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Top honours for CA Sri Lanka member

Top honours for CA Sri Lanka member Shihan at the Cambridge International Certificate in Financial English (ICFE) course

Chartered Accountant Mr Shihan Kehelella has scored top honours at the recently concluded Cambridge International Certificate in Financial English (ICFE) course held for the first time in the country at the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Sri Lanka.
His sheer dedication and commitment to this course deemed as a widely recognized international course has led him to emerge as the highest scorer at the very first Cambridge ICFE exam held by the British Council.

A student of St. Joseph’s College, Colombo 10 and presently employed at PricewaterhouseCoopers (PWC) as an Audit Manager Mr Kehelella was encouraged to follow this international course by his company as part of their continuous investment in training and education for its employees.

“After my advanced level examinations my ambitious was always to be a chartered accountant and I am truly very proud of myself because I have been able to fulfill my ambitions.”

Now armed with his new international qualification, this young chartered accountant is seeking greener pastures abroad.
“I have been in the industry for around six years now and I am looking to progress higher in my career right now, and hoping to seek overseas employment soon,” he noted.

Today, approximately 30 percent of the CA Sri Lanka membership which constitutes to over 4200 members, are serving in overseas as the Institute qualification commands global recognition.

Commenting on the course, Mr. Kehelella emphasized that this programme has definitely helped to improve his communication skills in his work environment as the course comprises a wide range of technical terms which is required for his day to day professional activities.

“My report writing skills have drastically improved since I took up this course and I can now comfortably use more advanced English too,” he added.

He was also appreciative of the lecturers of the Institute who guided him and his colleagues and for the unstinting support shown to them. “Unlike conventional lecturers, we were even given their contact numbers including mobile numbers so we could contact them at any time for any guidance or support needed while following this course,” he added.

Emphasizing on the course contents, Mr. Kehelella noted that the course taught professionals in accounting and finance how to deal in a business environment relating to auditing, accounting and tax matters etc. while enhancing all 4 language skills.

“The primary objective of this course was to impart the knowledge to us how to communicate all business matters to our clients effectively, and for me this course went way beyond expectations and I am today much more confident & armed with necessary business communication skills when it comes to using advanced Financial English and technical terms relating to accounting and finance,” he added.

He also stressed that it was the very first time he experienced online studying, but although this was a new experience the method was very user friendly and easily comprehendible.

“For international recognition, this is a key course and I am very happy that I got the highest grading which I am told is very rare, taking into account that this is a life time Cambridge qualification which is highly valued all over the world,” he added.

Mr Kehelella also received glowing commendation from his employer PricewaterhouseCoopers (PWC) who mentioned that since the completion of the Cambridge ICFE course the company has noticed a remarkable improvement in Shihan's performance in terms of his presentations and communication skills.

PWC said that Mr Kehelella’s improved communication would mean better relationships with both internal and external clients. PWC being a service organization finds it imperative that all its employees command a good understanding of the English language.

PWC was of the view that as a professional service provider, effective communication in English is vital and critical for its day today operations.
“We firmly believe that the ICFE programme will help enhance effective communication skills of our professional members & trainees as it is directly related to our field. Further the fact that it is conducted by the Institute strengthens that trust on the benefits of the said programme,” PWC added.

The CEO of the Institute, Mr Aruna Alwis while congratulating Shihan for his great achievement expressed,
“We being the pioneers of introducing ICFE, we are extremely happy about the progress of the programme with all the students demonstrating first-rate financial English language skills. We introduced this course in considering the enormous benefits that one could gain to go up the corporate ladder; to be a global professional one should have an international qualification like ICFE which is widely recognized. I am confident that this programme at Institute will reach greater heights while providing career opportunities for everybody in the field of Finance & Accounting.”

Cambridge ICFE is for individuals whose first language is not English and who need to use financial English in order to perform effectively in business situations. It is a blended learning course with a mix of online and face-to-face learning, designed to be facilitated by a lecturer. It comprehensively develops ability across the four skill areas of reading, writing, listening and speaking.

This flexible 100-hour course is designed to deliver 75 hours online learning with 25 hours face-to-face teaching. The exam consists of four papers, comprehensively covering the four communication skills: reading, writing, listening and speaking. Each test is based on realistic texts, tasks and topics similar to those finance professionals would expect to encounter in their daily working lives.

This course is open to all those who are in the field of Finance & accountancy & however it is encouraged for the Institute students at the post strategic level as an optional component in the curriculum. In considering its importance as a value addition prior to the membership, the Institute will reimburse 75% of its course fee for the Post Strategic level students on successful completion of the qualification. Those who are interested in gaining this valuable opportunity, a life time achievement may join the next batch commencing on 9 October 2011.