► InstituteObjectives

Objectives


Fiji Institute of Accountants (FIA) is a statutory body established under the Fiji Institute of Accountants Act, (Cap 259) for the accounting profession in Fiji.
 
Since its inception in 1972 FIA has achieved recognition as a premier accounting body not only in Fiji but also regionally, for its contribution to education, professional development and the maintenance of high accounting, auditing and ethical standards.
 
The total membership of FIA as at the end of 2013 was 786 of which approximately 41 percent were Chartered Accountants.
 
The affairs of the Institute are managed by the Council in accordance with the provisions of the FIA Act and Rules. The Council consists of nine council members, representing both practising accountants and commerce, elected by members.
 
 
CORPORATE PLAN – FRAMEWORK AND REVIEW PROCESS
The Institute’s Corporate Plan describes the working environment of the Institute, sets out the Vision, Mission and Values, as well as the objectives and strategies to achieve them, and is a key part of the Institute’s strategic management process.
 
As the 2007-2012 Corporate Plan neared its end, a review was undertaken to set the direction for the future. A three year plan period covering 2012 to 2015 was decided upon given the rapid changes in the accounting profession globally and the need to undertake speedier reforms.
 
The following review process was followed in the preparation of the 2012-2015 Corporate Plan:
 
  •           Setting out the scope, expectations and review parameters by the Council;
  •           Interviewing Chairpersons of committees of the Council;
  •           Brainstorming session of the Council on key priorities and deliverables;
  •           Reviewing developments in the accounting profession globally, in particular developments within IFAC;
  •           Reviewing trends and developments within accounting bodies in the region;
  •           Focus group meetings with selected members, stakeholders and a selected group of younger members;
  •           Reviewing results from a survey of members and accounting students; and
  •           Reviewing of the draft Corporate Plan by the Council
 
The Corporate Plan maps the direction for the Institute for the three years, outlines strategies to pursue, the key objectives and targets to be met and a number of reform programs and initiatives.

 
OPERATING ENVIRONMENT OF THE ACCOUNTING PROFESSION
The FIA monitors the environment in which it operates and seeks to proactively shape that environment, respond to pressures being exerted where appropriate, and influence the various outcomes related to its mission through its strategies and services. In this regard it closely follows environment assessment and strategies determined by IFAC.
 
A review by IFAC has revealed that the accountancy profession globally operates in an environment that is:
 
  •         Volatile with increased risk, and the future remains uncertain;
  •          Diversified and segmented;
  •          Globalized, due to economic, social and technological forces;
  •          Increasingly affected by political pressure or political action; and
  •          More complex, with professional accountants working closely (and competing for jobs) with others and increasingly having to be effective in multi-disciplinary teams
 
While many of the trends identified in the past - including globalization, complexity and technology - have continued and some have intensified, there are some important shifts in emphasis and priority.
 
  •          There is an increased need for international standards and governance, risk management and internal control best practices;
  •          There is an increased recognition of the value of international standards, giving rise to a greater need for awareness and adoption and, implementation support;
  •          There is a need to develop and strengthen the accounting profession in developing economies as an essential element of achieving financial stability in those economies;
  •          There is an increased demand for organizations to be more responsible in relation to the society, economy and the environment, giving rise to opportunities for the accountancy profession to play a key role in sustainability leadership, reporting and assurance;
  •          There is a need to address the sovereign debt risk issue, giving rise to opportunities to promote the adoption and implementation of IPSASs; and
  •          There is a need to be positioned and resourced to address emerging issues
 
An important aspect of the corporate planning process is the selection of services and allocation of resources that have the greatest influence on the outcomes in the context of the current environment.
 
In the following section are new and revised key activities of each committee, the issues thereon, and strategies to implement the key activities.

 
PUBLIC TRUST
OBJECTIVE
  •       Preserve our core values and commitment to protect the public interest which is the cornerstone of our profession.
 
KEY ISSUES
  •  Public Trust defines who we are and enables the public to place its trust in us. Continuing to be the repository of Public Trust is essential to our future
  • Our services and conduct must be rigorous to engender confidence among the parties that rely on information, including investors, regulators, and financial institutions.
  •  The FIA is not adequately promoting that CAs (Fiji) are “trusted financial leaders”. Public Trust is therefore crucial to our brand strength and our influence.
  • Integrity, objectivity, professional competence and due care, confidentiality, and professional behaviour are central to instilling public trust.
  • Our programs must be recognized internationally, especially by the public accounting regulatory bodies.
  • FIA must continue to ensure confidence and transparency in financial reporting systems and capital markets.
 
