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CIMA holds Convocation Ceremony 2017

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  • Building the next generation of management accountants in Sri Lanka

Growing the ranks of the globally-respected, competent pool of management accountants the country is known for, CIMA Sri Lanka felicitated their students and members at the convocation held at the BMICH on 20 September. Celebrating their achievements were eight prize-winners who obtained outstanding results, 350 newly-elected members and 250 students who completed their exams. 

As CIMA MESANA Regional Board Chairman Kabiruzzaman Yaqub noted, it was a day for appreciation not only of the students and members, but for their support networks – those who nurtured, taught and cheered them on. This was reflected in the attendance of parents and CIMA learning partners, as well as CIMA President David Stanford and Mrs. Stanford. 

CIMA President David Stanford attended the event as the Chief Guest. In his address, he reminded the students and the new members of the global reach they now have as Chartered Global Management Accountants (CGMA), after CIMA and the American CPAs forming the Association that represents 650,000 members and students across 179 countries. He also spoke of the global challenges they are called upon to address: “Your careers will take you in all sorts of different directions – different countries, different sectors, and different employers. But whatever you do, you’ll do it in a world which is changing faster than at any point during my entire career; faster, in fact, than at any point since the industrial revolution. And none of us, whoever we are, wherever we live, whatever we do, are immune to these challenges.” The challenges are threefold; a drop in people’s trust of organisations, the need for enhanced cyber-security, and ‘the march of technology’. Stanford observed that in a time of fake news and misinformation, they, as professionals, should be concerned by how people form their beliefs because building trust is one of the four Global Management Accounting Principles (GMAP).

Technology, and more specifically, big data and the internet, are priceless resources for business, expanding customer bases, improving efficiency and allowing better research. Big data, with access to data from every part of a business, can be used to provide a better service to clients and to facilitate more efficient working practices. With the avenues this opens, however, comes the risk of abuse. Cybercrime is accelerating at a rate that both regulation and individual skills are challenged to keep pace with. 

The CIMA President pointed out, however, that management accountants are in a unique position to help, looking at the big picture, and proactively mitigating potentially dangerous trends. He reminded those gathered of their responsibility to ensure that boards are fully aware of cyber-risk and to ensure that a company’s cyber-security strategy is aligned with its overall business strategy.

Even in the case of disruption to the profession (caused by automation) as it currently exists, he highlighted the value of that high-level thinking, and the human element, saying, “We’ll also be vital to the other side of things. The jobs that robots won’t be able to do; the skills such as leadership, communication and strategic thinking… As management accountants, we’re the human face of numbers. We know that columns on spreadsheets have a real-world impact. But numbers aren’t everything. Because those challenges I described – they’re also people problems. They come from people. They affect people. And they can only be solved by people.”

In keeping with that philosophy of valuing people, Yaqub too reminded the students and new members of their greater responsibility and the importance of their contribution: “Remember, we also have a responsibility to our communities, and to our world, because impact can only happen when brilliant minds like you decide to become engaged.”

Representing the latest generation of a rich legacy of CIMA’s management accountants in Sri Lanka, the new CGMAs will be called upon to create business success, in the words of David Stanford, ‘increasing trust, opportunity and prosperity for everybody’.

Find out more about the CIMA qualification today as the new window for registration is now open. Contact our CIMA Colombo office on 0112503880 (Ext. 260) or email colombo@aicpa-cima.com for more information. 



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