ACCA Asia-Pacific Lecturers Development Programme in Singapore
I have just come back from the seminar. It was really a tiring and long full day; the entire day was filled with talks after talks and food & drinks that got me so full after each meal. I was finding it difficult to keep awake and attentive. Caffeine failed to fuel my brain. I wonder if that is what my students felt each time they attend my lectures :)
Tuition providers and lecturers, mostly, lecturers are coming from Malaysia, China, Australia (Hmm, I thought they already have CPA Australia and ICAA) and also not forgetting our neighbour, Singapore, the host for this event.
There was an announcement made on the recent collaboration between ACCA and UOL (University of London) for the MSc. I tried to get some details from ACCA but every part of the MSc remains confidential, confidential and confidential. I suppose it will be run just like the OBU Degree where students need to submit an assignment of the sort. However, I did feedback to them to watch the cost as ACCA students are very price sensitive.
One of the speaker Chun Wee for Integrated Reporting <IR> steals the show with excellent depiction of the 2009 movie “Avatar”; a fiction that mimics the reality of threats faced by an indigenous community and further associated it with the importance of <IR> for public acceptance of company activities.
Anyway, <IR> shall be examined throughout all the ACCA papers. I heard from a lecturer that <IR> was pilot-tested in P1 just last sitting (Dec 2014). Hey, watch out for P2 next!
<Well, the original paragraphs have been edited as it reveals some confidential questions being posed during the conference. Anyway, it got me thinking after the conference on the core competences of a good Accountant. Somehow, I am of the opinion that ACCA needs to stick to its core competences or perhaps reinvent itself to be relevant in the industry>
<Most lecturers would agree with me that the introduction of Option papers seemed to take away some of the core competences from ACCA students. Bearing in mind that nowadays, most ACCA students got full exemption from all the 9 Foundation papers. Exempted Degree holders are only left with 3 core papers (P1, P2 and P3; with P2 being the only technical accounting paper) and a choice of 2 out of 4 options eg. P4 (Finance), P5 (Performance Management), P6 (Tax) and P7 (Audit). This leaves plenty of rooms for dropping any of the 2 competences, possibly Audit and Tax>
I remember the time when ACCA introduced Option papers and some lecturers just left the lecturing industry as the numbers fell to almost one third. This drop was somehow due to the low passing rate of their option papers and students being students go for ones with higher passing. <This paragraph has been edited too>
It also struck me recently that ACCA has been moving away from its core competences of Financial Accounting Professionals. Supposing if P2 suddenly becomes an option paper, just like the rest of the other technical papers. Then, the core papers are probably only P1 Corporate Governance and P3 Business Analysis making ACCA no different from any Management Degree with major in selected fields of specialization. I see this as being rather like an IDENTITY CRISIS that ACCA students will face in the future. Are ACCA graduates Accounting or Management grad?!!!
I remember few years ago, I met an employer and he hired an ACCA grad later to find out that not all ACCA grads know tax planning. Worse, he found out later those core competences of Accountants such as Tax, Audit, Performance Management and Finance have been made option papers and the staff he hired did not opt for P6 Advanced Taxation.
Unlike during my time where all ACCA grads know Audit, Tax, Performance Management and Finance, fyi, we didn’t have Option papers back then. To us, ACCA represents the Financial Accounting professionals while CIMA represents the Management Accounting professionals and CFA represents the Finance professionals. Presently, employers won’t even know the specialization of the ACCA grad until they look at the result slips.
Well, I just hope the ACCA team and ACCA students alike get to read this and possibly ponder on these 2 short questions I have:
“When you shop for a smartphone, do you go for one with more features or minimal features or worse, try your luck on the kind of features you’ll get?”
“When you hire an Accountant, do you go for one with more specializations or minimal specializations or worse, ask the candidate for an interview to find out his/her specializations cos you won’t know what you’ll get?”
To me, as with all employers, I expect a more versatile Accountant.