Top-level finance professionals must keep up to date with the evolving international business landscape and be confident about their capacity to provide clients and stakeholders with the highest service levels.
The proper professional qualification can give you the skills and outlook to manage these challenges and achieve the absolute best in your career.
Completing the CPA Program gave Mr Surin Segar FCPA (Aust.), Mr Terence Tan FCPA (Aust.) and Ms Fatimah Mis FCPA (Aust.) the tools to scale the heights of corporate success.
The CPA Australia designation opened up opportunities for these highly respected leaders to feed their passion for excellence, broaden their horizons, and achieve outstanding results in their careers.
Staying ahead of the curve
Surin Segar FCPA (Aust.) appreciates the need for a solid accountancy foundation. But he also understands the importance of staying abreast of the latest developments in global business.
As the Senior Executive Vice President, Group Head, Tax of Maybank and Chief Financial Officer of Maybank Foundation, Mr Segar must demonstrate deep knowledge of all kinds of issues and how they can affect his organisation. He says it is vital for an accountant to appreciate the technicalities and at the same time see the bigger picture.
"One of the key attributes necessary to survive in the corporate world is to stay ahead of the curve. That means always equipping oneself with current and future knowledge and tools," Mr Segar says.
He says attaining his CPA designation and utilising the ongoing benefits of CPA membership have kept him at the top of his profession.
"Unlike other professional bodies that predominantly focus on technical knowledge, CPA Australia focuses on current trends that impact businesses as well as our daily life's like digitalisation and sustainability, which are crucial tools for the evolving future."
"A professional body that advocates more than technical development will help a professional grow. CPA Australia has advocated digitalisation for a long time. Our 2019 Congress theme focused on digitalisation, i.e. "Business As Unusual", when little did we know the year 2020 would be an unusual year for everyone. Also, with ESG being a global concern, CPA Australia was quick to set up the Centre of Excellence for ESG where we could equip ourselves with technical and practical knowledge on how to manoeuvre ourselves as we attempt to save Mother Earth."
Leading with trust and passion
A vastly experienced and highly respected Partner at EY Malaysia, Terence Tan FCPA (Aust.), says his background as a science student had not entirely prepared him for his chosen profession.
"I interned with a big four accounting firm for six months after completing sixth-form. As a pure science student, the initial weeks were brutal as I struggled with the concept of debits and credits," Mr Tan says.
Those early days are now a nostalgic memory. After graduating from university, Terence joined Arthur Andersen (which would subsequently become EY Malaysia). He undertook the CPA Program and qualified in the year 2000.
"The CPA designation is recognised globally. I was seconded to London in 2000 and worked with another big four accounting firm in London from 2005 to 2008."
Completing the Program broadened his understanding of the role of an accountant. It put him on the road to greater success.
Tan heads the Hospitality, Property and Infrastructure Group and Climate Change and Sustainability Services for EY Malaysia. The role requires him to be across many businesses and industries, providing his skills and insight to clients and junior colleagues alike.
"In this age of trust deficit, being an accredited member of a professional accounting body speaks volumes to the relevant stakeholders."
He is passionate about his work on environmental and sustainability issues with EY Malaysia and CPA Australia.
"Not all FCPAs are bean counters! I have served in CPA Australia's Center of Excellence for Environment, Social and Governance since 2020. It has been a humbling experience sharing and learning from colleagues regionally. As an accounting body, CPA Australia is at the forefront of this agenda."
Tackling the challenges of today
Fatimah Mis has had a tremendously successful career with Telekom Malaysia. After a decade with the telco giant, however, Ms Mis was keen to take her career up a notch.
After speaking to colleagues and researching her options, she decided upon the CPA Program. She qualified for her CPA designation in 2018.
She says the CPA Program allowed her to develop the skills to become a high-level leader.
"The CPA Program covers leadership skills to enable you to make important business decisions, better manage teams and help define business strategy," she says.
As Financial Controller, she oversees the finance operations, planning and analysis and formulates strategy for finance capability building for Telekom Malaysia.
"I am better equipped to handle issues and challenges as part of the day to day operations as well as transformational initiatives that are demanding more from finance."
Alongside the rigorous academic components of the CPA Program and its flexible study options, she says she values the networking opportunities.
"It is a good opportunity to meet people you otherwise would not meet. Most CPA professionals hold senior roles in corporate and global brands. Moreover, the CPA designation inspires trust, respect and confidence ensuing from the integrity and skills portrayed by CPA professionals."
Where can the CPA Program take you?
The CPA Program goes beyond the numbers, teaching the skills to help you reach the next level in leadership, management, strategy and critical thinking in a global business environment.
With online exam options available and over 300 exam test centres globally, CPA Australia is committed to flexible learning and continuous innovation. A supportive learning environment and cutting-edge curriculum mean graduates emerge ready to take on the world.
Benchmarked as a postgraduate qualification and globally recognised, the Program has stringent quality checks to include both academic and practitioners' viewpoints.
How you can get started
Join a complimentary Become a CPA info webinar to find out more about the program and enjoy a waiver on the application fee. These sessions provide information on the Program's subjects, exam format, study resources, important dates, fees and the application process.
The CPA Program has special admission pathways with other professional bodies for those holding other professional qualifications. There are special exemptions available under the CPA Australia-MIA MOU pathway for MIA members with a minimum of five years of MIA membership in good standing.
The 'CPA Australia - Yayasan Peneraju Sponsorship' and the 'CPA Australia - Universiti Kuala Lumpur (UniKL) - MARA Education Loan' for S2 2021 is now open for registrations.
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