US helps train public sector accounting and auditing professionals on accounting standards

COLOMBO – The first group of Sri Lankan public sector accounting and auditing professionals participated in a Public Sector Accounting Standards 11-20 training program conducted by the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Sri Lanka (CA Sri Lanka) and its public sector wing, the Association of Public Finance Accountants of Sri Lanka (APFASL) recently. The program was supported by the US Government, through the Partnership for Accelerating Results in Trade, National Expenditure, and Revenue (PARTNER) activity, under the development arm – the US Agency for International Development (USAID).

The first 50 of a total 600 public sector accountants and auditors learned about the standards, which provide a framework for preparing and presenting financial statements under the accrual accounting system in line with international best practices. The partnership of USAID, CA Sri Lanka, and the APFASL will also train 1,200 public sector workers on the effective application of IT systems for data management, analysis, and strategic decision-making.

“As one of the country’s longstanding development partners, we are committed to help strengthen and streamline Sri Lanka’s public financial management practices and thereby its path to recovery,” USAID Sri Lanka and Maldives Mission Director Gabriel Grau said at the inaugural training. “Further strengthening skills and competencies of key accounting and auditing professionals can help contribute to this long-term goal through improved financial analysis, planning, and management”.

In his opening remarks, V. Kanagasabapathy, President of APFASL, highlighted the importance of strong public financial management to achieve the long-term goals of any country, noting “therefore, in our standing as the public sector wing of CA Sri Lanka, APFASL has taken immense pride in being a catalyst in helping strengthen the public financial management practices in Sri Lanka.

“We are delighted that the US government has recognized our important work and is supporting our efforts to help public sector accounting and auditing professionals perform better.”

Heshana Kuruppu, CA Sri Lanka Vice President said the  public sector in Sri Lanka is considered to be large in comparison to the size of the economy, employing approximately 1.5 million people. “This sector also holds the key to helping change the lives of 22 million people. Excellent public financial management will play a critical role in achieving this important objective and improve productivity of the sector,” he noted, adding, “As the national body of accountants, CA Sri Lanka together with APFASL are committed to helping the public sector contribute effectively to the economy.” The launch of this landmark program with USAID, he said, was part of their continuing efforts to achieve this crucial goal.

USAID’s PARTNER helps facilitate trade and strengthen government efficiency to fuel broad-based economic growth in support of the Government of Sri Lanka’s vision for economic development and improved international trade. This project is one component of the longstanding partnership between the American and Sri Lankan people to promote a healthy, educated, and employed population.

-ENCL/US Embassy

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