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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 2016 was 785 of which approximately 42 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. 

Operating Environment
The wider environment in which an organisation or entity operates will affect the delivery of strategies in that organisation’s or entity’s Strategic Plan.
The FIA has identified political, economic, legal, social, environmental, technological and other trends that will affect its operations over the next five years.  
Factors in the political arena include the need for active and continuous engagement with Government to advocate the interests of members and relevant professions. A global shift in countries holding economic power is expected and is already being witnessed.
On economic factors, continued diversification of the economy is noted.  Economic growth is expected to continue with growing confidence in the business environment and stability in the financial system.
On social factors, rapid urbanisation and the rise in the middle class is expected to continue over the period together with an increase in literacy levels. Increased focus on gender issues will continue. 
Environmental threats, the implications of resource scarcity, and the impact of climate change will grow in importance over the period.
Continued rapid change in technology is expected and which may be advantageous or disruptive to the professions or business.  Education, in future, is expected to have an increased focus on technology.
On a more micro level, laws and regulations that are difficult to implement are to be expected.  This makes it critical, for the FIA and industry to review and comment on laws and regulations that are being proposed before they are enacted.
The FIA has a unique position where it can draw on the expertise of professionals, at almost no cost, through its various Committees.  The Committee operating structure is beneficial to the FIA in that it can draw on these experts to implement the Institute’s Strategic Plan. 
Outlined below are the strategies that will be implemented by the FIA.  The strategies are listed under the Committee responsible for implementation:
 
Accreditation & Membership
Objectives:
  • To develop certification programs that evaluate and deliver the competencies necessary to succeed in a complex and changing environment.
  • To target all finance-related 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.
  • To ensure accreditation of universities.
  • To attain mutual recognition of FIA members with international bodies.
Key Issues:
  • 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.
  • FIA members are not given mutual recognition from other prominent international professional bodies.
  • FIA needs to review the process for becoming CA and CPP members.
Strategies:
  • Create a body of core values and competencies in which all candidates must demonstrate a defined level of proficiency, prior to certification as a member.
  • Promote cross border recognition of FIA membership. In particular, negotiate reciprocal recognition with other recognised accounting bodies in the region.
  • Continue to review the Graduate Professional Programme (GPP) for high quality international recognition.
  • Review membership categories and the current process for membership in each category.
Acts, Rules & Standards
Objectives:
  • To 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. 
  • To recommend consequential changes to the Act and Rules.
  • To continue to 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.
  • FIA needs to adopt internationally recognised standards to ensure consistency in measurement of financial performance. 
  • More international assistance and resources to be made available to strengthen public sector financial reporting.
  • FIA needs to adopt international standards that enforce quality control and protect public interest.
Strategies:
  • Discuss all major changes to IFRS, IFRS for SMEs, Code of Ethics, and International Standards on Auditing at least 12 months prior to implementation, to identify any issues with implementation in Fiji.
  • Provide or facilitate training on IFRS, IFRS for SMEs,  Code of Ethics, and International Standards on Auditing as requested by the Professional Development Committee.
  • Provide support to the FIA when requested to answer queries from members or the public, in general, on IFRS, IFRS for SMEs, Code of Ethics, and International Standards on Auditing.
  • Continue to build a professional accounting body which is capable of meeting the IFAC’s Statements of Membership Obligations.
  • Continue to comply with the established accounting, auditing and ethical requirements.
  • Continue to promote and comply with international good practices on professional ethics (e.g. IFAC Code of Ethics for Professional Accountants).
  • Seek stakeholders and regulators engagement in the consultative process of the review of the Act and Rules.
Branding & Awards
Objectives:
  • To build FIA brand awareness in Fiji and in the region and continue with ongoing marketing initiatives to make the brand more appealing to current and future members.
  • To continue promoting the stature and image of the FIA and the accounting, assurance, finance and business advisory professions.
Key Issues:
  • Strong competition from other prominent professional overseas bodies as seen with an increase in the number of CPAs in Fiji.
  • Major revamp of the FIA brand is needed.
  • FIA members want global recognition.
  • Inadequate use of technology to market FIA.
  • Membership (full and voting) with IFAC and association with other professional bodies is not fully used to promote the FIA.
  • Lack of communication and coordination of branding opportunities.
Strategies:
  • Promote FIA as the first-choice designation for a professional to current and future members for their career path in becoming CA or CPP in Fiji and the region.
