Two Malaysian students scored some of the highest marks to place among the top 10 in the world in the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) examinations recently
Both the Malaysia Professional Accountancy Centre (MyPAC) students took the exams in March and surpassed 92,000 candidates globally to clinch a top 10 spot in their respective papers.
Nurul Fatin emerged as the seventh best student in the world at the 'Strategic Business Reporting' paper, while Siti Naziah was the world's ninth best student in 'Audit and Assurance'.
According to New Straits Times, both students come from underprivileged families with limited facilities to follow online classes during the COVID-19 pandemic, but still excelled in the exams.
Nurul Fatin, who lost her father at the young age of 11, only had her mobile phone to participate in online learning prior to the exams
However, the 25-year-old from Terengganu persevered to obtain the professional accountancy qualification.
Nurul Fatin told GPSBestari that it was difficult to land a job despite graduating with honours in Bachelor of Accountancy from Universiti Teknologi MARA (UiTM).
"I am hopeful that with the ACCA qualification, it will raise my chances of being employed at one of the Big Four audit firms," said the Yayasan Sime Darby scholarship recipient.
In the recent exams, Nurul Fatin also passed the 'Advanced Taxation' paper and has two more papers to sit for this year to complete her ACCA in September.
Meanwhile, Siti Naziah, who lost her father in 2018 to cancer, found studying at home hard to follow during the Movement Control Order (MCO)
"I was completely lost. It was made worse when I kept on failing the tests that was given by our lecturer. I almost gave up," the 21-year-old from Perak told Berita Harian.
With a Certified Accounting Technician (CAT) qualification, Siti Naziah decided to pursue ACCA after a MyPAC introductory session at her college in Kuala Kangsar to advance her career.
As a Majlis Agama Islam dan Adat Melayu Perak (MAIPK) scholar, she said she was grateful for the guidance from her best friends and counsellors from MyPAC who motivated her.
"I still can't believe I managed to pass the paper, let alone obtain the highest mark in the country!" she said.
Siti Naziah is expected to complete her ACCA qualification in March next year.
MyPAC chief executive officer Datuk Zaiton Mohd Hassan said the duo's success was a testament that B40 students can succeed, given the right guidance and opportunities
"We will continue working closely with various corporates and zakat authorities to select and fund the deserving students from underprivileged families in pursuing professional accountancy qualifications such as the ACCA, in our effort to have more bumiputera professional accountants," she said.
Last year, a Malaysian student became number one in the world in the ACCA examinations for the first time ever: