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June 29, 2009

MIA seeks louder voice in standards on Islamic finance, audit and ethics

The Malaysian Institute of Accountants has teamed up with the International Centre for Education in Islamic Finance (ICEIF) to build understanding of Islamic finance among accounting professionals.

The institute has also launched two new standard-setting boards, the Audit Assurance Standards Board (AASB) and the Ethics Standards Board (ESB).

MIA president Nik Mohd Hasyudeen Yusoff told The Accountant the committee formed with the ICEIF responds to growing interest in Islamic finance within the financial markets.

“For these products to be in the mainstream there are some issues that must be resolved,” he said.

“The committee that MIA has established will explore the application of [IFRS] with Islamic finance…. The committee also aspires to provide feedback to [the International Accounting Standards Board] on special features of Islamic finance and solutions to align Islamic finance within with the IFRS framework.”

The two new standards boards were formed by elevating two existing committees and incorporating public representation.

“The move to form the boards is rooted in the simple fact that spurring good governance is an important agenda for the MIA. We needed a structure that commands respect from all parties,” Yusoff said.

The new boards will work to engage international standard setters in the formation and improvement of standards – bringing a stronger Malaysian voice to the table.

“We want these boards to rise to the occasion of articulating corporate Malaysia’s viewpoints and participate in the international standard-setting process to ensure that the standards are relevant and applicable to us,” he said.

The boards will also complement the work of Malaysia’s Audit Oversight Board (AOB), which is not yet established, but could be operating by the end of this year.

“Working together with the AOB will ensure that the profession’s views and thoughts are brought to this body. This is also an important element in creating a capital market that is well respected,” he said.

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