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MIA News

  • 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

  • 16 Nov 2022 16:00 | Anonymous

    Major corporate tax reforms and a continuous push for compliance will be an inevitable reality for the Maltese economy and businesses in the years ahead as international institutions seek new avenues for debt reduction, to fight climate change and achieve sustainable and equitable growth. This reality emerged strongly in the positions expressed by professionals, politicians, business leaders and other stakeholders at the Tax Conference organised by the Malta Institute of Accountants (MIA) on 10th November 2022.

    Setting the context to the Conference, aimed at Deciphering the Tax Puzzle, MIA President Mr David Delicata said that in the current international scenario, wide-ranging reforms in tax are a given to make the international corporate tax framework fairer and fit for today’s economic realities. “International institutions, whether it’s the OECD or the EU, seek tax reform as a matter of not only improving revenue but also to bring stability and predictability in the global corporate tax framework”.

    MIA CEO Ms Maria Cauchi Delia highlighted how the EU was pushing for more transparency, consolidation and coordination on fiscal and economic policies, leading to several proposals in the fields concerning the profession, including AML and taxation. The MIA has been very active in providing feedback to the relevant institutions and at the appropriate fora, in Malta and abroad. “These are challenging times, but the accountancy profession plays an important role in this change”, she argued.

    Finance and Employment Minister Clyde Caruana explained that although the EU-level momentum for corporate tax reform has stalled, there is an air of inevitability that this will eventually happen. “Even though we may have gained some time, Malta’s tax regime will eventually have to change because of pressure from different angles. However, any reforms will have to be accompanied with increased level of compliance. If the latter does not happen, it may have repercussions on the country’s financial position”, he argued. Hon. Caruana also called on professionals to play a part in bringing about a change towards this culture of compliance.

    Shadow Finance Minister Jerome Caruana Cilia shared his views on the proposed changes but called on authorities to ensure that Malta makes its voice heard in European and other international fora to advocate a more manageable rate of change, which would give tax administrators and practitioners time to adapt to the necessary changes.

    Commissioner for Revenue Mr Joseph Caruana detailed plans of his Office to focus its efforts on the taxpayers. While recognising challenges associated with the legacy system, Mr Caruana expressed his commitment to support business operators by providing a more effective service. He referred to the setting up of a working group, with the participation of the MIA, to identify simplification initiatives and to maximise the use of digitalisation in the future. This will include both quick wins and longer-term legislative reform to make processes simpler and reduce compliance costs for businesses.

    The conference also featured the virtual participation of Accountancy Europe’s Mr Paul Gisby and Mr Johann Barros who shed light on the drive coming from EU institutions to reform tax legislation.

    Discussion and breakout panels, with the participation of several industry leaders and professionals, addressed relevant topics including succession planning in family businesses, selected practical challenges of transfer pricing, AML considerations for tax practitioners, as well as VAT developments in the financial services industry.

    The Conference was brought to an end by the Chairpersons of the MIA’s Direct and Indirect Taxation Committees, Mr Craig Schembri and Ms Louise Grima respectively, who expressed the linkage between this Conference and the various activities carried out by their respective committees.

  • 7 Nov 2022 14:00 | Anonymous

    The Financial Intelligence Analysis Unit (FIAU) would like to inform subject persons that on the 27th of October 2022 the European Commission published a revised version of its Supranational Risk Assessment (SNRA).

    This is the third edition of the SNRA. The updating of this  publication, as stipulated in Article 6(1) of the Directive (EU) 2018/843 (Fifth Anti-Money Laundering Directive), has been slightly delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The pandemic, which led to unparalleled global challenges and economic disruptions also presented its ML/FT risks. These have also been evaluated within the SNRA. Additionally, the ML/FT risks regarding Russia’s current invasion of Ukrainian territory have also been taken into consideration.

    The 2022 SNRA re-assesses all the sectors covered by the previous 2019 publication. Where changes to sectors or products have been identified, such as crypto-assets and online gambling, a re-calculation of the risk levels took place.  In addition, where no changes were identified, the information included for these sectors or products has been updated and fine-tuned. As with the previous reports, this SNRA examines the present ML/FT risks and recommends thorough action to address these risks.

