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CA Sri Lanka: Skilled, knowledgeable and employable Chartered Accountants for the local and international business community

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Excerpts from an interview with CA Sri Lanka Chief Executive Officer Dulani Fernando

The Institute of Chartered Accountants of Sri Lanka (CA Sri Lanka) is the national, premium body that produces Chartered Accountants in Sri Lanka. The Institute was formed by an Act of Parliament No. 23 of 1959 and has a rich history of 63 years. Moreover, the Institute is the sole authority to promulgate auditing and accounting standards in Sri Lanka. Over 63 years, the institute has produced more than 8000 Chartered Accountants and currently has around 30,000 students who are aspiring to become professional Chartered Accountants.

“What makes our Chartered Accountants unique is that the qualification provided by CA Sri Lanka does not cater only to finance. Our scope, and the whole process of becoming a Chartered Accountant at CA Sri Lanka, is well-planned. Our curriculum is constantly updated keeping abreast market trends and global skill requirements,” says CA Sri Lanka’s Chief Executive Dulani Fernando.

“We constantly check on the market requirements and if changes need to be made in the syllabus, we do the required updates to remain relevant and keep abreast with the business community’s requirements. As a result, Chartered Accountants are employable across the globe and to date hold many prestigious roles in both Sri Lanka and overseas,” she says.

CA Sri Lanka’s Chartered Accountant qualification has four stages—Business Level 1 and 2, Corporate level and the final stage which is referred to as the Strategic level. A student who is focused on their studies and training can easily complete the exams and be a Chartered Accountant in three years, says Fernando. A three-year training period which goes hand-in-hand with the academics of the course adds value to the Chartered qualification. The training can take place in practicing (audit) or non-audit organisations, where students will put into practice what they learn for their exams. At present CA Sri Lanka has more than 400 training partners across many parts of Sri Lanka. Our focused training that supports the technical knowledge we inculcate in our students, provide a unique success factor in the Chartered Accountants we produce.

An aspiring Chartered Accountant is also provided skills in business communication and Information Technology (IT) during the four stages of the course. Our Business Communication exams are not limited to answering question papers. We provide the skills and knowledge to improve communication and other soft skills as well.”

Chartered Accountants produced by CA Sri Lanka are well recognized across the globe. Today, around 35 per cent of CA Sri Lanka members are currently holding high positions overseas, she adds.

“I am proud to say, that all our Chartered Accountants up to date are employed and hold high positions. Chartered Accountants are not limited to being number crunchers. Our unique syllabus, training and the skills we provide to our members gives them the required holistic knowledge to conquer the Corporate world, not only in the world of Finance but also as CEO’s, Directors and Entrepreneurs,” says Fernando.

Over the years, we have seen a high number of Chartered Accountants going overseas given the high demand the CA Sri Lanka qualification has in the global market. In addition to this, we have also signed MoUs with other member bodies, including the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICEAW), Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand, CPA Ireland, CPA Australia, the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) and the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA) where our members have reciprocal arrangements with those Institutes.

A few years back CA Sri Lanka signed a unique MoU with the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW) where our CA students can opt to do the final stage papers in ICAEW instead of the CA Sri Lanka Chartered papers and obtain membership in both institutions. Sri Lanka is the only country to enjoy such a benefit, so our student should make the most of this offer.

According to Fernando, everyone, regardless of their academic or professional background needs to have knowledge in finance, as it will help them to move forward in their career or business. With this in mind, and also recognising that not all students want or need to become qualified Chartered Accountants, CA Sri Lanka provides exit roots for students who do not wish to complete the full Chartered examinations.

Such aspiring members can become a Certified Business Accountant (CBA) after completing the first 2 stages, i.e. Business level 1 and 2. A person holding the CBA certificate can be employed as a Finance Executive in a large organisation or be an Accountant / Finance Manager in the SME sector. Similarly, an aspiring member who wishes to exit from the examination route after completing the Business level and Corporate level can become a Certified Corporate Accountant (CCA), who can find employment as an Accountant or Finance Manager.

