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33rd National Conference of Chartered Accountants inaugurated in the presence of corporate and accounting world glitterati

The 33rd National Conference of Chartered Accountants was inaugurated on October 18th evening amidst much fanfare, at a gala ceremony in the presence of the country’s corporate glitterati, with Deputy Speaker of Parliament, Hon. Chandima Weerakkody (MP), gracing the much anticipated annual corporate event as the Chief Guest.

Held at the Waters Edge, Battaramulla, the conference organised by the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Sri Lanka (CA Sri Lanka), saw a high profile participation running to over 900, including top accounting and finance personalities from across the world, and business leaders from Sri Lanka, being present at the inauguration.

The guest of honour was Mr. Mark Spofforth, President of one of the world’s oldest accounting organisations, the Institute of Chartered Accountants of England and Wales (ICAEW), while the keynote address for the evening was delivered by Mr. Adam Sack, Country Manager of the International Finance Corporation.

Exploring an inspiring theme, this year’s conference which will include two days of technical sessions, scheduled to conclude on October 20th, will navigate around ‘WINNING: Country, Corporate, Citizen’, which aims to solve the puzzle of success and thereby ensure ‘winning’ at all levels.

This year’s conference saw a further boost, with the participation of several eminent personalities from the accounting world, including Mr. Keith Wedlock, President of the Confederation of Asian and Pacific Accountants (CAPA) which is the largest regional accounting organization.  Also among the high profile guest list was top accounting personality, Mr. Prabhakar Kalavacherla, board member of the International Accounting Standards Board.

Over 1200 persons have registered for this year’s conference for the six technical sessions which will be held on October 19th and October 20th also at Waters Edge.

With the present unpredictable environment pushing corporates across the world to revamp their overall policies and strategic framework, the conference this year will explore means to overcome the current uncertainty prevailing in the world and thereby ensure ‘winning’ at a country, corporate and citizen level.

CA Sri Lanka introduced the concept of national conference to Sri Lanka in 1979. The conference, over the last three decades has built a reputation, as a business summit that provokes thoughts and spurs insights into broad economic and business issues; apart from its core emphasis on finance related topics. Every year the conference attracts over 1,000 participants, making it one of the most attended corporate events in the country.

This year’s conference will cover a range of pertinent issues relevant in today’s unpredictable economic and business conditions, including how to recover following the 2008 financial meltdown, the importance of following a sound and winning strategy, and the importance of winning against all odds, in the face of failures.

Among the other areas that will be covered during the six technical sessions, is the importance of cultivating a positive attitude, which is an absolutely indispensable prerequisite for success, while experts will also delve in detail on developing a winning image through strong branding and marketing activities, which is critical in the current economic context. The final session will explore in depth on the accounting profession, which has seen a significant impact in today’s business environment and how the profession can lead the business world towards all time success.

Session one on ‘winning economy’ will be presented by Prof. Premachandra Athukorala, Professor of Economics from the Australian National University. The panelists for the first session will include Mr. Amal Sanderatne CEO/Director of Frontier Research and Dr. Indrajit Coomaraswamy, Former Director (Economy Affairs) of the Commonwealth Secretariat.

The second session on ‘winning strategy’ will be presented by Dr. John Viljoen, Managing Director of iedex. The panelists at the session will be Mr. Ajay Amalean, Director of MAS Holdings (Pte.) Ltd., and Mr. Rohan Pallewatta, Managing Director/CEO of Lanka Harness Company (Pvt.) Ltd.

The third session on ‘winning against the odds’ will be presented by Mr. Ranjith Fernando, Chairman of United Motors Lanka PLC and will comprise of panelists Mr. Rajendra Theagarajah, Managing Director/CEO of Hatton National Bank (HNB) and Mr. Naomal Goonewardena, Partner of Nithya Partners.

The fourth session will feature Mr. Sanjay Tiwari, Managing Director/CEO of Piramal Glass Ceylon PLC, who will speak on ‘winning attitudes’. The session will feature two panelists comprising of Mr. Shakthi Ranatunga, Group Human Resource Director of MAS Holdings Pte. Ltd, and Ms. Dilrukshi Kurukulasuriya, General Manager – Human Resources of Diesel and Motor Engineers PLC.

The fifth session will centre around ‘winning image’ and will feature Mr. Ranjith Page, Managing Director, CT Holdings and Deputy Chairman of Cargills (Ceylon) PLC as the speaker. The panelists for the fifth session will be Mr. Nalaka Godahewa, Chairman of the Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority and Mr. Nandana Wickramage, Group Director and Head of Marketing and Sales of Ceylon Biscuit Ltd.

The sixth and final session will feature a team of three expert panelists, who will delve in detail on how to be a ‘winning professional accountant.’ The panelists will comprise of Mr. Reyaz Mihular, Managing Partner of KPMG, Mr. Asite Talwatte, Managing Partner of Ernst & Young, Mr. Asoka Pieris, Chief Executive Officer of Singer Sri Lanka, Mr. Prabhakar Kalavacherla, Board Member of the International Accounting Standards Board, Mr. Ananda Mukherjee, Group Financial Advisor for Goodhope Asia Holding Ltd., and Mr.  Suresh Gooneratne, Director of Diesel and Motor Engineering PLC.