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Accounting in NTU/NUS/SMU?
 
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mojojo

Newbie




Total Posts: 14

hey everyone,
can advice on which unversity SMU/NTU/NUS offers better accountancy courses?
Also,is it an easy course to take?

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pinebabe

Ultra Senior Member




Total Posts: 1132
Check the following threads out, they should be able to help a bit.

SMU & NTU accountancy --> CPA
ACCA
Accountancy degree - Manageable?
Business faculties of NUS, NTU & SMU
NTU or SMU accountancy? And the double degree?

Let us know if you've got more specific questions. There are quite a couple of accounting students around.

This message was edited by pinebabe on 21 Dec 2006 09:10 AM

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hotbull

Ultra Senior Member




Total Posts: 1300
On a related note, the following report on TODAY today might help you make your decision.

Apparently, NUS has yet to receive accreditation for its Bachelor of Business Administration (Accountancy) degree, a full semester after it admitted its first intake of about 100 students.

Those who qualify from the courses ACRA andICPA accredit must primarily be equipped with auditing skills and reporting on financial statements, but NUS wants to focus on corporate governance.

----

NUS to close book on new-look auditors

Denied accreditation, varsity to tone down 'reality-based' accounting curriculum

Thursday • December 21, 2006

Derrick A Paulo

AT A time when the scandals were tainting the profession, the National University of Singapore (NUS) thought it would blaze a trail by churning out a new breed of accountants.

Instead, the blaze only seems to have burnt NUS's fingers: It is yet to receive accreditation for its Bachelor of Business Administration (Accountancy) degree, a full semester after it admitted its first intake of about 100 students. The university is now preparing to back down and take the more traditional route.

At the heart of the debate is what an accountant's job is all about.

In the backdrop of the Enron collapse and the accounting scandal closer home, at Informatics Holdings, the NUS Business School had designed a curriculum with an emphasis on corporate governance, ethics, risk management, internal control and business acumen.

It did not want to train "traditional" accountants, said Associate Professor Ho Yew Kee, the school's vice-dean (finance and administration).

This approach has not cut much ice with the Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority (Acra) and Institute of Certified Public Accountants (Singapore), or Icpas, who want the course content to link more directly to accounting and auditing.

And since they are the ones in charge of accreditation, they call the shots. So, NUS will put an end to its bold new experiment.

"Acra and Icpas are the accounting gatekeepers and they want us to give our students something more related to accounting and auditing in the subjects we offer," said Assoc Prof Ho.

Something had to give. NUS was keen to retain the portion of the curriculum that developed business acumen.

The "compromise"? To drop its students' electives to accommodate the type of content preferred by the accreditation authorities.

The catch, of course, is that the "extras" the university wanted to offer — including ethics and corporate governance — were all included in the electives.

So, its hope of breaking radically away from the mould of established courses offered by the Nanyang Technological University (NTU) and the Singapore Management University (SMU) have more or less been dashed.

Acra's stand is clear. Those who qualify from the courses it accredits must primarily be equipped with auditing skills and reporting on financial statements, said its spokesperson.

But others in the profession agree that the world is changing and traditional roles may have to be relooked. A partner at KPMG, one of the "Big Four" accounting firms here, told Today that there was already debate on whether a chief financial officer even needed to be an accountant or auditor at all — or whether the job had grown into something wider.

Even the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants — the international body representing the profession — had launched a new qualification this year to focus on "professional values, ethics and governance", in line with "industry demands and expectations", the association's Singapore head Penelope Phoon told Today.

NUS had hoped to instil similar values through its new course — but that will now be put on the backburner.

At a time when there is a shortage of trained personnel — the Big Four alone hire 1,000 graduates annually, while NTU and SMU produce just 800 graduates a year — NUS's first priority is to make sure that its students are not left in a lurch.

"The reality is that students and parents look closely at accreditation. Our take-up rate will be low. One student even left because of the lack of accreditation ... although he's now back," said Prof Ho.

Students, too, admitted to some anxiety. "It's important the school gets accreditation as soon as possible, because I'm concerned there will be a preference for NTU and SMU accountancy students over NUS students in the job market," said a student who identified herself only as Ms Tan.

To push the accreditation through, NUS will go back to its advisory board in February with a more traditional-sounding curriculum and then knock again on Acra's doors.

Said Assoc Prof Ho: "The price paid is students lose their electives and it becomes a strait-jacket course. I feel sorry for the students but that's the Singapore reality."

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Ethan_Hunt

Member




Total Posts: 69
Sounds like NUS just got owned...hahaha

They deserve it...

Act smart and try to saturate the job market by competing with NTU and SMU...

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hotbull

Ultra Senior Member




Total Posts: 1300
I don't think they are acting smart. It's precisely because they do not want to saturate the market and want to provide an accounting course with an altnerative focus that they came up with their version of an accounting degree.

Credit to them for attempting something new. When schools do not remake their courses, you complain they lack variety, when schools try to offer something different, you belittle their efforts. What's up man?

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jabroni

Newbie




Total Posts: 12
Seriously, I did not know there were 2 types of accountants...

