What are Malaysia’s Top 10 Accounting & Finance Certifications?



Highly Sought After Accounting & Finance Professional Certifications in Malaysia

Accounting and finance professional certifications highlight that someone has put in the time and effort to expand their knowledge and skills. More and more people nowadays have access to university education. Therefore, getting a professional certification provides you with additional knowledge and skills that will help you stand out from the crowd. Accounting and finance certifications show employers that you have the skills and specialized knowledge to succeed. It is a good opportunity to improve your reputation, earning power, and job prospects.

Generally,  graduates of Accounting or Accounting & Finance degree programmes are eligible for exemptions from the Professional Accounting Bodies. However, there are no exemptions for the Finance Professional Certifications for Finance or Banking & Finance degree programmes to date.

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.

You might also be interested to read:

What are the Top Accounting and Finance Professional Certifications and Recognition in Malaysia?

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“I was confused and had some questions. EduSpiral met up with me and my mum to explain more about the course and helped me choose the right course.”
Gary, Accounting Graduate from University of Wollongong Malaysia (UOWM) KDU

We’ve prepared a list of the top 10 accounting and finance certifications in Malaysia to help you improve your ability to deliver top-quality financial analysis and services in order to achieve better career mobility.

  1. Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA)
    • ACCA stands for the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants a leading international accountancy body. The ACCA qualification is recognised and is treated in other countries as being equivalent to their local qualification.
    • The ACCA qualification proves to employers that you have ability in all aspects of business. It is the largest and fastest growing qualification in the world, with over 500,000 members and students in 170 countries
    • Generally, students will receive 9 paper exemptions out of 13 papers in the ACCA for a degree in Accounting or Accounting & Finance.
    • Upon completion of the Accounting degree, students are entitled to a maximum 9-paper exemption at the Fundamental level, out of the total 13 papers in Professional Accountancy qualification. ACCA does not provide exemptions at the Professional Level. Students may also opt to go for the ACCA Accelerate Programme offered by some universities.
  2. Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW)
    • The ICAEW Chartered Accountant qualification, the ACA, is one of the most advanced learning and professional development programmes available. It is valued around the world in business, practice and the public sector.
    • Graduates of Accounting or Accounting & Finance degree programmes in Malaysia may receive 8 papers exemptions out of 15 papers. However, the exemptions will vary from university to university.
  3. Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA)
    • To practice as a management accountant, you’ll need a relevant professional qualification. There are several qualification providers, but CIMA is the global leader in management accountancy training. Our qualifications are current, innovative and lead to Chartered Global Management Accountant (CGMA) status, the only globally recognised designation for management accountants.
    • Upon completion of Accounting or Accounting & Finance degree programmes in Malaysia, students may receive a 8-paper exemption out of 16 papers from CIMA. However, the exemptions will vary from university to university.
  4. Certified Public Accountant (CPA), Australia
    "I met up with EduSpiral about 4 times in Ipoh & at Asia Pacific University to discuss about my future. He provided me with in-depth information and even arranged for me to meet up with the Head of School at APU to talk to me." Kar Jun (Left), Accounting graduate from Asia Pacific University (APU)
    “I met up with EduSpiral about 4 times in Ipoh & at Asia Pacific University to discuss about my future. He provided me with in-depth information and even arranged for me to meet up with the Head of School at APU to talk to me.”
    Kar Jun (Left), Accounting graduate from Asia Pacific University (APU)
    • CPA Australia is one of the world’s largest accounting bodies with more than 168,000 members working in over 100 countries and regions. There are more than 25,000 CPA Australia members working in senior leadership positions. The CPA Program goes beyond the numbers. It teaches you the skills that will help you reach the next level in leadership, strategy and business.
    • Being a CPA gives you a competitive advantage over your peers. CPAs are internationally recognised and membership is associated with a strong legacy, international presence and thought leadership.
    • CPA Australia builds and maintains strong relationships with high-profile companies globally, including more than 400 Recognised Employer Partners, ensuring the CPA certification and the quality skillsets of our members are internationally promoted.
    • Upon completion of Accounting or Accounting and Finance degree programmes, students could get a 6-paper exemption out of the 12 papers from CPA Australia. Under the CPA Australia Fast Track Scheme, students may have the option to attain the CPA professional qualification which will vary from university to university.
  5. Malaysian Institute of Accountants (MIA)
    • Established under the Accountants Act 1967, MIA is the national accountancy body that regulates, develops, supports and enhances the integrity, status and interests of the profession in Malaysia. MIA accords the Chartered Accountant Malaysia or C.A. (M) designation to a professional in accountancy, business and finance with a recognised qualification and relevant work experience.
    • Working closely alongside businesses, MIA connects its membership to a wide range of information resources, events, professional development and networking opportunities.
  6. Chartered Tax Institute of Malaysia (CTIM)
    • The principle objective of the Chartered Tax Institute of Malaysia (CTIM) is to train and build a pool of qualified tax personnel as well as to foster and maintain the highest standard of professional ethics and competency among its members.
    • One avenue of producing qualified tax personnel is through professional examinations. As such, CTIM has been conducting professional examinations since December 1995. The professional examination is a means to overcome the present shortage of qualified tax practitioners in the country.
    • The Institute is a membership-based professional body for tax professionals in Malaysia. Members of the Institute are serviced by the Membership Services Department. The Membership Services Department processes applications for Associate membership. Associate Members who meet the relevant qualifying criteria are invited to apply to be Fellow Members.
    • Students who graduate from Accounting or Accounting and Finance degree programmes could get 5 to 6 paper exemptions out of 8 papers from CTIM. The number of exemptions will depend on the degree taken and vary from university to university.
  7. Chartered Financial Analyst® (CFA®) from CFA Institute
    • The Chartered Financial Analyst® (CFA®) a graduate-level program of the CFA Institute in USA, is designed to develop competencies and professionalism required in investment management and advisory services. A CFA Charter is widely recognized by investors, investment practitioners, employers, regulators and the media in Malaysia and globally as the highest ethical, education and professional standard in an investment community. The CFA will develop competencies in the implementation of global investment strategies. With a CFA® qualification, it helps you to boost career prospects. Therefore, CFA charter-holders are highly sought after in the job market in Malaysia.
  8. Certified Financial Planner (CFP) from Financial Planning Association of Malaysia (FPAM)
    • Financial Planning Association of Malaysia (FPAM) is the exclusive licensee of the CFP CERT TM mark in Malaysia. The Certified Financial Planner (CFP) is a professional certification programme which revolves around the 4Es – “Education, Examination, Experience and Ethics”, forming the cornerstones of the profession. CFP Professionals are valued as financial planners, quality trainers, lecturers and financial intermediaries.
    • The CFP CERT TM, marks identify what a financial planner is, establish a standard of professional practice and create a ‘mark of quality’ that consumers can recognize and which practitioners aspire to attain. Financial Planning Standards Board (FPSB) is the global certification body in Financial Planning.
  9. Registered Financial Planner (RFP) from Malaysia Financial Planning Council
    Accounting & Finance at Taylor's University
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    • The Registered Financial Planner (RFP) programme was introduced and launched by the former Governor of Bank Negara Malaysia, Y.Bhg. Tan Sri Dato’ Sri Dr. Zeti Akhtar Aziz in November 2002.
    • The RFP designation has been approved by the Bank Negara Malaysia in March 2005 as the qualification to apply for the Financial Advisers’ License and Financial Advisers’ Representative License under the Insurance Act 1996. The RFP designation has also been approved by the Securities Commission Malaysia in November 2005 as one of the qualification to apply for the Investment Advisers License under The Securities Industry Act 1983. RFP designation has also been duly approved by the Securities Commission Malaysia for the application of the Capital Markets Services License (CMSL) in view of the introduction of the Capital Markets and Services Act 2007.
    • The RFP serves as a mechanism for the MFPC to help fulfill the National objectives of making Malaysia a Centre of Education Excellence. The RFP signifies the twin pillars of professionalism in financial planning – Professional Education and Practice Excellence. Most Importantly, the concept of the RFPs is defined by Malaysians who understand our values and needs.
  10. The Malaysian Institute of Chartered Secretaries and Administrators (MAISCA)
    • The Malaysian Institute of Chartered Secretaries and Administrators (MAICSA), was founded in 1959 as an affiliate body to The Chartered Governance Institute (CGI) (formerly known as The Institute of Chartered Secretaries and Administrators), and is now one of the Divisions of CGI. Currently, MAICSA has more than 4,200 members (comprising Fellows and Associates) and Graduates, 1,800 students and 600 Affiliates on its register.
    • The Government has prescribed MAICSA as an Approved Body in the Gazette (Fourth Schedule, Section 235(2)(a) of the Companies Act 2016), which means that Fellow and Associate members of MAICSA are qualified to act as named company secretaries upon application to the Companies Commission of Malaysia for a Practising Certificate under Section 241 of the Companies Act 2016.
    • Fellow and Associate members of MAICSA, with more than five years’ practical tax experience, either in the public or private sector, are also eligible to apply to become tax agents under Section 153(3) of the Income Tax, 1967.
    • The ICSA qualification is recognised as equivalent to an Honours Degree by the Public Services Department.
    • MAICSA is also a founder member of Corporate Secretaries International Association Limited (CSIA). CSIA, an international federation of governance professional bodies for corporate secretaries and governance professionals, is dedicated to developing and growing the study and practice of corporate secretaryship, to improve professional standards and the quality of governance practice, and organisational performance.
    • Upon completion of business degree programmes, students can get exemptions for papers out of a total 16 papers from MAISCA. The number of exemptions depend on which type of degree and university as well.

