58 Bruneians join first SPIN accounting program

PMO Minister, MOFE II Minister and MPEC President YB Dato Amin (left) present a certificate of enrollment to a recipient of the SPIN in Accountancy program.

Fifty-eight young Bruneians will take fully sponsored professional accounting courses under the first batch of the Study in Professional Institutions (SPIN) initiative under the Manpower Planning and Employment Council (MPEC).

Twenty of the young people will enroll in the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants’ (ACCA) Certified Chartered Accountant, the most complex of the three SPIN courses in accounting.

Nineteen will undertake the Chartered Accountant Technician (CAT) program – which is a precursor to the Foundation in Accounting (FIA), which 19 more follow.

All three courses will be delivered by the FTMS Accounting Academy at the Brunei Darussalam Institute of Certified Public Accountants (BICPA), which also connected participants with 25 leading accounting professionals in Brunei as part of the mentorship required to lessons.

Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) and Second Minister of Finance and Economy YB Dato Seri Setia Dr Awang Hj Mohd Amin Liew said that although accounting in Brunei is well established – with advocacy and regulation, including the Brunei Darussalam Accounting Standards Council and the Accountants Oversight Committee – the profession still needs wider recognition for its role in helping to maintain and grow the private sector.

“As a profession which can offer an exciting, rewarding and meaningful career with great opportunities for growth as it serves the business world, and the business world is becoming more and more complex,” said the minister, who is also President of MPEC, at SPIN’s official launch in the PMO banquet hall earlier today.

“Therefore, it is essential that we rely on talent. With the consent of Her Majesty, the SPIN in Accounting is introduced with the aim of developing the talent pool in this sector. This program aims to provide our residents with opportunities to further develop their potential, regardless of their starting points, to pursue a rewarding career. “

As an initiative under MPEC’s Learn and Grow program, SPIN is also targeted for expansion into other sought-after professional sectors and jobs.

This is in line with MPEC’s broader efforts to increase the number of highly skilled people in the local workforce, which currently stands at 45.8%, against a target of 40%.

Professional certification allowing inclusiveness in the field of accounting

SPIN Accounting courses are open to Bruneians or Brunei International Identity Certificate (ICI) holders between the ages of 18 and 45.

The MPEC targets two cohorts for the three courses each year, with each course cohort consisting of 20 trainees.

Academic requirements range from as low as 4 O-Levels – with at least two credits in math and English – to a degree in finance and accounting. Those with relevant work experience may also be considered.

As part of BICPA’s ACCA certification path, people with O and A levels would enroll in the FIA ​​or CAT course, which when completed would enable them to enroll in the fundamentals of ACCA, which is equivalent to a diploma.

Those who enroll in ACCA with degrees in finance and accounting have the advantage of starting the more advanced component of ACCA below its strategic professional level – which is equivalent to a master’s degree.

The 58 participants were selected from a pool of 165 applicants. 28 of the participants are job seekers, including 26 from the private sector and four other i-Ready apprentices. Classes are usually held in the evening to allow those with full-time jobs to attend.

Nur Sa’adatul Nadiah Hj Awg Abdullah, 25, sales and account administrator at food delivery startup GoMamam, is taking the CAT course to broaden her skills after already graduating with a business administration degree from the University of Brunei Darussalam the last year.

“I always try to improve myself (despite a job and a diploma). Accounting is also one of my passions, so by taking CAT I can pursue this field and open up more opportunities for myself, ”Nadiah said.

“I also have another colleague who is applying. It’s (GoMamam) a relatively new business – a year older – so what I’m learning from this program I can use to help them in any way I can.

For Muhd ​​Syukri Hamdan, 24, enrolling in ACCA will complete his transition to accounting after passing the CAT after the baccalaureate in 2016.

“It’s (CAT) difficult at first, especially when you don’t have a background in finance or accounting; you have a lot of catching up to do, but it is doable and it is very informative and useful, ”said Syukri, who studied Mathematics, Usuluddin and Syariah at Maktab Duli Pengiran Muda Al-Muhtadee Billah.

“After certification, I hope to get a full time job. As the first batch (of SPIN), we have to prove that the government investment in us is beneficial to us.

All SPIN interns will receive a monthly transportation allowance of $ 58; job seekers and the unemployed receiving an additional monthly living allowance of $ 300.

The allowance, as well as the full course fees, will be covered by the government. ACCA certification fees are estimated at $ 22,000, while course fees for CAT – which takes up to two years – and FIA – which takes one year – are $ 9,000 and $ 7,000 respectively.

SPIN is funded by the Eleventh National Development Plan in its Human Resources Development category. SPIN applications are facilitated by the Department of Education’s Lifelong Learning Center (L3C).

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