ICASL and USJ pledge to develop accounting education in Sri Lanka

Saturday, 15 January 2011 00:12 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

The Institute of Chartered Accountants of Sri Lanka (ICASL) and the Department of Accounting (DA) of the University of Sri Jayewardenepura (USJ) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on 12 January to develop the accounting education in the country through the collaboration of accounting academia and practitioners.

Following the signing of the MoU, the Institute and the Department will also cooperate in a spirit of mutual understanding and to develop closer relationships of goodwill and friendship between the two bodies.

ICASL President Sujeewa Mudalige commenting on the agreement with the USJ emphasised that apart from the fact that the institute was the largest tertiary education establishment in the country outside the university system with a student base of over 35,000, incidentally a significant number of students from the University of Sri Jayewardenepura and specifically from the Department of Accountancy are following the chartered accountancy course at ICASL.

“Many of our members are alumni of the University of Sri Jayewardenepura and we have had a long standing mutually beneficial relationship. Another common feature is that both institutions attract the brightest students after Advanced Levels who are eager to follow a career in accountancy either in academia or in business.”  

“As today’s generation of chartered accountants, we have a responsibility to future generations to help shape both our profession and this great Institute, so that those who follow us will benefit in the same way that we do today. I would like to say that their future is as critical to our profession going forward as it was in the past. We are a strong and relevant profession. Strong in the integrity of our evidence-based decision-making and relevant in our influence and leadership across all sectors of the economy and the MOU with the USJ will only further provide opportunities to students who are interested to take up a career in accountancy,” Mudalige said.

Vice Chancellor of the University of Sri Jayewardenepura Dr. N.L.A. Karunaratna said: “The university is pleased to be associated with ICASL, which is the pioneering national professional accounting body.”

The Vice Chancellor emphasised the fact that the Department of Accounting, which is the pioneer in academic accounting education in the country by offering the B.Sc. Accounting (Special) Degree Programme in 1992, has worked very closely with accounting professional bodies from its inception and expressed confidence that this association would further strengthen the cause to work closely with the accounting practitioners for the advancement of the accounting profession in the country.

Dr. Karunaratna also noted that the partnership with the institute would definitely be a stepping stone for the long term professional development of all students studying accountancy.  Meanwhile, the signing of the MoU will result in the DA offering its services of its academic staff as resource personnel in the conduct of academic and professional activities of ICASL such as curriculum and course material development and other activities of similar nature, and vice-versa.

The agreement will also see both the ICASL and the DA jointly sharing the resources of the two institutions including facilities available at the computer laboratories, language laboratories and libraries.

The institute, which is the national body of accountants formed by an Act of Parliament in 1959, will also examine the possibility of granting exemptions on a subject basis for the benefit of students following the BSc. Accounting (Special) Degree Programme at the USJ.

Meanwhile, the DA will explore the possibility of providing exemptions to ICASL students and members in a distance mode degree (general) programme that would be introduced in the future.

Both the department and the institute will explore the possibility of organizing a joint Master’s Degree Programme in Accounting which will benefit the department’s graduates and members of the ICASL.

Under the agreement, the DA and ICASL will explore the possibility of jointly conducting an IT based accounting diploma programme, while both bodies will also be tasked with organising an annual international research conference in accounting.

Following the agreement, ICASL will also consider the possibility of awarding scholarships to members of the academic staff of the Department of Accounting for doctoral level studies in the subject areas of accounting and financial management.

ICASL to woo students at EDEX Expo 2011

The Institute of Chartered Accountants of Sri Lanka (ICASL) will mark its presence at the eighth EDEX Expo, the pioneering higher education and careers exhibition later this month, in its attempt to woo school leavers to join the institute and pursue a professional career in accountancy.

The ICASL, which is the country’s national professional Accounting body is also the  

Gold sponsor at the EDEX Expo 2011 scheduled to be held on 22, 23 and 24 January at BMICH Colombo and on 26 and 27 January in Kandy.

The institute, which is the largest tertiary education establishment in the country, outside the university system, with a student base of 36,000, promotes business, finance and management studies in Sri Lanka, ensuring a high level of professional competence among its 4200 members and students.

The institute will use its stall at the exhibition to articulate the importance of obtaining the globally recognised ICASL qualification to stall visitors, while especially encouraging students both from commerce and non-commerce streams to pursue studies in the accountancy sphere at an affordable rate.

The ICASL qualification which is well recognized both locally and internationally,  gives the student a thorough understanding on key subjects related to accounting such as accounting and finance, assurance and related services, performance measurement and reporting, strategic business management and taxation and legal services which are key elements that sharpens and nurtures the capabilities of a competent accountant.

The most important and unique feature of the ICASL qualification is the three-year practical training period that a student has to undergo during his course of study.

ICASL contributes significantly to the country’s national development in terms of the Accounting Profession and influences national policy formulation in areas related to the accountancy profession.

According to ICASL President Sujeewa Mudalige, accountants play a major role in most of the large companies in Sri Lanka with approximately 70 per cent from the top 50 companies listed in the Colombo Stock Exchange having at least one member from the ICASL in their Board.

He also emphasised that employment opportunities were increasing for chartered accountants in all sectors of the economy. “Chartered accountants are in high demand right now and play a pivotal role in shaping the nation’s economic outlook. ICASL qualified accountants also play a major role in some of the leading banking and insurance companies in the world,” he added.