I have been advocating professional accountancy as a career of choice for many years. Benefiting from the qualification myself, I thought it is appropriate for me to spread the virtues to other aspiring accountants.
While I never tell my children what should be their career paths, three of them decided to take up accountancy from our local universities. Two graduated from the Internal Islamic University and one from University ITM. Fortunately, all of them started their career in accounting firms, where the real actions are and where high-end accounting concepts and knowledge are applied on daily basis.
My eldest decided to pursue one of the professional accountancy qualifications from the UK. He did that while he was with one of the Big-4. However, his interest in Triathlon distracted his focus. He eventually started his own cake company with his wife and their business is growing steadily. What could I say?
It was my second daughter who managed to complete her Malaysian-Australian professional accountancy programme. I suppose the support she had from her firm, another Big-4, and the exposure she gained from her work helped her to succeed. So, last week, me and my wife attended the event where she was awarded her certificate of completion. She needs to work for another few months to clock the necessary hours before she could join the Malaysian Institute of Certified Public Accountants and possibly the Chartered Accountants in Australia and New Zealand. Finally, I am not the only qualified accountant in the house.
My second son joined the accounting firm that I established, Khairuddin Hasyudeen & Razi (KHR). Although it is not that large, the firm has a policy of encouraging and sponsoring its staff to become professional accountants. So far, more than 30 young Malaysians had passed or are in the process of qualifying. While many other firms fear that by having professional accountancy qualifications the market value of their staff would be enhanced and they might move on for better opportunities, KHR believes that if such event happens, those well trained accountants would be its ambassadors and would shape a good perception of the KHR brand. Many had actually left, including going overseas but KHR remained as a growing business. Hence, my son is sponsored to pursue CPA Australia, the same qualification with his father.
I am amazed with some Malaysians who are seeing professional accountancy as a mean colonisation especially when smart Malaysians obtained well-recognised accountancy qualifications from the UK or Australia. If they care to study the history of our nationhood, many overseas-qualified accountants contributed to the progress of Malaysia. Tan Sri Hanafiah Hussin, Tan Sri Azman Hashim and Tan Sri Abdul Samad Alias are amongst the living examples who we can still meet and ask them questions.
In fact, the Malaysian Association of Certified Public Accountants (MACPA) was established in 1958, a year after we achieved our independence. Unfortunately the nay sayers somehow do not recognise MICPA (its present name) as a Malaysian body!
In 2000, the Malaysian Institute of Accountants (MIA) changed the title of accountants registered with it from Registered Accountant or Public Accountant to Chartered Accountants. This has mislead many accountants! While many of MIA members had set for the many professional accountancy exam available like MICPA or ACCA, there is a group who had never taken any professional accountancy examination in their life. Hence, the registration title should be reviewed.
Employers in Malaysia are smart. They are able to differentiate the "Chartered Accountants" of MIA with others. So, while some MIA members could be smiling with their title, many employers ask these "Chartered Accountants", which examination did you pass? How to answer?
Again, I am stressing that I have benefited from being a professional accountant and I am mindful of the potentials brought by these qualifications. While I recognise that not all accountancy graduates would like to pursue this path, those who have the opportunities should not forego them simply because they are tough. Let me ask you this question, apart from being a Chartered Accountants of MIA, what else is easy in life?
I would like to thank my daughter's lectures, employer and friends for your contribution in her achievements. I wish every family in Malaysia to have an accountant in the house, a professionally qualified one.