By Vincent Cheong, Lecturer, Faculty of Business & Accounting
In order to become a qualified accountant in Malaysia, a student must obtain a professional accountancy qualification (e.g. Association of Chartered Certified Accountants [ACCA], Chartered Institute of Management Accountants [CIMA], Certified Practising Accountants Australia [CPA Australia], Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wale [ICAEW], Institute of Chartered Accountants Australia (ICAA), Malaysian Institute of Certified Public Accountants [MICPA] etc) and gained at least thirty-six months’ working experience in any industrial or professional organisation or in any other undertaking approved by the Malaysian Institute of Accountants (MIA).
It is essential that the student’s practical progress works are self-recorded and appropriately supervised and is signed off by his/her practical-experience supervisor or mentor. Those are not employed in a relevant accounting, audit, taxation, or finance role will not be counted. This is to ensure professional competence and due care to merit membership.
Alternatively, upon completion of the BA (Hons) Accounting and Finance degree through the University of Greenwich (UOG) at SEGi College Sarawak, for instance, students can later sit and pass for the MIA-qualifying examination and accumulated three years of experience in different roles and with different employers. The students will then be eligible to apply for Chartered Accountant (CA) Malaysia and MIA membership.
For those students whose written English is not proficient, it is advisable and recommended to go for the Accounting and Finance degree course first and at a later stage, pursue a professional accountancy course. For example, after completing the SEGi UOG programme, students are eligible for exemption of up to a maximum of nine out of thirteen papers in the ACCA module. Students will only have to enrol and sit for the remaining four (4) final professional exams papers.