    Due to this revised publication, subject persons are being reminded of their obligations under Regulation 5 of the Prevention of Money Laundering and Funding of Terrorism Regulations (PMLFTR) and Chapter 3 of the FIAU Implementing Procedures Part I, with respect to the carrying out of their risk assessments. Amongst other aspects to bear in mind when carrying out risk assessments, subject persons must consider the findings of any supranational risk assessment relating to risks of money laundering and funding of terrorism. Furthermore, once carried out, subject persons are obliged to regularly review and keep these assessments up to date.

    The revised SNRA is available on the FIAU website by clicking on this link.

    Additionally, it can also be accessed through the European Commission’s website:

    ‘Report from the Commission to the European Parliament and the Council on the assessment of the risk of money laundering and terrorist financing affecting the internal market and relating to cross-border activities’

    SNRA 2022

    ‘Commission Staff Working Document Accompanying the document Report from the Commission to the European Parliament and the Council on the assessment of the risk of money laundering and terrorist financing affecting the internal market and relating to cross-border activities’

    SNRA 2022 - Annex
  • 5 Nov 2022 09:00 | Anonymous

    The rapid progression of technology as a disruptive force is impacting societies across the globe in new and unanticipated ways. In such a context, the finance function takes on the responsibility of leading this change within its organisation, while adapting itself to new tools and processes which transform the way it goes about its business. This reality was at the centre of a physical CPE event organised by the MIA Digital Committee on 5th October 2022 - The future of the finance function: the digital agenda and technology assurance.

    The event, which attracted the participation of several professionals from different economic sectors, focused on the impact of digital transformation on the finance function as well as the regulatory aspect and its implications on the technology landscape.

    Introducing the first topic, Damian Heath, member of the MIA Digital Committee, noted how the key issues associated with a company’s digital transformation can be essentially grouped in two core elements: a change in skillset and a change in mindset. While learning new technological skills sits at the foundation of this transformation, a change in approach and behaviour is required for its successful implementation, with people recognising further how data, Artificial Intelligence and new technologies can actually be a source of improved efficiency and growth for any organisation.

    Mr Heath’s analysis facilitated an engaging debate by a thought-provoking panel discussion made up of Stephen Muscat (Chairperson of the MIA Professional Accountants in Business Group and Chief Financial Officer Liquigas Malta), Albert Bonello (Chief Financial Officer AX Group) and Jason Attard (Head of Data Office Bank of Valletta). Participants focused on the importance of having data available and knowing how to use it, this being a necessary tool to help businesses uncover valuable insights within their financials, identify process improvements that actually increase efficiency, and better manage risk.

    The second part of the session, moderated by another member of the MIA Digital Committee Andrew Schembri, focused on the emerging regulatory framework being developed to reflect the new technological realities. MFSA’s Beatriz Brunelli Zimmermann gave a run-through on the Digital Operational Resilience Act (DORA). She explained that given the increasing reliance of financial entities on ICT systems and technologies which are sometimes outsourced, technological and cyber risks have increased significantly. In this context, DORA strengthens digital operational resilience by setting proportional requirements to financial entities in the areas of governance, risk management, incident reporting, testing and ICT third-party risk. In addition, DORA also regulates critical ICT third party providers – such as cloud service providers – known to greatly support the financial services sector. Therefore, the Regulation contributes towards greater market confidence and assurance overall.

    This was followed with a presentation by Ing. Efrem Borg, Chief Technologist at the Malta Digital Innovation Authority, who introduced the forthcoming Technology Assurance Assessment Framework (TAAF) which is intended to serve as a technological trust utility for regulated and unregulated markets operating technologies in various risk levels across a multitude of sectors.

    The pair were then joined by Bernard Fenech, Chief Information Officer at Oney Insurance, who shared valuable insights on how regulatory assurance can serve as a vehicle for delivering shareholder value by building trust, both internally and externally throughout the whole supply chain.

    Gordon Micallef, the Chairperson of the MIA Digital Committee, concluded the event remarking on the ongoing need for finance functions to evolve and remain relevant to the digital developments discussed in the two panels.

  • 28 Oct 2022 10:23 | Anonymous

    The Malta Institute of Accountants has opened its door to over 200 accountants as new members following successful completion of their studies through the University of Malta and the ACCA throughout the previous academic year.

