I am pleased to share this message on the occasion of the 41st National Conference of Chartered Accountants, which is Sri Lanka’s biggest business summit with a history spanning over four long decades...
I am delighted to share this message for the 41st National Conference of Chartered Accountants organized by CA Sri Lanka. The year 2020 will go down in history as one of the most challenging years known to us...
While staking claim to becoming the biggest challenge since World War II, the ripple effect of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) global pandemic has reverberated through every corner of the globe, including Sri Lanka resulting...
I am pleased to share this message on the occasion of the 41st National Conference of Chartered Accountants, which is Sri Lanka’s biggest business summit with a history spanning over four long decades.
Bounded by uncertainty, the world is perhaps facing its biggest challenge known to mankind due to the COVID-19 global pandemic, the ripple effects of which has impacted every business and professional community including Chartered Accountants.
The pandemic has plunged the world into the deepest recession in 150 years, as businesses both big and small across the world fight to survive. As a leading professional organisation, we believed it is imperative for CA Sri Lanka to help our businesses rebuild while becoming an important catalyst to our professional community so that they can navigate through these unchartered territories. Therefore, the 41st National Conference of Chartered Accountants will be an important platform to discuss the changes, opportunities and abnormalities stemming from the COVID-19 crisis.
The road to recovery both at a global and local level is likely to be long and arduous due to the scale of the impact. While the world is engulfed in desolation, due to the pandemic, I believe the pandemic has also created us new opportunities in a business sense. Since COVID, we watched how businesses including SMEs who had zero presence on even social media quickly adapt to technology and other innovative business practices to survive. The pandemic no doubt opened new avenues which up until a few months back were never considered feasible.
COVID-19 has also created an opportunity for us all to start fresh, evaluate the challenges, learn from them and utilise it to create new opportunities for our long term sustenance and success under the ongoing ‘abnormal’ situation.
Amidst climate change and depletion of natural resources, which are often the result of man-made decisions, we have come to a point where we need to not just only focus on profits but also protect our planet, if we and our businesses are to survive on the long term. In such a scenario, I believe the pandemic has also provided us with a rare opportunity where we could revaluate our strategies and be responsible by contributing constructively towards achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which is considered a roadmap for humanity, as it encompass almost every aspect of human and planetary wellbeing.
Abnormality is here to stay, but, if we are willing to remain agile and adapt with the new normal all while embracing innovation, creativity and choosing to remain responsible as citizens and professionals, I am confident we will bounce back stronger.
I wish the National Conference fruitful deliberations!
Manil Jayesinghe President CA Sri Lanka
Chairman National Conference Committee
Mr. Tishan Subasinghe
Undeterred by complexities, contingencies, and the challenges facing us amidst COVID-19, CA Sri Lanka has set the stage for its flagship annual event, the 41st National Conference of Chartered Accountants.
The year 2020 was heralded with much expectations, but it turned out to be one of the most extraordinary years of our lifetime due to the pandemic, and the economic crisis which has brought the world to a standstill.
The past months have been a learning curve to us, while teaching us to appreciate many which we took for granted until a few months ago. While the virus encircled us in bleakness, the truth is, it also became the hotspot for new innovations, amidst disruptions thereby creating a new paradigm shift.
The current circumstances surrounding us no doubt is something akin to a new normal if not abnormal, which is why the National Conference this year will be held under the theme “Abnormal: Navigating through shattered norms.” For the first time in its history, the conference will take on a Virtual format this year due to the prevailing global pandemic.
Recognised as Sri Lanka’s biggest business summit attracting over 2000 delegates annually, in the past we were compelled to limit the number of participants at the conference due to limited seating at the venue. But this year, as the conference is being held on a virtual platform we have encouraged more foreign participants from the South Asian Federation of Accountants and the Confederation of Asian and Pacific Accountants to join us at the 41st National Conference of Chartered Accountants.
Sri Lanka is undoubtedly facing its biggest economic crisis in decades, however, as a nation we have to keep running despite whatever challenging situation we face, and we must always remember, it is often in the midst of the most challenging situation lies fresh opportunities. Therefore, I am certain the conference will be an important stepping-stone to stimulate and inspire the participants on how to move forward and create new opportunities amidst the ‘abnormal’.
I wish the 41st National Conference all success!
Tishan Subasinghe Chairman National Conference Committee
Chief Executive Officer
Ms. Dulani Fernando
I am delighted to share this message for the 41st National Conference of Chartered Accountants organised by CA Sri Lanka.
