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How to get started in Accounts in Malta | Step-by-Step(2021)

Get started in Accounts in Malta – All the necessary steps you MUST know! 

If you’re Maltese or a student aspiring to get started in Accounting in Malta, this is the right place to be. The past few years where some kind of a roller-coaster. I was completely lost from where I should get started into accounting, so, today I want to share with you all the steps you need to take prior to making a decision that could define your future. Getting started in Accounting in Malta might be a little bit confusing at first as this could be your future – starting as a junior accountant all the way to a financial controller – Thus we have created a step by step process to guide you through all the necessary steps. 

This is a whole lot of data that we collected and is subject to growing in the future. We are no professors; we’re only trying our best to provide the essential information that we needed when we couldn’t find any of it.  

Having said that, I will be providing a context of what this article consists of, part-by-part.   

 

Part 1: Understanding 

  • What is Accounting? 
  • Is Accounting useful in Malta?  
  • Is there a future for Accounting in Malta? 
  • Could you progress studying Accounting in Malta? – All the potential and more. 

 

Part 2: Steps to take 

  • Part-time vs Fulltime studying in Malta. 
    • Age comparison  
  • How and from where should you start? – What do you need to become a qualified accountant in Malta? 
    • Entry Level – Get starting in Accounting in Malta without any knowledge in Accounting 
    • After learning the basic essentials, what are the requirements into moving forward? 
    • Taking different scenarios. 
  • How long does studying Accounting in Malta take? Which path is the best for you? 

 

This has been a journey and I’m still growing. It is always essential to have your heart and mind at the right place. You cannot know until you try, as life is a learning experience. Don’t be scared to try and don’t be scared to learn. You(we) never know enough. So, having said that, let’s get started and dig deep into how to get started in accounting in Malta! 

 

Part 1: Understanding 

 

What is Accounting?

 

As Stated in Business Dictionary:

“It is a systematic process of identifying, recording, measuring, classifying, verifying, summarizing, interpreting and communicating financial information. It reveals profit or loss for a given period, and the value and nature of a firm’s assets, liabilities and owners’ equity.” 

 

In simple terms Accounting is the process or work of keeping financial accounts. A process that is used in everyday life, thus making this skill essential in its own way. Its constantly changing and evolving, endorsing new or updated laws. As you progress and widen your learning base, you will quickly notice how things evolve, and how everything is connected together.   

 

Is Accounting useful in Malta? 

 

Yes, definitely! It is one of the most sought-after skills in Malta, this is proven as there are daily job postings requiring this specific skill. Learning this skill could open up to a wide array of different levels. A skill where hundreds of students graduate each year, further proving this point. Having this skill at your disposal is not useful only in Malta, but all around the world. Having said that, countries might carry different laws so a small test would be taken to get in line to that country’s standard.  

There are hundreds and thousands of businesses in Malta, all of these require accounting and financial statements. There is where you would fit in. The opportunities are limitless.  

 

Is there a future for Accounting in Malta?

 

As stated before, Accounting is a highly demanded skill. These high demands are a clear-cut of how there is a future for Accounting in Malta. Not only that, according to reports from the financial sector, the sector is forecasted to grow marginally as the GDPR reports suggest accordingly. Furthermore, following an international study (for the US) conducted by accounting web, suggest that Accounting jobs are here to stay. Not only that, but demand is subjected to grow substantially by as much as 19% in the financial sector.   

 

Could you progress Studying Accounting in Malta? – All the potential and more. 

 

There is always room to progress. Always room to grow bigger. There are a lot of companies which offer internships and you could grow from there if you’re in that early stage. Having said that, you might be searching for something higher after some experience, thus there are a lot of companies which offer different kind of Accounting jobs in different sectors – from payroll to fund manager to CFO (Chief Financial officer), the list could go on, however, I will be going over some jobs within the following steps. 

Freelancing in Malta is becoming a more common phenomenon. So be one of the leading freelancers!

  • Start freelancing today, don’t wait, create your own profile – click here
  • A complete guide into getting started in Freelancing in Malta – click here!

