The Sundaytimes Sri Lanka

Sharmila Ameer Hamza – Climbing the corporate ladder in finance


If you are one of those looking at accountancy for your future, the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) qualification will be the best option in the long run. A highly recognised qualification both here and abroad, past students now find themselves pursuing their dreams and reaching towards their goals.

Sharmila Ameer Hamza

Sharmila Ameer Hamza is one such student. A Diagnostic Accountant at the reputed AMBA Research, Sharmila is today thankful for her decision of choosing ACCA. Keen to enter the profession of accountancy due to her long held interest in maths, accounts and inspired by people who have made great strides in the profession; she said . “I consider accountancy to be a good career as it is undoubtedly a growing field, providing a plethora of opportunities to individuals.

In addition, it also offers great stability if you work efficiently. I believe if you are looking for a challenge where there is always room for change and something new –� accountancy is the best choice.”Having commenced the�CAT (Certified Accounting Technician) course after her GCE O/L in June 2004 she qualified a year later with flying colours. “I chose to start with CAT because it offered me a dynamic and flexible qualification, enabling me to get my first accounting qualification relatively quickly after completing my O-levels.� I wanted to fast track to obtain a well recognized professional qualification that would equip me to enter the working world as soon as possible.”

Joining ACCA, her life has definitely got better. In June 2006 she was the prize winner for ACCA part 2 for F8 (Audit and Assurance) and in January 2007 she received her 1st Class Hons BSc Degree from Oxford Brooks University UK, completing all the ACCA qualifications� prior to sitting for her A/L.

“I was aware that the ACCA Qualification has international recognition and great job prospects for ACCA professionals, both locally and internationally. When I did some research on my own on the type of qualifications that were currently available in the market, I recognised the quality of this qualifications and the standard of its services to students and members.” What she also found was that ACCA has a strong focus on professional values, ethics, and governance; skills essential for a professional today.

“These are examined at the highest level in the ACCA Qualification and are a core element of the practical experience requirements. In fact it is currently the only qualification that gives such an emphasis to this aspect. Such ingredients made me confident that ACCA was the kind of qualification that I wanted to have on my CV�and�I relished the challenge of learning finance to such a high standard,”stated Sharmila.

With the wide range of qualifications by her side, she started her career at Ernst and Young, chosen to join a team that looked into the aspects of the revision of the accounting standards that were happening at that time. Moving into AMBA, an organization that offers a wide range of research and analytics support services to global financial institutions, Sharmila currently� works as a Diagnostic Accountant exploring the areas of forensic accounting, one of the fastest growing areas of accounting jobs in the present market.

“I am involved in investigating the financial operations of enterprises to see if their accounting practices are in line with International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) ,” Sharmila said adding; “Forensic accounting requires a good knowledge of accounting and auditing principles and also ethics. I have obtained knowledge in all of these areas thanks to the ACCA qualifications that gives prominence to all. I give credit to them in training me to have the ability to be able to be chosen for a job of this nature.”

“ACCA provides an in depth insight and understanding� to all the main topics of Finance and extends on that knowledge for application within your chosen field. I would highly recommend it as the ideal foundation for any person who wants to aspire in making their mark in a career in finance “ concluded Sharmila.

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