The New York Times claims that Sri Lankan Accountants lure global outsourcers. As Sri Lanka staggers back from a decades-long civil war, one of its brightest business prospects was born from a surprising side effect of that conflict. The New York Times said many Sri Lankans, for various reasons, studied accounting in such numbers during the war that this nation of about 20 million people now has an estimated 10,000 certified accountants.
Quoting the Sri Lankan Institute of Chartered Accountants, it said that an additional 30,000 students are currently enrolled in accounting programs. The ratio is lower than in developed economies even such the United States. It is much greater than in Sri Lanka’s neighboring outsourcing giant, India.
Offices in Sri Lanka are doing financial work for some of the world’s biggest companies, including the international Bank HSBC and the insurer Aviva. It is not simply payroll and bookkeeping. The outsourced work includes derivatives pricing and risk management for money managers and hedge funds, stock research for investment banks and underwriting for insurance companies.
Sri Lanka’s government, headed by President Rajapaksa, expects revenue from so-called knowledge-based outsourcing — which includes accounting — to triple to One Billion US Dollars in revenue by 2015.