You belong to a different and worthy brand of accounting practioners
Excerpts of speech make by Professor K B Mangala Fonseka, Department of Accounting of the University of Sri Jayewardenepura; Visiting Faculty of the Postgraduate Institute of Management
Having been associated with CMA Sri Lanka in the sphere of enriching the academic standards of the CMA Sri Lanka Study Programme, I am grateful to the President CMA and its Governing Council for inviting me to this important occasion of its academic calendar.
Firstly, a few words of advice to the new CMA members, passed finalists and others who are in different stages of completion of the study programme, and secondly, a few general comments about CMA Sri Lanka.
Congratulations to the new Members who joined the fold of CMA Sri Lanka, the National Professional Management Accounting Institution in Sri Lanka. You can be proud of your achievement as the CMA study programme is comparable with many other local and foreign professional accounting programmes in terms of its breadth and depth of its coverage and its rigor. This is evident by the full and part exemptions that the programme continues to receive from local and foreign academic and professional bodies.
New members, in this you may have to play an important role as ambassadors who propagate the CMA Sri Lanka qualification by way of showing the corporate world that you belong to a different and worthy brand of accounting practioners. CMA Sri Lanka would like you to demonstrate it by the way you conduct yourself in your workplace, present your views at a forum, negotiate at a business meeting, argue and defend your case and stand vehemently for what is just and fair.
It would also like you to uphold the highest ideals and morals in a fast deteriorating and crumbling society and thereby attempt to stem the rot to the extent that you possibly could.
New members, I am aware that this is a tall order. But, if you decide to tread this path which will glorify you as well as the CMA Sri Lanka it will be necessary for you to be engaged in a continuous process of self development. For this purpose I suggest to you to make a conscious effort to enhance your conceptualization and communication skills as well as improving your knowledge on current affairs and contemporary topics in Accounting. All this will add finesse to the qualification that you have just acquired and make you a balanced and wholesome professional. Our country is badly in need of accounting professionals of that breed.
I now turn to those who are presently in different stages leading to the CMA full qualification. As you are already aware the syllabi revision of 2011has introduced a number of features that has enriched the study programme and made it further comply with academic and professional accounting educational requirements that are being stipulated by standard setting institutions such as the International Federation of Accountants (IFAC).
The features include introduction of (a) exit points at different levels of the study programme, (b) skill courses in the areas of Business Communication Skills and Information Technology and (c) higher doses of subject areas of topical interest such as Business Ethics, Corporate Governance, Managing Risk and International Corporate Finance. Provision is available for those who come from remote areas of the country to initially study in either Sinhala or Tamil media and join the English stream at the managerial level of the study programme.
The skill courses are expected help such students gain proficiency in the English Language. Further, in keeping with the current trends, evaluation criteria of Objective Test Questions (i.e. MCQs and short questions) will be introduced at the Foundation Level. Thus, candidates will be required to answer fifty MCQ type and short questions in a two hour time slot for each of the Foundation Level subjects.
They will be conducted under normal examination conditions. The study programme, with focus on enhancing the capabilities and competencies of students carries a strong Sri Lankan flavor on the canvass of the larger global scenario termed Glocalized-outlook in the CMA Sri Lanka programme brochure.
Dear students, we hope that you will make best use of the new study programme. Though a painstaking voyage it is worth traversing as completion of the programme and the training requirements will transform you to a resourceful Management Accounting professional who could sit comfortably in any work environment and make a positive contribution. I also urge you to embark on your studies with a genuine love to gain new knowledge, skills and attitudes and not merely to pass a few examinations in order to receive a piece of paper called the certificate. We regret to observe that such shallow pursuits are the order of the day. They result in half baked “products” with a string of qualifications after their names but without much substance to contribute. They turn out to be liabilities more than assets to organizations. Therefore, dear students, study systematically and consistently with a conviction that knowledge is power. Excellent results will follow as a natural outcome.
Now, on to a few general comments which I hope will of relevance. Fuelled by the winds of globalization that surround us we are in the age of organizations. The evolving socio-economic and political changes taking place both locally and globally give rise to new organizations which grow and consolidate themselves if there is a societal need that they could fulfill. I contend that CMA Sri Lanka has emerged in order to serve a much felt need in the Sri Lankan society.
In an evolving context where the role of the Management Accountant is expanding and reaching new dimensions CMA Sri Lanka has a clear role to play in educating sons and daughters of the soil who largely belong to the less affluent sector with a view to engaging them in the accounting work in the largely untapped small and medium scale enterprises sector in Sri Lanka.
This is in addition to the customary large scale enterprises sector that every one hastens to serve. Conduct of locally based research and dissemination of Management Accounting knowledge to grass root levels are two other areas where CMA Sri Lanka could play a lead role.
CMA Sri Lanka certainly has a mission to accomplish. I am sure many years hence historians will record that this Institution did play an important role in the development efforts of the country and its people. Its common knowledge that successful organizations have always had their fair share of problems in the formative years owing to the destructive societal dynamics that comes into operation. CMA Sri Lanka cannot be an exception as it is still a young and growing organization. Therefore, it is natural that it has its quota of issues to resolve.
The reluctance shown by certain local organizations to consider CMA Sri Lanka certificate as an alternative accounting qualification for higher level accounting positions is an issue currently faced by the Institute. This has been the past experience of certain other professional accounting bodies too whose programmes have now turned out be very popular. CMA Sri Lanka should also go through this difficult phase, and the sooner it does the better.
I am confident that CMA Sri Lanka will take a high level multi pronged approach to resolve this issue. In the mean time members and the students too have a responsibility to promote their qualification through excellent work practices that they exhibit in their places of work.
I hope that with the untiring efforts of the President, the Governing Council, the dedicated staff and more importantly, the Members and the Students CMA Sri Lanka Study Programme will turn out to be a much sought after management accounting qualification soon.When this is achieved you can justly be proud that you were among the pioneers of the CMA Sri Lanka movement. Let us resolve to work towards this goal.
Whilst concluding let me wish the new members every success in their professional and personal endeavors. I hope that you will carry the CMA flag high and in the process actively contribute towards the betterment of our society.
I also hope that those who are still treading the path will join them soon. My Good Wishes to them. Last but not least, may CMA Sri Lanka go from strength to strength in its efforts to be the premier Institution of the soil dedicated to the development of the Management Accounting profession in Sri Lanka.
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