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November 8, 2010updated 29 Apr 2022 12:48pm

WCOA: Accountants’ Olympics officially opens

KUALA LUMPUR: The World Congress of Accountants (WCOA) was officially opened by a Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Tan Sri Nor Mohamed Yackop in a ceremony fit for the ‘Olympics of Accounting’ yesterday.

A mammoth roll-call of 134 nations kick-started proceedings before the festivities turned to Malaysia’s national anthem, a traditional ‘Tarian Selamat Datang’ dance and prayer, before Tan Sri Nor Mohamed Yackop entered the Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre.

Tan Sri Nor Mohamed Yackop declared the Congress open on behalf of the Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak, who could not attend due to illness. His speech stressed the need for broader adoption of a single set of high quality, global accounting standards and Malaysia’s efforts to achieve full convergence with the International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) by 1 January 2012.

“We are indeed pleased that such prominence has been given to Islamic Finance as it is in line with our efforts to position Malaysia as the premier international hub for Islamic Finance,” he said.

The welcome address by Malaysian Institute of Accountants (MIA) president Abdul Rahim Abdul Hamid highlighted the theme of the Congress – Accountants: Sustaining Value Creation and its relevance in today’s accounting industry.

“The theme of the Congress is consistent with the role of accountants to add value to the performance of an organisation. As value creation becomes important to the business agenda, more accountants are taking on strategic and leadership roles,” Abdul Rahim said.

International Federation of Accountants (IFAC) chief executive Ian Ball said: “The accountancy profession continues to evolve. At this Congress, we will explore new opportunities and potential challenges and how we will meet them.”

Supporting that notion, outgoing IFAC president Robert Bunting said it was more important than ever for delegates to learn from each other, exchange ideas and discuss best practices.

Awards for outstanding contribution

During the opening ceremony for the WCOA, IFAC also presented three attendees with awards for outstanding contribution to the international accounting profession. The IFAC Sempier Award was presented to Robert Mednick.

“[Mednick’s] dedication and achievements in strengthening the profession internationally have raised the bar for all of us and exemplified Sempier’s vision for IFAC and for the international accounting profession,” Bunting said.

The Sempier Award recognises long-term outstanding contributions to the accountancy profession and Mednick was chosen because of his roles in advancing convergence of global accounting and auditing standards, development of professional accountancy bodies in emerging economies, public oversight/regulation of the accountancy profession, reform of accountants’ legal liability, and expansion of the audit function to broader assurance services.

René Ricol and Wang Jun received special awards for their contributions to the profession. Ricol was awarded for his role as president of IFAC during the ‘IFAC Reforms,’ and his key role in developing and implementing those reforms and promoting IFAC’s mission internationally. Jun was awarded for showing leadership in the reform of the Chinese accountancy profession and his work to develop, adopt and implement new Chinese Accounting and Auditing Standards.

The WCOA is the largest international accountancy event and Kuala Lumpur is only the third Asian city to host it after Tokyo in 1987 and Hong Kong in 2002. It gathers leaders in accountancy, business and regulation to explore the latest issues and innovation in accounting. The WCOA in Kuala Lumpur will be attended by more than 6,000 delegates. The Congress is being jointly organised by the MIA and IFAC.


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