ICASL pioneers e-accountancy learning products

Tuesday, 18 January 2011 00:04 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

Intake set to double; launches new diploma

By Sunimalee Dias

The country’s accounting professionals are set to double in the future along with technological advances adopted in its teaching methods pioneered by the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Sri Lanka (ICASL). This was highlighted during the e-launch of the institute’s high-end ICT based products.

This was launched alongside the Diploma in Computer Based Accounting together with their strategic partner at the event the Information and Communication Technology Agency (ICTA) held at the ICASL auditorium in Colombo.

ICASL President Sujeewa Mudalige said the institute was engaged in ensuring that IT was tested at all levels in a bid to ensure all its members were competent and possess the right IT skills required. “IT and ethics are part of the factors taken into account when the revision of the syllabi is carried out,” he said.

Plans are underway to attracting double the current capacity of students from its present 8,000 to at least 16,000.

Due to the huge demand for the programmes conducted at the ICASL, the institute is set to cater to this by increasing its intake from the provinces as well, Mudalige said.

In the future as well the institute is set to work together with the Sri Jayewardenepura University to upgrade accounting in Sri Lanka.

The e-launch saw the unveiling of the Multimedia Learning Guides (MMLG), the Online Course Management System (OCMS) and the Library System, two of which won Special Merit awards at the e-Swabhimani 2010 award ceremony.

In addition, the institute also launched its Professional Diploma in Computer Based Accounting, conducted by the IT Training Division of the ICASL in collaboration with the Faculty of Management of the University of Sri Jayewardenepura. The diploma targets students keen on pursuing a career in accounting with the aid of software tools.

The aim of the new e-products is to provide an alternative platform to tuition classes especially for students who do not have easy access to such classes and also for students who cannot afford extra classes. This system also offers discussion forums and chat facilities for students to collaborate and share ideas with each other.

The institute believes that their efforts will usher in the development of the knowledge pool of the country by bridging the gap between accounting and IT fields.

Guest of Honour, Sri Jayewardenepura University Management Faculty Dean Prof. Sampath Amaratunga addressing the gathering said the Department of Accounting at the Faculty was the best in field of management with an intake of 1,200 and a one hundred percent demand from the local job market.

Further, he pointed out they were able to achieve 80% employability at the time the students graduated.

He commended the ICASL development in providing skilled professionals and expected both institutes to work together.

At present the Department of Accounting has launched the Computer Based Accounting Diploma at the Faculty carried out in collaboration with ICASL.

Special Guest on the occasion ICTA CEO Reshan Dewapura noting the long drawn relationship between the two organisations observed that today it was the ICT BPO business that was fast attracting outsourcing from the financial and accounting professionals.

It was estimated that the IT BPO workforce needed to grow by about 100,000. In addition, the targets set for the country was to achieve US$ 1 billion from the sector by 2015 having already achieved in becoming a US$ 375 million business over the last five years. This sector is currently the country’s fifth largest foreign exchange earner.

ICTA hopes to achieve its other targets of increasing ICT literacy to over 50% which is currently at around 30%; implement more e-governance; envision growth in ICT industry; provide services in e-health; and become the greatest contributor to the national economy.

ICASL ICT products launched

The Multimedia Learning Guides (MMLG) and the Online Course Management System (OCMS) products won the Special Merit Award jointly at the e-Swabhimani 2010 – the national best e-Content awards ceremony organised by the ICTA.

MMLG is a project to make the entry level Chartered Accounting Course – namely the Certificate in Business and Accounting Level I much more appealing to its students, by providing complementary study material in the form of Multimedia DVDs along with the conventional study packs.

Each set of study packs will be accompanied by a DVD which will comprise of study material in a multitude of formats such as text, illustrations, animations, video clips of lectures, real life video clips, audio clips, exercises and quizzes.

The OCMS ensures the delivery of the Certificate in Business and Accounting level courses online via the ICASL Website to ICASL students and the general public. The institute is also committed towards carrying out an awareness campaign to promote the OCMS facility for students from rural areas who do not enjoy easy access to tuition classes.  The Library System manages routine library operations such as cataloguing, circulations, reservations patron management, online book searching, reservations and payment of fines which will be accessible via the ICASL website. Among other services offered by the Library System is the integration with RFID Card readers, which enables the patrons to use their ICASL ID cards as the Library Card.

The Professional Diploma in Computer Based Accounting is a one year course that will be conducted over two semesters encompassing eight modules of study and a mini project on accounting software development. Introduction to computer applications, computer based accounting, database management systems, multimedia tools for presentations, integrated computer application for accounting, enterprise resource planning, computer security and integrated web applications for accounting are the modules that will be comprehended in the course.