His Excellency, Mr. Ibrahim Mohamed Solih, President of the Republic of Maldives inaugurates MAF 2021

Maldives Accountants Forum 2021 was officially launched by His Excellency President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih. This year’s three-day forum was launched at a special ceremony held at Crossroads Maldives last night. The ceremony featured speeches and presentations on accounting profession, its role in promoting transparency and its potential for growth and opportunities for budding accountants.
CA President's Speech at MAF 2021 Inauguration Ceremony

Praise to be Allah, Lord of the worlds,

And blessings and peace be upon Prophet Muhammad, his family and all his companions.

Chief Guest of the ceremony, His Excellency President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih, Government Ministers, Honorable Members of Parliament, Members of the Council of CA Maldives, Past President of CA Maldives and former Auditor General Hassan Ziyath, Managing Directors and Financial Controllers of State-owned Enterprises, heads of public institutions, President of South Asian Federation of Accountants, Mr AKM Delwer Hussain, Representatives of other Professional Accountancy Organizations, Speakers at the Maldives Accountants Forum 2021, Members of the committees of CA Maldives and Members of CA Maldives, my hardworking colleagues from the profession, viewers and listeners of this event. May the peace, mercy and blessings of Allah be with you

A very warm welcome to you all at this special ceremony held to inaugurate the Maldives Accountants Forum 2021. It is, indeed, a very special and happy occasion. His Excellency President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih’s presence at this ceremony as Chief Guest has added to happiness of this occasion. On behalf of the Council and members of Institute, I sincerely thank your Excellency for taking time out of your busy schedule to accept our invitation to meet and talk to Chartered Accountants of the Maldives. It is a testament to your Excellency’s government’s commitment to the development of the accounting profession.

The Maldives Accountants Forum is the largest event targeted at the accountancy profession in the Maldives held annually by the Auditor General’s Office which began in 2017 under the leadership of former Auditor General Hassan Ziyath. Although we were unable to host the forum in 2020 due to circumstances brought about by COVID-19, we organized and held a series of webinars for the accounting profession which involved much-needed technical sessions on specific areas.

By the grace of Allah, the efforts by the government and health professionals brought the COVID-19 under control which has made it made it possible for us to hold the forum physically.

This year’s forum is particularly important given the fact that Institute of Chartered Accountants of Maldives is hosting it for the first time.

Institute of Chartered Accountants of the Maldives is an independent institute that was formed following the ratification of the Maldives Chartered Accountants Act on 8 September 2020 to prescribe accounting and auditing standards in the Maldives, grant licenses to auditors, and regulate and develop the profession.

Many years have passed since professional accounting bodies have begun to be established by laws of the land.  Professional accountancy organisations established by law in some countries around the world have existed for more than 50 years while some them have celebrated their centenary. Professional services provided by accountants produced by these PAOs have helped businesses and economies of their respective countries to flourish and achieve immense progress.

An established formal process of audit licensing began in the Maldives in 1994. 26 years later, we have established a regulatory framework for the accounting profession overseen by an independent legal body modelled on the systems and process put in place elsewhere in the world. I thank Almighty Allah for making this happen.

The proposal to establish a chartered accountancy institute born of years of continued efforts by senior accounting professionals in the Maldives coupled with unwavering support extended to them by the Auditor General’s Office received swift and positive response from the current administration led by President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih. Without doubt, it has laid the foundation for the development of the accounting and audit profession in the Maldives, and for creating new opportunities and a conducive environment for a brighter future.

Hence, on behalf of the members of the Institute and professionals working in the accounting profession, I sincerely thank His Excellency President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih.

I would like to note the efforts of Public Accounts Committee of People’s Majlis in reviewing the Maldives Chartered Accountants Bill and getting it enacted into law. In this regard, I would like to make a special mention of the Chairperson of the PAC Honorable MP Mohamed Nashiz and the Deputy Chairperson, Honorable MP Yauqoob Abdulla for their immense support and contribution. And on behalf of the Institute, I would also like to extend my sincere gratitude to Honorable Members of 19th People’s Majlis.

During the past one year and two months since the formation of the Institute, it has carried out various initiatives towards the advancement of the profession. The Maldivian economy is open to international trade and investments.  In an economy like ours that openly deals with foreign investors and financial institutions, and welcomes stronger trade relations and cross-border transactions, there is an immense need for the services of professional accountants. Therefore, the accounting and audit profession in the Maldives is being regulated and developed through the engagement of industry stakeholders to build and maintain their trust and confidence in the systems and mechanisms being established.

Within a space of just over one year since Institute was formed, it has been able to determine membership admission criteria, qualifications to be approved for admission to membership, and criteria for granting audit license, and admit members and grant audit licenses based on the conditions and criteria it set. It has also carried out much-needed training programmes for the members. In addition, Institute has, recently, issued a regulation for registration of Public Interest Entity Auditors.

These achievements are the results of the commitment and hard work of the Council and committees of Institute. In this regard, I would like to place on record the leadership of our past president and former Auditor General Hassan Ziyath. I would like to convey my heartfelt gratitude to him.

Despite the fact that our institute is relatively young, members of the institute as well members of the accounting profession in the Maldives are professionally qualified accountants with extensive experience. Our businesses prepare financial statements in accordance with International Financial Reporting Standards while we have local and international audit firms conducting audits in accordance with international standards.

CA Maldives has achieved significant milestones over the past one year of its existence. In this regard, we have managed to become an associate member of South Asian Federation of Accountants (SAFA), which is the main regional grouping of professional accounting organizations in the SAARC region. Moreover, we are working towards achieving the associate membership of International Federation of Accountants within the next three years. In addition, CA Maldives is holding regular discussions with relevant stakeholders in the Maldives to develop the profession. Furthermore, CA Maldives is also looking to maintain closer relations with established professional accountancy organizations such as CIMA and ACCA and discussions to this effect are ongoing.

We envision a future for the accountancy profession where young people join it in numbers and contribute effectively to the development of our country. We are in constant dialogue with the government and other stakeholders to develop a pool of highly skilled accounting professionals and create opportunities for aspiring accountants to pursue higher education in the field of accountancy. In this regard, CA Maldives requests the Government to consider providing better opportunities to study and complete professional accountancy qualifications to cater for the industry needs.  We hope to see a highly skilled and competent society in our country in years to come.

We are confident that this year’s forum will provide great insights and invaluable information to the aspiring accountants. We call upon the members of the accounting profession to make the most use of the knowledge gained from the technical sessions to bring beneficial change to the profession.

Before I conclude, I pray to Allah to make this forum a success and I thank you all for attending this ceremony. May the peace, mercy and blessings of Allah be with you.