    In a formal ceremony held at the Mediterranean Conference Centre in Valletta, MIA President David Delicata highlighted the virtues of ethics and integrity as mainstays of the accountancy profession, reminding new members of the responsibility their role brings towards the rest of society. He described the recent decision by the FATF to remove Malta from its grey-list as a departure point, appealing to fresh graduates to remain loyal to these values as they join the professional world. Mr Delicata also called on new members to embrace life-long learning as a means to enhance their budding career.

    MIA CEO Maria Cauchi Delia congratulated the new members for the motivation, endurance and patience shown in reaching this milestone. She described the Malta Institute of Accountants as “the only recognised professional accountancy organisation in Malta, which based on its members’ feedback, makes its voice heard on matters of key strategic importance to the profession.” The new members were informed that through the Malta Institute of Accountants, they had a platform which could be used to meet other professional accountants and exchange knowledge and experience whilst being supported throughout their professional career”. She urged students to rally their emotional intelligence and empathy throughout their professional life, while urging them to take an active role in the Institute particularly through the Young Members focus group. Ms Cauchi Delia also thanked the ACCA and University of Malta with whom the MIA maintains excellent and healthy relations.

    The Institute recognised the achievement of the top University of Malta graduate and ACCA affiliates in the presence of Prof Emaunel Said, Dean of the Faculty of Economics, Management and Accountancy at the University of Malta and Mr Thomas Galea, International Assembly Representative of ACCA.

    Prof Said appealed to fresh graduates to adopt a positive attitude towards their professional lives, suggesting that “while skills can be learnt over time, it is attitude that will make or break”. He also called on professionals that while seeking profit and wealth is a justifiable objective, this should never be at the expense of well-being.

    Mr Galea reminded new members that this acheivement will bring additional responsibilities, calling on them to always seek to do what is right. “We have a responsibility towards the community and the profession to do the right thing”, Mr Galea added. He also called on new members to seek to make new experiences, highlighting the role this has in nurturing careers and taking professionals further in their career.

    During the ceremony, five graduates were recognised for distinguishing themselves in their studies. These were Francesca Vassallo (1st in Malta Overall Performance September 2021 MIA-ACCA Top Affiliate), Kylie Cutajar (1st in Malta Overall Performance December 2021 MIA-ACCA Top Affiliate), Maria Sciberras (1st in Malta Overall Performance March 2022 MIA-ACCA Top Affiliate and 2nd worldwide in the strategic professional exams) and Daniela Mallia (1st in Malta Overall Performance June 2022 MIA-ACCA Top Affiliate). Jodie Vassallo received the award for the Best University of Malta Accountancy Student 2021.

    As the Institute continuously encourages professionals to be active in society beyond their professional role, two other members of the Institute, Cinzia Fenech and Nicholas Ferry were honoured with their Kevin Mahoney award for their voluntary contribution towards the needs of the more vulnerable members of society.

  • 17 Oct 2022 16:00 | Anonymous

    The term marketing is used loosely for both local and international scenarios. However, although similar, they are definitely not the same.

    By definition, international marketing is described as the tactics and methods used to market products and services in multiple countries, whereas local marketing is essentially the tactics and strategy utilised to market products and/or services in a local economy.

    The former has a wider scope as it involves international trading, besides other issues whilst the latter takes form as more market penetration, product development and in some cases, diversification.

    Each country represents a unique test for marketers because of culture, language, laws, and other factors, which can prove to be quite challenging and more times consuming. These challenges can also be existing on the local level, which requires even more targeted techniques.

    The decision on whether to take the plunge and to do business internationally and launch an international marketing campaign could be any of the examples noted below (although not an exhaustive list):

    • Expanding brand awareness
    • Economic growth in a country
    • New commerce laws
    • Untapped or underserved markets
    • International partnerships/joint ventures

    Launching a global or a local marketing operation can be extremely complicated for the former but could be simple, depending on a number of factors, e.g., market research, marketing budget, the marketing mix, etc.

    It is important to point out that finance professionals need to understand the dynamics behind a marketing strategy, whether international or local, as this normally involves a considerable amount of a company’s budget.

    Therefore, having the right financial perspective, coupled with an enhanced understanding of marketing aspects, can prove to be the competitive advantage, over competitors, that each organisation aims to achieve.

    If you're interested in this topic, the MIA is organising a session on 9th November, 2022. Register here.


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