Canadian finance leader Amal Ratnayake FCMA, CGMA has been named 86th President of the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA), the highest volunteer post of the world leading professional body for management accountants.
In May, Ratnayake was also confirmed as Chairman of the Association of International Certified Professional Accountants, the global accounting organisation formed by CIMA and the American Institute of CPAs (AICPA) to advance the accounting profession worldwide.
“I am delighted to have been elected by my peers to serve as CIMA President and Chairman of the Association of International Certified Professional Accountants, particularly at such a significant time for the profession,” Ratnayake said.
As CIMA President, Ratnayake will represent 228,000 members and students across the world and be responsible to ensure the continued strength of the Institute, which is celebrating its 100th anniversary this year. While in his role as Association Chairman, he will also work to meet the needs of more than 657,000 public and management accountants, maintaining the profession’s relevance to individuals, businesses and other stakeholders across 179 countries and territories.
Adapting to change
Ratnayake takes office as the work of accounting and finance professionals undergoes sweeping change. Technology is transforming everything from audits to the role of the CFO, requiring new skills and new ways of working. Unsurprisingly, this is set to be a focus of his term as President.
“For more than a century, we have been developing highly-qualified global finance professionals, but we have also witnessed drastic technology-led change in the world of business and finance. Our profession is now at crossroads, facing both new opportunities and challenges from digital disruption,” he said.
“To thrive, we must re-imagine what we do and how we do it. We need to embrace new technologies and develop a digital mindset that complements our traditional finance and accounting skills,” he added.
Ratnayake will focus on advancing a digitally-focused profession, re-imagining the services that accounting professionals provide and demonstrating the value they bring in a fast-changing business world. He will work closely with AICPA Chair Bill Reeb CPA, CGMA, who will serve as Association Vice Chairman.
From Sri-Lanka to Canada
Sri Lankan born Ratnayake became a CIMA member in 1993 and began volunteering with the Education and Training Committee of CIMA Sri Lanka soon thereafter. In 2004, whilst living in Canada, he joined the CIMA Canada Board and was appointed as Board Chair in 2012 and 2013. From 2013-2017 he served as CIMA Council representative for the Americas, and chaired CIMA Global Markets Committee from June 2015 to December 2016. In 2017, he joined the Board of Directors of the Association of International Certified Professional Accountants.
He is also currently Chief Financial Officer at The Official Community Corporation, an online event-driven brand management company for established recording artists, and previously held a number of senior finance roles for companies in Sri Lanka, Saudi Arabia and Canada.
There were several other appointments ratified at the CIMA Anuual General Meeting including Nick Jackson’s election as Deputy President, Paul Ash’s election as Vice President and 2018-19 CIMA President Steven Swientozielskyj becoming immediate Past President.
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Ratnayake named CIMA President