MIA, ICAEW debate relationship between regulators, auditors
Finance professionals met to discuss ways to enhance the audit process at an event jointly organised by the Malta Institute of Accountants and the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales.
The global financial crisis has turned the spotlight on auditors and all other players in the audit process, asking questions about what lessons can be learnt from the crisis and what improvements can be made. The event at Le Meridien Hotel, St Julian’s a few days ago, examined the relationship and communication between auditors, audit committees, management and regulators. The debate focused on the financial services sector and mulled potential developments.
Speakers included representatives from the Malta Financial Services Authority, banks and accountancy firms.
“Auditors, audit committees and regulators share a common objective of contributing to financial statements that provide a ‘true and fair view’,” MIA president Anthony Doublet said. “Effective dialogue between auditors, audit committees and regulators will be critical to the ongoing growth of Malta as an international financial centre. Members of the MIA play a central role in key financial services institutions and the Institute is committed to supporting these members as best it can.”
ICAEW’s Financial Services Faculty head Iain Coke said that nowhere is good and transparent governance more important at the moment than in banks. Public confidence has been damaged and must be rebuilt. Clear reporting, robust auditing and transparent governance processes are all critical elements for that to happen, he stressed.
“In a report published earlier this year, ICAEW recommends that stakeholders get better access to information about the challenge and debate that has taken place between bank auditors, the audit committee and executive management,” Mr Coke added.
The joint event follows on from an agreement signed between MIA and ICAEW earlier this year to collaborate on technical matters, offering members of MIA access to ICAEW’s thought leadership and other technical resources.
ICAEW Europe regional director Martin Manuzi pointed out the ICAEW is committed to supporting Malta’s accountancy profession through working with MIA. Having a strong profession, with a large enough pool of qualified professionals, is critical to Malta’s future development as a financial centre. Training for ICAEW’s internationally-recognised qualification, the ACA, has become available in Malta this year, contributing further to building the talent pool.