Groom­ing fi­nance pro­fes­sion­als

The Star Malaysia - Star2 - - EDUCATION GUIDE -

oN Nov 9, the As­so­ci­a­tion of Char­tered Cer­ti­fied Ac­coun­tants (ACCA) wel­comed over 300 fi­nance and ac­count­ing un­der­grad­u­ates from 18 uni­ver­si­ties and col­leges na­tion­wide to its Fel­low­ship of Fu­ture Lead­ers Con­fer­ence held at Pull­man Putrajaya.

Themed “Great Ex­pec­ta­tions: Gen Y Grad­u­ates”, the two-day con­fer­ence was packed with pro­grammes aimed at ed­u­cat­ing these un­der­grad­u­ates on the work-life ex­pec­ta­tions when they join the work­force.

The high­light of the con­fer­ence was the spe­cial ses­sion by the guest of hon­our, Min­is­ter in the Prime Min­is­ter’s Depart­ment and Fel­low of ACCA Se­na­tor Datuk Sri Ab­dul Wahid Omar, who spoke at length about his in­spi­ra­tional ca­reer jour­ney.

With an aptly ti­tled talk called “Zero to Hero”, Ab­dul Wahid talked can­didly about his stu­dent days while study­ing for his ACCA qual­i­fi­ca­tion, say­ing it took him three at­tempts to pass his fi­nal exam pa­pers. He also said that his abil­ity to progress up the cor­po­rate ca­reer lad­der was largely due to his thirst for more chal­leng­ing work.

Im­part­ing some ad­vice to stu­dents, Ab­dul Wahid said: “Firstly, it is very im­por­tant for you to choose a ca­reer that you can be pas­sion­ate about, tak­ing ad­van­tage of your nat­u­ral ten­den­cies.

“Then, you should work hard and smart to be­come suc­cess­ful. Some peo­ple think work­ing hard is not nec­es­sary if you can work smart. But in this day and age, there are a lot of peo­ple who are smarter than you are. Be pre­pared to put in the hours.

“Lastly, my ad­vice to you is to never stop learn­ing, even af­ter you grad­u­ate. Learn­ing can be on the job or sim­ply by read­ing the news or rel­e­vant ar­ti­cles. The im­por­tant thing is to keep your knowl­edge and skills up to date.”

Ab­dul Wahid shared how gain­ing the ACCA qual­i­fi­ca­tion has helped him in his ca­reer. As a mem­ber of the global body for pro­fes­sional ac­coun­tants, con­tin­u­ous pro­fes­sional de­vel­op­ment (CPD) is em­pha­sised at all stages of his ca­reer, and this has en­sured that his skills and knowl­edge are kept rel­e­vant.

This com­mit­ment to of­fer busi­ness-rel­e­vant, first-choice qual­i­fi­ca­tions has been a legacy of the ACCA for over 100 years.

ACCA Malaysia head Jen­nifer Lopez said: “The ACCA con­tin­u­ally im­proves the con­tent of our global syl­labus to meet the needs of em­ploy­ers and en­sure newly qual­i­fied mem­bers have the skills and knowl­edge to be com­plete fi­nance pro­fes­sion­als.”

Through an on­go­ing process, the ACCA has made a wide range of changes to its qual­i­fica- tion con­tent which en­hances com­pe­tency in key ar­eas as fol­lows:

1. Pro­fes­sion­al­ism and ethics: The syl­labus con­tent has been en­hanced around gov­er­nance, risk and ethics, and amended to in­tro­duce a greater fo­cus on the re­quire­ment for more di­ver­sity on boards.

2. Strategy and in­no­va­tion: More ar­eas of the pa­per have been made rel­e­vant to the cor­po­rate sec­tor and busi­ness lead­er­ship in terms of fore­cast­ing, bud­get­ing, cost man­age­ment and de­ci­sion sup­port, in­clud­ing pric­ing.

The lat­est area to be added is on the role and lim­i­ta­tions of cost ac­count­ing in strategy de­vel­op­ment and im­ple­men­ta­tion.

3. Fi­nan­cial man­age­ment: The ACCA has in­creased con­tent on de­vel­op­ments in Is­lamic Fi­nance.

4. Cor­po­rate re­port­ing: Greater cov­er­age is in­cluded on the typ­i­cal con­tents of a so­cial and en­vi­ron­men­tal re­port and the use­ful­ness of this in­for­ma­tion to stake­hold­ers, es­pe­cially rel­e­vant in light of new guide­lines is­sued by the Global Re­port­ing Ini­tia­tive.

5. Sus­tain­able man­age­ment ac­count­ing: The ACCA’s Per­for­mance Man­age­ment ex­ams con­tain key sec­tions which sup­port busi­nesses in mak­ing sus­tain­able and ef­fi­cient use of re­sources through strate­gic plan­ning, con­trol, mea­sure­ment and per­for­mance eval­u­a­tion.

6. Au­dit and as­sur­ance: More em­pha­sis on pro­fes­sional scep­ti­cism has been added to re­flect the new IESBA (In­ter­na­tional Ethics Stan­dards Board for Ac­coun­tants) code of ethics for pro­fes­sional ac­coun­tants.

7. Case study ap­proach: Since June 2013, all seven of the ACCA Qual­i­fi­ca­tion Pro­fes­sional Level ex­ams use case stud­ies in their as­sess­ments. This pro­vides in-depth prac­ti­cal sce­nar­ios for stu­dents to work on for these ex­ams, all of which are ex­am­ined at Master’s de­gree level.

This syl­labus im­prove­ment is part of the ACCA’s global process to re­fresh the con­tent of the syl­labus and en­sure that ACCA stu­dents de­velop as com­pe­tent pro­fes­sion­als with the lat­est ac­count­ing skills and knowl­edge re­quired across all sec­tors.

“These changes po­si­tion ACCA mem­bers well to thrive in the emerg­ing busi­ness con­text, to en­hance their prospects as pro­fes­sion­als and man­agers, and bring suc­cess in their ca­reers. We are very proud that em­ploy­ers in Malaysia and around the world recog­nise the value that our mem­bers bring to their busi­ness, and have in­deed come to de­pend on the ex­per­tise of ACCA pro­fes­sion­als,” said Lopez.

Log on to www.acca­ to find out more about the ACCA and be­com­ing a com­plete fi­nance pro­fes­sional.

Lopez (left) with Ab­dul Wahid, who spoke at length about his in­spi­ra­tional ca­reer jour­ney.

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