"Are you aware of how much you spend these days?" 
"Yes, I keep a record and I even have an app for my daily transactions."
"Have you taken Accounting during your secondary school days? Was it useful?" 
"Yes, I have. It set a good foundation for my money habits these days. Budgeting and tax filling are a breeze."
"Ah, I wished I took it too..."

Money conversations are becoming increasingly common these days. It is no longer taboo to discuss ways to grow our money sustainably and financial concepts together.

It is all thanks to increased awareness of financial literacy.

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What Is The Significance Of Financial Literacy In Our Daily Life?

Here are some reasons why financial literacy is a relevant topic in our everyday life, especially among the millennials and Generation Z.

To help us keep track of our daily expenditure efficiently

Setting up a normal budget or an Excel balance sheet to record what we have spent on a daily basis is a good start to knowing where our money goes.

You'll be able to study your spending habits (whether it is a shopping spree on Shopee during 11.11 or the premium Netflix subscription that you hardly watch these days).

It is important to see how much you are left for savings and really emergency uses (for medical reasons or breakdown of vehicles which can be really costly).

It will give you a rough figure on how much you actually spend and save on a monthly basis, and whether your bank account can take it in the long run.

If you are feeling tight with money, it could possibly mean two things:

a) You are spending too excessively without a proper saving plan.
b) You are earning too little to maintain the lifestyle that you are currently having now.

To avoid debts and the risk of bankruptcy

Excess and unnecessary debts will lead to lots of stress and a long term financial crisis if things are not getting better.

Having financial literacy also means the acknowledgement and direct application to reduce the number of credit cards that you currently have, the amount needed for your emergency savings or sinking funds without causing a financial strain to your bank account.

study basic accounting
One of the basic knowledge of financial literacy is to have a clear record of your daily expenditure.
Source: Xframe

To prepare for the uncertainty (potential economy downturn) and old age (retirement)

The pandemic has taught us many valuable lessons.

One of them is to always be prepared for a crisis. In this context, many individuals have experienced a financial crisis, in one way or another. It could be a loss of a job or a big cut of your paycheck.

This is where financial literacy can step in to help us review our financial plans and how to manage unprecedented events in our lives.

For instance, there are parents who choose to utilize their Employees Provident Fund (EPF) savings for their children's education instead of using their direct savings during this pandemic.

Some working adults also start to take up side hustles to come up with extra income so that they can save for their old age or other milestones.

Having said that, it is never too early to learn about financial literacy and ways to record and manage your money even when you are still schooling. You can pick up Accounting as a subject of study for your SPM or IGCSE in high school.

What Are The Topics That You Will Study For IGCSE Accounting?

Whether you are studying at a public school, international school or you are homeschooled, you can still take Accounting as an examination subject.

Students who are studying at international schools and private candidates from homeschooling institutions can sit for the Cambridge IGCSE Accounting (Code 0452) subject.

You may refer below to have an overview of the syllabus and visit the official website of the IGCSE Assessment for other information such as past year questions and grading scheme.

Topic 1.0 The fundamentals of accounting

  • The purpose of accounting
  • The accounting equation

Topic 2.0 Sources and recording of data

  • The double entry system of book-keeping
  • Business documents
  • Books of prime entry

Topic 3.0 Verification of accounting records

  • The trial balance
  • Correction of errors
  • Bank reconciliation
  • Control accounts

Topic 4.0 Accounting procedures

  • Capital and revenue expenditure and receipts
  • Accounting for depreciation and disposal of non-current assets
  • Other payables and other receivables
  • Irrecoverable debts and provision for doubtful debts
  • Valuation of inventory

Topic 5.0 Preparation of financial statements

  • Sole traders
  • Partnerships
  • Limited companies
  • Clubs and societies
  • Manufacturing accounts
  • Incomplete records

Topic 6.0 Analysis and interpretation

  • Calculation and understanding of accounting ratios
  • Interpretation of accounting ratios
  • Inter-firm comparison
  • Interested parties
  • Limitations of accounting statements

Topic 7.0 Accounting principles and policies

  • Accounting principles
  • Accounting policies

Students will be assessed through 2 papers based on the above syllabus.

Paper 1Paper 2
Multiple choice questionsSubjective questions
35 marks [30% weightage]65 marks [70% weightage]
1 hour 15 minutes 1 hour 45 minutes

Degree in Accounting vs Degree in Finance, Which Is Better?

