Challenges facing professional accountancy bodies

Monday, 28 April 2014 00:00 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

Professional organisations and associations in accountancy are critical for ensuring the quality of financial reporting, safeguarding the integrity of financial reporting, flow of ideas within the profession, and the development of their members to maintain a strong accountancy profession that advocates for the needs of investors and the general public said Commercial Bank of Ceylon Chairman Dinesh Weerakkody speaking at the AAT Business School Graduation Ceremony in Colombo. Weerakkody said accountancy bodies, more than ever, need to ensure their members remain employable during their working life. Therefore employability skills should be included in the curriculum in consultation with the stakeholders in order for their members to cope with the change and to remain relevant during their working life. Therefore the curriculum of all bodies will need regular modification. Professional bodies should also teach self development skills to their members - teaching technical skills is not sufficient, educational institutions should be concerned with their students’ aptitude to learn, by helping them to develop self-improvement skills. By doing this accountancy graduates would be able to continuously develop their skills and aptitudes that would help them to cope with the changes that would occur in the future. Accountancy bodies according to Weerakkody also need to develop and enrich the work experience as part of a program of study, attaching the work experience to the conventional program, making generic modules available to students and developing an additional program that is mostly based on the workplace needs would help students and members to deliver on the job, real time. Further he said the work experience could be additional to the conventional program, like sandwich programs and putting the student through an internship for a short period. However by creating incentives for work-based experience through a year-long placement connected to the program, offering extra-credits for part-time work and voluntary work could be made mandatory to enrich the learning experience he said. Weerakkody in conclusion said achieving success on all these fronts will drive continued recognition by society of the value of professional accountants in business and finally the success of the accountancy profession as a whole.