Full Name: Koh Zi Yi
Occupation: Associate Consultant (Corporate Governance and Risk Management)
Organisation: UHY Malaysia
CIMA Entry Route:
CIMA Level/Award achieved so far:
Koh Zi Yi is currently an Associate Consultant under the Corporate Governance and Risk Management Department at UHY Malaysia. His job responsibilities include assisting in the planning, organising and executing of internal audit, risk and compliance services provided to client companies from different industries and countries.
You have completed all the CIMA exams and are now on your way to being a CIMA member and a CGMA. Many have said that the exams are tough. Can we have your perspective on the exams?
In order to achieve a high level of achievement, it often comes with high levels of challenges and it also requires a high level of efforts. Being a professional qualification, CIMA exams do have a certain level of standard and are generally not too easy for most of the students. However, it is always easier to have a higher success rate in the exam if we have proper preparation for it.
How can a CIMA student prepare better for the exams? Which resources did you find most helpful?
As a CIMA student, I think it is better for us to have a deep understanding of the subject we are sitting. By covering the whole exam syllabus of the subject, it makes us know what the subject is all about, as well as which topic should be studied and revised for us to stand a greater chance. In my point of view, I think the most important of all is to master the answer techniques of the subject which enables us to answer the exam questions in the most efficient and effective manner. There are several exam preparation materials available provided by CIMA which are helpful for students. For me, the mock exams did the trick well. Some of the external tuition providers such as Astranti also provide great quality study materials and courses online.
Why did you choose to study CIMA?
After completing my Diploma in Accounting at Tunku Abdul Rahman University College (TARUC), I had a decision to make between financial accounting (FA) and management accounting (MA) for my further studies in the Advanced Diploma stage. Instead of the FA route which is rather more popular among accounting students, especially Malaysians, I eventually chose MA due to personal interest towards the field of study. Being one of the top professional accounting bodies in the world, CIMA provides a great platform for MA students worldwide to have their career progression reaching the highest possible level by offering arguably the greatest professional qualification of management accountancy in the world. I think it sums up the reason I chose to study CIMA.
What competitive edge does CIMA give you when applying for a job? Or how do you see CIMA contributing to your future career progression?
Among the fresh graduates who have relatively less or even zero working experience in the related fields, I have to admit that by completing all the CIMA professional papers, it did give me a competitive edge in terms of the chances of getting a job offer from a rather bigger or more reputable company and with a better remuneration package. It is indeed a fact that CIMA has helped me in the beginning stage of my career. As time goes by when I eventually gain more experience and exposure, I think CIMA will certainly contribute in my future career progression. Not to mention by becoming a CIMA member, it also means that we will be joining the largest professional body of management accountants and becoming part of this international network.
In your view, how does CIMA help prepare you for the ‘real’ world of business?
In CIMA, the syllabus covers not only the core accounting skills, but also includes other essential business aspects such as budget planning, costing management, integrated reporting, finance function transformation, risk management, project management, business strategy and so forth. Besides, the rigorous assessment methods at all levels of papers, particularly the case study exams, ensure CIMA students are well tested in both technical and practical competencies as a strong preparation for the ‘real’ business world.
What do you think of the CGMA designation? What benefits would it give you?
Personally, I think a CGMA designation holder is recognised worldwide as a trusted strategic expert in the business world which covers different types of business aspects. By having the designation, it helps the holder to demonstrate his or her business skills and qualities, especially in guiding better business decisions in organisations around the world. I believe that by having the CGMA designation, and becoming part of the global community of qualified management accountants, I am able to share and learn invaluable business practices and experiences with professional peers, and further equip and improve myself to be better prepared for the complex business world.