  • Maintain the value perception of the CA and CPP designation with business decision makers as business leaders.
  • Revamp FIA branding and image and continue with aggressive marketing initiatives to promote the brand in Fiji and in the region.
  • Utilise various media platforms to promote the Institute.
  • Continue improving the profile of the FIA Awards.
  • Use strong presence of major global accounting firms in Fiji to promote the accounting, assurance, finance and business advisory professions.
  • Reposition CA (Fiji) in small and medium businesses as first choice advisors.
  • Effectively communicate and coordinate branding FIA opportunities.
  • Provide attractive and value adding services to members and encourage members to maintain membership.
  • Undertake initiatives and actions to attract and increase membership.
Business & Government
Objectives:
  • To carry out proactive engagement with key stakeholders, both in the public and private sectors.
  • To become a partner of choice with the Fiji Government on key issues of national interest.
  • To provide and advocate meaningful advice for enhancing private sector growth.
  • To build confidence with wider FIA members by communicating to them outcomes of ongoing engagements with key stakeholders.
Key Issues:
  • Rapid and non-consultative changes in the regulatory landscape, including tax laws, is an impediment to growth and confidence in the private sector.
  • New avenues of increasing the tax base to address Government’s escalating level of debt as a percentage of GDP is causing an on-going burden on ordinary citizens including tax payers.
  • Open and transparent dialogue with key stakeholders to ensure the views of FIA members are heard and acted upon to facilitate tangible outcomes.
  • Prudent management of government resources towards   infrastructure development, eradication of poverty, containment of inflation to its minimum and increasing opportunities for employment, should be encouraged.
  • Lack of technical capacity of FIA Secretariat to ensure continued focus and provision of assistance to Committee Chairs and members.
Strategies:
  • Attend and participate in key stakeholder forums to highlight concerns and share views on fiscal and monetary policies with the wider audience.
  • Seek views of FIA members in formulating submissions to the National Budget. Key focus areas include: promoting investment, sound and sustainable economic growth with a view to develop the SME sector; tax regime - implications, interpretation and practice; fiscal policy development to address the Sustainable Development Goals agenda.
  • To advocate for good governance and transparency and speak on key issues of national interest that affect the economy.
  • Attend to enquiries and put together submissions on new or amended legislation and policy matters.
  • Coordinate and work closely with private sector stakeholders (banks, insurers, credit institutions, the legal fraternity and others) to build cordial relationships, trust and become a combined voice that advocates on issues of national interest.
Communications & Technology
Objectives:
  • To properly and effectively communicate the affairs of the FIA and the various professions, in a timely manner, with various stakeholders of the FIA using the most appropriate technology or medium.
Key Issues:
  • Inadequate technology support and facilities.
  • Slow communication to members on issues relating to our profession, such as changes in tax laws, IFRS amendments and issues of national interest.
  • Quality, content and mode of communication medium needs to be improved and/or enhanced.
  • Difficulty in sourcing locally generated original material.
Strategies:
  • Review and identify technology gaps with respect to communications with stakeholders to ensure that appropriate steps are taken by the Institute to remain relevant.
  • Ensure adequate Secretariat support is available to facilitate a structured and secure information gathering process is in place with regard to the Institute’s intellectual capital.
  • Develop a fully interactive website – to include provisions for managing member accounts, payment of subscriptions, online registrations for Congress, workshops & seminars and payment of fees, having an interface with social media sites: Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Global Accounting Alliance, etc.
  • Significantly improve content, quality and regular publication of e-journals. Adopt successful formats of other international accountancy journals and other professional institutions.
  • Ensure regular publication of the newsletter “Littera”.
Congress
Objectives:
  • To refocus and significantly improve the profile and value of the Congress that is held annually.
Key Issues:
  • The Congress should not be only about maximising profit for FIA. It needs to promote FIA’s profile.
  • There is a need for quality and world class speakers at the Congress.
  • There is a need to get high profile people to attend the Congress including decision makers, movers and shakers and other influential stakeholders.
  • We have a competing brand in Fiji (i.e. CPA). The FIA needs to be more aggressive with its Congress in terms of speakers and marketing initiatives.
  • The focus of the 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.
Maximise FIA Branding
Strategies:
  • To put more emphasis on FIA branding and marketing initiatives during the Congress and to strike a balance between achieving profitability and getting quality output from it.
  • Review identity of the Congress.
  • Target quality speakers for the Congress to get the most out of the two day event and get more mileage for FIA.
