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CMA Students’ Conference 2019 CMA Gateway to Success: moulding professional accountants with ethics and integrity

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CMA Sri Lanka celebrated its 20th anniversary by conducting the CMA Students Conference 2019 on the theme ‘CMA Gateway to Success: moulding professional accountants with ethics and integrity’ on Saturday 23 March at the Saraswathy Hall, Bambalapitiya. The Chief Guest at the function was Commission to Investigate Allegations of Bribery or Corruption (CIABOC) Director General Sarath Jayamanna PC. 

CMA Sri Lanka was established in the year 1999 with the technical support of CMA Canada (now CPA Canada) and the financial assistance of the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA). The Institute of Certified Management Accountants (CMA) of Sri Lanka was thereafter incorporated in April 2009 as the National Professional Management Accounting Institution in Sri Lanka by Act of Parliament No.23 of 2009 under the Ministry of Internal Trade and Cooperatives, and then Industry and Commerce, and now comes under the Ministry of Finance. 

CMA President Prof. Lakshman R. Watawala, addressing the gathering, spoke of the need to set up the local management accounting body twenty years ago, and opportunities provided to the youth to become professional management accountants at an affordable cost. As a local professional management accounting body, he was happy that CMA was able to get recognition both locally and internationally. He explained the importance of ethics and integrity for professional accountants and stated that CMA as members of the International Federation of Accountants (IFAC) the global body for the accounting profession has adopted the IFAC Code of Ethics and today it is mandatory for all students to sit for exam papers on ethics and governance. On obtaining membership all members are governed by the code of ethics and code of professional conduct. Hence we are very happy that the accounting profession is assisting in the implementation of the National Action Plan to combat Bribery and Corruption launched recently by CIABOC. Vice President H.M. Hennayake Bandara also addressed the gathering. 

The inaugural CMA Students’ newsletter was launched by the chief Guest at the inauguration of the conference attended by over 500 students.

The Conference was inaugurated by Commission to Investigate Allegations of Bribery or Corruption (CIABOC) Director General Chief Guest Sarath Jayamanna, President›s Counsel, who delivered the Key Note Address and stressed the importance of ‘Ethics, Integrity and Governance’ for budding professional accountants. 

The Chief Guest spoke on the launch of the Five Year National Action Plan to combat Bribery and Corruption in Sri Lanka which was launched on 18 March. The main aim of this attempt was to uplift the integrity of the public sector. The guidelines formulated will provide ways and means of protecting the dignity of the public servants by highlighting the need for integrity within institutions. Each institution will appoint a Corruption Prevention Committee, Integrity Officer and Facilitating Officer to mitigate the potential risk of bribery and corruption within public institutions. The publishing of an Annual Report on the institutional corruption prevention action plan as well as the measures taken to implement the National Action Plan to Combat Bribery and Corruption is a requirement for all government ministries and institutions. 

He was full of praise for CMA for educating the students on the importance of Ethics, Integrity and Governance in order that the professional accountants would be able to maintain their trust and confidence in both the public and private sector. As the first meeting he was addressing after the launch of the National Action Plan he was happy that he was speaking to the youth of Sri Lanka in whose hands lie the future of this country. The recruitment of CMA Management Accountants to the Public Sector will certainly uplift the quality and integrity as expected in their National Action Plan. 

The CMA students had done exceptionally well both locally and regionally and were placed first at the ‘Business Simulation Challenge Competition’ organised by Deakin University, Australia beating many of the international business schools in the country. The CMA students also won the first place at the third South Asian Federation of Accountants (SAFA) Quiz and Elocution Contest beating all the South Asian Chartered and Management Accounting Institutes in the SAFA region held on 22nd January 2019 in Pune, India hosted by the Institute of Cost Accountants India and South Asian Federation of Accountants (SAFA). 

The students’ conference which was of international standing comprised of 3 Technical Sessions, including 9 presentations addressed by eminent academics and practitioners. The first presentation was delivered on ‘Ethics and Governance’ by University of Sri Jayawardenapura Lecturer Dr. Roshan Ajward. Roshan Herath, also from the University of Sri Jayawardenapura, made a presentation on “Integrated Reporting” the new reporting format as per the framework of the International Integrated Reporting Council (IIRC). Central Bank of Sri Lanka Additional Director (Domestic Operations Department) Dr. Anil Perera made a presentation on ‘Economic Trends and Challenges’. Informate Ltd. CEO Jehan Perinpanayagam made a presentation on “Advances in Technology and Impact on the Accountancy Profession” and Ernst & Young Partner Averil Ludowyke spoke on ‘Forensic Accounting and Audit’, a topic of much relevance today.

The second Technical Session featured two renowned professionals who deliberated on the topics ‘‘The New Inland Revenue Act” by Amarasekara & Co., Chartered Accountants Tax Partner K. Sivanesan and ‘IAS 12, Accounting for Taxation’ and ‘Foreign Exchange Rate Determinants and Models’ by Students and Members Committee Chairman and CMA Council Member Ruchira Perera, who played a major role in organising the Students’ Conference., 

The CMA Students’ conference concluded with Technical Session Three, where Toast Master Dian Abeywardane delivered a speech on ‘Importance of Soft Skills and Communication’ for the benefit of students and the importance of Speechcraft program for students to build communication abilities, confidence and leadership qualities. The final presentation was done by Project Management Consultant and Trainer Dr. Madu Fernando on ‘Project Management’.

At the end of the conference certificates were awarded to all participants. There were over 500 students who had registered for the conference, representing all the provinces in Sri Lanka.


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