“Our students are our strength and it is important that we provide the necessary infrastructure so that they can complete their exams without any issues. For this reason, CA Sri Lanka invests a lot of resources and effort into ensuring we offer the best facilities and services to our students. Each CA level is supported by high quality study packs that are produced in collaboration with BPP UK, which is one of the most accepted organisations for producing study packs. We also provide free webinars through the CA Sri Lanka YouTube channel covering learning material for the entire syllabus. There are many students who get through the exams purely by the use of our study packs and webinars,” Fernando says.

As a responsible organisation that is committed to doing our part to our community and Country we offer scholarships to students who are interested in pursuing a career in Finance but is not able to do so due to financial constraints. Further more, to encourage the top performers at the G.C.E. A/L exams, we offer scholarships to students both in the Commerce and non commerce streams.

“We have many success stories of less fortunate students becoming highly successful Chartered Accountants in Sri Lanka, after making full usage of the scholarships CA Sri Lanka offers. Now they help others who are less fortunate to become Chartered Accountants, promoting the social responsibility we value as responsible corporate citizens” Fernando says.

Aside from its CA qualification CA Sri Lanka offers a BSc. (Applied Accounting) General/Special degree through our degree school, Scholars of Accounting and Business (SAB Campus). We recently moved the degree awarding Campus to a new location to cater to the increase in demand and to provide better facilities to our undergraduates. CA Sri Lanka also offers a direct pathway to those students who complete the degree from the SAB Campus where they get exempted from the first three stages of the Chartered examinations and are required to only successfully complete the final stage examinations to become a Chartered Accountant.

Fernando has a long history with CA Sri Lanka, and a career that spans over two decades. She became a Chartered Accountant around 23 years ago and was trained at an audit firm whilst studying for the CA qualification. She then worked in the mercantile sector for many years and took up the opportunity to become the CEO of CA Sri Lanka nearly four years ago.

“It is a role that is very close to my heart, because I returned to the place that gave me the foundation to my career. What I have achieved today in my career is solely because of the Chartered qualification I obtained from CA Sri Lanka. The skills, confidence, and knowledge I got by becoming a Chartered Accountant gave me many opportunities, where I was privileged to work for reputed MNC’s and local organisations, through out my career,” Fernando says.

Chartered Accountants are required to continue their professional development even after they become a member to ensure continuous upskilling. CA Sri Lanka offers many continuous professional development programs (CPD) to our members to enable them to remain relevant.

In her message to potential CA Sri Lanka students, Fernando urges the students to plan what they want to do and dream big. Students should start planning their careers while preparing for their G.C.E O/L or A/L exams so that the choices they make complement the career they desire.

“Everyone has dreams and ambitions for the future, and we aspire to be successful people in the community,” she says.

“We at CA Sri Lanka value our students’ future. Students who aspire a career in finance, IT, legal, HR, Engineering or even Medicine will benefit immensely by having some knowledge in finance. That’s why we offer the option to students where they can opt to complete all the exams and training and become a Chartered Accountant or take the exit routes we offer and specialize in selected areas.



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Supreme Court Judge, President of the Appeal Court, Appeal Court Justice took oath before President

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(pic PMD)

Justice K. P. Fernando, President of the Court of Appeal took oath as a Supreme Court Judge before President Ranil Wickremesinghe this morning (06) at the President’s House in Fort.

Court of Appeal Justice Mr. Nissanka Bandula Karunaratne took oath as the President of the Court of Appeal while High Court Judge M.A.R. Marikkar was also sworn in as a Judge of the Court of Appeal before President Ranil Wickremesinghe.

Minister of Justice Wijayadasa Rajapaksha, Secretary to the President Mr. Saman Ekanayake, Commanders of the Tri Forces and other officials attended this event.

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Strong earthquake hits south-eastern Turkey near Syria border

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BBC reported that a powerful earthquake has hit Gaziantep in south-eastern Turkey, near the border with Syria.

The US Geological Survey said the 7.8 magnitude tremor struck at 04:17 local time (01:17 GMT) at a depth of 17.9km (11 miles) near the city of Gaziantep.

The quake was felt in the capital Ankara and other Turkish cities, and also across the region.

Reports are coming in that several buildings have collapsed, and a number of people may be trapped.

