CMA Sri Lanka President Prof. Lakshman R. Watawala presenting the accredited training Partner Certificate to Certis Lanka Security Solutions (Pvt.) Ltd Group Chief Executive Director/CEO Vipul Hettige in the presence of Certis Lanka Security Solutions Group Director HR/Training Eshanthade Silva, President M.B. IsmailVice, Consultant Examination L.B. Wattegedara, Director Operations Sumudu Pagoda and Director Education and Examinations Dr. Swineetha De Livera
Two prominent commercial organisations have joined hands with the Institute of Certified Management Accountants (CMA), Sri Lanka in its efforts to produce management accountants who are skilled and well trained in their valued profession.
One is Certis Lanka Security Solutions (Pvt.) Ltd, which is a joint venture between Ceylinco Consolidated and CISCO (Commercial and Industrial Security Corporation) of Singapore, which was established in 1974 as Key Security Services Ltd, with a strength of 20 men. It now has over 7000 security officers. It sets the standard for the commercial and industrial security and remains the most dependable and reliable of commercial security companies in Sri Lanka.
The other company is Associated Battery Manufacturers (Ceylon) Limited (ABM). It was incorporated on May 6, 1960 under the Companies Ordinance, No. 51 of 1938 as a Limited Company by Brown & Company Limited in technical collaboration with British Batteries which was the largest manufacturer of batteries in the world at that time. Since its inception in 1960, ABM has been able to stay in the local market as the market leader in spite of the tremendous competition that it faces from the imported batteries.
CMA Sri Lanka President Prof. Lakshman R. Watawala signed the agreements on behalf of CMA and the relevant senior management of the partners corroborated. Subsequently, the certificates of accreditation were presented to the respective partner organisations.
Importance of training partners
There is surely more than one reason. The most important among them is the compulsory practical training requirement to apply for CMA membership. CMA training is flexible and can be taken either during studies or in between studies or after completion of studies. CMA takes all measures to ensure that its members are well versed in all aspects of management accounting, financial accounting and strategic management by the time they enter the profession as qualified accountants. Therefore, three years of practical training in an accounting and financial environment is mandatory to obtain the CMA membership in addition to completing all examinations including the Integrative Case Study, successfully. Mandatory training needs to be undergone in an institution or company that satisfy criteria stipulated by CMA, Sri Lanka.
Training Partnership Agreement
The Training Partnership Agreements (TPA) are signed with industrial, audit firms, commercial and other institutions that have capacity for training and qualified staff that could provide proper guidance to trainees. Following the agreements, TPA partner companies inform the CMA, Sri Lanka whenever opportunities of training arise in their organisations. CMA students, who have expressed their interest in finding training placements, will be directed to such opportunities by CMA, Sri Lanka. CMA monitors the progress made by trainees by keeping constant touch with training partner companies and through record books maintained by the trainees. All trainees will be supervised and guided by a qualified accountant as per the TPA.
Although the TPA programme was in operation for just over three years, the number of TPAs entered into reached 120 with the latest addition of Certis Lanka and ABM. Some of the other TPA partners are John Keels Group, Commercial Bank, HSBC, National Development Bank, Sampath Bank, Bartleets, Arpico Finance, Richard Peiris, Delmege Forsyth, Commercial Credit, Browns Group, Fonterra, AMW ,Citizen Development Bank, L B Finance, Ceylon Grain elevators, Maliban Biscuits, Lanka Puthra Development Bank and Dimo.
Demand for trainees
Responses from TPA partners indicate that they prefer to engage CMA trainees in their companies owing to the fact that CMA students possess broader knowledge in accounting instilled in them and the ability to put theory into practice. They are also assisted by well qualified lecturers in educational institutes, internationally accepted curriculum, study material and e learning. Many instances companies have absorbed trainees into their permanent cadre even before the end of the training period.
All students who wish to pursue a career with CMA and the existing students can register to find a place of training by sending their details to the Director Operations of CMA.
Entry to the job market
Lack of work experience is the main hurdle that stands between the youth and employment in the current job market context. Many university graduates are rejected by employers due to absence of job training to complement their qualifications. Therefore, CMA opens the door for undergraduates to obtain a professional qualification together with practical training while doing their degree. It is evident that the CMA professional qualification with practical training will be the passport to employment. Through the TPA programme, CMA, Sri Lanka ensures that those who qualify with CMA will have the ability and build the confidence to fit into the work environment in the public or private sector.
The practical training would provide the good grounding on how to put theories learnt in classroom to best practice. In addition, training in a recognized company will expose students to formal work environment, give them personal confidence and credibility to their training. They will also have the opportunity to develop contacts that might prove useful in the future. Students are assured of a job after completion of the practical training and passing the CMA exams. They are instilled with integrity, code of ethics, good governance, professional competence and ready to enter the commercial field and make a significant contribution to the growth of economy.