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Mon, 27 April 2015 05:57:48
Sri Lanka cheap skills lure for finance outsourcing
14 Mar, 2011 14:22:19
Mar 14, 2011 (LBO) - Sri Lanka is becoming an attractive location for 'Finance and Accounting Outsourcing' (FAO) with the world’s second largest pool of management accountants and wages lower than India, a report said.
"The availability of a large pool of skilled finance and accounting professionals makes FAO one of the most logical niche competences to continue to build capacity," said Dinesh Saparamadu, chairman of Sri Lanka Association of Software and Services Association (SLASSCOM).

"The key export markets for Sri Lankan FAO industry are USA, Europe and Asia Pacific regions."

Sri Lanka has been recognized as a service hub for financial services outsourcing globally for its niche competency, he said in a statement.

Many global companies, including UK Accounting and Legal Services Center of WNS, Investment Research Center of Amba Research, UK Banking Center of HSBC, and Finance & Accounting Center of RR Donnelley, have set up their delivery centres in Sri Lanka.

SLASSCOM has published an industry report on the FAO sector in Sri Lanka, prepared by PricewaterhouseCoopers and sponsored by Association of Chartered Certified Accountants.

It provides information on Sri Lanka's accounting talent and statistics about the FAO industry, which will help to market the island.

"Colombo is comparatively cost competitive and has a lower upward wage pressure than many established global sourcing destinations, and the country’s labour costs rank 15 – 20 percent lower than in India," the statement said.

"The attractiveness of the sector is also underscored by the availability of a sizable skilled workforce of finance and accounting professionals.

"Sri Lanka now has the world’s second largest pool of CIMA trained students and members outside of the UK."

The Chartered Institute of Management Accountants is the world's largest professional body of management accountants.

The pool of students and fully qualified accounting professionals (including technicians) in Sri Lanka is estimated at around 86,000 and 25,000.

Higher education in accountancy is offered by five main professional accountancy bodies, 15 state universities and numerous foreign affiliated private universities operating in the country.

"Sri Lanka offers a rapidly growing skilled workforce which is low cost, highly productive, English speaking and loyal," said the statement by SLASSCOM, a Sri Lankan IT and BPO industry outfit.

In 2009, global consulting firm, AT Kearney, ranked Sri Lanka at number 16 on their top 20 global outsourcing destinations list, while Global Services Magazine ranked Colombo amongst their top 20 emerging outsourcing cities in the world.
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7. Mahisha Mar 21
@meerkat21: wow, if one were to be in the "wealth management" industry, they would be expected to know something as basic as Yield to Maturity! If they are not even bothered to learn about it, it is extremely worrying, that shows that they are not really keen on their job - but still allowed to be on those positions! Incompetent managers, will higher more incompetent staff...

I have heard about what you mention in your fourth para, and that is sad.

6. meerkat21 Mar 21
Manisha- Thank you very much for your honesty. But I thought Universities teach people to think and not courses like CIMA. One needs to know how to calculate IRR and FV , at least, to compare two investments, or to manage.

I have spoken to many a so called ' wealth managers' in several leading banks- who by the way are heading their departments, and dealing with bonds, stocks , etc- and none of them know how to calculate the yield on maturity of a bond if bought at at a discount!! I thought these are basics in investing.

My personal feelings is that the standards of CIMA graduates, and bankers, here are extremely poor-- and that may explain why there are so many.

If you have been following up on the subject of educational standards in Britain you would have seen many a articles accusing certain UK educational institutes of low standards of many courses and, they stand accused of dishing out Diplomas for money.

5. Mahisha Mar 21
@meerkat21: I finished CIMA a very long time ago - so I do not know about the changes to the syllabus, to answer your question. But to this lady's defence; CIMA basically trains you to think - and this lady, though she did not know at the outset about he various tools available in Excel, would have hopefully learned it by herself if and when the need arose; she would have been equipped with the necessary tools for that self-learning.

The point of education - is to learn to think and fend for yourself, one cannot be thought each and everything - one has to learn to do things by one self, after the initial training.

4. meerkat21 Mar 20
I was told by a CIMA graduate ( top of the class) that they are not required to know spreadsheets and financial calculations, at an interview, when I asked her whether she can calculate simple things like internal rate of return, future value and yield on maturity of bonds( simple calculations on a spreadsheet) I was aghast! Is this really true?
3. ZZ Mar 15
As of now Sri Lankan accountants has earned much recognition and they do command top positions in Large Corporates,Globally but when the Supply is more than the demand the price tag tend to come down and the Profession will not be seen as lucrative.

Yes, in the short run, good for country and good for all, after 20 years from now, the stage will be different and there will be a huge vacuum, its always good to have a stable situation than a over supply and making the profession seen as "cheap"

The article, clearly explains and gives a message that Sri lanka now has Cheap accountants where the tag was previously owned by India. So we have done well to overcome India and win over the status that they had all these years, So today Sri Lankan accountants are cheaper than Indian Accountants.

2. aj Mar 15
If someone can study hard and meet the UK requirements, he/she should qualify.

There is no point in pushing for elitism. If we do not produce our accountants, some other country will. Education, knowledge, training is a method of self actualization. If Bradley did it, then more power to him.

Cheapness is not just found in price but the quality. Of course if accountant salaries come down it will reduce the cost of doing business in Sri Lanka. That is also good.

This is how the non-state sector works. People will educate themselves, and seek to better themselves if the state stops blocking them.

1. Fazly Mar 15
Just see the Damage CIMA Sri Lanka division has done for its Proffesional's, Bradly Emerson's drive to make Sri Lanka mushroom of accountants had made the accountants to be a cheap product. What a shame and short sighted decision to achieve personal mile stone. Its a disgrace for the proffession. Go on expanding and make CIMA Members to look as Bus Conductors with Degree in India.