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Study Guide: Accounting in Malaysia

A study in accounting might be right for you if you're a math pro and have a keen eye for detail. All industries, but particularly those where new enterprises are sprouting, have a high demand for accountants. Let's have a look at some reasons why taking an accounting course may be a good idea if you're seeking for a secure and fulfilling profession!

Accounting

 

Accounting is the recording, maintaining, and reporting of a company’s financial records. Accounting professionals work for individuals, in-house at corporations, or on behalf of other businesses at a public accounting firm. These professionals are responsible for ensuring that all financial transactions are correctly entered into the general ledger, that account balances are correct, and that financial statements are accurate.

Now, this seems like it’s more than you can handle. But the truth is, accounting skills are very practical and can be applied to many areas of your life, such as managing your spending. For example, to ensure that your college finances do not get out of control (giving you a heads up here!), you’ll need to budget wisely to ensure that your cash outflows (college tuition fees, books, living expenses) are less than your cash inflows (monthly allowance or part-time work income).

Within the field of accounting, there are various specialisations such as:

  • Tax Accounting: Focuses on taxes, and is governed by the Internal Revenue Code which dictates specific rules that companies & individuals must follow when preparing tax returns

  • Financial Accounting: Keeps tabs on financial transactions. Using standardised guidelines and procedures, the transactions are recorded, summarised and presented in a financial report or financial statement

  • AuditInvolves concepts and technical aspects of auditing, which is a review or inspection of a company's financial accounts

  • Forensic Accounting: Utilizes accounting, auditing, and investigative skills to examine the finances of an individual or business

  • Management Accounting: Information needed by the company management. This includes cost behaviour, product costing for manufacturers, budgeting, magnitude needed for making decisions, and transfer pricing

Entry Requirements To Study Accounting

These are the general entry requirements to pursue an accounting degree.  Entry requirements for some universities may be higher, so do make sure you check the details carefully.

SPM/O-Level

  • A pass with 5 credits including Mathematics (applicable to Government Matriculation, Pre-U programmes and ACCA FIA - Foundation in Accounting)

  • A pass with 3 credits including Mathematics (applicable to diploma qualification)

Pathway to Study Accounting

This is the general pathway to study accounting after completing your SPM or IGCSE.

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Step 1: Complete STPM/UEC/Pre-university programme/ACCA FIA (Foundation in Accounting) for 1-2 years. You can also opt to be enrolled in Diploma in Accounting for 3 years. 

Step 2: Once you graduate with an accounting diploma, you can choose to go straight to the workforce.

Step 3: If you want to pursue an accounting degree, enrol in a 3-year accounting degree programme.

Step 4: Once you've completed your degree, you can choose to go straight to the workforce.

Optional steps (for ACCA qualification)

Step 5: If you want to improve your technical accounting skills and add more bling to your résumé, you can study professional accounting degrees such as ACCA, MICPA, CPA Australia, CIMA, and ICAEW.

Note: Most accounting degrees will include classes on certain professional papers. Check to see how many papers you can acquire exemptions for when you finish your degree. Some accounting degrees, for example, will exempt you from 9 of the 13 ACCA papers.

Subjects in Accounting Degree

In Malaysia, an accounting degree takes at least 3 years long to complete and the total anticipated costs for a 3-year accounting degree might range from RM80,000 to RM120,000

In general, most accounting degrees will require you to study core / compulsory subjects in your 1st year, covering topics such as:

  • Financial Accounting

  • Business Law

  • Marketing

  • Finance and Investment

  • Economics (Microeconomics and Macroeconomics)

  • Management Principles

  • Quantitative Methods

In your second and third year, you will still have some core subjects, but will also be able to choose some elective subjects depending on your interests.

Job Prospects After Accounting Degree

 

As one of the most in-demand jobs in Malaysia, accounting is very much needed in every industry. This is why many parents encourage their kids to pursue an accounting degree — it’s where the money’s at. If you’re embarking on a journey in accounting, you might wonder what jobs are in store for you. Fret not, here’s a list of accounting-related jobs that you can explore with an accounting degree:

  • Accountant

  • Auditor

  • Chief Financial Officer (CFO)

  • Financial Controller

  • Forensic Accountant

  • Investment Banker

  • Tax Consultant

If you have suddenly realised that accounting is not your cup of tea, there are other industries where you can apply the practical skills you have gained from your degree.

Some sectors where your accounting skills may be useful include:

  • Financial Services

  • Real Estate

  • Telecommunications

  • Market Research

  • Media & Advertising

  • Logistics

Universities to Study Accounting

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Taylor's University Lakeside Campus

Bachelor of Accounting & Finance (Hons)

Intakes: January, March & August
Total Fees: RM111,886
Duration: 3 years

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MAHSA University

Bachelor of Accounting (Hons)

Intakes: N/A
Total Fees: RM75,970
Duration: 3 years

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University of Southampton Malaysia (Southampton Malaysia)

Bachelor of Science in Accounting and Finance

Intake: September
Annual Fees: RM38,500
Duration: 3 years

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Asia Pacific University of
Technology & Innovation (APU)

BA (Hons) in Accounting and Finance

Intakes: March, July & September
Total Fees: RM 92,500
Duration: 3 years

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