ACCA to accelerate growth in Sri Lankan market

Tuesday, 11 June 2013 00:01 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

ACCA, with a long history of over 100 years, and with its presence in Sri Lanka since 2002, which has had an exponential growth rate of 20% in its students each year, is now gearing themselves for an even larger market share in Sri Lanka.

Speaking of the initiatives due to take place, Nilusha Ranasinghe, Head of ACCA Sri Lanka, stated that it was evident from the beginning that the Sri Lankan market understood the value of ACCA as a fully fledged finance and accounting qualification which is not sector driven.

Explaining the uniqueness of the qualification she said: “The strength lies in its members and global network that is ahead of any other financial qualification that is presently available in the Sri Lankan Market. In ACCA within two and a half years, students can obtain a degree and a professional qualification that is well recognised by both the industry and employers. The qualification gives a complete overview of accounting, as our syllabus covers management accounting, financial management, strategy, financial reporting, auditing, law, taxation, risk, ethics and corporate governance. ACCA therefore is application, evaluation, analysis and knowledge. We also encourage our students to work whilst studying as we believe in the 3 Es – Exam, Ethics and Experience. ACCA is also the first and only accounting body to adopt International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS), and to come up with computer based exams. We have a fully-fledged website which is very useful to the students and are also on Facebook which indicates we not only talk to students but listen to them too.”

Ranasinghe outlined that ACCA has many plans in expanding its reach to all the key regions of Sri Lanka. ACCA’s accredited tuition providers currently consists of one Platinum status tuition provider and three Gold status tuition providers in Colombo as well as tuition providers in both Kandy and Jaffna. She pointed out that the current tuition providers have high pass rates for most of the ACCA subjects which are above global rates as well as having many prize winners.

She stated that these results were due to not only the commitment of the relevant institutes but also to the stringent high standards that ACCA deemed them to maintain. These include having the right environment, systems and processes to monitor student performance, a lecturer team consisting of professionally qualified personnel with many years of experience of preparing students for professional examinations, as well as the ability to deliver high pass rates each year. This is the kind of high calibre institutes that ACCA we will be looking for in their search to expand reach within Sri Lanka this year.

Speaking of the role of finance professional in the future and the steps ACCA has taken to cater to this need, Ranasinghe stated: “Accountants of today are no more a back office function; but are the driving force of an organisation, facing multiple demands as partners of business operations. Apart from the need to behave and act ethically and professionally, financial management and financial analysis are seen as particularly high-impact areas, followed closely by governance, risk, control, strategic management accounting, corporate reporting, internal audit, tax advice and planning.

“For ACCA students and members, these competencies are inbuilt into the ACCA Qualification. The framework has been prepared so that finance professionals and tuition providers are clear about the key skills demanded and has been designed to equip aspiring finance leaders with the expertise they need and addresses everything that a CEO might reasonably expect a finance leader to be able to handle.”

Talking about the way forward for ACCA Sri Lanka, Ranasinghe stated: “We have been focusing on strengthening our proposition where ACCA has been underrepresented in recent years, with a range of market-specific initiatives to drive awareness and adoption of ACCA. This has included developing positioning which shows how the ACCA qualification creates ‘the complete finance professional,’ with the unrivalled rounded skills and capabilities needed by today’s corporates.

“We know that there is a shortage of qualified accountants in Sri Lanka and that there continues to be a demand for finance professionals with globally recognised skills and expertise. With a qualification suited to any employment sector and our strong global footprint, we believe ACCA is best placed to meet that demand. However, in this journey of recruitment we are very keen to attract able students into ACCA and support their conversion through to membership. A range of initiatives, aimed at boosting conversion to membership will be introduced during this year.”