Accounting refers to a system of recording, validating and reporting value of income, liabilities, assets and expenses in books of account. This recorded information keeps track of what is bought, sold, owed, and owned within a company. It is also a day-to-day financial transaction of a company primarily used as a reference by tax authorities, investors and other decision makers. Practitioners of accounting are commonly known as accountant.
The scope of accounting profession varies and therefore it can be divided into few categories such as book keeping, chartered accountant, cost accounting, forensic accounting, internal and external accounting as well as auditing. In general, book keeper records value of income, liabilities, assets and expenses in ledgers and arranged the transactions chronologically. Chartered accountants are responsible in the fields of business and finance while cost accounting keep track of the budget and cost of operations, departments or product and the analysis of profitability. Forensic accounting specializes in accountancy related to the anticipated disputes or litigation. Auditors are mainly responsible in assessment of a company or organizations books of account.
Different scope of accounting however involves a few similar major duties that are to collect then store financial information, prepare a report based on the collected information to be presented to the public and also present it to investors, companies and organizations accurately. The required education background for accounting profession varies in different countries.
In Malaysia, Malaysian Institute of Accountants (MIA) was founded in under the Accountants Act 1967. It is a national regulatory body of accountants represented by a council comprising accountant General, the Registrar and accountants in the public practice, private sector and from the academia. MIA is made up of members from three different groups of professional accountants that are chartered accountant, licensed accountants and associate members.
The institute also plays an important role in the development of accounting profession globally. MIA is also a member in Asian Federation of Accountants (AFA), Confederation of Asian and Pacific Accountants (CAPA), International Federation of Accountants (IFAC) and Intergovernmental Working Group of Experts on International Standards of Accounting and Reporting (ISAR).
Generally, accounting degree programmes in Malaysia takes up 3 years upon graduation. Among some of the recognized accountancy degree by MIA are Bachelor of Accounting, University of Malaya, Diploma in Accounting, University of Malaya (up to examination session 1981/82), Bachelor of Accounting (Honours), University Kebangsaan Malaysia, Bachelor of Accounting (Honours), University Technology MARA, Advanced Diploma in Accountancy, MARA Institute of Technology (up to October 1996), Bachelor of Accounting (Honours), University Utara Malaysia, Bachelor of Accounting (Honours), University Putra Malaysia and Bachelor of Accounting (Honours), International Islamic University. These programmes offer strong foundation for students in the field of accounting and financing in order to prepare them for a variety of competitive careers in the nation.
Among other professional associations as listed by MIA are Malaysia Association of Certified Public Accountants, Institute of Chartered Accountants of Scotland, Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales, Institute of Chartered Accountants in Ireland, Institute of Chartered Accountants in Australia, Institute of Chartered Accountants of New Zealand, Canadian Institute of Chartered Accountants, Indian Institute of Chartered Accountants and also Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (United Kingdom). There are numerous job opportunities for accountants in Malaysia. Among some of the available accounting and finance job openings are accounts associate, accounts executive, account assistant and accounts manager. Accounts associate are responsible in handling the incoming and outgoing accounts of a company while accounts assistant need to prepare monthly closing account and ensure compliance of company policies. For accounts manager, they have to assist the department or finance officers in dealing with premium funding and banking.