STRATEGIES
In view of the challenges facing the profession, several steps need to be taken to build Public Trust and confidence. These include:
  • Continue to align governance structure and practices of the FIA to international best practices.
  • Ensure that standards in accounting, auditing, assurance and quality control; ethics; public sector accounting; and accounting education continue to be aligned to international practice.
  •  Continue to align certification and accreditation programs to international best practices.
  •  Continue to ensure that membership criteria are rigorous and internationally recognised.
  •  Develop and implement a rigorous quality assurance and benchmarking program.
  • Continue to provide a lifelong learning opportunity to members.
  •  Continue to ensure that members are subjected to a demanding, rigorously enforced internationally accepted code of conduct.
  •  FIA must not compromise on standards of integrity, to protect the Public Trust.

 
ACT AND RULES

OBJECTIVE

·      Undertake regulatory reform of the FIA with a view to aligning its governance structure and practices to international best practices and developments within the local regulatory environment.
 
·      Make consequential changes to the Act and Rules.
 

KEY ISSUES

  • As in most of industrialized countries, the licensing and regulation of the accountancy profession in Fiji was founded through the initiative of practicing professional accountants.
  • Over time this approach evolved into a workable system of government-sanctioned self-regulation that was considered adequate and efficient.
  • The last decade has seen the growth of independent regulators of accounting and auditing in many parts of the world.
  •  A call for external oversight of the profession has arisen in some countries to enhance public trust, enforce accountability to the stakeholders and to improve the image of the profession.
  •  Other newly established independent regulators are developing arrangements for working in partnership with the professional accounting bodies.
  • Increased focus on auditor independence and the need to align their function to auditors’ capacity to deliver quality service and maintain independence.
 

STRATEGIES

 
Continue to build a professional accountancy body which is capable of meeting the IFAC's Statements of Membership Obligations. The IFAC conducts compliance reviews every year, the last of which was done in 2012. The FIA has complied with most of IFAC's SMOs
Continue to comply with the established accounting, auditing and ethical requirements. The Institute continues to monitor advances made in accounting, auditing, and ethical standards and continues to adopt them where required. The Institute has agreed to adopt IFRS 10 Consolidated Financial Statements; IFRS 11 Joint Arrangement; IFRS 12 Disclosure of Interests in Other Entities; IFRS 13 Fair Value Measurement with effect from 1 January 2013. The Institute had earlier adopted IFAC's revised Code of Ethics with effect from January 2012.
Participate in strengthening the corporate financial reporting infrastructure.  
Continue to promote and comply with the international good practices on professional ethics (e.g. IFAC Code of Ethics for Professional Accountants). The Institute had earlier adopted IFAC's revised Code of Ethics with effect from January 2012 and will continue to monitor changes for adoption in future.
In light of increased exposure consider member protection through limiting members' liabilities. No action take yet.
Advocate that members provide only those services that that they have the capacity to do , to the required standards of quality and independence. This is already a requirement of the IFAC Code of Ethics which has been adopted by the Institute.
Monitor global trends on independent regulation of the accounting profession, assess its relevance and impact on the FIA, and begin engagement with relevant stakeholders for  a workable system of regulation of the profession. The Institute is regulated by a the FIA Act in addition to the IFAC's Statements of Mandatory Obligations. Also, the FIA Act and the by-laws made under the Act, to date, have sufficient regulatory and oversight provisions for the profession to continue efficiently.
Seek stakeholders and regulators engagement in the consultative process of the review of the Act and Rules. Review of the FIA act has been undertaken however proposal to the Government for amendments is pending. This is because prior changes to the Act, proposed to the Government in previous years, are yet to be approved by the Cabinet.
Facilitate the revamping of the Institute of Public Sector Accountants No action take yet.
Ensure continued involvement of senior ex-officials of the institute. Engageement with ex-officials is ongoing.
Review the tenure and appointment process of the FIA president This has largely been unchanged pending changes to the FIA Act by the Cabinet.

