Chief Executive Officer at The Malta Institute of Accountants
Maria Cauchi Delia is a Certified Public Accountant and currently serves as the Chief Executive Officer of The Malta Institute of Accountants (MIA), a position she has held for the past seven years. Prior to joining the MIA, Maria’s professional journey involved occupying auditing and advisory roles at two Big Four firms, working as an auditor and accountant within the public and private sectors, as well as managing her own professional accounting practice.
Maria’s journey began with a different career aspiration, as she initially aimed to enter the medical field. After realising that that this might not be her true calling, she shifted her focus towards the accounting profession. The journey she embarked upon from that moment has shaped her into the dedicated professional she is today and she holds no regrets about the shift in her aspirations.
In her capacity as CEO of MIA, Maria bears the significant responsibility of offering strategic direction to an Institute that unites over 4,000 accounting and auditing professionals in Malta. Her role has become even more critical in recent years due to the dynamic transformation of the roles of accountants and auditors in the contemporary business world. Changes in technology, governance standards and environmental factors have significantly reshaped the accounting landscape. In turn, the need for a representative body to champion the interests of the profession and keep its members at the forefront of industry developments has grown significantly.
Maria explains that the Institute acts as a bridge between the members and the major external stakeholders. This involves offering support and listening to its members and eventually conveying their views to key decision-makers. This is quite a challenging task considering the varied membership base which includes professional accountants working in different sized firms ranging from sole practitioners to larger firms as well as professional accountants in business, working in various roles and industries.
As a CEO, a key part of Maria’s role also involves participating in high-level working groups with major stakeholders, both nationally and internationally. These engagements revolve around the implementation of strategic objectives that hold critical importance for the country. Most notably, Maria explains that the MIA, together with other stakeholders, played a crucial role in Malta’s efforts to exit the Financial Action Task Force’s enhanced procedure, commonly known as grey-listing. Through its role within the Malta Financial Services Advisory Council, the Institute has also been a key player in the formulation of the recently launched financial services strategy for Malta.
Meeting professionals from diverse backgrounds has given Maria a holistic perspective on the challenges and opportunities within the accounting profession. She explains that collaboration is vital for positive change, not just within the profession but also beyond, with other professional organizations sharing common interests and objectives.
Maria believes that a career in accounting offers a multitude of opportunities for those seeking a rewarding path. One primary advantage is the steady demand for accounting professionals across various industries. Additionally, the profession provides excellent prospects for career growth and advancement. Challenges are also prevalent; accountants nowadays need to embrace analytical acumen, understand clients’ and employers’ needs intricately, and continuously update their expertise in an ever-evolving landscape of legislation and regulations.
The beauty of the accountancy profession, as Maria highlights, is its versatility as accounting professionals can find opportunities in nearly every economic niche. The skills accountants bring to the table open the doors to leadership positions, such as Chief Financial Officers, Chief Operating Officers, and even Chief Executive Officers in their respective organisations. It’s a world of endless opportunity, and one can rest assured that monotony is a rare companion on this dynamic journey. As Maria aptly concludes, in the accounting profession, ‘the world is yours to conquer’.