Chartered accountants are undoubtedly one of the most sought after professionals in the world, and at a time when the general perception is that examinations related to chartered accounting are among the toughest of exams, Shantha Sisil Chandra has squashed this perception having emerged as the winner of this year’s case study examination conducted by the country’s pioneering accounting institute, the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Sri Lanka (ICASL).
Chandra attributes his achievement to his commitment, dedication and the sound training given to him by the institute’s well versed lecturers.
Today, Chandra is on his way towards achieving the highest echelon of corporate success. In the years to come, he will be among the most sought after corporate movers and shakers standing shoulder to shoulder with the top notch business leaders of a future generation.
The ICASL qualification which is both globally recognised and respected, gives students a thorough understanding on key subjects related to accounting such as Accounting and Finance, Assurance and Related Services, Performance Measurement and Reporting, Strategic Business Management, Taxation and Legal Services which are key elements that sharpen and nurture the capabilities of a competent accountant.
Incidentally, this was Chandra’s very first attempt in the case study examination which now qualifies him to be an Associate Member of Chartered Accountants (ACA).
Detailing his path to success, Chandra disclosed that he initially concentrated on completing all courses offered at the ICASL through its Multimedia English Learning Centre and other divisions, after which he focused solely only on the case study examination. “It is a burden if a student tries to do all these at once, hence it is important to complete the other courses offered at the ICASL beforehand and only concentrate on the primary exam, which was the case study exam or else a student tends to get overly burdened with various study assignments which affects his concentration.” he noted.
In today’s business world, where competition is at its peak, members of ICASL have marked their presence in style by impressively leading some of the top most corporates in the country, with an imposing number of ICASL members serving in the capacity of Chief Executive Officer or Managing Director and or as the Chief Financial Officer in some of the foremost top companies in Sri Lanka.
Accordingly, seven ICASL members serve as the Chief Executive Officer or Managing Director among the country’s top 50 companies, while a total of 29 ICASL members also serve as the Chief Financial Officer (CFO) in these top organisations.
Stressing on what brought about his achievement; Chandra said, “Attending all case study related workshops conducted by the institute was very important as this is where students gain lots of knowledge required for the exams. The lecturers are very well versed in the subjects and I followed everything they told me to the dot and that helped me thoroughly to get through the exams.”
“I also highlighted all important points given in the tutorials to us,” he added.
“I concentrated a lot on reading various materials including tender documents, evaluation reports, annual reports, accounting standards, security and exchange control rules and various other company related documents,” Chandra disclosed.
He noted that some students write lengthy answers without even reading and understanding the question, eventually it is not the length but the depth of the answers that is important.
He advised all students who hope to sit for future case study exams to attend all workshops held by the institute, as these workshops give the necessary boost and teachings required by students to pass the exam.
Chartered accountants indeed play a major role in most of the large companies in Sri Lanka with approximately 70 percent from the top 50 companies listed in the Colombo Stock Exchange having at least one member from the ICASL in their Board.
From the 4200 ICASL members, a total of 74 percent are based in Sri Lanka while the balance 26 percent is based overseas employed in various continents covering Australia, South Asia, South East Asia, Africa, Middle East, Europe and the Americas.