EDUCATION AND MEMBERSHIP

OBJECTIVES

 
·      Provide a lifelong learning environment for members that keep them abreast with the developments within the accounting profession.
 
·      Develop attractive certification programs that evaluate and deliver the competencies necessary to succeed in a complex and changing environment.
 
·      Target all financial positions and advisory roles, in both industry and public practice which require candidates to develop a broader set of competencies and skills in a rapidly changing environment.

KEY ISSUES

  • Increasingly complex business transactions, sophisticated and principles-based accounting standards continually demand a wide range of competencies.
  • There is a growing need for independent opinions under new circumstances such as governance issues at both corporate and national levels and new technical issues.
  • There are difficulties in expressing opinions in light of an increase in complex accounting transactions, industry knowledge, valuations and information technology.
  •  There has been little growth in the number of CPPs over the years.
  • There has been a loss of membership through migration, competition and rigid conditions for maintaining membership.
STRATEGIES


 
Maintain the current high standards, meet or exceed international standards and meet the requirements of reciprocity and mutual recognition agreements. On going and demonstrated through the review of applications in line with the membership requirements.
Create a common body of core values and competencies in which all candidates must demonstrate a defined level of proficiency , prior to certification as a member. This is demonstrated through the review of applications as and when received.
Ensure the required competencies are acquired or developed through an integrated process of academic study, professional education, evaluation and practical experience. On going-recent review carried out by independent consultant Prof Keith Houghton on academic studies
Promote cross border recognition of FIA membership. In particular, negotiate reciprocal recognition with CPA - Australia and other recognised accounting bodies in the region. On going-cross border alliances in the region between international bodies CPAA and NZICA. No other regional accounting bodies identified.
Contuinue to review the Graduate Professional Programme (GPP) for high quality international recognition. On going-recent review carried out by independent consultant Prof Keith Houghton on academic studies.
Continue to align Continuing Professional Education (CPE) to international best practice. Existing, aligned to the IFAC rules. Strengthen the monitoring of CPE hours in progress.
Provide attractive and value adding services to members and encourage members to maintain membership. Ongoing-Initiatives underway in conjunction with PD and Marketing committees.
 Undertake initiatives and actions to attract and increase membership. Ongoing-Initiatives underway in conjunction with PD and Marketing committees.
Review membership categories. On-going. This is demonstrated through the review of applications as and when received.
 

STANDARDS



OBJECTIVE
·      Adopt internationally recognised standards in accounting, auditing, assurance and quality control; ethics; public sector accounting; and accounting education.
 
KEY ISSUES
  • In order for the financial system to be truly global, there must be universal adoption of high-quality standards that provide clear, consistent, and relevant measures of financial performance.
 
  • Increasingly, countries are adopting the International Public Sector Accounting Standards (IPSASs), guidance, and resources developed by the International Public Sector Accounting Standards Board (IPSASB) for use by public sector entities for preparation of general purpose financial statements. FIA needs to adopt internationally recognised standards to ensure consistency in measurement of financial performance.
 
  • More international assistance and resources should be made available to strengthen public sector financial reporting.
 
  • FIA further needs to adopt international standards that enforce quality control and protect public interest.
 
STRATEGIES
 
     
KEY STRATEGIES CURRENT STATUS
     
     
     
· Continue to monitor developments on International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) and IFRS for SMEs and International Standards on Auditing. The Committee monitors developments on IFRS, IFRS for SMEs and ISAs.  During 2012, the Committee reviewed and approved IFRS 10, 11, 12 and 13 for implementation from 2013.
· Continue to monitor developments and changes made by IASB to IFRS and IFRS for SMEs and by IFAC to the suite of International Standards on Auditing. As above.  FIA has adopted the latest suites of IFRS, IFRS for SMEs and ISAs.
· Enter into dialogue with Government on changes required in public sector accounting architecture to enable adoption of International Public Sector Accounting Standards. We have had initial discussions with the Ministry of Finance.  As full IPSAS requires users to have adopted accrual accounting, the Ministry is firstly attempting compliance with  the Cash Basis of Accounting under IPSAS.  After that, it will need to adopt accrual accounting before it may adopt full IPSAS.
 
PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT

OBJECTIVES

·      Implement high quality, timely and responsive professional programs to meet members’ and market needs.
 
