CFAB/ICAEW Programme

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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

General Information on CFAB and ACA

What is the CFAB?
CFAB stands for Certificate in Finance, Accounting and Business.
What is the difference between CFAB and ACA?
The CFAB is an entry route into the prestigious ACA qualification of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW).
What is the ACA qualification?

ACA stands for 'Associate of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales'. The ICAEW’s chartered accountancy qualification, the ACA qualification, is highly recognized and respected for its work-cum training programme. It is a culmination of work experience, study and examinations.
Leading employers the world over recognize the ACA as a mark of professionalism and earmark their ACA trainees for a fast-track progression in their careers.

Holders of the ACA qualification are members of ICAEW and can call themselves Chartered Accountants no matter where they are. They have the 'ACA' after their names.

What is the difference between ACA and other professional accountancy qualifications?

The ACA is regarded globally as one of the leading business and finance qualifications, and is recognised and valued in practice, industry, commerce and the public sector.

The ACA exams are very practical. It trains you to have an analytical mind and a broad understanding and perspective of real business scenarios.

The Advanced Stage is where the ACA demonstrates its world-leading quality. The modules will stretch you to adopt a multi-disciplinary approach and prove that you can use judgment as well as technical and analytical skills.

Despite a crowded market for accountancy qualifications in Malaysia, there is recognition that the ACA represents the highest quality and prestige.

The CFAB for school leavers

Please tell me more about the CFAB for school leavers

The CFAB for school leavers is a specially-designed programme by Sunway College Kuala Lumpur. It provides school leavers with an accelerated route to the prestigious ACA qualification of the ICAEW.

Note: In the past, the ICAEW programme was only available to high achieving degree holders, students who have completed their A-level with excellent results or students who has a professional accountancy qualification.

How long does it take to qualify as an ACA through this accelerated route?
It takes only 5.5 years to qualify as an ACA after SPM/O-Level as compared to 7-8 years for students who are from the degree route. This is provided that students pass all exams in their 1st attempt and that the duration of the ICAEW training contract is 3 years.
Can I study for the CFAB for school leavers at any other institutions?
Sunway College Kuala Lumpur is the ONLY PROVIDER in the world to offer the CFAB for school leavers as an accelerated route to the ICAEW.
How does CFAB for school leavers work?

Eligible SPM/O-level students will invest 1.5 years to complete the CFAB. This includes a 3-month work-based learning with one of our training partners. The students will subsequently progress to the ICAEW programme as full-time students for 1 year to complete the 6 application modules, Professional Stage.

After completing the Professional Stage, students will pursue the Advanced Stage papers under a training contract with an ICAEW authorized training employer (ATE).

Once they have passed the ICAEW professional examinations and complete the ICAEW training contract, they can call themselves a Chartered Accountant and use the letters ACA (Associate of The Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales) after their name.

How many subjects are there in the CFAB for school leavers?

There are 6 CFAB subjects (which are the same 6 Knowledge Modules as the ICAEW programme), 4 additional subjects and 3 MQA (Malaysian Qualifications Agency) subjects in the CFAB for school leavers.

What happens if I am unable to complete the CFAB programme?

Students can opt to exit to another professional accountancy programme and may be eligible for exemptions, depending on the CFAB subjects that they have completed.

On Tuition-related Matters

What is the entry requirement for CFAB for school leavers?

The entry requirement for the CFAB for school leavers is a minimum of 5 Distinctions, including English and Mathematics in SPM or O-level.

When are your intake periods?

Our intakes are in January, March and July yearly.

Are there any scholarships available?

Eligible students can apply for the Tan Sri Dato’ Seri Dr Jeffrey Cheah Entrance Scholarship. Please enquire with our Student Service Department for more information on other scholarships that are available.

The ICAEW Advanced Stage will be fully or partially sponsored by ICAEW ATEs for students who under a training contract the the ATEs.

Please tell me more about the entrance scholarship and how I can qualify for it.

The Tan Sri Dato’ Seri Dr Jeffrey Cheah Entrance Scholarship is available for those with outstanding results in SPM/O-Levels. Students who meet the criteria can be awarded up to a full tuition fees waiver, depending on their SPM/O-Levels results.

Will I be entitled for any credits for the ICAEW papers upon completion of CFAB?

Students who completed the CFAB programme will be awarded credit for the 6 knowledge modules of the ICAEW Professional Stage.

On Work-Based Learning

Is the work-based learning a requisite that is set by the ICAEW for the CFAB programme?

This work-based learning programme is a requirement by training partners of Sunway-TES, which are also ICAEW authorized training employers (ATEs). During this time, students will be evaluated for their potential to be granted an ICAEW training contract with the respective firms at a later stage.

How can I be assured of a placement for the work-based learning and ICAEW training contract?

Sunway College Kuala Lumpur works closely with ICAEW ATEs in arrangements for work-based learning and ICAEW training contract.

Some examples of these ATEs are:

  • BDO
  • Deloitte
  • Ernst & Young
  • Folks DFK
  • KPMG
  • PETRONAS
  • PricewaterhouseCoopers
  • The Sunway Group
  • Shamsir Jasani Grant Thornton
When and how long is the work-based learning?

Students will undergo work-based learning in the 2nd or 3rd semester. The duration of the work-based learning is 3 months.

Will students receive an allowance during the work-based learning?

Yes, an allowance will be given to all students who are attached with our training partners.

What happens during the work-based learning?

Students will be exposed to genuine work environments and will be given hands-on opportunities to put theory into practice. During this time, they will be evaluated for their potential to be granted an ICAEW training contract with the respective firms at a later stage.

On ICAEW Training Contract

What is an ICAEW training contract?

A training contract is a signed written agreement between you and your employer related purely to qualifying for the ACA. Entirely separate from an employment contract (which will outline the conditions of employment), the training contract details the mutual commitment between you and your employer through your period of study for the ACA.

Is the ICAEW training contract a requisite that is set by the ICAEW?

Yes, students must complete a training contract and pass their ICAEW professional examinations before they can be admitted into membership with the ICAEW. In fact, the Case Study paper can only be attempted on the final year of the training contract.

How long is the duration of the ICAEW training contract?

The duration of training contract is between 3-5 years. Most of the ICAEW ATEs in Malaysia offer a 3-year training contract for ICAEW students who are from the CFAB for school leavers route.

What is ICAEW ATE?

One of the key features of ACA training is that it takes place in an ICAEW authorised training employer (ATE), each of which works to a set of ICAEW training standards which are designed to help ensure consistency of training and support for all students wherever they work.

Some examples of ATEs are as follows:

  • BDO
  • Boustead Holdings
  • Deloitte
  • Ernst & Young
  • Folks DFK
  • Genting Malaysia
  • Hong Leong Group
  • KPMG
  • PETRONAS
  • PricewaterhouseCoopers
  • The Sunway Group
  • SJ Grant Thornton

Please visit www.icaew.com/tv or contact the ICAEW Malaysia office at malaysia@icaew.com for the latest list of ATEs in Malaysia.