Over 130 senior public servants were recently conferred with the Chartered Public Finance Accountancy (CPFA) qualification at the inaugural CPFA Convocation organized by the CA Sri Lanka Public Sector Wing, the Association of Public Finance Accountants of Sri Lanka (APFASL), in an effort to strengthen the country’s public financial management.
The qualification was granted to 132 public servants who were accountants, auditors and commissioners of the Inland Revenue Department based on merit, and who had fulfilled the necessary criteria including a minimum of 10 years in service in an executive grade as accountants, auditors and commissioners with a MBA or higher degree in a finance related subject and were above the age of 40 years.
The convocation was held under the patronage of Minister for special assignments Dr. Sarath Amunugama, the chief guest, and State Minister of Finance Eran Wickramaratne, the guest of honour.
CPFA is an internationally recognised groundbreaking qualification specially developed by APFASL and the Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy (CIPFA) London, for the benefit of accountants, auditors and assessors in the Sri Lankan public sector to help them enhance their professional skills, to strengthen the financial management within the sector, which in turn will reflect positively on the country and its economic development. President of CA Sri Lanka, Lasantha Wickremasinghe speaking at the convocation said that accounting professionals contribute vastly towards the economic growth of a country, and the public financial management is a key ingredient for economic development in Sri Lanka.
“Therefore highly educated professionals with the required skills and expertise in promoting good governance, transparency and accountability is the need of the hour, and this is specially important for a country such as Sri Lanka. Therefore, I am certain that the 132 members who will receive the CPFA qualification today based on merit, will pave the way to enhance the country’s public finance management, and will give leadership towards achieving this goal,” he added.
APFASL President V. Kanagasabapathy highlighted that professional organisations have an important role to play in strengthening the professional capacity of the public sector, and having understood this responsibility. “CA Sri Lanka together with the APFASL has taken steps to help professionalize the public financial management personnel in Sri Lanka by launching the CPFA qualification, among several other important initiatives,” he said. He pointed out that the association decided to confer the qualification on merit on the 132 public servants as the examination process will take time to produce fully qualified chartered public finance accountants. “Considering the fact that this process will take few years to have fully qualified chartered public finance accountants, as an initial step we decided to offer the membership to around 132 senior public servants who have been selected purely on merit basis in order to create a nucleus of members to start with and to take our activities to the rest of the members,” he said.
Kanagasabapathy also extended his appreciation to the Asian Development Bank, for supporting APFASL’s initiatives to strengthen the financial management in the public sector.