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The Malaysian Accountant Journal - Interview with Dr. Veerinderjeet Singh

Dr Veerinderjeet Singh and Dato’ Gan Ah Tee have taken up the reins of leadership of the MICPA as President and Vice-President respectively. The visionary duo, Non-Executive Chairman of Axcelasia Inc. and Regional Senior Partner/Managing Partner of BDO Malaysia recently had a chat with The Malaysian Accountant and spoke about the many challenges faced by the accountancy profession today. These leaders of the industry are exploring numerous methods to further consolidate the Institute’s position as the frontrunner in all accountancy matters in the country.

Dr Veerinderjeet Singh

How does it feel to be the President of the premier accounting association in the country?
I am honoured to be appointed as President of MICPA and thank the Council and the Immediate Past President for the confidence placed in me. I take this role as a logical continuation of my previous role as Vice President for the past 2 years and note the strong tradition that exists in MICPA in terms of the succession plan that exists with respect to the leadership role.

How would you like to make a difference?
The focus should be on the Institute rather than individual personalities. We need to continue having a reach across all the relevant regulators and government agencies that affect the accountancy profession. Where relevant, visits will be arranged to some Government agencies to convey the views of the Institute. As such, the Institute must continue to speak up for the profession. The Institute also needs to regulate its members quickly and fairly.

We also need to revamp the composition of the Council so as to be more inclusive and recognise diversity in terms of having more corporates, academicians and public sector members as well as gender diversity. This process would take a while to implement but steps have already commenced.

We also need to focus on technology and social media and are considering setting up a committee to spearhead this initiative.

Are you satisfied with the trajectory and pace at which MICPA is moving in comparison with the other CPA qualifications?
No, I am not satisfied with what has been achieved and although we can always say that foreign qualifications such as ACCA, CPA Australia and ICAEW have had much better funding and resources to promote and target specific firms and universities, MICPA has its unique position as being well-recognised (we offer a dual qualification whereas others do not), being the only national professional accountancy body and having such an illustrious alumni among corporate leaders. As such, the management team at MICPA has been given higher targets to achieve in terms of the number of students we should sign up in a year. Our collaboration with CAANZ is a great initiative that must be promoted aggressively.

What are the challenges faced by the accounting profession today?
The audit profession, in particular has come under scrutiny over the last few years in various parts of the world and this will see more regulations being introduced to ensure independence and quality of audits. In addition, the accountancy profession has its own challenges in terms of embracing technology and the world of augmented intelligence. All in, these changes show that the profession is not static and that it is a truly dynamic profession to be in.

What are your plans to encourage members to learn and adopt the latest technologies for work purposes in the industry?
Besides setting up a committee to look into technology, MICPA internally also has to digitise its processes and we are also looking towards introducing more training programmes that will look at new technologies including blockchain so that our members will be in tune with the latest and also know how these developments affect the profession.

I also believe that MICPA does not need to duplicate what others do. I believe in working smart and collaborating and as such, the management at MICPA will work with the other foreign professional bodies and will consider joint talks or sessions where we can share knowledge for the benefit of the profession.

How has being a Malaysian CPA helped you in your career?
Having taken the professional examinations and then becoming a member of MICPA enabled me to establish myself as an accountant and this has assisted me in my career progression.

www.micpa.com.my