Islamic finance is one of the fastest growing sectors in the global financial system charting an impressive 17.3% Compounded Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) between 2009 and 2014. Its total global financial assets is anticipated to surpass USD3tln by 2018.
Alongside this robust growth, there is an increasing demand for highly skilled talent to support the development of the Islamic Finance industry. As one of the market leaders in Islamic Finance, Malaysia is no exception and therefore it has to continuously strive to remain competitive and sustainable.
One of MIA’s role has always been to enhance the knowledge and value of accountants which include capacity building in areas that accountants play an important function. In line with this aspiration MIA feels that it has an important role in nurturing the IF talents among accountants.
The first stage involves selecting a group of 10 to 15 accountants to set up a mini pupillage from the following organisations:
The candidates will be nominated by their respective organisations and they should have relevant Islamic Finance knowledge and working experience. The candidates will undergo a selection process by a panel of reviewers to determine their eligibility for the programme. The participation fee for the programme is RM5,000.00 per candidate.
Once the participants have been identified they will go through a series of 11 evening classes designed on accounting case studies related to current issues and challenges in the industry. These classes will be held for 2-3 hours after the normal working hours to prevent any disruptions on the working arrangement between the individual and his employer. The evening classes will cover the following:
Each participant has to attend at least 70% of the classes to fulfil the programme requirements.
Module 2: Tutoring Sessions
The second stage sees these candidates going through tutoring sessions in the form of tutorials. The tutors would be partners from audit firms, banks and representatives from relevant stakeholders. They would be taking a series of tutorials and have discussions with the group. This would need commitment from the firms and its senior partners to be involved and for each firm to lead in specific areas such as banking and insurance. Likewise the regulators could have a session on regulations and shariah laws.
Among the objectives of the tutorials is to provide participants with access to some of the distinguished persons who have contributed to the development of Islamic finance thus giving them the opportunity to elicit information relevant to the subject that they will be required to write about at the final stage of the programme. This module will also allow the participants to capture the view point and prevailing body of knowledge within a period of time. There will be approximately between 15 to 20 tutoring sessions in total. It is compulsory for each participant to attend at least 70% of the sessions to fulfil the programme requirements.
Module 3: Case Study
Throughout Modules 1 and 2, participants are required to think of a topic and write a case study not exceeding 10,000 words. The topic could range from any of the areas covered during the classes and tutoring sessions.
Once the case study has been submitted, they will be reviewed by a panel of experts to assess the quality and relevance of the paper. The case study will be presented to the panel at the end of the programme to demonstrate the knowledge that they have gained in the past one year from participating in the pupillage programme.
The aim is to support the government’s efforts to increase the number of specialized talent in Islamic Finance via the development of a highly skilled Islamic finance workforce via the following objectives:
To produce highly industry trained individuals in the area of Islamic Finance with representatives from relevant stakeholders in the IF ecosystem.
To publish high quality articles in specific areas of Islamic Finance.
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The use of the word ‘Accountant’
In Malaysia, the word ‘Accountant’ is protected as provided for under the provisions of the Accountants Act 1967 which states that no one can hold himself out or practise as an Accountant unless he is registered as a member of the Malaysian Institute of Accountants.
‘The Malaysian Institute of Accountants is committed to the observance and practice of the highest ethical standards of the accountancy profession. All PC holders are reminded that under the MIA By-Laws (On Professional Ethics, Conduct And Practice), no person shall practice or hold out anything on audit/tax services without a license approved by the Ministry of Finance. Every PC holder is therefore expected to comply fully with Section B200.1 to B200.6 of the MIA By-Laws (On Professional Ethics, Conduct And Practice) failing which, you may be held liable for unprofessional conduct and disciplinary action may be taken against you.’