Career Path, Challenges & Preparation for Future Accountants - Lecture in UNITAR - by Nik Zafri
13 July, 2011 - I was invited to become a guest speaker for UNITAR (also known as UniRazak and soon UNTEC) - Smart/Pintar Campus situated at Leisure Commerce Square PJ-Bandar Sunway for a group of students of Bachelor in Accountacy (Hons) at Block B1 L 10 to deliver a 3 hours lecture on Career Path, Challenges and Preparation for Future Accountants to face the current employment, corporate and business world.
(I was also feeling a little nostalgic as I was employed with SunCon (Sunway Group of Companies) in the early 2000 and used to have a good lunch at Jaring and Mentari Business Park)
I wouldn't really want to call it a lecture but rather a crash course or workshop geared towards seeking solutions that can be utilized in years to come. Although the event is not as 'big' as it sounds but I feel honoured to be invited to share my 2 1/2 decade experience, knowledge and skills.
This is the 4th University/Institution of Higher Learning that has called me up to deliver nothing academic but more towards competency. The first one was UITM Shah Alam.
I must say that I was impressed by the quality of students and the lecturers as well.
The questions being highlighted by the students and based on my discussion with the lecturer serves as a living proof that most leading universities and institutions of higher learning are seriously changing their modules to cope up with the real world.
The climax of the lecture are the real life domestic case studies and the applicability of accounting, audit, taxation,corporate governance, fraud detection, due dilligence and finance in different types of industry - namely construction, manufacturing and service industry. Some of the most interesting topics such as identifying intangible cost, cost of quality, safety and environment, contigency etc. - proving how these costs affect the industry greatly
i.e. Prevention and Appraisal Costs are actually INVESTMENT and without investment, the probability is very high that the organization will end up in bearing internal failure and external failure costs. Even safeguarding safety and health is now too important for an organization to ignore.
From what I have gathered, it is clear to me now that the local case studies need to be enhanced further. While foreign case studies are allowable in most accounting modules, still they are not as interesting as the domestic issues.
This is clear during my lecture where students are extremely attentive and participative. In a way, they feel the 'ownership' feeling (patriotic) towards 'local companies' - and the spirit of wanting to help has been unleashed.
Another topic that gained interest was the use of ICT application and system such as CRM and ERP, use of simulated projections vs actual etc.
I have also told the students of the significance of registering with institution of accountacy and/or being registered as a CPA. Furthermore :
"There is no law stopping you (students) to participate in national accounting conferences or the like despite your status as a student. There is also no law stopping you from learning the accounting standard. Effective now. You need to mingle round and network with professionals attending the conference. Do not be afraid to ask questions to the paper presenter. There are great challenges lie ahead for accountants. "
"Accountants nowadays are interelated to all departments and units - business development, R & D, procurement, logistics, operation, QA/QC, Safety, Environment etc. Accountants are no longer narrowed towards Accounting Department only"
To the lecturer :
"Thank you for trusting experienced professionals to come and update you what is there in the real world, trends that has changed which the academic modules need to keep up with. I hope that I can come again here to share my views and experience to all the students"
Saturday July 16, 2011
Bank Negara, corporate sector in graduate training scheme
By JOHN LOH - firstname.lastname@example.org
KUALA LUMPUR: Bank Negara and the corporate sector have joined hands in a corporate social responsibility (CSR) project to improve human capital and enhance graduate employability.
The Graduates Programme, now in its second phase, will involve the training of 200 unemployed graduates, particularly from low-income families, over a 12-month period comprising two months of intensive classes and 10 months of industrial attachment at one of 48 participating companies.
The participating companies include Dell Malaysia, Unilever Malaysia, Perusahaan Otomobil Nasional Bhd (Proton), Albukhary University and Top Glove Corp Bhd.
Bank Negara assistant governor Marzunisham Omar told a media briefing that the central bank had allocated RM20mil for the programme but had spent not more than half of that amount.
The move is part of a raft of short-term measures announced by the Government to reduce unemployment rate among graduates. It involves various government and government-related entities such as Khazanah, the Higher Education Ministry and Bank Negara.
Marzunisham said results from both batches of the programme had so far been positive.
“Ninety-eight percent of participants in the inaugural batch have secured jobs with their attached companies as well as other companies.
“Seven percent in the second batch secured permanent jobs one month into their attachment,” he said.
A Proton representative said the programme was a chance for companies to test graduates that would have otherwise been bypassed.
“Companies tend to take experienced hires, hence the thousands of unemployed graduates. Their strategy is usually to get a trained army to fight, rather than train the army to fight,” he said.
The Star : News : Home > News > Nation
Sunday July 17, 2011
The problem with fresh grads
By P. ARUNA - email@example.com
PETALING JAYA: Poor attitude -including asking for too much money - is the chief reason why employers shy away from hiring fresh graduates. Another common complaint is that many graduates are poor in English.
A survey by online recruitment agency Jobstreet.com showed that 55% of employers cited unrealistic expectations of salaries while 48% of them said poor English was the main reason why Malaysian fresh graduates from both public and private institutions remain unemployed.
“While previous surveys named poor English as the main cause for unemployment, bad attitude has now topped the list,” said its chief operating officer Suresh Thiru.
He said their attitudes were so bad that some did not even bother to inform the companies if they were running late or unable to attend scheduled interviews.
It was announced that the number of jobless graduates had increased from 65,500 to 71,600 although the overall unemployment rate had dropped from 3.4% last year to 3.1% during the first quarter of this year.
Another study by recruitment agency Kelly Services showed that fresh graduates asked for flexible working hours and expected their work to accommodate their personal life, not vice versa.
Its marketing director Jeannie Khoo said employers were also turned off by the lackadaisical attitude and lack of drive to improve among many of them.
“They have the misconception that they can earn high salaries at entry-level. They enter the banking industry expecting to earn RM3,000 while the market rate is only RM2,200,” she said.
PricewaterhouseCoopers Malaysia head of recruitment Salika Suksuwan said some candidates had many offers in hand but acted unprofessionally in rejecting job offers - by not turning up for interviews or the first day at work.
“We sometimes have to call them and remind them about a scheduled interview when they didn't turn up,” she said.
Talent Corp CEO Johan Mahmood Merican urged fresh graduates not to make demands on their salary.
“It is more important to join a company that can develop your skills and prepare you for future opportunities,” he said.
In a related development, Human Resource Deputy Minister Datuk Maznah Mazlan said half of the applicants who registered with the JobsMalaysia portal (www.jobsmalaysia.gov.my) had found employment.
Speaking when launching the Graduan Aspire 2011 employment fair yesterday, she said about 300,000 job applicants were currently registered with the website.