CMA Sri Lanka President Prof. Lakshman R. Watawala presenting the Accredited Training Partner certificate to MAS Intimates (Pvt.) Ltd Deputy General Manager Finance Yasoja Weragoda in the presence of MAS Intimates (Pvt.) Ltd Management Accountant Nilushi Munasinge, CMA Director Operations Sumudu Pagoda, Director Examination Dr. Swineetha De Livera and Consultant Examination L.B. Wattegedara
CMA Sri Lanka President Prof. Lakshman R. Watawala presenting the Accredited Training Partner certificate to Polychrome (Pvt.) Ltd Human Resources and Administration Manager M.W.C. Sooriyabandara in the presence of CMA Director Operations Sumudu Pagoda, Director Examination Dr. Swineetha De Livera and Consultant Examination L.B. Wattegedara
Two more prominent commercial organisations have joined hands with Certified Management Accountants (CMA) Sri Lanka in its efforts to produce management accountants who are skilled and well-trained in their valued profession.
One organisation is MAS Intimates (Pvt.) Ltd, a subsidiary of MAS Holdings (Pvt.) Ltd in Sri Lanka, and is the design, development and marketing arm for the various intimate wear facilities falling under this venture with customers such as Victoria’s Secret, Lululemon, Marks & Spencer, Athleta, La Senza, DIM Branded Apparel, Soma, Calvin Klein, Oysho and H&M.
The other organisation is Polycrome (Pvt.) Ltd. Polycrome has started its business in the year 1984 and since then it has been growing steadily with a vision of providing high-quality electrical accessories to illuminate the future generations of Sri Lanka. Both organisations possess highly-qualified staff strength.
Professor Lakshman Watawala signed the agreements on behalf of CMA and relevant officials of the two partners corroborated. Subsequently, the certificates of accreditation were presented to the partners in the presence of high-ranking staff of the parties to agreements.
Why does CMA need training partners?
There is surely more than one reason. The most important among them is the compulsory practical training requirement for the CMA membership. CMA takes all measures to ensure its accountants/members are well-versed in all aspects of management accounting by the time they enter the profession. 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 satisfies the criteria stipulated by CMA Sri Lanka. As employers of all students may not be of required standards, in order to overcome possible quality issues in practical training, CMA has initiated the Training Partnership Agreement (TPA) programme.
Training Partnership Agreement
TPAs are signed with commercial and other institutions of repute that have capacity for training and qualified staff that could provide proper guidance to trainees. Following the agreements, the TPA partner companies inform 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 is monitoring the progress made by trainees by keeping constant touch with Training Partner Companies and through record books maintained by the trainees.
Although the TPA programme was in operation for just over three years, the number of TPAs entered into reached 120 with the latest additions of Polycrome and MAS Intimates. Some of the other TPA partners are the John Keels group, Commercial Bank, National Development Bank, Sampath Bank, Bartleet, Arpico Finance, Richard Pieris, Delmege Forsyth, Commercial Credit, the 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 by well-qualified lecturers through internationally-accepted curriculum. Many instances, where the companies have absorbed trainees into their permanent cadre before the end of the training period, have been reported.
Entry to job market
Lack of work experience is the main hurdle that stands between the youth and employment in the current job market context. Even university graduates are rejected by employers due to the absence of job training to complement qualifications. So, even under circumstances where it is not compulsory, practical training could be the passport to employment. Through the TPA programme, CMA Sri Lanka ensures that those who qualify with CMA will never lack hands-on experience on their profession.
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 the 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 the economy.