ACCA AGM highlights its continued efforts in creating high calibre accountancy processionals

Monday, 23 September 2013 00:52 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

The Annual General Meeting of the premier accounting body, the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA), was held recently at the Cinnamon Grand in Colombo. Horana Plantations Managing Director and CEO Rajiv Casie Chitty was elected as head for yet another year (2013/2014). Dhanushka Samarasinghe will continue as Vice President for year 2013/2014. The rest of the Executive Committee selected for the year 2013/2014 comprised of Nandika Buddhipala, Dilshan Rodrigo, B.H.S. Jayawardena, Cyril Mundy, Kumudini Gunatilleka, Irshad Thameem, Adrian Perera, Channa De Silva, Nelum Jayawardena, Supul Wijesinghe, Jehan Perinpanayagam and Nisreen Rehmanjee. ACCA has confidently taken up the challenge to cater to the increasing demand for fully fledged accountancy professionals within the industry. In 2012, a key decision was made to gear all activities towards the strategic priority of ACCA, which is to be universally recognised in all sectors as a leading global professional accountancy body in reputation, influence and size. “The ACCA qualification has had a tremendous increase and currently consists of over 3000 students and affiliates. Sri Lanka has now grown from a member driven market to a growth market .Employers have now begun to recognize the value of the qualification and the demand for ACCA qualified members has increased to such an extent that it is a challenge to keep pace with the demand,” ACCA President Casie Chitty expressed. Ruchera Jayawardena Business Development Manager – Employers, ACCA Sri Lanka outlined some of the key initiatives undertaken by ACCA during the past year in respect to achieving its longstanding plan. Jayawardena listed the mentoring programs through ACCA and affirmed that this year’s Sustainability Awards had the largest turnout since inception. Several successful breakfast meetings were organized on key industry topics such as ‘risk and reward’ and ‘transition to integrated reporting’. A panel discussion was also held on the Sri Lankan Capital Market. ACCA also established affiliations with the University of Colombo and Kelaniya. Successful student activities consisted of a prize winner’s ceremony, student conference and the Corporate Race organised in collaboration with leading organizations. During the year, Approved Employer – Platinum Status was awarded to employers such as WNS, Ernest and Young, Mercury Institute and Blue Ocean Holdings; while the Approved Employer – Gold Status was awarded to Standard Charted Bank and Hayleys Business Solutions. Sri Lanka also had the pleasure of hosting several dignitaries from ACCA headquarters as well as regional representatives. These included ACCA Director Neil Stevenson, ACCA Marketing Director Sam Turnbill, MENASA Regional Head of Education Afra Sajjad and Director Emerging Markets Asia, Lucia Real Martin. Stevenson visited Sri Lanka in October last year and made a presentation on ‘Accounting skills needed for the profession and its future and development’ at ACCA’s Platinum approved Employer HSBC Securities Services. He also visited WNS and AMBA Research during his visit. Turnbill also hosted a workshop on ‘How to sell ACCA’. Dr. Sajjad’s visit highlighted the direction of all activities towards capacity building and learning, where a series of Learning Providers Forums were held, with a large participation from all the ACCA tuition providers in Sri Lanka. “Development over the past year reinforces our conviction that our strategy is on the right course, and we will continue to devote ourselves to the interests of our students, members, employees and the wider society in which we operate,” Jayawardena said. Well-known economist Indrajit Coomaraswamy also made a presentation at the AGM on the challenges faced by Sri Lanka and methodologies on how these could best be overcome.