Wonder how that helps? Perhaps help to cause the accountancy grads from SMU and NTU to fight harder...given that the pays for auditors are already like peanuts at present. A "different" innovative change that leads to INCREASE of supply to the employers and thus their bargaining power sure "helps" eh?

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hotbull

Ultra Senior Member




Total Posts: 1300
Don't think it's about how many types of accountants? NUS was merely trying to create an accounting course which focuses less on auditing and more on governance and yet still be accredited by the professional body. It just didn't work out for now.

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hotbull

Ultra Senior Member




Total Posts: 1300
Just read this commentary from Gerard Ee. Makes some sense.

Open options with Double degree

Consider four-year course for NUS' new-look auditors

Friday • December 22, 2006

Gerard Ee

IN designing an accounting curriculum emphasising such issues as corporate governance, ethics and risk management, the National University of Singapore (NUS) Business School is on the right track.

Why? Because the move recognises that additional knowledge, of issues such as corporate governance and business skills, would enhance the capabilities of — and ultimately the value of — its graduates.

At the same time, the school faces the quandary that without more "traditional" content focused on accounting and auditing, as demanded by the industry regulatory body, the degree will not receive accreditation.

In this sense, it is comforting to know that the Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority (Acra) is vigilant in ensuring that any course it accredits complies strictly with the standards it sets.

Indeed, the course NUS set out to offer would have been fine were their graduates not seeking to be auditors — in which case there would be no need to seek accreditation.

Many accounting graduates do not work in an audit firm even if they started their career in one.

The NUS offering is more appropriate for an individual intending to be an accountant in the commercial sector.

Should the individual have a change of heart and finds auditing interesting, all is not lost.

The individual can pursue a professional qualification with the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (Acca) even as a part-time student. NUS could negotiate with Acca for exemptions from certain of the examination papers.

At the same time, NUS should not give up on its vision of creating a new breed of accountants, ready to take on the new business realities. It should, for example, consider offering three- and four-year options. The traditional three-year course should lead to an accredited accounting degree. A year could be added for the farsighted undergraduates to earn a double degree of Accounting (accredited) with Business.

Likewise, an individual should be able to pursue a degree in business and a second degree in accounting (non-accredited) if the individual has no intention to be an auditor. It is not unusual for offerings of double degree courses.

I am sure that at the job interview, preference would be given to the graduate with the double degree — in other words, to the person with enhanced knowledge.

Once the first batch of students graduate and grab the available jobs, whether in the field of auditing or as a commercial accountant, other universities will have to reconsider their offerings.

It is a viable alternative to spending that additional year pursuing an honours degree in accounting or business. In case potential graduates think that four years is a long time, just look at the experience of professional accountants in England.

In the United Kingdom, many individuals would study for a degree in just about any subject, from philosophy to economics (not accounting), and then be articled to an accounting firm and study for the exams of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales, which takes another three years — a total of six years.

Recognition is given to the enhanced intellect of the individual with a cross discipline.

In the age of globalisation, one has to engage professionals from all around the world. The ones with the wider knowledge and greater skills will have the edge and stand head above the others. Perhaps it is time that the standards bar is raised. We can produce our own talents.

I hope that NUS will consider being the trendsetter and produce the new-look auditors. Do not be the follower but be the leader.

The writer is a retired auditor and former partner of Ernst & Young. These are his personal views.

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antisocialnot

Newbie




Total Posts: 1
Hi,

i wouldn't say that acct is an easy course. just like every other course, you need to put in effort to get gd grades. i'm in NTU acct yr 2 right now.

i chose NTU over SMU because I felt that they offered a better grounding in acct. also, NTU offers a 3 yr direct honours programme as compared to SMU's 4 years. the 1 yr exp that u'll gain is an added advantage.

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hummer

Newbie




Total Posts: 2
I chose SMU over NTU back then, because at SMU, you CAN graduate in 3 years (with the american euivalent of honours) if you want contrary to what many who are ill-informed are aware of...and you could pursue a double degree in 3 and a half years as well...I have many seniors who did that... You only do 4 years if you go at a very relaxed pace for a single degree... in any case most SMU undergrads (unlike NTU grads) have a 2nd major thus they would grad in 3 and a half yrs...

Other than time factor, the university's accountancy modules compromises of the fundamental and essential components required by the profession (everything NTU's course has) as well as broad based university core modules and business modules...

Emphasis is not just on creating hardworking nerds, but professionals who present themselves well and are confident and articulate...not ONLY strong in the scope of the accountancy knowledge but also other soft skills which are useful for someone pursuing a career in the corporate world...

This message was edited by hummer on 24 Dec 2006 06:19 AM

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cyberduhhh

Senior Member




Total Posts: 176
hi antisocial

SMU Accountancy is a direct honours 3 years to 5 years program . The difference lies in the modules that may be taken in addition to the Accounting core.

