close

Newsroom

Malaysia ‘needs 60,000 accountants’

23rd October 2014

MGI World Malaysia ‘needs 60,000 accountants’

The whole industry experiences cyclical shortfalls in talent. Skills gaps can become entrenched at times and it can be difficult for a country or region to fill roles. When greater technology and regulation combine to alter the accounting landscape this situation can only become more likely.

Nowhere, though, is experiencing this skills gap as much as Malaysia, which needs 60,000 accountants by 2020 to support economic growth and rising living standards.

With this in mind, big efforts are being made by the country’s government to recruit. It’s taking the fight to other countries, seeking to recruit Malaysian accountants in places like London via an agency called TalentCorp. This body works with the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW) to  provide candidates with an internationally recognised qualification. It means university graduates can study for the ICAEW international chartered accountancy qualification without having to leave Malaysia

After years of brain drain and talent leaking out of emerging nations, with graduates looking for opportunity and higher pay abroad, the tables are beginning to turn.

Andrew Harding, managing director of the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants, told the Financial Times that Malaysia has been aware of the shortage in trained accountants for some time.

“Countries should realise long-term growth and prosperity is primarily secured via skills, not pay rewards,” he said.

Indeed Malaysia has been hard at work to stem the brain drain for years as it aims to become a high income nation by 2020.

But it’s a big problem that will not be easily overcome. The World Bank has estimated one-fifth of Malaysians with tertiary education have left the country.

“Bright, hardworking young people study for and obtain excellent qualifications, and then leave, never to return,” ICAEW chief executive wrote in The Accountant. “Many countries have suffered this problem over the years, but it is the scale of the problem for Malaysia that is so virulent; the number of emigrants has tripled in the last two decades.”

However, it’s not just in emerging markets where there is a gap. Developed economies are also finding it hard to recruit accountants. A report from APSCo last year noted a “major skills shortage” in accounting and finance in the UK.

Read more on Industry news and Asia

MGI World Union Jack with accounting theme and text overlay

Audit quality and industry diversity: Milsted Langdon’s Sarah Jenkins contributes to the discussion in a recent edition of the IAB

3rd March 2021

Sarah Jenkins, Partner at MGI Worldwide CPAAI accounting network member firm Milsted Langdon,...

MGI World New guide for Doing Business in India

Do you have clients with business in India? Keep them up-to-date with the NEW 2021 Guide for Doing Business in India

23rd February 2021

Looking to do business in India? MGI Asia member firm C.R. Sharedalal & Co., based in Gujarat,...

MGI World India map with the colours of India flag and text overlaid

Looking for a round-up of India’s annual budget? MGI Worldwide CPAAI firms provide key insights into the India Union Budget 2021-2022

19th February 2021

India's much-awaited annual budget was presented by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on 1...