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 accounting bodies 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 qualified with another professional qualification. She delves into how it has prepared her to become a world-class business leader, while personally 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 during various points in your academic and professional journeys. My dream was to always obtain the ICAEW ACA, but it was not possible to do so due to financial constraints, so I had to pursue a different professional qualification in the first place. 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 stage with Sime Darby, it was the CFO who agreed to hire me on the condition that I pursue the ICAEW ACA. This was an easy condition because, although I already 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 holistically prepares you to become a world-class business leader

When I began taking the ICAEW ACA, my colleagues supported me with words of encouragement and exchanged brilliant ideas to tackle the challenges of studying for the exam papers. Finally, there is no doubt that I could not have successfully obtained the ICAEW ACA without the world-class resources that ICAEW provided, such as the high quality learning materials and support team that advised me throughout my training.

The ICAEW ACA has equipped me with a comprehensive range of financial tools and skills to tackle business challenges I encounter at work. For example, the ICAEW ACA sharpened my understanding of sound technical knowledge such as Strategic Business Management skills and geared me to think critically and strategically so I can tackle a variety of business issues. This invaluable exposure I gained not only developed me into an accountant, but also a holistic business leader who is prepared to navigate complex real-world problems in my current role within Sime Darby Group’s Finance department.


3. Pursuing the ICAEW ACA will teach you to persist in the face of challenges and innovate creatively

Pursuing the ICAEW ACA was a rewarding experience. With just two months to prepare for each exam, I learned to effectively distribute my time between my career and studying. Every day, I pushed myself to study for the exams by either waking up early to study or spending the day at a café after work. This resilient mindset is something I have retained with me as a working professional.

Moreover when it comes to solving finance and business-related problems in my career, the ICAEW ACA has holistically prepared me to think out of the box as a world-class business leader. I am able put on my creative thinking cap and approach complex scenarios by recalling and referencing the many engaging conversations I had with my course lecturers.

As a member of ICAEW, I am continuously supported with ongoing professional development that equips me with the skills and knowledge to stay ahead of the curve and prepare for the challenges of the digital age.


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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