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Malaysia

Head of State  : HIS MAJESTY THE YANG DI-PERTUAN AGONG XVI AL-SULTAN ABDULLAH RI'AYATUDDIN AL-MUSTAFA BILLAH SHAH IBNI AL-MARHUM SULTAN HAJI AHMAD SHAH AL-MUSTA'IN BILLAH

Head of Government    : The Honourable Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad, Prime Minister

Capital             : Kuala Lumpur

Language(s)    : Malay, English, Chinese, Tamil

Currency         : Ringgit

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Profile of the Country

Information of The Country

Ranked as one of the most progressive and diversified economies in ASEAN, Malaysia is poised to become a high-income economy in the near future, providing it can implement structural reforms to scale up global and regional value chains and escape the middle-income trap.

In line with developed economy models, Malaysia emphasises the growth of strategic services whilst strengthening manufacturing and defending its position as a leading global exporter and one of the world’s most open trading nations.

One of these strategic services that has been earmarked as a key economic and social driver is accounting services. The accounting profession continues to play an invaluable role in nation building by supporting the continuing development of the Malaysian economy, from facilitating business, trade, taxation and investment, to promoting ethical practices and adherence to international standards.

As the regulator and developer of the accounting profession in Malaysia, the Malaysian Institute of Accountants (MIA) spearheads the ongoing transformation of the accounting profession to support nation building and sustainable economic growth. Established under the Accountants Act 1967, the MIA is a statutory body that regulates, develops, supports and enhances the integrity, status and interests of the profession in Malaysia. MIA accords the Chartered Accountant Malaysia or C.A. (M) designation to a professional in accountancy, business and finance with a recognised qualification and relevant work experience.

Working closely alongside businesses, MIA connects its approximately 35,500  members to an unmatched range of information, resources, events, professional development and networking opportunities across diverse industries in Malaysia and around the world. Currently, its members operate in four key segments – public practice, professional accountants in business (PAIBs), public sector, and academia.

MIA’s international outlook and connections are reflected in its membership of and strategic collaborations with regional and international professional organisations such as the ASEAN Federation of Accountants (AFA), and the International Federation of Accountants (IFAC).

 To remain relevant and future-proof its members, MIA pays close attention to future developments impacting business, specifically the digital revolution and its impacts on the profession via automation, blockchain, cloud and cybersecurity, and data analytics. To advocate technology adoption, MIA issued its Digital Technology Blueprint in 2018 to guide members on their proactive digital strategy over the next 5 years, which in turn will support the country’s advocacy of the shift to Industrial 4.0 and the migration to cyberphysical systems.

Professional Associations
Qualifying as an Accountants
Working as an Accountant in Malaysia

In Malaysia, to practice or obtain the ‘Chartered Accountant’ or ‘CA (M)’ status, one is required to be registered with MIA.  As per the Act, “No person shall unless registered as a chartered accountant and has his principal or only place of residence within Malaysia:

  1. practise or hold himself out as a chartered accountant, auditor, tax consultant, tax adviser or any other like description;
  2. adopt, use or exhibit the terms “chartered accountant”, “auditor”, “tax consultant”, “tax adviser” or any other term of like description; or
  3. adopt, use or exhibit the term “accountant” or any other term of like description in such circumstances as to indicate or to be likely to lead persons to infer that the person is a chartered accountant or that the person is qualified by any written law to practice the profession of or is in practice as a chartered accountant.”

MIA members are governed by the Accountants Act 1967, the Rules and the By-Laws (On Professional Ethics, Conduct and Practice) of MIA.

MIA members encompass Professional Accountants in Business (PAIB) which comprise of members in commerce, industries, financial services and in the public sector, as well as those in public practice.

Befitting their diverse skillsets, MIA members in PAIB play diverse roles in their organisations, ranging from leadership and management; operational; management accounting and control; to accounting and stakeholder communications.

Public practice is similarly diverse. Members in public practice may carry out public practice services such as accounting, audit, liquidation, tax and other related services. In order to set up firms providing public practice services, an MIA member is required to have a valid MIA practising certificate.  However, the practice of audit, liquidation and tax are licensed under other legislations i.e. the Companies Act 2016 and the Income Tax Act 1967.

Members who wish to set up a practice must first obtain the approval of the MIA on the use of the firm’s name. It should not be a trade or association name.

A member, in most instances, is allowed to be engaged in public practice as a sole practitioner or in partnership only with another member(s) as the Act and By-Laws prohibits the sharing of profits with non-members. All firms in public practice are described as firms of chartered accountants (or licensed accountants, where applicable).

Further details on setting up public practice in Malaysia can be found here

Law and Regulations on Accountancy Practice
Monitoring Committee

Regulated Accounting Services

Auditing
NAB Membership and/or PRA Registration

NAB Requirement :

Yes, must be MIA member (Chartered Accountant (M)) and holding MIA Practising certificate.

PRA Requirement :

Yes, requires license from MOF.



NAB Membership and/or PRA Registration Requirement
(such as examination, test, recognised qualifications, etc)

NAB Requirement :

a. In order to qualify as CA (M), one must complete one of the following routes:
  1. Degree from recognised universities under Part 1 of the 1st Schedule of the Accountants Act and gained not less than of 3 years of working experience; or
  2. Membership of recognised professional bodies under Part 2 of the 1st Schedule of the Accountants Act; or
  3. Passed the MIA Qualifying Examination and gained not less than of 3 years of working experience.

b. Must hold an MIA Practising Certificate (PC)

  • All professional accountants are required to attend and complete MIA's Public Practice Programme prior to his / her application for a practising certificate. [MIA By-Law 430.1(1)]


PRA Requirement :

Must obtain approval of company auditor (from MOF) as per Section 263 of Companies Act 2016


Other Regulatory Requirements:
  • Auditors of Public Interest Entities must register with Audit Oversight Board.
  • Auditors that audit Financial Institutions/Insurance/takaful must be approved by Bank Negara Malaysia (Central Bank)

Citizenship Requirement

No. However there is a residency requirement.


Remarks

Subject to domestic regulations such as Accountants Act 1967, Companies Act 2016, MOF (Accountant General Department) Guidelines, immigration & employment laws etc.

Eligibility requirement, where applicable

Not Open to ASEAN CPA / Registered Foreign Professional Accountant (RFPA)

Other Public Practice Services

Non-Regulated Accounting Services

Corporate Accountants
Example :
  • CFO
  • GM, Finance
  • Finance Manager
  • Group Accountant
  • Etc

NAB Membership and/or PRA Registration


NAB Requirement:

Yes, must be MIA member (Chartered Accountant (M))


PRA Requirement:

MOF - No



NAB Membership and/or PRA Registration Requirement
(such as examination, test, recognised qualifications, etc)

NAB Requirement:

Must be CA (M), must complete one of the below:

  1. Degree from recognised universities under Part 1 1st Schedule of the Accountants Act; or
  2. Membership of recognised professional bodies under Part 2 1st Schedule of the Accountants Act; or
  3. Passed Qualifying Exam for non-recognised degree or bodies.


PRA Requirement:

MOF - No

Other requirements (from other regulator):

No

 

Citizenship Requirement

No. However there is a residency requirement.


Remarks

Subject to domestic regulations such as Accountants Act 1967, immigration & employment laws, stock exchange rules etc.

Eligibility requirement, where applicable

Open to Registered Foreign Professional Accountant (RFPA) 

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