After you have got your accounting warrant, you could start your own freelancing. For that, we have tailored a specific guide as per follows. 

 

Part 2: Steps to take 

 

Part-time vs Fulltime 

 

First of all, you need to take into consideration what you want, and most importantly what is vital for you and what’s not. If you’re going to study full time, or part time. How to choose between part-time studying and fulltime? 

 

Part-time 

Part-time usually means, studying after time and thus allowing people to study more flexibly. This will allow leverage to work, study and balance time between all priorities. However, studying part-time might take a lot longer when compared to a full-time student. Having said that, you’ve even got the leverage to balance time and finish the examinations faster or slower than the standard fulltime student. 

Furthermore, one is gaining a lot of experience, whilst working, thus improving vastly employers desire to employ the individual. 

– Pros vs Cons  

Pros: 

  • Work experience and studying at the same time. 
  • A very flexible approach. Could balance between priorities and balance time to your needs. 
  •  You’ll learn to balance your life in an impressive manner, a bit different to when studying fulltime.  
  • Cash flow whilst studying – Students tend to struggle financially when studying fulltime as they would be spending more time studying then working.  
  • Not losing time in sometimes strange timetables – you create your own tailored timetabled rather than a fully preassigned one. 

Cons:

  • Hard on Cash flow at times – Some courses might deem expensive being both fulltime and part-time. 
  • Stressful – Dealing with your job, studies and life in general might be overwhelming not only on yourself but on your family as well. 
  • Lack of the “student life” – Less time to solely focus on studies and share time making friends and networking with other fellow students.  
  • Less time with the family. 

 

Fulltime

Studying fulltime definitely has its pros. I had the luxury to study both fulltime and part-time.  Studying full-time is more structured. It gives you time to think and assess a certain situation. It tends to be less stressful compared to part-time, and as a result you’ll be more concentrated. However, an issue might arise as cash flow might be a headache. Some courses require big money and you would need to work regardless, so even though you’re not as stressed as part-time students are, I believe that the stress factor is quite close and comparable. 

– Pros vs Cons  

Pros:

  • More time to study. 
  • More concentrated on one goal rather than balancing two, three or more things at a time. 
  • Potentially less stressful (open to discuss – as all of the article. 
  • The student life – networking, making friends and having a good time in general. 

 

Cons: 

  • Financial backlog – needing to find a part-time job thus increasing stress. 
  • Prone to strange timetables, thus resulting to more procrastination.  

 

To sum up this point, I believe that the list might go on, but I think that these are the clearest points. Having said that, you have to decide I which stage you are and what are your priorities at this set moment. Following is our tip and suggestion regarding this part: 

Opinion by age groups and life phases

It’s not quite a clear cut to everyone, as everyone is at different stages in their life. So, we summarised what has been told by categorizing age groups, as follows: Kindly note that each situation is VERY subjective. 

  • Age 16-23 – We Suggest studying fulltime and having a part-time on the side. This is because, you would be having a good social life and raising an income. It is always good to be financially wary so you’ll be less stressed in the future. Having this kind of style is a very good balance as it is very good at times keeping your schedule very busy. A part-time usually have a very flexible working hours and range so they are perfect for a fulltime student. 

 

  • Age 24-34 – We suggest a fulltime job and studying part-time on the side. This is because at this age, you might be buying a house and paying loans. If not, you’ll be having commitments which add up and would be needing time and money in order to sustain. Having said that, you know it is always wise to invest in yourself, and having an ambition to strive for. Thus, you would be looking at stuff you might need to do. It is never too late to start, believe in yourself and reward yourself with what you deserve.  

 

  • Age 35-Any Age over – By this time, you would have established what are your priorities. I don’t think it would be wise for us to give you a total direction. We believe that if you follow the written points you would have a rather common understanding. Be wary of the pros and cons of fulltime studying and part-time, by this point you know what to look-out for in line with your priorities.  

 

How and from where should you start? – What do you need to become a qualified accountant in Malta?

