Having A Professional Qualification Still Matters. These M'sians Share Why It's Important

Accounting and finance professionals with a globally recognised qualification are most in demand.

Cover image via Chrismin Chan & Nurul Asyiqqin

Whether you're still studying, already working, or looking for a job, it's important to stand out from the crowd – and one way to do that is by having a professional qualification

In an interview with the Finance Accreditation Agency, Tom Osborne, director of global recruitment firm Hays for Malaysia, said that employers want to see candidates with these three qualities:

1. Strong interpersonal and communication skills
2. Relevant experience
3. Professional qualifications

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Besides that, he believes that skills in problem solving, communication, organisation, and open-mindedness, as well as a global mindset, are now essential for success for accounting and finance professionals. Rather than just being seen as number crunchers, accounting and finance professionals need to know how to identify broader business trends to stand out from the crowd.

For Chrismin Chan ASA, an Associate Supervisor in the Banking Supervision Department at Bank Negara Malaysia, CPA Australia equipped her with various technical and professional skills

Image via Chrismin Chan

What's unique about CPA Australia is that it offered Chrismin a broad syllabus, and was different from other qualifications that were geared heavily towards audit, tax, and financial reporting.

"Studying Contemporary Business Issues in the CPA Program, along with Global Strategy and Leadership, has helped me build a futuristic view of the business environment and accounting profession, as well as think strategically," shared Chrismin.

Apart from the technical knowledge that a qualification provides, CPA Australia places a strong emphasis on self-development, something she believes will be helpful for those wanting to progress their career.

One thing she hopes to do in the future is to work abroad to explore different cultures and sharpen her skills

Image for illustration purposes only.

Image via Unsplash

"It will open my eyes to the best practices, and help me be more creative with out-of-the-box solutions. It will also enhance my communications skills and adaptability when working with a diverse set of people."

"I believe, with a CPA Australia designation, I will have these opportunities," said Chrismin.

Originally gaining her Bachelor's Degree in Accounting at Universiti Tun Abdul Razak, Chrismin was given a scholarship from the university to commence her CPA journey. Now, she has completed all required learning, with five high distinctions and one distinctions, and she'll obtain her CPA Australia designation next year after fulfilling three years of practical experience.

For Nurul Asyiqqin Md Naser, a Financial Analyst in Group Finance at Telekom Malaysia Bhd, her only regret was not pursuing a professional qualification with CPA Australia sooner

Nurul Asyiqqin first completed her Bachelor's Degree in Accounting at Multimedia University in 2013. As a working professional, she wishes that she had the opportunity to get her qualification earlier on.

Nevertheless, she is currently part of the Finance Professional Certification All Star Program, a scholarship provided by her employer to help their finance staff pursue professional certification.

"I would love to encourage those who are still uncertain with their career to get a professional qualification, as this will definitely help boost your knowledge and skills and also gives you better opportunities ahead," she said. "For myself, I feel thankful that I have now chosen the right path."

What she appreciates most about the CPA Program is the wealth of online learning opportunities like webinars, business simulations, module quizzes, and case studies

Image for illustration purposes only.

Image via Unsplash

"These have helped me polish my soft skills and technical skills. I can access materials anywhere, at any moment, and that means I am able to juggle study with working full-time. I have also been able to take exams online, which I have found very helpful," shared Nurul Asyiqqin.

Another benefit is the regular emails by CPA Australia about current updates, or complimentary courses, which help accountants and finance professionals feel connected and equipped with the latest news globally.

While job hunting these days may be difficult for many candidates, having a professional designation like CPA Australia definitely gives you a competitive edge

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Chrismin experienced it firsthand when she was offered an internship on the spot at one of the Big Four accounting firms in Malaysia, once they found out she was pursuing a CPA Australia designation. She proceeded to intern at PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), Deloitte, and Baker Tilly, and was subsequently employed by PwC before joining Bank Negara Malaysia.

"In my current job, I am proud to be the only one in the team with CPA Australia qualification and relevant working experience as an auditor. Whenever it comes to accounting standards or accounting-related issues, my team manager entrusts tasks to me, including briefing and providing insights to the team," she shared.

If you are interested in the CPA Program, you can submit an initial application via the QR code below

Image via CPA Australia

For Malaysian Bumiputera candidates between 18 and 45 years old, who have a degree in Accounting, you can apply for the Yayasan Peneraju Sponsorship program. You can also join an upcoming 'Become a CPA info session' to find out more about the program, and enjoy significant discounts on application fees.

For any further enquiries, please WhatsApp message or call the CPA Australia team at 012-2296746 or 012-2075772.

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