The inaugural course of the groundbreaking qualification for the Finance and Accounting Outsourcing (FAO) sector launched by the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Sri Lanka (CA Sri Lanka), kicked off in July, with an aim to produce specialized professionals, who will give leadership to help Sri Lanka’s IT/BPO sector reach its ambitious goals of USD 5 billion in exports by 2022. The programme was formally launched under the patronage of SLASSCOM Chairman Mr. Mano Sekaram, and a high profile audience comprising of corporate leaders and FAO specialists.
The Certified Finance and Accounting Specialist (CFAS) qualification, is a 18 month course, and is open for part qualified professionals from the IT/BPM industry, as well as for students who have successfully completed the GCE Advanced Level examination in the commerce and accounting streams and hopes to pursue a career in the outsourcing industry.
President of CA Sri Lanka, Mr. Lasantha Wickremasinghe said that the CFAS qualification will not only change the face of the FAO industry in the country, but the qualification will also be a stepping stone which will give Sri Lanka that all important edge to reach it’s ambition of becoming a global hub for outsourcing.
“Many of you are aware that the BPO sector is a dynamic industry worth over 1 billion US dollars. This is expected to increase to 5 billion US dollars by 2022. Therefore, to complement such a rapidly growing industry, we also need to produce professionals who possess the specialized skills to drive and give leadership to this industry so we can achieve the targets in the coming years. This is why the CFAS qualification is important, as it is a pertinent and a very relevant qualification exclusively for the outsourcing industry,” Mr. Wickremasinghe said.
He said that the main advantages of the CFAS qualification is that it has the active participation SLASSCOM, and ICTA, while the qualification has also being endorsed by SLASSCOM. “CA Sri Lanka, SLASSCOM and ICTA have worked to ensure that this qualification will remain relevant years from now, and will be accepted not only here but also overseas,” Mr. Wickremasinghe added.
The CFAS qualification is a joint initiative, mooted by CA Sri Lanka, in its capacity as the national body of accountants, and endorsed and supported by the Sri Lanka Association of Software and Service Companies (SLASSCOM) and Information and Communication Technology Agency (ICTA), to produce finance and accounting professionals with suitable skills and knowledge specifically required for the FAO industry in the country.
CFAS is an industry qualification leading to learners becoming FAO professionals, where technical and professional skills have been blended to cater to the designated job roles for the FAO industry.
Chairman of the CA Sri Lanka BPO Task Force, Mr. Arjuna Herath said that the CFAS qualification will undoubtedly contribute to the enhanced standards of quality that Sri Lanka can offer the world as a FAO destination.
“Sri Lanka is known to produce accountants of exceptional ability of international standing and the CFAS qualification will now produce finance and accounting professionals knowledgeable and skilled for the FAO industry.” Mr. Herath said.
The CFAS qualification is offered at three levels; Trainee Associate, Senior Associate and Team Lead. The course which will cover a total of 12 learning modules, will focus on four major study areas; Finance & Accounting, Management Aspects, Process & Quality, and Professional Skills, and will be conducted over a period of three semesters. The lectures will be conducted by industry experts.
“CFAS aspires to be a program that drives the FAO and BPM industry through developing the skills the industry needs to expand. Process and Quality aspects of the syllabus are directly obtained from the industry and are documented to give job specific skills to new employment seekers,” Dr. Arul Sivaganathan Vice Chairman of SLASSCOM said.
The qualification, which guarantees a successful career in the FAO industry, has been further complemented with training and an internship programme, where after completing the necessary training requirement, students will be provided a 6 month internship at a leading BPO company, approved by SLASSCOM. Subsequent to completing their internship, and based on their individual performance, students will be absorbed into these companies.
“The CFAS programme is eminently going to be a pillar qualification providing precise training for those who seek to grow within the industry. CFAS has surpassed all of our expectations based on content to be one of the industry driven initiatives for BPM professionals to be nurtured.” Mrs. Chitranganie Mubarak, Chairperson of ICTA said.
Sri Lanka is well known for producing accountants of exceptional abilities of international standing, having the capacity to serve not only the domestic market but also the international market. This is also one of the key attributes as to why Sri Lanka is a preferred destination for the FAO industry.
During the past few years, Sri Lanka has witnessed a significant growth in the business services industry sector. The vision of the IT/ BPM (Business Process management) industry in Sri Lanka is to achieve USD 5 billion in exports by 2022 while generating 200,000 jobs and facilitating 1,000 startup ventures in Sri Lanka, which is important for the country’s long term future.
The qualification is offered by the Business School of CA Sri Lanka, which was established over ten years ago with a mission to deliver a relevant and innovative curriculum in a supportive learning environment, with an aim to develop business leaders who create, transform and sustain successful organizations both in Sri Lanka and overseas. (Media Release)