Every business that is currently running, or even a business that's just getting started, needs to answer these important questions:
How much of a product or service should the business provide and sell?
What is the cost of producing those goods or services?
What are the daily, monthly and yearly expenses of the business?
Is the business earning more income over expenses, or is it making losses and will likely close down?
The answers to these questions lie in the financial information of the business - which has everything to do with accounting! Let's get to know the opportunities and prerequisites to practise accounting in Malaysia.
What is accounting in general?
Often enough, when the layperson thinks of accounting, the first thing that comes to mind is recording cash or credit transactions and then arranging them into categories. However, accounting is much more than that!
The act of recording and categorising financial transactions is more accurately referred to as bookkeeping, which has also been argued to be a part of accounting. However, an accountant's job goes beyond these records as the profession also involves analysing the data from these transactions - this tells businesses and companies how well they are doing financially.
By reading this data, a company makes well-informed business decisions. The company may decide to improve old strategies or create new ones that will generate more income, or even reduce certain expenditures when planning for taxes. Coming up with business strategies and tax planning can also be part of accounting since it is the accountant who handles financial statements (i.e. reports that outline a company's financial information).
Several types of accounting exist - financial accounting, cost accounting, managerial accounting, tax accounting and credit accounting are among the popular ones. Although they are considered different categories of accounting, they are interlinked: cost accounting, for instance, which involves an analysis of the costs associated with a product or service, is usually necessary before performing managerial accounting (generating financial statements for a company's internal use).
You can also read these online resources for studying accounting in Malaysia.
How many accounting concepts are there?
What is accounting theory? How is it linked to the accounting concepts or principles?
When students study accounting theory, they are studying the history of accounting practices and how those practices have changed and got adapted into today's regulatory bodies, governing the way companies report their finances. Therefore, accounting theory provides students with the foundations and approaches for the study and application of financial reporting principles, or accounting concepts.
Accounting concepts are thus the basic assumptions or rules that form the groundwork for the recording of business transactions and account preparations. There are many accounting concepts that are universally accepted and used to help maintain uniformity and consistency in accounting records.
Here are four popular concepts of accounting:
- Business Entity: By assuming that a business and its owner are two separate and independent entities, the transactions of the business and the owner's is kept separate as well. Accounting records are therefore made from the point of view of the business and not the owner.
- Money Measurement: All business transactions, including physical units such as land and office equipment, must be in terms of money. In practical terms, this means a country's currency - so, transactions that cannot be expressed in monetary terms are omitted from the business accounts.
- Going Concern: The idea that a business will continue to operate for an indefinite period of time provides a basis for showing the value of assets in the balance sheet. For instance, part of an asset that has been used during a period should be charged from the revenue of that period.
- Accounting Period: Referring to an interval of time for the preparation of financial statements, this allows profits or losses, and assets and liabilities of a business to be ascertained. Financial statements are thus prepared at regular intervals, usually after a one-year period.
For more accounting concepts, you can also find professional accounting tutors in Malaysia.
What type of accounting is financial accounting?
As mentioned earlier, there are several types of accounting - financial accounting is perhaps the most common one you've heard around.
Well, remember when we mentioned financial statements? To get a business going, it has to generate these statements for people outside of the company: investors, government agencies, auditors, potential buyers, and so on.
When this is done on an interim or annual basis, financial accounting measures the performance of a business, thus helping others learn about the company's financial status. If you'd like to know more about the different types of accounting, check out the best books to study ACCA in 2021!
Is ACCA too hard?
Good question. You probably know that you'll be learning more than just financial accounting when you take up ACCA, since gaining such a qualification is no easy task! How will you know where to start?
At an average price of only RM36, you can get quality tutoring for accounting and ACCA - right here at Superprof. The great thing about learning with a Superprof tutor is that you can choose between learning in-person or online - we're all about flexibility!
What's more, is the fact that you alone can decide which tutor you want to learn with - you heard us right: head on over to our Superprof Private Tutors page and see which tutors are offering accounting classes. Click on any tutor's profile that appeals to you and learn about our Super Tutors, Ambassadors, and Experienced Tutors.
Each tutor will tell you a little bit about themselves, plus their hourly rate, response time, and mode of teaching. You can also scroll down to read students' reviews or others' recommendations for your tutor. With Superprof, you can kickstart your accounting journey today!
Is ACCA better than an accounting degree?
Is ACCA equivalent to a degree? Both an accounting degree and the ACCA qualification are at the tertiary education level - let's make some clear distinctions between the two.
First and foremost, an accounting degree is similar to other degrees at the undergraduate level as it is awarded by a university. ACCA, on the other hand, is a professional accounting qualification awarded by a professional body.
Like other degrees, taking up an accounting degree will give you a more holistic experience as it involves extracurricular activities and elective subjects outside of the core subjects. With ACCA, you will only focus on studying subjects that involve the technical aspects and principles of accounting.
ACCA is also known to be more challenging than an accounting degree as it is a 100% paper-based exam that incorporates both the difficulty levels of a Bachelor's Degree and a Master's degree into one qualification. However, with ACCA, the time it takes to complete your studies is shorter and more flexible than an accounting degree, and the cost of studying is cheaper, too.
While an accounting degree is recognised in our country, it may not be recognised internationally (although that depends on your university). Meanwhile, an ACCA qualification is recognised in over 180 countries, including Malaysia. Still, a strong suit of an accounting degree is the ability to work in different career fields, as compared to ACCA members who usually work in fields involving only accounting and finance.
Would you like to know more about the cost of studying ACCA in Malaysia? Here is a summary to help you weigh out the pros and cons of ACCA versus accounting degree:
|Awarded by ACCA, a professional accountant body||Awarded by university|
|Focuses on technical aspects and accounting principles||Studies on core accounting subjects but also other areas of interest|
|Difficulty level combines that of Bachelor's Degree and Master's Degree||Progressively challenging|
|Completed in about 3 years||Completed in about 4 to 5 years|
|Costs about RM15,000 to RM40,000||Costs about RM40,000 to RM100,000|
|Locally and internationally recognised||Locally recognised|
|Career fields in accounting and finance||Career fields in accounting, finance, and other branches|
Is accounting in demand in Malaysia?
Just May this year, the Institute of Labour Market Information and Analysis (ILMIA) listed accountants as one of the top five hottest jobs in the country. It is therefore essential to know the best ways to prepare for the ACCA exam.
Being equipped with financial and accounting skills is a huge bonus in the job market as companies need those with such skills to help them make critical business decisions. With an accounting degree or ACCA qualification, you can gain opportunities to work not only in accountancy firms, but also places such as investment banks, insurance companies, management consultancies, or even any business looking for someone to fill in a slot in their accounting department (which is also high in demand).
Along with the aim of Vision 2020 to produce at least 60,000 accountants in Malaysia, the demand for people with accounting skills continues to remain high in the market. If you are someone who is keen on understanding accounting concepts, along with a passion for analysing data and a dream career that supports vital business decisions, then studying accounting in Malaysia may just be the right choice for you!
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