The pathway to become a professional accountant in Malaysia through the Accounting degree and then the ACCA


Route to become a Professional Accountant in Malaysia

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Business services make up one of the Economic Transformation Programme’s 12 National Key Economic Areas in Malaysia, and within that, the accountancy sector has been identified as a business opportunity.

The ETP roadmap, launched in October 2010, points out that the growth of the accountancy sector in Malaysia depends on how well the economy performs and demand for accounting professionals hinges upon the domestic reporting requirements and tax regulations.

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As the global financial reporting standards are becoming similar and with deregulation, more opportunities open up for accountants to offer their services globally.

“To be able to capitalise on those opportunities, Malaysia must increase the quality of its accountants and develop specialised skill sets in areas such as international taxation, forensic accounting and carbon accounting, in line with future growth areas,” says the ETP roadmap.

The ETP incorporates two relevant proposals. The first is to only allow those with recognised professional qualifications to be

admitted as chartered accountants in Malaysia. This is to improve the quality of Malaysia’s chartered accountants.

With this in place, the demand for qualified professional accountants will increase in Malaysia.

EduSpiral provides counseling that is supported by facts & evidence to help students make the best choice. Pic - Student, with his mother, registering at UCSI University after the tour

EduSpiral provides counseling that is supported by facts & evidence to help students make the best choice. Pic – Student, with his mother, registering at UCSI University after the tour

However, as we all know, the standard of English in Malaysia has dropped a lot. Some students thinking of going for accounting go into CAT and then the ACCA not realising that both are external papers and marked by the UK examiners.

Therefore, although these students may be capable in their knowledge but their weakness in the English language to write properly during the exams will lead them to fail these papers.

Furthermore, the final 5 papers of the ACCA are not easy and if you attempt these papers while you are too young, can be challenging.

I would suggest that students go into an accounting degree programme first where the degree is exempted from the 9 papers of the ACCA. Upon graduation, you find a job and then take the final 5 papers of the ACCA to become a professional accountant.

In choosing the university or college for the degree, you should go for a university where the students speak English mostly.

Ling posing with Acting Dean of School of Business Associate Professor Curtin University Sarawak Pauline Ho Poh Ling at the MICPA award ceremony.

Ling posing with Acting Dean of School of Business Associate Professor Curtin University Sarawak Pauline Ho Poh Ling at the MICPA award ceremony.

Research by Star newspaper has shown that graduates with good command of the English language tend to get a higher salary and get promoted easily.

A lot of students like the easy way out and choose colleges and universities that are cheap and with little facilities thinking that as long as they just get the qualification, they are alright. They forget that if the quality of the university is low, the student’s quality will also be low when they graduate.

You won’t have the necessary knowledge and skills to succeed in the working world. Not being able to speak English well, you won’t be able to become a manager in a Multi National Company.

The management will not ask you to give a presentation if you cannot speak well and furthermore how are you going to be able to write a report or proposal?

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Becoming a Professional Accountant in Malaysia

Presently, Malaysia has about 7.5 million Accountants. The country requires another 60,000 Accountants to fulfill Vision 2020.

UCSI University offers excellent Accounting and Finance courses with 2-month internships for each year of the degree studies

UCSI University offers excellent Accounting and Finance courses with 2-month internships for each year of the degree studies

All Accountants have to abide by a strict code of ethics and maintain high professional standards.

All practising accountants must register with the Malaysian Institute of Accountants (MIA). The Accountant Act, 1967 recognises an Accountant as one who is a member of MIA.

MIA members can either be registered as Registered Accountants, RA(M) or Public Accountants, PA(M).

The Malaysian Institute of Accountants (MIA) was established in 1967 under the Accountants Act 1967 (Act’) as the regulatory body of the profession in Malaysia. Thus, it also represents the voice of all accountants in the country.

In Malaysia, the word ‘accountant’ is protected under the provisions of the Act, which states that no one can hold himself or herself out or practice as an accountant unless he or she is registered as a member of MIA.

There are a few educational routes to becoming an Accountant. Aspirants can enrol to study a professional course full time or part

HELP College of Arts and Technology offers the renown University of London programme

HELP College of Arts and Technology offers the renown University of London programme

time by pursuing the ACCA, CIMA or MACPA qualification. Alternatively, he/she may opt to study for a university degree in Accounting recognised by MIA.

The professional bodies and university degrees recognised by MIA are as follows:

Professional Accounting Bodies

  • The Malaysian Association of Certified Public Accountants (MACPA)
  • The Australian Society of Certified Practising Accountants (ASCPA)
  • The Institute of Chartered Accountants of Australia (ICAA)
  • The Institute of Chartered Accountants, Canada (ICAC)
  • The Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA)
  • The Chartered Institute of Management Accountants, UK (CIMA)
  • The Institute of Chartered Accountants, England and Wales (ICAEW)
  • The Institute of Chartered Accountants, Ireland (ICAI)
  • The Institute of Chartered Accountants, Scotland (ICAS)
  • The Institute of Chartered Accountants, India (ICAI)
  • The New Zealand Society of Accountants, New Zealand (NZSA)

After SPM, with 5 credits, students can go into the Foundation in Business for a year and then continue into the degree for 3 years. The other way is to go for the Diploma in Business or Accounting for 2 years and then enter into the Degree in

Year 2 to finish that in another 2 years. You will need at least 3 credits in your SPM to join the diploma.

