ACCA - The global body for professional accountants

Kuala Lumpur – The global accountancy body, ACCA (the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants), is backing an initiative led by the Malaysian Government aimed at boosting innovation in Malaysia's small and medium sized businesses (SMEs). 

As part of Malaysia's innovation drive ACCA will bring its expertise to research carried out amongst Malaysia's SMEs, looking at their approaches to innovation. 

ACCA is undertaking this research with other key partners including the UK's NESTA, an innovation charity; Inngot, specialists in intangible asset identification, rating and valuation; and Alpha Catalyst Consulting, an Innovation Consulting company. This project is part of the Malaysian Government's National Corporate Innovation Index (NCII), and delivered under the auspices of Agensi Innovasi Malaysia (AIM), a government body charged with driving innovation in Malaysia, chaired by the Malaysian Prime Minister. 

ACCA and its partners will be working on the SME phase of this important project to gain insights into SME's attitudes to innovation and its return on investment (ROI). The research results will be revealed at the Innovating Malaysia Conference 2014 in Kuala Lumpur on the 28 and 29 August 2014, where ACCA's Head of Asia-Pacific Policy, Chiew Chun Wee, will be speaking.

Chiew explains: "Innovation is top of the agenda in Malaysia. The fact that the Prime Minister's Office is involved in this is a clear indication of how important this is in Malaysia's aim of becoming an advanced and high-income nation by 2020. 

“We are really excited by the potential of this project, especially in light of ACCA's recent move to introduce Integrated Reporting into our qualification. We see Malaysia’s NCII as having the same goal of assessing corporate performances beyond narrow financial matrices that supports entrepreneurs realise and communicate the real value of their business over a longer-term horizon.” 

Chiew further explains that the end goal of the research project is to enable SMEs to calculate their ROI and benchmark themselves against the competition. 

“Ultimately, SMEs will have a much better appreciation of the value of their longer-term investments in innovation. The project looks at measuring this value by taking into account the intangible assets that an SME has, which may not be recognised and recorded in the conventional accounting sense. In the long run, this will hopefully help persuade SMEs to invest more in innovation,” said Chiew.

Jennifer Lopez, head of ACCA Malaysia, said: "The performance and contributions of Malaysian SMEs are vital to our country’s aim of becoming an advanced and high income nation by 2020, which is why this is such an important project and why ACCA is involved.

“Innovation is fundamental to competitiveness, and this matters as much to SMEs as big business – indeed Phase One of this project looked at innovation and corporate businesses with the ROI Index already being piloted by selected public and government-linked companies in Malaysia. This project takes it one step further and will shine a light on the growth aspirations and attitudes of SMEs to innovation.”