CA Sri Lanka to host 20th CAPA Conference and 42nd National Conference in Colombo

The Institute of Chartered Accountants of Sri Lanka (CA Sri Lanka) will host two important accounting assemblies in Colombo in October this year. The combined event is expected to attract over 2500 local and foreign delegates from 30 countries, including top international accounting professionals, making it one of the biggest hybrid conferences ever to be held in Sri Lanka.

The 20th CAPA Conference of the Confederation of Asian and Pacific Accountants (CAPA), will be held alongside CA Sri Lanka’s own 42nd National Conference of Chartered Accountants. Aptly themed ‘Heritage: Many Businesses, One Planet, the mega event will kick off on 06th October and will conclude on 08th October following two days of technical sessions.

The theme and the conference website https://caconference.casrilanka.com/ were unveiled on Friday at the Institute. The event was attended by CA Sri Lanka President Mr. Manil Jayesinghe, Vice President Mr. Sanjaya Bandara, Chairman of the Conference Committee Mr. Tishan Subasinghe, Chairperson of the Technical Committee Ms. Anoji De Silva, and Chief Executive Officer Ms. Dulani Fernando, while President of CAPA Dr. Chen Yugui and Chief Executive Mr. Brian Blood connected virtually. Alternate Chairs Mr. Dhanuka Cooray and Mr. Channa Gunasekarawere also present at the event.

The event aims to explore the role and contribution accountants can make to mitigate and adapt to imminent risks and threats faced by humanity due to current global contemporary issues such as climate change and rapid technological developments. The mega event will also bring together 40 speakers, panelists and moderators, who will deliberate contemporary and emerging issues impacting the accounting profession, alongside a rapidly changing social, economic and technological landscape.

Speaking at the hybrid press conference, Mr. Jayesinghe said that the role of the accountant has evolved dramatically in recent decades. He said that apart from focusing on the balance sheet, accountants must also take on a more holistic and responsible approach in their standing as responsible professionals and citizens.  

“We must use the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic to increasingly focus on protecting our planet, which is suffering from numerous environmental issues, mainly due to man-made errors. We must utilise the pandemic as a restart button. Further, as finance professionals, we have an underlying responsibility to play a crucial role in mobilizing and promoting greener investments and ensuringa greener economy and a safer planet for everyone,” he said.

Dr. Chen Yugui said that the accountancy profession has an underlying public interest mandate.  “We must therefore play our part for a more meaningful and sustained future for all,” he said in a video message.

Speaking further, he added that the profession needs to be aware of what it can and must do, and what appropriate reforms must take place, and how to build or rebuild trust. “We must harness the positives of technology, forge a sustainable future, and leave a heritage we can be proud of,” he added.

With its vision as an inspirational leader for the accountancy profession in Asia Pacific, CAPA represents 32 professional accountancy organisations, operating in or with an interest in Asia Pacific, which collectively represent more than two million accountants worldwide. The CAPA Conference is held approximately every four years and this year marks an important landmark as it celebrates its 20th installment.

Mr. Subasinghe said that the event,which will be held over a period of three days, will be nothing less than world class, attracting some of the best in the local and international accounting, finance, and business arena, including international and regional finance professionals, and CA Sri Lanka qualified Chartered Accountants who are reputed corporate leaders, and c-suite executives.

“The conference will be an excellent platform to deliberate the changes affecting the finance, business and environmental landscape while also exploring future opportunities and challenges and how we must continue to play an active role in safeguarding our planet,” he said.

Detailing the rationale behind this year’s theme, Technical Chair Ms. De Silva said that the theme resonates with the Sustainable Development Goals of the United Nations Agenda 2030 and the importance of considering Environmental, Social and Governance (or ESG) issues in investment decisions. “We feel our profession needs to pay attention to how we as accountants can contribute to preserving our Planet and its People, our HERITAGE,” she said.

“With this objective, we hope to challenge our profession whilst creating awareness of the gravity of climate change and get us to rethink on how we can help to build sustainable businesses whilst adding value to the economy and create long-term value by serving the interests of all stakeholders,” Ms. De Silva added. A landmark concept founded by CA Sri Lanka in 1979, the National Conference of Chartered Accountants is among Sri Lanka’s biggest annual business summits. Over the years, the National Conference has built a reputation as a business summit which provokes thoughts and spurs insights on broad economic and business issues, apart from its core emphasis on finance related topics.

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