University of Reading Malaysia establishes innovative collaboration with ICAEW to address skills gap in accounting and finance

ISKANDAR PUTERI - The University of Reading Malaysia (UoRM) has today signed a Memorandum of Agreement (MoA) with The Institute of Chartered Accountants In England and Wales (ICAEW) to address key hiring trends and skill set gaps that employers have identified as critical in the near future. The Henley – ICAEW Programme (HIP) supports fundamental changes in the accounting landscape.

The MOA was signed by UoRM Provost and Chief Executive Officer, Professor Wing Lam and ICAEW Executive Director, Learning and Professional Development, Mark Protherough and was witnessed by Professor Teck Y. Eng, Head, Henley Business School Malaysia & Mark Billington, ICAEW Regional Director, South East Asia during a ceremony held at the UoRM campus in EduCity, Iskandar Puteri, Johor Darul Ta’zim. Also present during the ceremony, industry players from BDO, Ernest & Young (EY), KPMG, Pricewaterhouse Coopers (PwC), Grant Thornton MSW, Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC), ASAP Management Services, Malaysian Institute of Accountants (MIA) and Johor Corporation.

Based on feedback from employers, three key qualities that have been identified as desirable in accountants are strong IT skills, good analytical skills, and astute commercial insight. As technology plays an ever-increasing role in accounting and finance, employers have expressed a need to hire professionals who possess a good understanding of data and modelling skills, as well as the ability to actively drive revenue through value added initiatives for their organisations.
The Henley – ICAEW Programme (HIP) launched today is aimed at producing professionals with an honours degree-level education in accounting and finance, as well as the ICAEW Business and Finance Professional (ICAEW BFP) designation. The ICAEW BFP is an international recognition of technical competency, ethical awareness and commitment to ongoing professional development. HIP professionals are expected to join the workforce in 2022.

Professor Teck Y. Eng, Head, Henley Business School said that Henley Business School’s BSc Accounting and Finance programme is responsive to changes and demands in the industry. As thought leaders in the accounting profession, our collaboration with ICAEW reflects our commitment to high standards of education and relevance of our programme. The HIP will enhance our student experience and their employability by closing the gap between theory and the real world of actual practice.

Professor Wing Lam, UoRM Provost and Chief Executive Officer during his speech also stated that it is UoRM’s responsibility to produce high calibre, professional, future proofed graduates equipped with good ethics to feed to the industry. These components would make them stand out from the rest. I believe the HIP programme will be a flagship accounting programme in Malaysia under Henley Business School, which is one of the leading business schools in the country.

“ICAEW works closely with employers in Malaysia and around the world to enable practical approaches that meet the needs of the industry. Strategic initiatives such as HIP are one of the many ways we share knowledge, insight and values to develop the accounting profession and ensure trust in business. We believe that accountancy is a force for positive economic change and we support our professionals throughout their career so they can make a difference,” said Loh Wei Yuen, Head of Malaysia, ICAEW.

HIP is an innovative 4-year full-time study programme that includes compulsory completion of ICAEW’s Ethics Learning Programme. Graduates from this programme will also be on track to attain the ICAEW Chartered Accountant (ICAEW ACA) qualification, a highly-respected professional competency in business and finance.

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