“Uncertainty is our biggest challenge – but we’ll come out stronger” – Fabio Axisa

Tista' taqra bil- Malti.

The biggest questions facing businesses right now is how long will this situation take and how will things stand after the dust settles”. Fabio Axisa, President of the Malta Institute of Accountants, which groups together some 3,500 professionals in the sector, was speaking during Newsbook hour on 103 FM about the challenges brought around by the COVID-19 crisis.

Axisa argued that although most of the talk was about the direct impact faced by those that had to completely shutdown their operations such as hotels and restaurants, one had to keep in mind that these businesses required the services of accountants, architects, notaries and so forth. With the hardest-hit entities seeking to cut costs in a drastic manner, these professionals were now feeling the impact of such decisions. Fabio Axisa admitted that it was reasonable that the first set of assistance had to be directed at those entities which were forced to a complete shutdown in view of the restrictions imposed, but he called on to the authorities to assist those sectors and professionals whose work took a significant hit in view of these developments.

Malta Institute of Accountants in support of its members

The MIA President noted that, ironically, even though members of the institute were facing the challenges outlined above as clients reduced their spending as much as possible, at the same time businesses right now needed accountants, auditors and financial consultants more than ever before, so that these can revise their numbers and help them make new projections for the upcoming months.

“As part of our role at the MIA, we are supporting our members with practical guidelines on how to approach these extraordinary situations”. Fabio Axisa proudly spoke about the way difficult times bring out the best of the sector’s professionals that are coming up with solutions for their clients. “Although this period brought insecurity for accountants, they are deeply committed in supporting their clients to get out of this situation as soon as possible”.

The MIA is also in constant contact with its foreign counterparts – after all, the challenges being faced are common to most countries. “Through this collaboration we are giving the best guidance possible to our members – the international experience we have is allowing us more agility in our soutions”.

The Institute’s employees have been proactive in adopting teleworking – they had actually agreed to work remotely prior to Government’s recommendations in this sense. This has meant that the MIA had to adopt its modus operandi – something which its members also had to do. This is not always easy since, as Axisa explained, while technology presents a fantastic opportunity, “our role requires access to physical evidence”.

In his concluding remarks, the MIA President expressed his “pride in the way the profession in Malta has adapted to the current circumstances” and his“convinction that its members were fulfilling their duties in the best way possible so as to come out of this situation in a stronger position than ever”.

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