In a statement, the Malaysian Institute of Accountants (MIA) said according to a survey done among 743 respondents, 25% reported that their organisations are allocating more than 10% of their budget on technology spending and digital transformation over the next three years.
This includes investing in big data analytics (64%), cloud computing (57%), machine learning and artificial intelligence (33%), and robotic process automation (27%).
MIA CEO Nurmazilah Mahzan said this represents a significant catalyst for driving the digital and technology transformation of Malaysian businesses.
“Interestingly, despite these technology adoption plans, 69% of respondents have either no plans to reduce headcount or in fact plan to increase headcount over the next three years. Importantly, 60% of respondents have plans to evolve and improve existing employees’ digital skills and competencies.
“This clearly demonstrates tremendous opportunities for professional accountants to raise their game and increase their relevance to the organisations and clients they serve,” she said.
However, the survey highlighted that regulatory changes and compliance concerns are the leading challenges for organisations, signalling a need for policy makers to address the design, communication and implementation of policies going forward.
The survey also showed that respondents are also highly positive on projected business performance for 2020, and expect this growth momentum to be sustained over the medium term.
Some 83% of respondents are forecasting increased revenue for 2020, of whom 48% expect growth of 5% or more.
In terms of profit outlook for 2020, 86% of respondents expect it to be positive with about half of them anticipating profit growth of 5% or more.
As for growth drivers, both positive and negative domestic factors are expected to have the most impact on Malaysian businesses.
“Malaysia’s economic growth and confidence in government policies to stimulate growth were seen as the top positive drivers, while rising cost of living and low wage growth, and uncertainties caused by government policies were seen as the top negative drivers going forward,” MIA said.
Meanwhile, on investment, only 41% of respondents said they have plans to invest in an Asean market over the next three years.
“We believe this leaves significant room for more Malaysian businesses, including SMEs, to consider tapping on the Asean growth potential. Accounting and finance professionals clearly have a vital role to play in strategically supporting their businesses as they evaluate and navigate these opportunities,” said Association of Chartered Certified Accountants Malaysia country head Edward Ling.
Source: The Sun Daily