Demand for professional accountants with good English in Malaysia
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More accountants are needed for Malaysia to achieve Vision 2020 and be knownas a high-income nation, said Malaysian Institute of Accountants (MIA) president Johan Idris.
“For a country to have a mature capital market, it needs accountants because we provide confidence and assurance. We have a role to play to ensure that the capital markets are robust and forward-looking,”
To-date, the statutory body has just under 30,000 registered members. This is in comparison to Singapore, which has a similar number of members registered for a population of roughly five million.
“Australia, with a population of about 28 million, has about 100,000 members,” he said.
He added that the quality of education was important because it equated to the future supply chain of accountants in Malaysia. Accounting firms are constantly on the lookout to hire competent accounting graduates.
“Suitable candidates are hard to find. MIA can talk to the minister responsible for this, in terms of how we want to bring the accounting profession to the next level,” he said. Johan highlighted that more importance should be placed on improving the level of competency in the English language.
“Accounting is about communicating financial statements and what you have done to the public at large.
“If you aren’t able to communicate well and if your supply of graduates doesn’t have a strong command of the language, then you would not be as strong as what you ought to be,” he said. He added that while Bahasa Malaysia unified the country, English was still the language of commerce.
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Good Command of English for Accountants in Malaysia
From the list below, you can see that the companies that accounting graduates would work at are Multi-National Companies (MNCs) and Government Linked Companies (GNC) therefore requiring a good command of the English language to communicate to the clients, customers, management and overseas partners.
Where Accounting and Finance Graduates can work in Malaysia?
Insurance – Prudential Assurance Malaysia, Sun Life Assurance, Hong Leong Assurance, Prudential BSN Takaful, Zurich Insurance Malaysia, AIA, Etiqa, ING, MCIS Zurich, AXA AFFIN Life, Manulife, Tokio Marine Life, Uni.Asia Life Assurance, Great Eastern, AM Life, AIG, Berjaya Sompo, MSIG, Kurnia, Lonpac, Danajamin, Pacific Insurance, Pacific & Orient Assurance, RHB Insurance, Tune Insurance, UniAsia General, Overseas Assurance Corporation, Progressive, QBE, MAA, etc
Financial & Investment Institutions – Bank Negara, Bursa Malaysia, Securities Commission Malaysia, AFFIN Investment, ECM Libra, HwangDBS, Hong Leong Investment, Kenanga Investment Bank, KAF Investment Bank, CIMB Investment
Bank, AMInvestment Bank, Alliance Investment Bank, OSK Investment, MIDF Amanah Investment, Public Investment Bank, RHB Investment Bank, CIMB Investment, etc
Banks – Public, AmBank, Citibank, Hong Leong, HSBC, Maybank, RHB, CIMB, AFFIN,
Alliance, Deutsche Bank, J.P. Morgan Chase Bank Berhad, Mizuho Bank (Malaysia), OCBC, Standard Chartered, UOB, The Royal Bank of Scotland, The Bank of Nova Scotia, etc.
Islamic Banks -Al Rajhi Banking & Investment Corporation, Alkhair International Islamic Bank, Deutsche Bank Aktiengesellschaft, Affin Islamic Bank, Al Rajhi Banking & Investment Corporation, Alliance Islamic Bank, AmIslamic Bank, Bank Islam Malaysia, Bank Muamalat Malaysia, CIMB Islamic Bank, HSBC
Amanah Malaysia, Hong Leong Islamic Bank, Kuwait Finance House, Maybank Islamic, OCBC Al-Amin Bank, Public Islamic Bank, RHB Islamic Bank, Standard Chartered Saadiq, etc
Accounting & Auditing firms – Ernst & Young, PricewaterhouseCoopers, Deloitte,
KPMG, Baker Tilly Monteiro Heng, Moore Stephens AC, Steven Chin & Co, BDO, Grant Thornton, RSM, Mazars, Crowe Horwarth International, DFK International, Halim & Lee, Begbies Traynor, etc
Companies – Every company large or small needs at least one accountant therefore the jobs are plenty. Graduates can work in industries like property, FMCG, retail, fashion, construction, trading, hotel, travel, restaurants, Food & Beverage, SMEs, entertainment, automotive, education, and more.
Suggested Accounting Pathway for Malaysian Students with Weak English
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 4 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 4 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.
Research by Star newspaper has shown that graduates with good command of the English language tend to get a higher salary (25%) and faster promotion.
A lot of students like the easy way out and choose colleges and universities that are cheap and lacking in quality and 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?
When you become an auditor, you will need to communicate with your client in English as well as your report.
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. 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).
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.
After your degree, you can find a job and then take the final papers of the ACCA part time.
Who should study accounting in Malaysia?
Students who like maths or accounting subjects. A strong interest in money and finances. Generally, the person is very organised, neat, and likes things to be in
order. They are introverts, shy, quiet, and able to focus and concentrate to get work done well.
They are perfectionists and makes sure that anything done, is fully completed on time.
It is also normal for science stream students to go into accounting courses but they should be good in modern maths or add maths.
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