Take on the metaverse with a CPA
Beyond accounting, the CPA Program’s broad curriculum enables members to seize opportunities in emerging technologies and digital disruptors.
Like many other first movers in digital finance, Ricci Loh CPA (Aust.) is studying the metaverse.
The assistant professor at Singapore Institute of Technology, who holds a PhD in accountancy, is reading up on market-moving developments, taking courses on metaverse-related skills, and attending events such as the CPA Australia Virtual Congress 2022, to brush up knowledge on the disruptive megatrend.
“Technical knowledge and basic understanding of how metaverse technologies such as non-fungible tokens (NFTs) and blockchain work will be important for accounting and finance professionals,” she predicts. “The metaverse and digital currency go hand-in-hand. If we are to consider these two ideas as connected, then the metaverse will have the potential to impact the way digital currency evolves.”
Among the future challenges finance professionals need to grapple with could include what happens if an NFT – which a person might use to deliver sensitive documents in the metaverse, and protect control and ownership of their digital identity – is stolen. “Security matters are one of the most challenging,” she adds.
In this light, Loh, who enrolled in the CPA Program in 2018, has benefited enormously from the program’s newest module, Digital Finance, which provides members with the knowledge and tools needed to work with emerging technologies.
The module covers key topics such as the digital finance ecosystem, future of money, fintech, data analytics, interpretation and visualisation, and risk management, governance and regulation.
Courses like these are part of the CPA Australia’s commitment to stay abreast of new developments in the business and accounting fields, and enable members to seize opportunities in emerging technologies and digital disruptors.
“In this time where companies are launching complex products, it is imperative to remain cognisant of fundamental product characteristics,” adds Sylvia Lum, an Associate member of CPA Australia and a business control manager at JP Morgan, who enrolled in the program in 2020. “The module provides a structured introduction to relatively new concepts.”
“To maintain the designation, professional development is a requirement,” she adds. “This ensures that I continuously upgrade my knowledge and skill sets to remain relevant, regardless of the industry I am in.”
Building skilled professionals
Beyond continuous learning and development opportunities, Loh and Lum point to the strong global presence of CPA Australia, its international recognition and broad scope as plus points that make it a designation of choice for finance professionals.
The CPA Program, which can be completed in as little as one year, covers contemporary business issues beyond accounting, such as sustainable development, strategic business advice and financial risk management.
Lum, 25, adds that the “holistic curriculum provides opportunities for industry leaders to be groomed”.
“It’s a well-recognized qualification, relevant regardless of industry, and the content is highly applicable to the existing business climate,” she says.
CPA’s big-picture approach pays off in other ways as well. An internationally-recognised designation, it provides members a global platform to connect with peers and businesses, build international careers, and enjoy continuous development through industry engagement.
Loh, who is based in Singapore, says the program offers a “nuanced and global perspective in managing business issues”, given the increasingly technology-driven business landscape.
She also appreciates how the program is flexible and self-paced, which allowed her to balance work and studies. Exams are open book, and there are no restrictions around which company members must be employed under.
Meanwhile, what appeals to Lum is the strong foundation the program provides to build a solid career in the business space. “Accounting is the language of business. Having a CPA designation instils confidence that I have the technical knowledge and appreciation of accounting,” she says.
Adds Loh: “The CPA Australia designation is highly respected by employers, as the title represents a high professional competence with in-depth quality of accountancy knowledge and skills.”
But for the educator, the title goes beyond the desire for further qualification and into a need to stay relevant and competent, as new movements such as the metaverse gain steam.
“The adoption of metaverse technologies and purchasing of digital goods and services is much broader, especially after Covid-19,” she says. “In general, people – especially younger people – are more accepting of and excited about digital technology.”
“The curriculum is dynamic, trendy, and keeps pace with the changing business environment,” Loh adds. “Knowledge and skills learned from the CPA Program have practical implications for the profession.”
Step forward to create impact. Start by becoming a CPA today. Find out how at an upcoming information session.