CamEd Business School is Cambodia’s premier business school and the first and only provider of the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) approved degrees in Cambodia.
ACCA has awarded CamEd platinum status, based on the quality of tuition and performance that remains above international standard.
Casey Barnett is the president of CamEd, he offered some insights about what makes CamEd a fantastic prospect for students of business and accounting in Cambodia.
CamEd has been operating “Since 2001, we started as a training company, we trained companies, we didn’t have a school”, explained Barnett, “as our student body increased, we opened a school and we had students come to us … when we introduced the bachelor degree, we were already well known ... the first class was around 80 students, whereas this year we admitted nearly 700 students (in total)”
CamEd’s ongoing success can be put down to some important factors, for instance “we [CamEd] have always followed international standards; the curriculum we follow is developed by the ACCA in the UK … It’s a very high standard”, said Barnett, “The lecturers and professors have to be well qualified and experienced”.
As the only ACCA accredited business school in Cambodia, there is strong competition for a place at CamEd, when it comes to working in the biggest Cambodian companies, the ACCA is invaluable, “The ACCA is based on an accounting standard called IFRS [International Financial Reporting Standards], and that is the standard that larger companies in Cambodia must follow. And so because we are teaching that standard, that appeals to companies and audit firms, our graduates have a good knowledge and grounding in that”, said Barnett, adding “It really signals a level of quality that is respected by international companies that need a high level of quality in the accounting.”
Increasingly, graduates of CamEd are looking to work abroad, but already placements in international companies within the Kingdom are rising, “I think there would be an interest in working abroad but right now there are not strong channels to send large numbers. So right now we have a handful of students in Australia, in the UK, in the United States, the numbers are not that big though, so most of our graduates do stay here …however when working in Cambodia they aspire to work for an international company,” Barnett noted.
One way to open doors in the business world is networking and building long lasting relationships with fellow industry professionals. CamEd has developed a method for starting these interactions and friendships early on in the piece.
By taking their first year students on a camping trip, before classes even start, problem solving, lateral thinking, team work and ultimately self confidence are unearthed in the students.
Barnett explained that “there are many practical reasons we do go camping. They go to Mondulkiri province, they are actually sleeping in a tent, and cooking their own food … we regard this as part of their education.”
For many students it is their first time camping and there may be challenges but that is part of the bonding experience, “they (students) are doing it with their future classmates ... we hope that these relationships stay with them as these students graduate and go into the professional world. They will have a very strong network that they can tap into once they are in the business world,” said Barnett.
By building camaraderie and continuing to provide a high quality level of education CamEd is continuing to grow and expand its scope. CamEd is strategising their approach to overcoming future challenges.
Recently some of CamEd’s faculty attended the World Congress of Accountants, held in Sydney, Australia to stay up to date with developments.
“There were two developments in the profession of accounting that are being emphasised, as key things that are changing, the first is IT [Information Technology]. We need to lead our students to learn how IT is integrated in accounting. We are very rapidly introducing more intensive study of information systems, applications for technology”, Barnett went on, “the other change that the world congress of accountants observed is that with the increase of IT, ironically … the accountant now has a more and more important role to explain that information, and guide the decisions, to arrange the information in a way that can be understood by others.”
In the accounting world of the future, humans will be playing roles that have changed markedly since the profession began.
By utilising an open mind, critical thinking, and a high quality education to back it up, jobs in the workplace of the future may also present many opportunities.