Why I Took the ICAEW ACA Qualification While I Was Already a Certified Accountant

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ICAEW is one of the world’s oldest and leading accountancy institutes offering several pathways for individuals to obtain the prestigious professional qualification known as the ICAEW ACA.

We recently spoke to Ms. Diana Mahbob, an ambitious professional who pursued the ICAEW ACA qualification while working at Sime Darby – despite already having obtained another professional qualification. She delves into how it has prepared her to become a world-class business leader, while shaping her to become a resilient and creative individual.

1. There are various unique paths you can embark on to become an ICAEW Chartered Accountant

An invaluable aspect of the ICAEW ACA professional qualification is that you can pursue it at various points in your academic and professional journeys. My dream was always to obtain the ICAEW ACA, but I could not do so due to financial constraints, so I had to pursue a different professional qualification initially. Thankfully, when I was working with Sime Darby (an ICAEW Authorised Training Employer), they agreed to sponsor my ICAEW study and examination fees when I kick-started my career with them.

In fact during my interview with Sime Darby, it was the CFO who decided to hire me on the condition that I pursue the ICAEW ACA. This was an easy condition because despite already being qualified as a certified accountant with another professional body, I still had a burning desire to pursue the ICAEW ACA qualification as chartered accountants are highly respected around the globe as business finance specialists.


2. The ICAEW ACA shapes you to become a world-class business leader

When I began taking the ICAEW ACA, my colleagues encouraged me and shared ideas on how to tackle the challenges of studying for the exam papers. I could not have successfully obtained the ICAEW ACA without the world-class resources provided by ICAEW, such as the high quality learning materials and the student support I received throughout my training.

The ICAEW ACA has equipped me with a comprehensive range of tools and skills to tackle business challenges I encounter at work. For example, it gave me sound technical knowledge that I learnt from the Strategic Business Management module. It also equipped me with critical and strategic thinking to effectively deal with a variety of business issues.

The entire ACA training shaped me to think like an accountant and prepared me to be an all-rounded business leader of the future, enabling me to navigate complex real-world problems in my current role within Sime Darby Group’s Finance Department.


3. The ACA training prepares you to face challenges and be an effective problem solver

Pursuing the ICAEW ACA was a rewarding experience. With just two months to prepare for each exam, I learned to organise time efficiently between my work and study. Every day, I set aside time by either waking up early to study or spending the day at a café after work. The resilience I built through this allowed me to apply this even as a business professional.

When it comes to solving finance and business-related problems in my work, I could apply what I learnt during my ACA training to solve problems by thinking out of the box.

As an ICAEW member now, I receive ongoing professional development organised by ICAEW to enhance my skills and knowledge to stay ahead of the curve and prepare me for the business world.


Ready to Kick-Start a Vibrant Career Journey Like Diana’s? Learn about the ICAEW ACA and Full Scholarships Available!

If you’re considering kick-starting an exciting career journey like Diana’s then learn more about the ICAEW ACA to fast-track your professional career aspirations. You can contact ICAEW Malaysia via:

It’s worth nothing that you don’t actually need an accounting background to study the ICAEW ACA. And for school leavers, you can start the programme as soon as you complete the SPM or O-Levels examinations.


Related: National Dodgeball Player Attributes Success to Impactful Journey in Chartered Accountancy


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