Sunday 17 January 2021

A Conversation With MyPAC Students And Alumni

The Malaysian Professional Accountancy Centre (MyPAC) was established to encourage and facilitate students, especially Bumiputera, to pursue professional accountancy qualification. While we have more than thirty thousand accountants registered with the Malaysian Institute of Accountants, the number of Bumiputera accountants in Malaysia is only around 2 two thousand only.

I was a director of MyPAC together with a number of senior partners of the Big-4 before I resigned due to work commitment. The whole idea of MyPAc is to enable students to be globally competitive and attain knowledge, skills and values through passing professional examinations of accountancy body of their choice. MyPAC supports professional programmes of ACCA, MICPA, CAANZ and CPA Australia, amongst others.

Yesterday, I was invited to share my views and thoughts on professional accountancy and governance by a group of MyPAC students and alumni. I originally planned to participate from my orchard in Batang Kali. However, due to movement restriction, I joined the virtual meeting from my home.

I shared my journey in becoming a professional accountant through CPA Australia. After graduating in 1986, I worked in accounting firms in Australia and Malaysia before opening my own accounting practice in mid-90's. The firm was then merged with few like minded friends to establish Khairuddin, Hasyudeen & Razi (KHR) which remains as one of a medium-sized accountancy practice until today. I left the firm in 2005 to establish a strategic advisory company before joining the Securities Commission as a founding Executive Chairman of the Audit Oversight Board.

Governance is a very important part of any company or institution. It is supposed to ensure the company or institution to be governed and managed towards its objectives such have having strategy which was properly crafted and effectively executed. Management is responsible to ensure all aspects of business and operation are in line with the strategy and attain the intended outcomes. Hence, governance is about doing the right thing the right way.

Accountants can be involved in strengthening governance is a number of ways. They can be in the board, lead management or in charge of roles and functions which contribute towards good governance and organisational effectiveness. I was the Chairman of Cagamas Holdings Berhad, the holding company of our national mortgage corporation. As mentioned before, I was in the leadership of the Securities Commission which is tasked to ensure the fairness and orderliness of our capital market. I was also a member of the Operational Review Panel of the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission. So I encourage all the young accountants and students to be a significant part of ensuring good governance in Malaysia.

Integrity is also one of the professional values of the accountancy profession. Based on this, professional accountants should a natural partner of any effort to enhance governance. However, one has to ensure that he or she is excellent at the workplace and never compromise on any conduct or behaviour which will taint governance or even breaking the law. With excellence track record as a professional and known for integrity and upholding professional values, one should be able to walk away if pressured to do the wrong thing and secure better position elsewhere. Excellence is important in upholding values and principles.

I was asked many questions including dealing with pressure from outside. My view is simple, just focus on doing the right thing for the organisation and stakeholders. If the organisation is not performing, it would be very difficult to influence others. So, we need to ensure we get the right outcomes for the organisation as part of the ways to deal with various ideas and views from outside which are hard to control. Focus on what we can control.

More than 800 professional accountants had been born from the work of MyPAC. They have more than 200 students at various stages of professional programmes for a number of professional accountancy bodies. Even if MyPAC produces 1,000 Bumiputera accountants, they are already successful in doubling up the number.

The journey is ongoing and there are huge potentials for MyPAC to be an active player in nation building. MyPAC will always have my endorsement and support, InsyaAllah.

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