·      Provide access to a range of education programs through diverse modes to meet members’ and market needs.
 
·      Ensure educational and development programs cover traditional accounting, technical accounting, IT, specialist and multidisciplinary competencies and skills.
 

KEY ISSUES

  •  Rapid development within the accounting profession requires members to commit to a lifelong learning process.
  • Technological advancements require members to be abreast with the latest technology in order to achieve competitiveness.
  • A multi-stream approach is needed that is strong in the core accounting areas but is broadened to include other knowledge and competencies in management, finance and information technology.
 
STRATEGIES

 
· Review, revise and continually improve a PD program to meet members' and market needs. The PD program is continously reviewed and revised to suit the changing needs of our members.

Questionaires are given out to members to get their feedback on the quality of the programs offerred. 

Ongoing liason is being done with the Standards Committee to ensure PD sessions are relevant to the development in the areas of changes to the accounting standards and also the new standards being adopted by Institute.
· Continue to develop and publish an annual calendar of PD events ensuring that all pertinent competency areas are covered. The PD committee meets atleast 11 times in a year to discuss and implement the working calender of all training activities. This is an ongong exercise.
 

 BUSINESS AND GOVERNMENT
OBJECTIVES
·      Promote Fiji business overall including small to medium businesses
·      Provide proactive advice to government
·      Build private sector business relationship
 
KEY ISSUES
  • The need for greater transparency and accountability in public sector finances has increased significantly as governments around the world have assumed expanded financial responsibilities in the financial crisis, and as the sovereign debt crisis unfolds.
  • In this environment, Government should be encouraged to be transparent about and accountable for their expansionary budget strategies used during periods of slow economic growth.
  • Government should be encouraged to continue to monitor Government debt and liabilities for their true economic implications.
  • FIA and the accounting profession are in a strong position to do more to advise and support Government.
  • Dialogue with Government on fiscal policy and governance matters can be improved.
  • Uptake and implementation of deliberations and recommendations from Congress can be improved.
 
§         FIA needs to be more active in promoting businesses.
 
STRATEGIES
  • Continue making Budget Submissions advocating policy changes, legislative changes, initiatives for promoting investments, economic growth and development of businesses, changes in taxation regime and practices, improvements in fiscal policies, etc with the objective of promoting Fiji business overall.
  • Identify issues and provide pro-active advice to Government on relevant legislative changes.
  •  Respond to requests for comments and submissions on legislation and policy matters.
  •  Coordinate an annual event with Tax Agents, Insurers, Banks, Credit agencies, etc.
  • Build and improve on a relationship with other private sector stakeholders – lawyers, banks, insurance, etc.
 

ANNUAL CONGRESS

OBJECTIVE
·      Refocus and significantly improve profile and value of Annual Congress.
 
KEY ISSUES
  • The focus of the annual congress is shifting from its original spirit and appeal.
  • Topics selected should provide business and economic solutions.
  •  The Congress is not publicised effectively as the Institute’s annual business forum. Its publicity currently focuses on the promotion of sponsors.
STRATEGIES
 
· Review branding of Congress Ongoing. Had a discussion with Past FIA President and Senior Members to seek their views/suggestion on Congress. Suggestion being noted by Committee and considered in planning Congress.
· Review identity of Congress - whether it should be a business forum or accounting centric forum.  As per above and agreed that the Congress will be the premier business event of the Institute.
· Review composition of Congress Committee to ensure that best ideas are considered in organising the Congress. Senior members with relevant knowledge and experience of the business environment are in the Congress Committee. Regualr advice is also sought from senior members who are not part of the Congress Committee.
· Review structure and content of Congress. Benchmark to successful international forum. This years Congress uses a Short Code texting platform for delegates to post questions to the Panel during panel discussions.
· Improve value of Congress to sponsors and delegates. The number of sponsors are being limited to ensure Sponsors get their value for sponsorship.
· Review program for better utilisation of time at Congress.Consider utilising Saturday afternoons. 
Consider concurrent sessions for delegates to choose from.
A survey was carried out after last years Congress which revealed that current structure is most favoured.
· Attract participation of key leaders both in Fiji and internationally. Every year the Institute invites the presidents and/ or vice presidents of CPA Australia and NZICA. We regualrly target more CEO's to attend the event.
· Improve uptake of recommendations and outcome of Congress. No communique is planned for this years Congress.
 