Professional Recognition for Accountants in Malaysia

  • Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA), UK
    Upon completion of the BA (Hons) Accounting & Finance degree, students are eligible for exemption from a maximum of

    Curtin University Sarawak is a top ranking university in Malaysia with a 300-acre campus

    Curtin University Sarawak is a top ranking university in Malaysia with a 300-acre campus

    9 papers.

  • Certified Practising Accountant (CPA), Australia
    Upon completion of the BA (Hons) Accounting & Finance degree, students are exempted from the Foundation Level and they can proceed with the Professional pathway (6 subjects).
  • Malaysian Institute of Accountants (MIA)
    Upon completion of the BA (Hons) Accounting & Finance with 3 years relevant working experience plus completion of Professional qualification (ACCA or CPA), students are eligible to apply for membership of the MIA.

Study at the Best Universities in Malaysia for Accounting

In order to succeed in the competitive field of accounting, students must choose the best universities in Malaysia to study. The

My friend introduced me to EduSpiral because for a long time after SPM I still did not know what and where to study. EduSpiral took time to explain the courses to me and even took me around the university for a tour. Yammie Chau, Diploma in Business at UCSI University

My friend introduced me to EduSpiral because for a long time after SPM I still did not know what and where to study. EduSpiral took time to explain the courses to me and even took me around the university for a tour.
Yammie Chau, Diploma in Business at UCSI University

best university doesn’t necessarily mean the most expensive. Students should choose the right university that fits them which has a good reputation for business programs, excellent facilities, top lecturers and an English-speaking student environment.

Upon completion of the accounting degree programmes, graduates will have 9 paper exemptions from the total of 15 ACCA papers. I would recommend students who are weak in the English language to go for the accounting degree course first and then only pursue the ACCA. The ACCA is exam-based and marked in the UK.

Curtin Sarawak is one of the few Universities in Malaysia that offers a variety of double major options which includes Accounting & Banking, Accounting & Finance, and Accounting & Entrepreneurship.

Graduates of the Bachelor of Commerce (Accounting), Bachelor of Commerce (Accounting & Finance), Bachelor of Commerce (Accounting & Entrepreneurship) and Bachelor of Commerce (Accounting and Marketing) programmes at Curtin Sarawak are now eligible to sit MIA’s Qualifying Examinations and, on completion, will qualify as Chartered Accountants (Malaysia).

Through its Qualifying Examination, MIA provides an avenue for membership admission for those who do not currently possess a qualification recognised under Part I and Part II of the First Schedule to the Malaysian Accountants Act 1967.

Students can consider studying the accounting degree at Asia Pacific University where they offer various specialisations in Forensic Accounting, Taxation, Forex & Investments for students to choose from. Students at APU will get a degree awarded by APU as well as Staffordshire University, UK.

For affordable universities with excellent facilities, students can consider UCSI University or HELP University, both with more

“EduSpiral provided me with all the necessary information to assist in my smooth transfer into HELP University.”
Eddy Soo, Business degree

than 20 years of experience in higher education in Malaysia. Students after SPM in Sarawak can study the Foundation at UCSI University’s Kuching campus first before continuing on to the degree at their campus in Kuala Lumpur.

Students at HELP University can go for their homegrown Accounting  degree courses.

Students taking the Accounting degree course at KDU University College Utropolis Glenmarie can obtain both the degree as well as complete the professional ACCA programme in 3.5 years.

Top colleges offering finance degree programs in Malaysia are First City University College and HELP College of Arts & Technology. Graduates from both colleges are awarded degrees by their UK University partners.

Exemptions from the ACCA for Degree in Accounting Graduates in Malaysia

Generally, an Accounting degree from a university can gain exemptions until the final 5 papers of the ACCA. A maximum of nine papers at the Fundamentals level of the ACCA Qualification can be awarded.

Students from the Asia Pacific University (APU) ranked Tier 5 or Excellent by SETARA 2011 and graduates will receive a dual degree, one from APU and the other from Staffordshire University, UK

Students from the Asia Pacific University (APU) ranked Tier 5 or Excellent by SETARA 2013 and graduates will receive a dual degree, one from APU and the other from Staffordshire University, UK

To preserve the integrity and rigour of the ACCA Qualification and to ensure that all students share a common experience, ACCA does not award any exemptions at the Professional level.