The year 2020 will go down in history as one of the most challenging years known to us, due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the related economic crisis the world is suffering from on account of a global shutdown. But, for a world which has witnessed many challenges in the past, I am certain, we can all rise again despite the complications surrounding us all from this latest crisis.
The global pandemic is an extraordinary challenge to us all, immaterial of our status or standing and or wheth-er we be living in a developed or developing country. But, amidst the casualties and the increasing number of patients across the globe, the pandemic has also become an opportunity for businesses to understand the importance of adapting and adjusting with changing times, while also embracing agility in an unprecedented situation.
Considered ‘new normal’ or ‘abnormal’, COVID-19 has also shown us why we need to increasingly rely on technology amidst strict health regulations including social distancing and working remotely.
In times of great challenge, professional bodies too have a critical role to play in helping businesses move forward. CA Sri Lanka takes immense pride in its standing as the National Body of Accountants and also as an influential professional body which has for over 60 years inspired and led the professional accounting commu-nity locally as well as regionally.
Therefore, the 41st National Conference of Chartered Accountants is held at a very opportune time. I am certain that the conference this year will inspire our Chartered Accountants including business leaders and c-suite executives to be an important enabler in leading the change amidst these unprecedented challenges, so that our corporates and the country will continue to enjoy greater and sustainable success on the long term.
I extend my best wishes for the 41st National Conference of Chartered Accountants
Dulani Fernando Chief Executive Officer CA Sri Lanka
Chairperson National Conference Technical Committee
Mrs. Anoji De Silva
The normal life we were used to and took for granted has turned into something ‘Abnormal’ in 2020. The COVID 19 pandemic has turned our world upside down and we have had to come to terms with situations that were, are and will be quite ‘Abnormal’ such as;
being forced to socially distance ourselves from each other instead of socializing.
WFH (work from home) without prior rehearsals and balancing work & life at home.
accept pay cuts, different working hours or even losing our jobs without warning.
face a steep learning curve around the use of technology.
eliminate or restrict business and personal travel.
What we would have considered ‘Abnormal’ and dismissed in 2019 has become our reality now in 2020. As I write this, I am also reminded how we almost got back to normal life, only to be struck by the pandemic again and how we are now having “what if?” conversations about our ability to hold the conference on the scheduled dates and in the scheduled format - ‘Abnormal’ times indeed!
Is ‘Abnormal’ all bad or negative? The simple answer is, ‘No’’! While it has disrupted the smooth flow of our day to day activities and businesses, it has also been a remarkable experience. In my opinion it is not a ‘new normal’ but ‘Abnormal’ that will be our future - adapting to sudden changes, learning new skills and technology on the go, coming up with innovative solutions to suit fast changing opportunities while being more socially conscious.
This is why CA Sri Lanka, being the thought leaders to the nation decided to adopt ‘Abnormal’ as the conference theme for 2020 to challenge the negativity surrounding the word and to start a conversation within the business community on how we can rethink and craft our future and build better businesses. These ‘Abnormal’ times are also a reminder to us that we need citizens of Sri Lanka to work together for the common good of our country. Our use of English, Sinhala and Tamil lettering in our ‘Abnormal’ logo is a reminder to us all of being Sri Lankan. At a time like this, we need to navigate through shattered norms as one country, one team, united by our common goal to contribute to our nation.
The 41st National Conference will be conducted in a hybrid format where we hope to conduct 4 sessions with all speakers and panelists being present physically and two sessions where we will have some speakers and panelists present physically while the others will join us virtually. Our focus this year will be on how we can redefine and refocus the corporate culture incorporating some of the values practiced by the SME and public sectors – two sectors which has renewed respect and focus from the nation for being agile and stepping up during the pandemic. Our role as professionals has also gained momentum and this is also our opportunity to showcase our contribution towards building businesses that are not only about shareholder profit but also of true stakeholder capitalism. I am certain the conference this year will give you many ideas for you to take back and consider for implementation in your respective organizations.
We look forward to your participation at this ‘Abnormal’ event where we endeavor to navigate through shattered norms, creating a butterfly effect where “small changes and small shifts in our thinking and small changes in our energy can and will dramatically influence the end result.”
Hoping to meet all of you virtually. Stay Safe.
Anoji De Silva Chairperson National Conference Technical Committee
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