their unique position to influence family businesses to shape up and become more professional. Therefore, these financial controllers have many times a role which goes beyond the accounting and reporting function.

    Specifically, a financial controller, should be influential to:

    • ensure that the family business has the appropriate governance structures that a financial controller can use to warn about future risks or address present issues;

    • ensure that the ownership structure of the family business is in line with the business reality and future needs;

    • build an internal culture amongst the family business leadership that is based on a strategic mindset and not just an operational one;

    • set up a firm reporting calendar, ensuring that the family business becomes a data driven organisation, whereby decisions are taken on data and not gut feeling;

    • help set up various important policies as part of the corporate governance setup of the family business, including policies on family employment, dividend distribution and family wealth management; and

    • encourages succession planning at all levels of the family business so that this is an ongoing journey rather than being left as a last-minute event.

    The underlying point is simple. Many times, financial controllers, whether internal or external, are likely to be amongst the first true professionals that are in contact with family businesses and the first port of call family business owners turn to, especially when facing a problem. Hence, their role is much larger than that of preparing financial statements. They are uniquely positioned to ensure that the family business moves up the professional ladder in the way it is managed, having the right strategic mindset, corporate governance structures and data driven culture which ensures that a family business is led through carefully planning for the future, rather than just firefighting with the present.

    Interested in the learning more? Mr Silvan Mifsud will be delivering a two session package on Being the Financial Controller of a Family Business - register here!

  • 25 Jan 2023 15:00 | Anonymous

    Money-laundering in society brings about a stream of negative social and economic costs to the wider community. In this context, during this year’s AML Conference, the Malta Institute of Accountants (MIA) and the relevant authorities called on stakeholders to continue to strengthen their commitment to fighting financial crime, whilst highlighting Malta’s role within the international community in this respect. The event took place on Wednesday 18th January 2023 at the Radisson Hotel.

    A strong turnout of accountancy and auditing professionals was testament to the increasing relevance of money-laundering for key stakeholders, particularly in the financial and corporate industry.

    MIA’s President Mr. David Delicata highlighted how the actions and decisions of subject persons, including accountants and auditors, have reverberations throughout the wider continent. “As such, we have a significant role to play in ensuring our services are not used to carry out a criminal purpose.” He described accountants and auditors as frontliners, being in a position to detect red flags that might not be picked up by other service providers who interact with the same customers.

    MIA’s CEO Ms. Maria Cauchi Delia highlighted how the Financial Intelligence Analysis Unit’s (FIAU) new Implementing Procedures (IPs) targeted at accountancy and auditing professionals provide stronger certainty to the professional, given the specificity of the IPs and the fact that these address grey-areas and specific nuances emanating from the relevant legislative framework. She noted how the Institute and the FIAU as well as the Malta Business Registry (MBR), are working closely together, for the benefit of the wider industry participants.

    A number of experts from various fields addressed the AML conference, including high-level representatives from the FIAU and the MBR, two entities which supported the event. Dr Geraldine Spiteri Lucas, the Registrar and CEO of the MBR provided updates on the development of a central due diligence repository and shared her reactions on a recent landmark judgement of the EU restricting access to the public to the Beneficial Ownership Register. Mr Alfred Zammit, Deputy Director of the FIAU, presented the Unit’s Strategy for the years ahead with a specific focus on collaboration with industry stakeholders.

    A significant part of the Conference was devoted to the recently published FIAU’s sector specific Implementing Procedures, with discussions based on the reporting obligations emanating from the IPs with a focus on case-studies relating to tax, audit and accounting, as well as to obligations relating to ongoing monitoring and record-keeping. Data shows that accountancy professionals have become important contributors to the fight against money-laundering with an increasing number of suspicious transaction reports being submitted in recent years.

    The various sessions provided an opportunity for participants to continue to reflect on how to improve the implementation of the necessary procedures for effective compliance with the AMLCFT’s regulatory framework. In the weeks ahead, the MIA in collaboration with the FIAU will be hosting a number of CPE training events delving into further detail in these Implementing Procedures Part II.

  • 17 Nov 2022 14:30 | Anonymous

    As the popular saying suggests laughter is the best medicine but smiling becomes rare for children in hospitals. Defined as magicians of the soul, clown doctors have been spreading doses of fun and laughter throughout the local hospitals for the past eleven years, working to lift the morale of sick children.

    Klown Doctors collaborate with medical professionals to distract children’s painful procedures, calm and distract in an emergency, encourage and help during occupational therapy and physical therapy, and generally enhance the quality of life for some of the most vulnerable members of our community—ill and injured children.

    Really and truly, Klown Doctors are not physicians by professions but have to be excellent performers, with any object, device or toy that is found in a patient’s room that can be transformed and used as a tool to clown with. This all comes together with a dose of some imagination or magic. And last but not least the signature red nose worn by every Klown Doctor, sending the important message to each young patient that: Here comes FUN!

    Dr Klown’s voluntary team has been in Malta for 11 years, with the first group of 6 Klown Doctors now growing to 40 active volunteers, of which 25 are Klown Doctors from all walks of life and ages ranging between 21 and 72. These laughter professionals spread smiles in Mater Dei Hospital, the Oncology Centre and Gozo General Hospital visiting children several times a week.

    Newly-engaged Klown Doctors are supported through extensive training covering artistic skills, specific hospital clown skills and psychological skills and is spread over a full year before the Klown actually enter the wards under the guidance of experienced Klown Doctors. These Klowns continuously improve their skills by attending ongoing and annual training sessions, led by professional hospital clown trainers from abroad; they are coached on-the-job by local trainers.

    The Malta Institute of Accountants is deeply appreciative of the beautiful role played by this community to bring joy and happiness among sick children. For this reason, we are very happy, as part of our corporate social responsibility to provide it with our support. Earlier this year, proceeds from a one-day football tournament hosted by the Institute were shared for this wonderful cause. Klown Doctors are volunteers, but training, preparation, costumes and props all cost money. Thus, every little bit of assistance makes a difference. Help bring a smile on a face with your support.

    You can Donate a Smile by making a Donation by:

    Cheque addressed to: Dr. Klown
    Posted to: Marketing Team, The Malta Institute of Accountants, Suite 4, Level 1, Tower Business Centre, Tower Street, Swatar BKR 4013

    Bank Transfer Account Name: The Malta Institute of Accountants
    Account Number: 16600541018
    Bank: Name Bank of Valletta PLC
    IBAN: MT27VALL22013000000016600541018
    Description: Dr Klown Donation


Contact Us

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E-mail: info@miamalta.org

Tel. +356 2258 1900