ACCA PROFESSIONAL LEVEL (Final 5 papers)
Essentials Module
P1        Governance, Risk and Ethics
P2        Corporate Reporting
P3        Business Analysis

Options Module (any 2 papers)
P4        Advanced Financial Management

P5        Advanced Performance Management
P6        Advanced Taxation
P7        Advanced Audit & Assurance

Becoming a Chartered Accountant in Malaysia

To be a registered chartered accountant in Malaysia, you must be a member of the Malaysian Institute of Accountants (MIA), which is the regulatory body for accountants in Malaysia. Members of ACCA, CIMA, CPA Australia, ICAA, ICAEW and MICPA are eligible for MIA membership.

Becoming a Chartered Accountant in Malaysia through ACCA Membership

ACCA affiliates, with a minimum of 3 years of relevant supervised practical experience (which may be pre-, during or post-examination / studies), are required to submit their Practical Experience Requirement (PER) to ACCA to demonstrate sufficient competency to merit membership. The standard of competence required consists of a range of technical, management and personal skills which are essential for all aspiring members.
Upon approval, ACCA graduates may add the prestigious designatory initials ACCA to their names. They may also apply for membership to the Malaysian Institute of Accountants (MIA) and use the designatory initials ‘Chartered Accountant (Malaysia)’.

Setting up a Public Practice in Malaysia

Public practice is governed by the Act, the Rules and the By-Laws (On Professional Ethics, Conduct and Practice) of the Malaysian Institute of Accountants.

Under the Act, the person must be a member of the Institute, and is prohibited from public practice through a body corporate save where this is allowed by other statutes for limited areas of public practice, namely tax.

Computer Lab at the new campus of HELP College of Arts and Technology

Computer Lab at the new campus of HELP College of Arts and Technology

A member, in most instances, is allowed to be engaged in public practice as a sole practitioner or in partnership only with another member(s) as the Act and By-Laws prohibits the sharing of profits with non-members. All firms in public practice are described as firms of chartered accountants (or licensed accountants, where applicable).

Only members registered as chartered accountants with valid practising certificate can describe and hold themselves out as chartered accountants in public practice and are able to set up firms providing public practice services.

Members in public practice may carry out public practice services such as accounting, audit, liquidation, tax and other related services. However, the practice of audit, liquidation and tax are licensed under other legislation.

Career Opportunities for Accountants in Malaysia

  • Chartered Certified Accountants

    APU's new ultra-modern University Campus located within Technology Park Malaysia (TPM) set to be ready in 2015.

    APU’s new ultra-modern University Campus located within Technology Park Malaysia (TPM) set to be ready in 2015.

  • Chartered Management Accountant
  • Chartered Public Finance Accountant
  • Corporate Treasurer
  • Internal Auditor
  • Tax Advisor
  • Tax Inspector
  • Credit Manager
  • Financial Analyst
  • Financial Controller
  • Investment Fund Manager
  • Risk Management Manager

EduSpiral Consultant Services- Your Personal Online Education Advisor

Established since 2009, EduSpiral Consultant Services helps provide information and counselling on courses and universities in Malaysia. EduSpiral Consultant Services also represents Northampton University, UK, MDIS Singapore and Hong Kong Polytechnic University.

“I attended EduSpiral’s Education Fair at KInta Riverfront after my SPM exam in December and obtained great information there. Although Asia Pacific University is famous for IT but I found out that they have a solid accounting programme and I can get a UK degree. I got a scholarship as well from APU.”
Julian Hum, from SMK St. Michael Institution, Ipoh studying Business at Asia Pacific University.

EduSpiral Consultant Services represents the best colleges and universities in Malaysia offering a wide range of choices for students to choose from. These colleges and universities offer value for money in the quality of education and excellent facilities that you get.

These universities and colleges are chosen by EduSpiral because they represent the best in their fields in Malaysia and affordable. EduSpiral provides in-depth information and counseling on their courses so that students are able to make the right choice.

If you are still not sure what to study, please contact us and we will send you a free EduSpiral Career Assessment Form.

Please contact us for more details.

Please fill up the form for more information. If you do not give your mobile number or full name as in IC, your query will not be answered. Please make sure you give a correct email address and check your email including the SPAM or JUNK email folder within 48 hours as we will email you the information. 

About EduSpiral Consultant Services

EduSpiral seeks to offer information and advise on courses & careers and placement services to top private colleges & universities in Malaysia & Singapore. Our experienced consultants will share from years of counselling students to guide students personally on to the best possible career choice. The decision that you make now, can change your life forever....so make it wisely.

Posted on March 11, 2013, in Accounting, Asia Pacific University, Best University, Business, Career Choices, Choosing the right course, HELP University, Hong Kong Polytechnic University, KBU International College, KDU College, KDU University College, UCSI University and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 5 Comments.

  1. hello! i’m a graduate of Degree in business..do i need to take all the 9 papers that can be exempted for those who study Degree in Accounting?

    Like

  2. can i just study lcci..n dunwan to acca

    Like

  3. Hello mates, its fantastic article about educationand completely explained, keep it up all the time.

    Like

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