After completing your IGCSE and Pre-University studies, the next decision involves the choice of choosing an Accounting or Finance major for your undergraduate studies.

Both of these degrees are equally good and relevant (they are both Business degrees), it just depends on your inclination and interest to work in which industry. You can have promising careers with a degree in Accounting and Finance.

Let us break down these two degrees for you to have a better understanding of what you'll potentially study in the future.

Degree in Accounting

Are you a person who loves to organize numerical data and detect any "unbalanced" figures? Then this is the perfect field of study for you!

Apart from mastering various ways to read, categorize and interpret various financial transactions, studying accounting also requires great reading and comprehension skills. You will come across handbooks, reports and many lingos and jargon.

During your undergraduate degree, you will also study modules such as Introduction to Taxation, Financial Management, Cost and Management Accounting, Auditing and Assurance, and many more.

Some of the career options after you complete your degree in accounting include:

  • Tax consultant
  • Auditor
  • Forensic Accountant
  • Cost Accountant
  • Accounts Manager
degree in accounting finance
A degree in Accounting or Finance can grant you a promising career in the business industry.
Source: Xframe

Degree in Finance

Who should do a degree in Finance?

It is highly suitable for individuals who are passionate about the management and distribution of money. Think of our country's annual budget and money allocations from big corporations. That's finance!

Studying finance is more than just understanding the stock market and the latest news about taxes, it is also about the ability to communicate and translate all these data into useful economic policies and simple information for the general public.

If you later work as a financial analyst/investment planner, it is also about observing and identifying the "gap" and solving problems for your clients by putting forward practical actions to fulfil their needs (raise funds, minimize loss, etc.).

This is where your critical and analytical skills kick in!

Can't seem to choose one because both are equally interesting to you? That's not a problem!

Just combine these two in one degree and enjoy the best of both worlds! There are many good universities in Malaysia that offer undergraduate programmes in Accounting and Finance. 

What To Look For In An Accounting/Finance Tutor?

All students can learn and succeed, but not in the same way and not in the same day.
– William G. Spady

After some consideration, have you decided to hire a private tutor to have a better level of understanding on various core concepts and topics for a comprehensive view of your Accounting and Finance studies?

You may wonder where to look for a personalised learning experience that matches your current learning level and pace.

You might even want to have the option of choosing in-person lessons in the comfort of your own home or learn via online classes.  Next, you might want to look into the budget and other matters.

basic accounting concepts
With Superprof, you can have an affordable and effective online Accounting/Finance lesson without geographical limitations.
Source: Xframe

Don't worry because we got you covered with Superprof!

Superprof acts as an effective educational bridge that connects tutors and students from all parts of the world.

For Malaysian learners, you can easily access amazing local Accounting tutors from various cities such as Kuala Lumpur, Shah Alam, Seremban, Johor Bahru, Georgetown, and many more.

All you need to do is filter your tutor preferences according to your learning mode (in-person lessons/ online lessons), subject that you want to learn, maximum budget (RMXX per hour) and your current learning level.

After doing the above steps, you will then be directed to a diverse range of tutoring profiles. This is when you need to put on your scanning glasses to choose the right Accounting and Finance tutor.

You can refer to the below criteria before deciding on your tutor and booking your first lesson.

a) Industrial experience 

Granted that Accounting and Finance is a blend of theoretical and practical skills, it is important to learn from someone who has experience of being an accountant, an auditor or even the banking industry.

This is because they are aware of how real transactions are recorded and can give you more vivid examples when they are teaching a particular topic, for instance, the verification of accounting records.

b) Flexible teaching methodology 

You can read through the tutor's biodata and self-introduction from their profile. Some of the tutors even have pre-recorded YouTube videos on how they teach a particular topic and also how they use several tools and resources on Accounting to make their classes more engaging.

You can watch some of them to see whether you can understand their explanation and whether it is interesting.

From there, you can have a glimpse on how your future lessons will be conducted.

c) Relevant teaching experience 

Teaching experience is something that you can look into when you are about to hire a tutor. It is good to know if your tutor is well versed with the syllabus of your study and also know if they have taught any students around your age range.

You can check that by reading the reviews and recommendations that are left by the tutor's past students when you are browsing the profile of the tutor.

What are you waiting for?

By using these 3 criteria, you can do a simple comparison between various tutors' profiles with just a few clicks in front of your phone or computer screen. It's that simple and convenient!

Begin your financial literacy journey by learning the ways to ace your Accounting and Finance topics and later apply them in your real life!

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