The Complete Guide to ACCA Certified Accounting Technician (CAT) in Malaysia
This is a comprehensive guide to studying ACCA’s foundation programme, the Certified Accounting Technician (CAT) course in Malaysia.
In this guide, you will gain a detailed understanding about what ACCA’s CAT is all about, including how you can progress from CAT to ACCA, what ACCA exemptions you can get with a CAT qualification and the best colleges and universities in Malaysia to study CAT.
As accountants play an integral role in businesses, it is crucial for them to be certified and recognised at a professional level. So, read on to find out more about studying CAT accounting in Malaysia and how it can elevate your career as an accountant.
#1. What Is ACCA’s CAT Qualification?
CAT stands for Certified Accounting Technician, a stand-alone foundation-level qualification under the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA). Taking the CAT qualification is one of the fastest ways to obtain the ACCA professional qualification.
The CAT accounting course allows you to start your pursuit of ACCA right after you’ve completed SPM or O-Level. As a qualification on its own, it preps you for a supporting role in accounting in the workforce, equipping you with a strong foundation in financial and management accounting so that you can solve basic accounting problems.
Completing this qualification will allow you to take ACCA, which is a prestigious professional accounting qualification that’s respected by many employers in the accounting world.
#2. CAT Entry Requirements
a) What subjects are needed to study CAT?
To study a CAT course, you must have studied these subjects for SPM or equivalent:
There is no requirement for you to have studied SPM Accounting in order for you to take CAT.
b) CAT entry requirements
To pursue a CAT course, you are required to meet the entry requirements set by colleges or universities.
- SPM / O-Level: Minimum of 5Cs in SPM, including Mathematics and English
#3. Studying CAT in Malaysia
a) What subjects do you study in CAT?
A CAT course will prepare you to sit for 9 exam papers. These papers are categorised into 4 sections — Introductory Level, Intermediate Level, Advanced Level and Options. You will have to complete all papers in the first 3 levels and choose 2 out of 3 papers in the final level.
Here is a list of all the CAT exam papers you will need to pass.
|(1) CAT Introductory Level (2 papers)|
|FA1||Recording Financial Transactions|
|(2) CAT Intermediate Level (2 papers)|
|FA2||Maintaining Financial Records|
|MA2||Managing Costs and Finances|
|(3) CAT Advanced Level (2 papers)|
|FAB||Accountant in Business
|(4) CAT Options Level (choose any 2 papers)|
|FAU||Foundations in Audit|
|FTX||Foundations in Taxation
|FTM||Foundations in Financial Management|
In addition to passing the exams, you will also need to:
- Complete a practical experience requirement of 12 months
- Complete an online module on Foundations in Professionalism
Successful completion will grant you CAT holder status.
b) How long is a CAT course?
A CAT course usually takes about 1 to 1.5 years to complete.
c) CAT course fees in Malaysia
The fees for a CAT course may range from RM15,000 to RM20,000, depending on the institution.
Regardless of which institution you choose, you will need to pay ACCA a registration fee and exam fees for each exam paper.
#4. Pathway from CAT to ACCA
a) How to gain CAT holder status
- Step 1: First, complete your CAT qualification after SPM by passing 9 exam papers.
- Step 2: Complete the Foundations in Professionalism online module.
- Step 3: Gain 12 months of relevant practical experience to meet the practical experience requirement.
- Step 4: ACCA will grant you CAT holder status, which you can use as a qualification for employment.
In summary, it will take you about 2.5 years from SPM to gain CAT holder status.
b) Pathway from CAT to ACCA to gain Chartered Certified Accountant status
If you are planning to be a Chartered Certified Accountant by taking the CAT qualification, here’s how your education pathway will look like.
- Step 1: First, complete your CAT qualification after SPM by passing 9 exam papers. You will be exempted from the ACCA Applied Knowledge module, skipping 3 exam papers.
- Step 2: Move on to the ACCA Applied Skills (6 papers).
- Step 3: Proceed to ACCA Strategic Professional (4 papers).
- Step 4: Complete the Ethics & Professional Skills module.
- Step 5: Gain 3 years of practical work experience in a relevant role.
- Step 6: ACCA will grant you Chartered Certified Accountant status.
Do note that ACCA is a flexible course, which means that you can pursue your ACCA qualification while working at the same time.
In summary, if you study full-time, it will take you about 3 to 4.5 years from SPM to complete ACCA. To gain ACCA’s Chartered Certified Accountant holder status, it will be another 3 years as you’ll need to complete the practical experience requirement.
#5. Should You Study CAT?
a) Is CAT the right course for you?
A CAT course will grant you the knowledge and skills needed to become a professional accountant.
If you’re wondering whether you should study CAT, here are some questions to think about:
- Are you detail-oriented?
- Are you comfortable with numbers and basic mathematics?
- Do you like solving problems and puzzles?
- Do you enjoy rules and structure?
- Do you like to organise and file things properly?
- Are you known for planning things in advance?
- Do you want a quick pathway to an ACCA qualification after SPM?
If you’ve answered “yes” to most of these questions, then a CAT qualification may be ideal for you!
b) Skills required to be a Certified Accounting Technician
Here are some of the key skills and qualities you need to develop to be a proficient accountant.
- Good reading comprehension and command of the English language
- Good communication skills
- Competence and confidence in math
- Excellent organisation skills
- Have an eye for detail
- Good IT skills (e.g. proficient in Microsoft Excel)
- The ability to easily adapt to different work environments
#6. What Can You Do With a CAT Qualification in Malaysia?
As a CAT holder, your qualification is equivalent to a certificate-level graduate, which is one level below a diploma holder.
Here are some of your employment options:
- Junior accounts executive
- Junior auditor
- Junior payroll accounts executive
#7. Best Colleges & Universities for CAT in Malaysia
If CAT is right up your alley, then check out some of the best universities for CAT in Malaysia. Alternatively, compare more CAT institutions here.
Certified Accounting Technician (CAT)
Campus: Subang Jaya, Selangor
Intakes: Jan, Mar & Jul
Estimated Fees: RM20,832
Gain mentorship from “Star” lecturers who hold Master’s Degrees and have trained in professional firms
Strong links to top organisations, such as the Big Four accounting firms and GLCs
Reputable institution with a solid track record since its launch 50 years ago
Certified Accounting Technician (CAT)
Campus: Brickfields, Kuala Lumpur
Intakes: Mar & Aug
Estimated Fees: RM16,834
MCKL is a Gold Approved Learning Partner, as awarded by ACCA
Classes are kept small for greater personal attention
Supplementary English course for those who need a boost in their English
Certified Accounting Technician (CAT)
Campus: Shah Alam, Selangor
Intakes:Apr & Jun
Estimated Fees for CAT: RM16,800
The only CAT programme supported by the PTPTN loan in Malaysia
90% of INTEC’s professional accountancy graduates secure jobs within 6 months
Awarded Platinum Approved Learning Partner by ACCA