  • Target wider range of audience locally and internationally. Also target business leaders and other important stakeholders to attend.
  • Review composition of Congress Committee to ensure that best ideas are considered in organising the event.
  • Review structure and content of the Congress. Benchmark to international standards.
Peer Review
Objectives:
  • To ensure that quality services are provided by practitioners in accordance with IFAC’s quality assurance standard International Standards Quality Control 1 (ISQC 1).
Key Issues:
  • Maintain a three-year cycle of quality reviews.
  • Manage any direct or perceived conflict of interest by Practice Reviewers.
  • Pass on the direct and follow-up review costs to practitioners.  Establish an on-charge mechanism.
  • Get small practitioners with limited resources, to comply with quality review requirements.
Strategies:
  • The Practice Reviewer to draw up a three-year review cycle that is agreed with the FIA.
  • Identify and facilitate specific training, as needed by practitioners, through FIA’s Professional Development Committee.  The FIA, with the Practice Reviewer, will identify and source relevant training material.  Training to be coordinated by the Professional Development Committee, with the Peer Review Committee kept up to date.
  • Establish an “on-charge” mechanism where costs for direct and/or follow up reviews are absorbed by practitioners.  Determine a charge-out formula for practitioners depending on size of practice i.e. small, medium, large.
  • Arrange grants from possible donor agencies or other suitable organisations to provide assistance towards fee subsidy for the Peer Quality Review Program.
Professional Development
Objectives:
  • To provide a life-long learning environment for members that keeps them abreast with the developments within the profession.
  • To implement high quality, timely and responsive professional programs that meet members’ and market needs.
  • To provide access to a range of educational programs through diverse modes that meet members’ and market needs.
  • To ensure that educational and development programs cover traditional accounting, technical accounting, IT, specialist and multidisciplinary competencies and skills.
Key Issues:
  • Rapid development within the accounting, assurance, finance and business advisory professions require members to commit to a life-long 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, assurance and finance areas but is broadened to include other knowledge and competencies in management, information technology and general business advice.
  • 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 at both corporate and national levels, as well as other new technical issues.
  • There are difficulties in expressing opinions in light of an increase in complex accounting transactions, industry knowledge, valuations and information technology.
Strategies:
  • Ensure that the required competencies are acquired or developed through an integrated process of academic study, professional education, evaluation and practical experience.
  • Align regulations under IFAC and provide training for members that are globally benchmarked. Ensure that the three Fiji-based universities are accredited such that the quality of requirements and education are not compromised.
  • Provide training to members on diversified topics. The redevelopment of the FIA website is necessary to facilitate this.
  • Provide training both in Suva and Nadi to cater to members. 
Staff & Administration
Objectives:
  • To build organisational capacity to ensure excellent support and services are provided to members.
  • To have a resourceful and talented Secretariat team that fully supports and implements the directions set by the FIA Council.
  • To provide the necessary support to the FIA Council, various Committees and FIA members.
Key Issues:
  • The FIA Secretariat needs to be more pro-active in providing the needed member services and support to the FIA members.
  • Lack of necessary resources at the FIA Secretariat to carry out its tasks.
  • Capacity and institutional strengthening of the Institute needs to be improved.
  • Technological advancements have not been utilised at the FIA to improve organisational efficiency and services to members.
  • Lack of succession planning.
Strategies:
  • Undertake a review of the organisational structure, and policies and procedures and relook at the current and future resource requirements of the FIA.
  • Develop and implement succession planning.
  • Review and expand capacity of the Institute’s Secretariat to support needed initiatives.
  • Continue to review the FIA’s Committee structure and functions and make changes where needed.
  • Where necessary, seek financial support from international donors to embark on reforms and initiatives to strengthen the FIA.
  • Promote collaboration and dialogue with other accounting and relevant professional bodies in Fiji and in the region.
  • Develop and publish a Calendar of Events for FIA.
Strategic Plan
The Strategic Plan Committee coordinates the development of a new Strategic Plan when the term of the current one is about to end.  It facilitates discussions and development of a new Strategic Plan, with outside independent professional assistance, where necessary. Stakeholder consultation is one of the very important processes we undertake when developing the strategic plan.
Upon approval of a new Strategic Plan by the FIA members at an AGM and its implementation thereafter, the Strategic Plan Committee coordinates regular ongoing monitoring and reporting of its implementation to the FIA Council and to members.