As for the NTU program offering a better grounding , I may add that since your faculty have taken on the Project Discovery fiasco where they consider doing discussions and cross examinations rather than teach properly the disciplines of audit, taxation, cost accounting and financial reporting , that the big four firms have quite agreed that the NTU student coming to them are getting weaker and weaker to the point they are willing to be looking for foreign students and cross discipline local grads since there isn't much that the NTU student from accountancy offers above students of other discplines, to the point that they prefer non-accounting students sometimes with other skills. I have seen more and more non-accounting grads come in to PWC and accounting grads leaving; e.g by the time I quit PWC, almost 75%of the NTU grads who joined with me in PWC have already quit to go elsewhere, anywhere... not putting down NTU but the accountancy program must be taught with professional standards in mind not discussions and project group work presentations. To be fair in this I admit that certain professors in SMU are blundering the wrong way as well with respect to the accounting core modules.

and to hummer of the class of 2005 , unless I am very wrong (and I have been attending the past two years convocation after my own in 2004 in support of all my brothers and sisters) no one else graduated in 3 years ever since one person from the pioneer batch did - me . The fact is that even 3.5 years is just too short to properly benefit from the full cross-faculty/discipline that SMU offers, in double degree with finance, in law majoring, etc. To say also that 4 years is relaxing means that they are really very exempted student without ambition to do others, not a very likely prospect in paper hungry SMU. As far as I know less than a handful graduated with their base degree and exemptions without additions in four. In an accounting faculty where the standard for entry is now best of 1 in 11 (for every 11 applicants 1 got in) that hardly seems likely

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guitar

Ultra Senior Member




Total Posts: 2790
Maybe we should make Mr Gerard Ee the Chairman of ACRA.

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hummer

Newbie




Total Posts: 2
hi cyberduhhh,

thanks for replying...always nice to communicate with a senior with experience...

I am not sure how you came to the "realization" that no one else graduated in 3 years with a basic accountancy degree...my friend grauduated in 2004 as well...she spent 3 years... Kind of strange that you said that...

Anyway, to grad with a basic accoutancy degree in SMU today, the number of modules to clear is 35...in general if the undergrad scores B+ or above for Alevel maths C, Econs, etc...they can expect to be exempted for a minimum of 4 modules...So you need to clear 31 modules...

This means 5 modules per normal semester...and 1 module during a summer term...community service is can be done anytime...I cleared mine during the summer break... internships are set aside for accountancy undergrads in Dec yr 2 or yr 3...Modified term 2 ensures no disruption...

So it is not really that "amazing" to grad with an accountancy degree in 3 yrs...just need to know what you are doing and planned your modules bidding smartly...

To get a double degree in finance...1 more semester is needed to do CAT, Business process and 3 finance electives...5 modules...that sums up how it's done...cheers

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cyberduhhh

Senior Member




Total Posts: 176
hi hummer - how I came to the realisation? how about the fact that I was the only 3rd year accountancy graduate during the 2004 convocation and the rest were fourth years and business students? I remember they all clapped for me because I was the last joker at the end of a list of 303 other seniors and business grads .

heh.....

i would like to meet your friend ,really, because at best I know is the handful that left in 2004
December; no one was present for the convocation from school of accountancy from my year at all nor at any of the pre graduation events. You may wanna ask your friend exactly where she came from ; maybe business? because she sure aint a 3year course accountancy graduate.

anyhow its not amazing true to graduate in three, I wanted to leave in 5 myself except for money problems forcing me to cut short my degree; my point is that just that no one else in SMU Accountancy to the best of my knowledge since my batch did it only, that's all; and I only got two exemption for calculus and intro econ, which was pretty standard for my batch; remember, the difference between my batch and yours is that 91% of my entire batch wouldn't have made it to join in yours if we tried in your year. (1 out of 11 again); thats how much the standard have risen for SMU accountancy.

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Ethan_Hunt

Member




Total Posts: 69
hohoho, merry christmas people.

By the way, I am also planning to leave SMU in 3 years time. In fact, many of my course mates especially those who came from poly wants that. I have a friend who will graduate after the next semester, spending only 3 years for accountancy and double major in finance. She wants to start earlier to pursue her career, though she does not have any financial problems. Who knows? Maybe she will be the "2nd" to ever do 3 years? But who cares right?

Just do the math, it's not a miracle right?

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guitar

Ultra Senior Member




Total Posts: 2790
So is it typical to complete your degree course at SMU in 3 years?

Does SMU have the honours system?

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cyberduhhh

Senior Member




Total Posts: 176
direct honours , score middling B+ and A - for everything a second lower to second upper(cum laude and magna cum laude),score A- middling A and A+ for everything and you will have a first class (summa cum laude), and if you get Bs to B+ for everything at least merit and high merit....

And its not rare at all for 3 years degree courses now, with 5 exemptions being not unusual for people with 3 As at JC and tons of AB scores in poly

the question is do we have such people here who will really settle for only the bare minimum and get out when they meet the standard; not likely in smu

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porsal

Newbie




Total Posts: 8
Thankew hotbull... I got accepted into NUS bizad with acc. I was afraid bcos it's not accredited yet. N I heard part of the story only. the not accredited bcos syllabus not in line with ACCRA's requirements AND the whole cohort need to repeat year one again. I'm so releived that I get to know the reason behind it because all along I tot it's NUS's incompentency. THank you for sharing this piece of information!

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