  
BRANDING, MARKETING AND COMMUNICATIONS

OBJECTIVE

 
·      Promote the stature and image of FIA and the Accounting Profession.
 
KEY ISSUES

 
  • Strong competition, particularly from CPA Australia with the increase in the number of CPAs in Fiji.
  • Inadequate technology support and facilities. 
  • Quality and content of the Journal needs to be improved. Shortage of articles of relevance and interest.
  • Membership (full and voting) with IFAC and association with other professional bodies’ membership is not adequately used to promote FIA.
STRATEGIES

 
·  Promote the CA(Fiji) as the first-choice designation for an excellent career as a business leader (with learners and students).  Promotions at Queen Victoria School was held during the year. A joint cocktail with USP was held on 1 May 2013. Visits are planned for RKS, ACS and Yet Sen within the month of May and June.
·  Maintain the value perception (with business decision markers) of the CA(Fiji) designation as business leaders . A series of newpaper articles on Chartered Accountants turned Corporate Decision Makers and as well as achievers will be done during the year.
·  Improve FIA branding and image. In progress
·  Develop a fully interactive Website – include provision for managing member accounts, payment of subscriptions, online registration of courses and payment of fees, interface with social media sites: facebook, twitter, linkedin, global accounting alliance, etc. Facebook has been activiated with plans to improve number of visits on the site. LinkedIn and Twitter rollout is to follow.
·  Significantly improve content and quality of Journal. Adopt successful formats of other international accountancy journals, accounting, director and other professional institutions. Plans are to improve the content of the journal to be at par with international bodies with some assistance from other professional institutions.
·  Utilise TV and media to promote the Institute. To date we have successfully used Fiji Sun and Fiji TV to promote the Accounting Profession
·  Improve profile of FIA Awards. Plans to re-model the award system in progress
·  Use strong presence of major global accounting firms in Fiji to promote accounting profession. We have been having ongoing discussions with big four firms to improve the professional image of Accountants and their contribution to Society
· Reposition CA(Fiji) in small and medium practices as the first choice business advisors. In progress and we are working with the media to share the knowledge on how "CA"s could be used as business advisors to SMEs 
 
 
 

 
INSTITUTE SUPPORT AND SERVICES
OBJECTIVE
·      Build organisational capacity to ensure excellent support and services are provided to members.
KEY ISSUES
  • Member services needs to be improved.
  •  Capacity and institutional strength of the Institute needs to be improved.
  • Technological advancements are not employed to improve organisational efficiency and services to members.
  • FIA is not taking enough of a leadership role in promoting collaboration and dialogue with other accounting and relevant professional bodies in Fiji.
 
STRATEGIES
 
· Undertake organisational structure review, resource requirements and succession planning. Yet to commence review. No development to report.
· Review and expand capacity of the Institute secretariat to support new initiatives. Recruitment of the Media/PR Officer to support Marketing and other Institutes functions.
· Review Council's committee structure and functions We still following the same structure as last year. No change.
· Upgrade Institute's IT infrastructure.  We still using the same IT infrastructure. No Upgrade during the year.
· Where necessary and relevant, sSeek financial support from international donors to embark on reforms and initiatives to strengthen the FIA. No progress to report.
· Promote collaboration and dialogue with other accounting bodies in Fiji. Informal discussion with CPA Australia - Fiji Branch on marketing the profession.
 
IMPLEMENTATION AND MONITORING OF THE CORPORATE PLANThe Corporate Plan is a key management tool of the Institute’s on-going planning process which integrates review, assessment, performance monitoring, feedback and necessary adjustments.
The Council will need to closely drive and monitor progress on key deliverables. The key to this is to build capacity and allocate resources needed to undertake these initiatives and programs.
Implementation of the Corporate Plan should be an integral part of operations of the Council.  Accordingly reporting on the progress of the implementation of the plan should be an integral part of the reporting on the respective activities.  Activities of the Institute should be driven by the Corporate Plan.
The Council will report on the progress against the Corporate Plan to the Members regularly through the Journal and the newsletter and, at the Annual General Meeting.  It is envisaged that a performance summary will be included in the Institute’s Annual Report.