To begin with, to become a fully qualified Accountant you’ll be needing to finish the masters with your preferred institute. However, if you choose to opt out beforehand there’s a good chance that you would still find a job.  

Examples of potential jobs if you opt out:  

  • (level 4) Accounts Olevel + Other Olevels – Office Clerk 
  • (level 5) Accounts Alevel – Accounts Clerk 
  • (level 6) Bachelors of Commers/ Bachelor of Science (Honours) in Financial Services Management – Junior Accountant (a HUGE potential to Scale up from this position) 

These are only examples of jobs at different levels. Each position might vary, but these are the main positions that are most sought-after in accordance to the specific qualifications. 

Having said that, at first it might be a little bit confusing to get started. So, we have structured out steps at different levels to get you started in Accounting in Malta as per follows: 

 

Entry Level – Get starting in Accounting in Malta without any knowledge in Accounting

  • If you’re a total beginner, a good place to start is by getting a diploma at STC (click here), where they provide the very basic fundamentals. However, if you’re very willing to learn we suggest going on YouTube and start learning the absolute basics. We recommend the video as per follows, as it is a very guided series, that is tailored into getting you as a beginner started on the right path: 

 

After doing so, you could choose from the following options: They can all be studied on part-time or/and fulltime basis. 

 

MCAST: both Part-time & Fulltime

  • MCAST offers a stable gateway to progressing step by step. You could get started without any qualifications whatsoever. However, note that this takes a lot of time as you would have to do a couple of years at each level, but it still caters to take care in a structured manner – if you put in the work and pass in the exams. 
  • Foundation Certificate in Business = Level 2 
  • Diploma in Business = Level 3 
  • Advanced Diploma in Accounting = Level 4 – you could bypass to here with 4 Olevels (accounting not compulsory) *Compulsory A-Level or SEC/O-Level: Mathematics and English Language* 
  • Higher National = Level 5 
  •  ACCA(Degree) Level 6 – you could bypass if you’ve got 2 A-Level and 2 I-Level passes (Grade A to E) – *Compulsory A-Level or SEC/O-Level: Mathematics and English Language* 
  • ACCA(Masters) = Level 7 

More on MCAST: 

  • You could attempt Olevels and leap to MCAST doing the Advanced Diploma in Accounting at level 4. However, we suggest doing 2 A-Level and 2 I-Level passes as this could get you in directly in Bachelors in Accounts at MCAST Level 6.
     

Main Popular Post-Secondary Colleges: Mainly fulltime 

  • If you have got enough Olevels to get into Higher Secondary or Junior College you could bypass the Accounting Olevel exam and go straight into studying for the Alevel. (to discuss at a later stage) 

I am a witness for this myself, as I never studies Accounts in the secondary as an Olevel, however, I studied Accounts only at Junior Collage as an Alevel. It was quite a bold move, which I most definitely do not regret. 

 

Other Private institutions: They are mostly flexible, but the main part is fulltime. 

 

  • Another way is with a university like STC where they offer good paths into getting up to speed with the needed qualifications, however, kindly note that this might be the most expensive at face value money wise, however, we will be going over all the options.  

 

After learning the basic essentials, what are the requirements into moving onto the next step? 

 

So, this highly depends on the path you have chosen. We will highlight each very important category as per follows. If you choose to go with ... 

 

Fulltime – MCAST:  This is quite a clear cut, as it is a very organised and structured environment. Having said that, this might not be the fastest path. If you get up to level 4 you would be able to start ACCA from the very beginning. Please note, that if you progress with MCAST to level 5 you would be exempt from the first 3 ACCA related exams.  

  • If at Level 3 we suggest: Diploma in Accounting  
  • If at Level 4 we suggest: Advanced Diploma in Accounting 
  • If at Level 5 we suggest: Higher Diploma for Accounting Technicians 
  • If at Level 6 we suggest: ACCA Qualification 

 

 

Part-time/fulltime studying in Malta – After you completed your A-levels with enough requirements to go to University of Malta:  You could enrol in a university course both at part-time or even at fulltime. This however, might be slightly limited as the part-time is not really as flexible with the timetable as the other private institutions.  