A BBC Turkish correspondent in Diyarbakir reports that a shopping mall in the city collapsed.

Rushdi Abualouf, a BBC producer in the Gaza Strip, said there was about 45 seconds of shaking in the house he was staying in.

Turkish seismologists estimated the strength of the quake to be 7.4 magnitude.

They said that a second tremor hit the region just minutes later.

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13 A: Political parties miss Ranil’s Feb. 04 deadline for submitting their proposals

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Udaya compares constitutional threat with Indonesian crisis in late ’90s

By Shamindra Ferdinando

The government hasn’t received proposals from political parties regarding President Ranil Wickremesinghe’s decision to implement the 13th Amendment to the Constitution fully.

President Wickremesinghe, on January 26, requested party leaders to furnish their suggestions, if any, by Feb. 04 as he intended to brief Parliament on Feb. 08 as regards the implementation of land and police powers.

Political parties, represented in Parliament, had not responded to President Wickremesinghe’s request so far, authoritative sources told The Island. Responding to another query, sources said that the President’s Office hadn’t received proposals in support of President Wickremesinghe’s declaration or against it.

Several political parties, including the main Opposition Samagi Jana Balavegaya (SJB) and the Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP) spurned the President’s invitation.

Having declared his intention to fully implement the 13th Amendment to the Constitution, enacted in Nov. 1987, during Thai Pongal celebrations, in Jaffna, on January 15th, 2023, President Wickremesinghe warned party leaders on January 26 he would go ahead with plans unless the parliament repealed it. Both declarations were made in the presence of Prime Minister Dinesh Gunawardena.

Sources noted that though several political parties declared opposition and some issued statements supportive of the President’s move, they haven’t submitted proposals in writing.

President Wickremesinghe prorogued Parliament, on January 27, the day after setting Feb. 04 as the deadline for political parties to submit proposals. The new session of Parliament begins on Feb. 08.Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP) General Secretary, Sagara Kariyawasam, MP, told The Island that the decision to fully implement the controversial amendment shouldn’t be taken hastily.

“We are certainly not opposed to the devolution of power. However, we cannot under any circumstances support an agenda that may cause chaos,” National List MP said.

The Attorney-at-Law said so when The Island asked him whether the ruling party submitted its proposals to President Wickremesinghe.The lawmaker said that there was no requirement to do so as he on behalf of the SLPP explained to the January 26 meeting chaired by President Wickremesinghe why 13th Amendment shouldn’t be fully implemented without examining the ground situation.

“Seven past Presidents didn’t do that. Why didn’t they do so? We’ll have to study why they refrained from granting police and land powers in spite of them being part of that Amendment. If the reasons that compelled them not to do so no longer exist, we can consider the proposals,” lawmaker Kariyawasam said.

Declaring SLPP’s commitment to maximum possible devolution, MP Kariyawasam warned of dire consequences if decisions were made on the basis of language and religion.The SLPP that secured 145 seats at the last general election remains the largest party in parliament though over two dozen MPs quit the government group.

MP Kariyawasam emphasized that they couldn’t act recklessly on the issue at hand.Those who quit the SLPP parliamentary group, too, have strongly opposed the full implementation of the 13th Amendment. Pivithuru Hela Urumaya (PHU) leader Udaya Gammanpila, MP, compared the developing crisis here with Western project that divided Indonesia in the late 90s.Attorney-at-Law Gammanpila explained how Western countries exploited the economic crisis in Indonesia to compel Jakarta to grant independence to East Timor.

Addressing a public rally at Dehiwela on Feb. 02  in support of Nidahas Janatha Sandhanaya contesting March 09 Local Government polls, former Power and Energy Minister said that the challenge faced by Sri Lanka owing to the continuing balance of payments and debt crises was very much similar to the circumstances leading to East Timor independence.

The 13th Amendment would split Sri Lanka on ethnic lines, the Colombo District MP warned.The MP recalled how external powers created an environment that compelled Indonesian President Suharto to resign in May 1998 to pave the way for Megawati Setiawati Sukarnoputri to win the next presidential election. The MP said that Sukarnoputri granted independence to East Timor.

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