Accounting and Finance Skills – Top 5 in Demand Skills
According to Department of Statistics, Malaysia, accounting and finance skills are one of the top 5 skills in demand. This is not surprising, considering that financial performance is the backbone of any business organisation.
Even if you’ve got a great product or service that people want, you can still fail if you don’t manage your finances properly. Sound financial reporting is of the key emphasis of any business. This starts from keeping and maintaining a comprehensive financial records and bookkeeping, up to preparation of an annual master budget, regular budget variance analyses, ongoing cash flow reports, and a current balance sheet for the business, receivables aging reports and credit management plans.
The primary difference between accounting and finance
Accounting has a relatively narrow focus, while finance is wider-ranging, covering an array of specializations in the world of business, economics and banking. The typical course contents for accounting include bookkeeping, auditing, budget analysis, management accounting, financial reporting, professional ethics and standards, systems & controls, tax accounting, risk management etc; whereas in finance, learners will study financial mathematics, corporate finance, financial markets, financial planning, venture capital, etc.
If you like working as an accountant, auditor, bookkeeper, budget analyst, credit controller, financial consultant, forensic accountant, payroll administrator, risk assessor, tax consultant, treasurer, etc; then you should choose Accounting. However, if you foresee yourself being a commercial banker, financial consultant, financial trader, insurance officer, hedge fund manager, and investment banker; then Finance is the alternate option.
The other question that keeps cropping up in students’ minds is 'what is the difference between a bookkeeping and accounting?'
Bookkeeping and accounting are both important parts of managing your finances. ... Bookkeeping focuses on recording and organising financial data. Accounting is the interpretation and presentation of that data to business owners and investors.
Bookkeeping involves the recording, on a regular basis, of a company’s financial transactions. With proper bookkeeping, companies are able to track all information on its books to make key operating, investing, and financing decisions.
Bookkeepers are individuals who manage all financial data for companies. Without bookkeepers, companies would not be aware of their current financial position, as well as the transactions that occur within the company. Many small companies don’t hire full-time accountants to work for them because of the cost. Instead, they generally employ a bookkeeper or outsource the job to a professional firm.
Accounting and bookkeeping overlap in many ways. Basically, bookkeeping is how you record and categorize your financial transactions, while accounting puts that financial data to good use through analysis, strategy, and tax planning. Accounting is more subjective, giving you insights into your business’s financial health based on bookkeeping information.
A lot depends on your budget, time, and your target or ambition. The fees in Malaysia range from as low as, less than RM10,000 to RM100,000. Duration of courses differ to the level of qualifications, i.e. Foundation, Diploma, Degree or even studying via the professional accounting routes like the AAT, CIMA, ACCA, ICAEW, etc.
Why AAT Route?
AAT (The Association of Accounting Technicians), the UK's leading professional body offers in demand skills-based accountancy courses to Malaysians seeking a fast track to 'chartered accountant status'.
AAT was sponsored by four UK chartered accountancy bodies; ACCA, ICAEW, CIMA and ICAS from 1980 until May 2017. A strong relationship remains between AAT and its former sponsoring bodies, with AAT graduates gaining very generous exemptions if they further their chartered accountancy studies. The AAT is a full member of the International Federation of Accountants (IFAC).
AAT currently has 7 Training Providers in Malaysia and plans to expand to the majority of the country next year. Their classes are a hybrid of in-person and remote virtual education. All AAT assessments are computer-based, providing for scheduling flexibility and even remote assessment and students will not have to worry about cancelled or postponed examinations.
There are funding and scholarship available for AAT course. Students need to contact the respective AAT Training Provider for potential funding, fee waiver or scholarship; including claiming the fees from HRD Corp.