IBM Asia Pacific Accounting Center
Name: Melanie Phang
Job title: Senior manager
Sector/business area: Accounting
Organisation details: IBM has been in Malaysia since 1961 and is now located in Bandar Utama. IBM has 20 Centers of Excellence in Malaysia of which the Asia Pacific Accounting Center is one.
The IBM Asia Pacific Accounting Center (APAC) provides centralised accounting services and support to IBM's country and regional leaders and management across the Asia Pacific region.
Growth in the use of shared centres has built the financial skills infrastructure, especially within emerging economies. The IBM Asia Pacific Accounting Center (APAC) is a crucial part of a huge global organisation.
'The influx of regional and global roles and responsibilities in shared centres within these economies has created an unprecedented demand for financial skills that add value,' says Melanie Phang, senior manager with IBM APAC. 'Analytics, insightful business information and a strong control posture are very much in line with the syllabus and subjects taught in the ACCA Qualification. With the basic knowledge and understanding they have gained, ACCA trainees and members are able to contribute meaningfully to our organisation.'
Finance professionals in IBM APAC are exposed to an array of tools, best practices, on-the-job experience and networking that allows them to build a regional and global professional profile. 'As they build their experience and abilities as trusted business advisers, finance professionals in the organisation receive opportunities that may come in the form of participation in global projects, foreign assignments and employment opportunities in hyper-growth markets,' says Phang.
IBM APAC recognise the importance of continuing professional development (CPD) for their ACCA qualified people. A career roadmap with a specified number of training hours is developed to enable individual employees to chart out their own course. Specific training requirements are determined at each level within the roadmap to steer progressive professional development. This can cover management and leadership skills, business and industry acumen, as well as periodic job rotations with clear developmental goals.
'Being a part of the IBM Accounting Shared Service Center allows ACCA trainees and members to develop process expertise and compare and contrast practices across various countries and regions,' explains Phang. 'They are exposed to best practices that have been developed and are always expected to further refine the processes in order to achieve optimisation, which is a key skill an individual garners from working with us. It is required within global organisations in the present day and also for the future.'
IBM APAC consider their relationship with ACCA to be a vital partnership. As an ACCA Approved Employer, it actively communicates with ACCA on areas such as continuing professional development, recruitment and events. Both organisations seek new ways to work together and collaborate on initiatives that benefit both IBM employees and the accounting profession at large.
The final word goes to Phang: 'ACCA produces accounting professionals that have both technical and business acumen, who are able to meet the resource needs of IBM. The exposure and knowledge ACCA members gain through the ACCA Qualification gives them an edge and understanding on what is required to perform their roles and to also be groomed as future leaders.'