Tuesday 19 December 2017

IAI Is 60!

Ikatan Akuntan Indonesia (IAI) is the national accountancy body of Indonesia. I was first introduced to IAI when I was the representative of the Malaysian Institute of Accountants (MIA) to the Asean Federation of Accountants (AFA) in 2000. Three personalities whom I could recall representing IAI were Pak Ahmadi Hadibroto, Pak Djoko Susanto and Pak Hanief Arie.

Since them my relationship with the office bearers and executives of IAI became close. We shared a lot of common positions at the regional level including in trade negotiations under the purview of the Asean Framework Agreement in Services (AFAS).

The peak of the relationship was the signing of the Mutual Recognition Agreement between MIA and IAI signed in 2006 where auditors from both institutions are recognised for the purpose of membership provided they fulfil certain requirements. This was the first agreement of its kind amongst accountancy bodies in Asean.

I was invited by IAI to join their 60th anniversary celebration in Semarang, Central Java  last week. I was very meaningful for me as I observed for myself how my accountant friends in Indonesia are recognised as a key pillar in the success of Indonesia. The theme "kejayaan akuntan profesional, kejayaan negeri" or "the success of professional accountants are the nation's success" captures the role of accountants in Indonesia in value creation, strengthening governance and providing career opportunities for Indonesians to develop a successful professional career.

Jusuf Kalla, Indonesian Vice-President, giving his keynote address at the opening ceremony of the IAI 60th Anniversary Conference
A conference was held in conjunction with the anniversary celebration and it could be easily observed how much the profession is recognised by the nation's leaders and the society at large. The conference was officiated by the Vice-President, Jusuf Kalla representing the President who was attending the OIC emergency conference in Turkey. Indonesia Finance Minister Sri Mulyani presented about the state of the Indonesian economy. There were another 5 ministers and 2 deputy ministers who were panellists at the conference covering topics ranging from the contribution of the accountancy profession to the nation to future of government accounting in strengthening public accountability.

A gala dinner was organised by the IAI to commemorate the event including a cultural performance. What was interesting regarding the performance was the participation of a number dignitaries including the Governor of Central Java, the Deputy Finance Minister and a Commissioner of the Financial Services Authority as the casts.

A cultural performance casted by high-powered Indonesians including the Governor of Central Java and the Deputy Finance Minister
I was also invited to be a panellist on the session on The relevance of Small and Medium Sized Practices (SMP) for Accountability in the New Economic Era. Together with me on the panel was Pak Langgeng Subur, the Head of the Center for Supervision of Financial Services Professional and Pak Suhartono, the representative from the Indonesian Certified Public Accountants.

I urged SMP to be meaningful and significant to their clients. This could be achieved by providing services which could help their clients to be better business in addition to the traditional services such as accounting, audit and taxation. I shared the outcome of a servey done by Inovastra which confirmed that small and medium sized enterprises need assistance in the areas of strategy, marketing, talent management, operations, financial management and compliance.

SMPs must be Significant and Meaningful to their clients
It was really an honour for me to be invited and I would like to thank IAI's Executive Director, Elly Zarni Husin for inviting me and would like to congratulate her and her team for a very successful organisation of the anniversary celebration.

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