  • We suggest Bachelor of Commerce in Accounting 

 

Part-time/fulltime studying in Malta – After you completed 2 A-levels and a couple of Intermediates: You could either 

 

  • Join a company like PWC or Deloitte or Earnest and Young, where if you’ve done well enough, they would sponsor your course and even gain experience with the same company. However, I suggest that you should be wary of the contract details when joining such a company.  
  • Another option is to find an office job to gain some experience and pay the courses fees yourself. This might be costly at first, but I think it is worth the money as having your freedom who to work for is after getting all the necessary exams, is always something precious. You could do this by joining a private institution. You’ll find a couple of Private institutions as per follows. 
    • MIA – Malta Institiute of Accounts 
    • PWC Academy 
    • AIM Academy 
    • Learnkey 
    • Many more schools available to choose from 

 

Just to point out that PWC, Deliotte, Earnest and Young (and the potential of some other) offer a fully paid course + work experience. However, the full commitment to the company after the studies might is something to be wary of.  

 

Furthermore, the same companies offer students at University as well to work for them if your package is strong enough.  

 

 

How long does studying Accounting in Malta take? Which path is the best for you? 

 

This depends a lot on which path to take. For the following example, we plotted the path in a perfect scenario and with approximates (so numbers aren’t pin perfect accurate – but quite close), where the student would not fail.  Not even once. We are to assume that a student is fulltime for this example So, scenarios as per follows: 

 

  • MCAST: It would take Approx. 9 years if you would do the course fulltime from level 3. We gave out pointers as there are quite a lot of bypasses on how this number could decrease substantially. 
  • From Junior College all the way to finishing the masters at University: It would take approx. 7 years 
  • From finishing A-levels and going to an institution which provides ACCA with masters: It would take approx.6-7 years 

 

These numbers might scare you if you’re a complete beginner, however they should not. They should motivate you as the opportunities are endless. As we discussed before, this is a highly regarded skill, so you could easily opt out of the masters and take a gap year or two, and still find a very well-paid job. What’s extremely beneficial in accounts is that it is highly progressive – you know what’s next and what’s not, what needs doing and what’s not. 

 

If you are to opt out at certain points, here’s a small guide on what achievements you would have made. 

 

  • Level 4 – Advanced Diploma 
  • Level 5 – Matriculation/ Higher National Diploma 
  • Level 6 – Degree 
  • Level 7 – Masters 

 

When undertaking ACCA: 

 

  • F1-F3 – Diploma in Accounting & Business Level 5 
  • F4-F9 – Advanced Diploma in Accounting & Business Level 6 (Degree Level) 
  • P1 & P3 – To qualify as an Association of Chartered Certified Accountants Qualification Level 7 (Masters Level) 

 

Which path is best for you?

 

Well, this depends on your current lifestyle. As discussed earlier, there are a lot of factors to take in, many of which require you to sacrifice stuff for this ultimate dream of yours. However, have faith in your capabilities, spread your wings and fly. You don’t know what you don’t know. What I know is that time flies, you might have your reasons to be sceptic about studying, and I respect that. However, start step-by-step, one level after another, you’ll arrive there in no time. 

 

Knowing that you’re learning and widening your range of understanding is never a waste of time. This is not just a job opportunity, it’s a business opportunity, a life opportunity and much more.  

 

Last top tips we suggest: 

 

  • ALWAYS and ALWAYS Consult. Consult the schools/institutions, do meetings and ASK A LOT OF QUESTIONS. Clarity is key to moving forward. Nothing beats knowing where you’re heading. So, ask if you feel out of place. Seek help if you need, it is no dishonour to ask! 

 

Suggested links as per follows; 

 

https://www.miamalta.org/ 

https://aimacademy.com.mt/ 

http://www.learnkey.com.mt/ 

https://www.pwc.com/mt/en/pwc-academy/pwc-academy-malta/about-pwc-academy/acca-courses.html 

https://www.mcast.edu.mt/?s=accounts 

https://www.um.edu.mt/fema/accountancy 

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