ACCA emphasises on accountability and public value

Monday, 16 June 2014 00:00 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

With professional accountants working in positions of strategic or functional leadership for businesses and governments worldwide, accountants and their professional bodies have a central role in protecting the public interest and delivering public value. ACCA is a qualification that comes with an inbuilt standard of excellence in Corporate Governance. Hence ACCA finance professionals are best placed to give advice in making sound investment decisions. With multi-sector competencies inbuilt into the qualification, ACCA develops Complete Finance Professionals who are geared to handle the diversity of the financial sector. As a global organisation, ACCA is also ideally placed to advise and support the profession, and influence governments, regulators and employers to act in the public interest to promoting responsible and ethical business and supporting enhanced global economic performance. They have been actively campaigning for excellence and rigor in practice and have ensured that their members adopt the highest standards of practice and ethical conduct to enable them to act in the public interest. Outlining her thoughts on this factor ACCA member Uresha Walpitagama Finance Manager at the Ministry of Finance stated, “Accountants need to be committed to bringing integrity to public life and trained to provide strategic insight and practical knowledge. For the past few years, with the markets and businesses going through economic and financial uncertainty, businesses have relied on accountants and finance professionals more than ever before to provide advice that leads to sustainable business growth and the pursuit of new, ethical opportunities. For accountants this means stepping in to make a positive difference to public life, rather than acting for purely commercial reasons. ACCA’s qualifications include many key elements that build such competencies which include Professionalism and ethics, Corporate reporting, Sustainable management accounting, Strategy and innovation and Audit and assurance. Endorsing similar sentiments another ACCA member, Central Bank Assistant Director Sharmini Abeysirigunawardena said, “The public sector is developing in all sorts of ways in terms of new partnership models, shared services and the increasing provision of public services by the private sector. This means that the business environment is changing ever more quickly and the technical demands made of accountants in business, practice and the public sector are increasing all the time. In such a scenario, corporate governance and ethics is of such importance and is the core to both a business and the society in which it operates, where management must reflect accountability for their actions. “Therefore, I commend ACCA on being the first accounting body to incorporate an ethics module into their curriculum. This has lead to ACCA developing a global supply of professionally qualified accountants who are trained to maintain a high standard in good governance, ethics and professionalism, which in turn has developed their members to bein demand by employers and respected by the wider public.” Adding to these comments, World Bank Senior Financial Management specialist and ACCA member Jiwanka Wickramasinghe affirmed that, “Organisations today have come to realise that meeting stakeholder expectations is as necessary a condition as the need to achieve overall strategic business objectives. As this trend grows, so, too, will the role of accountants and auditors. They will have to play a leading role by using their skills to improve quality and facilitate sound business decisions in areas such as investment appraisal, budgeting, strategic planning, linking sustainability initiatives to company strategy, evaluating risks and opportunities, and providing measurement. ACCA is one whose qualification places much emphasis in this area.This is further demonstrated through their sustainability reporting awards that is highly respected by the business community in Sri Lanka.” ACCA currently plays a key role in working with governments and academics, seeking to build capacity and support economies across the world by promoting access to finance in all sectors, and developing accountants prepared for business.