What are the CPE-Recognised Qualifications by Securities Commission Malaysia (SC)?

The Securities Commission Malaysia (SC) was established on 1 March 1993 under the Securities Commission Act 1993 (SCA). It is a self-funded statutory body entrusted with the responsibility to regulate and develop the Malaysian capital market.

  • PhD programme (Majors: Finance, Accountancy, Business & Law)
  • Masters programme (Majors: Finance, Accountancy, Business & Law)
  • Basic degree (Majors: Finance, Accountancy, Business & Law)
  • Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA)
  • Certified Financial Planner (CFP)
  • Chartered Certified Accountant (ACCA)
  • Chartered Financial Consultants (ChFCs)
  • Chartered Management Accountant (CIMA)
  • Chartered Public Accountant (MICPA)
  • Grad ICSA (MAICSA)
  • Islamic Financial Planning Course (IFPC) by FPAM
  • International Fixed Income and Derivatives (IFID) Certificate
  • Registered Financial Planner (RFP)
  • Diploma of Share Trading and Investment by Wealth Within Institute, Australia
  • Islamic Financial Planner (IFP) by FPAM
  • Certificate of Real Investment Finance (CREIF) by APREA Institute, Singapore
  • Chartered Accountant (CA) by MIA
  • Certified Practising Accountant (CPA) by CPA Australia
  • Chartered Accountant (ACA) by ICAEW
  • Graduate Certificate In Applied Portfolio Management (g-CAPM) by NUS Business School
  • Shariah Registered Financial Planner (Shariah RFP)

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