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ICASL and Microsoft collaboration to enhance IT Education within the Accountancy Profession

ICASL and Microsoft Collaboration


Left to right: Benton Samuel -  Partner Account Manger (Microsoft), Sriyan de Silva Wijeyeratne - Country Manager (Microsoft), Nishan Fernando – President (ICASL), Aruna Alwis – CEO (ICASL), Gayan Wickramasinghe – CIO (ICASL).

The Institute of Chartered Accountants of Sri Lanka (ICASL) and Microsoft Sri Lanka (Private) Limited signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) recently , to enhance the Information Technology related skills of ICASL members, students, staff and interested parties through various skill development training programs.

The agreement for this collaboration was signed by President, ICASL, Nishan Fernando and Country Manager, Microsoft Sri Lanka, Sriyan de Silva Wijeyeratne.

This collaboration comes at a time when President Mahinda Rajapaksa has called for total commitment to make Sri Lanka reach the 50 percent mark in national IT literacy by the end of 2010. The President extended this challenge during the declaration of 2009 as the Year of English and IT 2009 on February 13.

ICASL is the premier national body of accountants committed to serving society by promoting and developing accountancy expertise towards resource management at the highest levels of integrity and competence. Microsoft Sri Lanka - a fully owned subsidiary of Microsoft Corporation, the world leader in software, services and solutions – has achieved a wide and impactful reach in Sri Lanka by bringing in new technological solutions in the business arena, enabling people and businesses realize their full potential.

The two institutions said that it was the right time to use their best efforts to bring together the joint capabilities and resources to enhance the Information Technology among accountancy professionals. "Our efforts at this juncture will compliment the Government’s declaration of the Year of IT-2009. We will align our strategies to support this concept," they said.

Rapid developments in information technology (IT) have posed many challenges to the accounting profession. Following the agreement, Microsoft and ICASL plan to organise seminars on the adoption and usage of ERP solutions, CRM platforms, IT security, Business Intelligence, Using Office Suite more effectively etc. "We will discuss about the needs and will ensure that ICASL members, students and other beneficiaries acquire necessary IT knowledge/skills through our collaboration. This will also give a chance to ICASL members and students to gain more exposure in the Information Technology field in the future," they said. The collaboration seeks to enhance the competencies of the finance professionals and increase employability of the students and aspiring members, enabling them to be better equipped to face the digitally empowered future, whilst adding a new dimension to their organizational capabilities.

Further, as part of the above MOU, the computer labs at ICASL will be equipped through the Dynamics Academic Alliance Program, granting them access to the latest versions of Microsoft Dynamics ERP and Dynamics CRM software systems, enabling the students and the member community of ICASL to gain hands-on experience on latest Microsoft technologies.