The head of the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants in Cambodia, Senaka Fernando, says Cambodians who choose a career in accountancy can have the mobility to live and work in all of the ASEAN countries.
“An accountant used to be a bean counter but not anymore. Now it is strategic,” Fernando said.
A global organization that certifies accountants, ACCA conducts examinations in June and December each year, and demands high professional standards of conduct from its members.
“Almost all of the accounting firms use us for certification,” Fernando said.
To be a member of ACCA, a candidate has to pass a total of 14 exams, have three years of practical experience, and complete an ethics module on the ACCA website.
Fernando says there’s a global shortage of accountants and a shortage in Cambodia as well. Fifty Cambodians so far are fully qualified ACCA members with some of them already working outside the country, in the United Kingdom, Singapore and Vietnam.
“Accountants have to behave in a moral and ethical manner,” Fernando said. “There is zero tolerance on bad ethical behavior. Once unethical behavior is reported you will be taken out of the members list and no longer considered a member of ACCA. There is a disciplinary committee back in the UK. The country office is asked to do an investigation.”
Fernando said ACCA is the global body for professional accountants.
“The vision is that by 2015, ACCA will be universally recognised by employers in the corporate, practice and public sectors as the leading global professional accountancy body in reputation, influence and size. To achieve this vision on behalf of our members, and be fit for the future, ACCA will need to continually monitor what is on the horizon, exploring and championing the trends which are shaping the business environment in which the profession operates.
This applies to everything that ACCA does, from its qualifications to relationships, from infrastructure to technical policy positions.
“Our mission is to be the leading accountancy body in terms of reputation, influence and size. That’s our global objective,” Fernando said.
Prior to his appointment as Cambodia head for ACCA in October 2011, Fernando worked as the country director for accounting firm Pricewaterhouse Coopers (PwC).
Before that he set up the Ernst and Young office in Cambodia in September of 1994.
To contact the reporter on this story: Stuart Alan Becker at [email protected]