Kate Ringham: Thank you for participating in the OBU Graduation Ceremony. I start by asking what does the graduation ceremony mean to you?
Dato’ Merina Abu Tahir: As Chair, ACCA Malaysia Advisory Committee, it is always a pleasure for me to congratulate ACCA students on their success. The students have worked so hard on their ACCA exams and their OBU projects, that a celebration with family and friends is well deserved. It is also an opportunity to encourage students to continue their ACCA journey through to ACCA membership.
KR: What do you think are the benefits of the OBU degree?
DMAT: The role of the professional accountant is changing with the development of new technologies such as artificial intelligence and so it is important that professional accountants of the future have a broad range of skills. These skills include the ability to think critically, evaluate and analyse information along with strong technical skills. An accountant’s interpersonal skills also need to be strong, as the role of the accountant is sometimes one of communicator.
One of the key benefits of the OBU degree is having a combination of a degree and a professional accounting qualification which is a powerful combination, putting students in demand with employers and increasing your career prospects.
About Dato’ Merina Abu Tahir
Dato’ Merina Abu Tahir qualified as an accountant through ACCA and has built a successful career working in multinationals, financial institutions and audit practice. She has held various senior leadership roles with responsibility for commercial finance, business development and information technology. Currently, Merina leads the internal audit function at Malaysian Airlines.
KR: What can ACCA membership offer these students?
DMAT: Once students have completed their ACCA studies, and I hope their OBU degree as well, they will join a global community of professionals. The qualification can open so many doors to different and varied careers. The fact that the ACCA Qualification is a globally recognised qualification allowed me to live and work in different countries. ACCA is also a community where we support each other. Here in Malaysia, I am very proud that ACCA supports their members throughout their professional journey via ACCA Malaysia’s support networks, such as the Young Members Network, Women’s Network, Small Medium Practice Focus Group, Public Practice Committee and several Regional Members Network throughout the country. These networks are available to affiliates, recently qualified members and all the way to senior members; at all stages of their career.
I would encourage students who have yet to complete their Strategic Professional exams to continue their journey; as professional accountants we have a great contribution to offer to the larger economic landscape.