Forum on 'post - war evolution on integrated Systems in Sri Lanka'

Sri Lanka’s economy grew by an impressive 8% in 2010, reflecting a fast recovery from the setback suffered for many years and moved to a high and sustainable growth path. All key sectors of the economy demonstrated commendable performance in 2010, underpinned by the peaceful domestic environment, and improved investor confidence, favourable macroeconomic conditions and gradual recovery of the global economy from one of the deepest recessions in history.

“In harnessing this growth companies will require high-end integrated system solutions, which are discussed at the special forum, ‘The Post-War Evolution of Integrated Systems in Sri Lanka,’ organised by Abas Software AG and Providence Network and Solutions (Pvt.) Ltd. This forum will be held on 4 May 2011 at 6 p.m. at Cinnamon Grand Colombo with the participation of industry leaders, business tycoons and other stakeholders who take a keen interest in the economic development in macro as well as at micro levels,” said Providence Network and Solutions (Pvt.) Ltd. Managing Director Dr. Vaz Gnanam.

Talking about high-end integrated systems Dr. Gnanam said: “Enterprise resource planning (ERP) is a software system that manages both internal and external resources, including financial resources, tangible assets, materials and human resources. It builds on a centralised database that utilises a common computing platform. ERP systems bring all business operations into one uniform and enterprise-wide system environment. As new products and product lines become available in a company, along with new customers, ERP consolidates how the information will be available for use by management. New products always pose a problem because the company has no record of product performance to which to refer.”

“However, ERP allows tools to be used in which you lay out expectations, explain design specifications and make sure no unintended consequences ensue. ERP also assists in supporting global business requirements, some of which may involve multiple languages and currencies. Making or selling products overseas presents its own set of issues, and ERP can advise on the different parameters that management must be aware of in dealing with business conditions in different countries,” he added.

Although up-to-date information and data on integrated systems are not found in Sri Lanka, the Central Bank has recently stated in its annual report 2010 that the entire information technology sector played a key role for the economic stability while opening up the doors for national development for all sectors. When taking a closer look at the last year’s growth, computer and information services subsector showed a satisfactory improvement.

Providence is a dynamic software engineering, business consulting and IT services provider enabling clients to leverage expertise in the IT and consulting arenas. Providence has a proven track record in delivering high quality software engineering products and services at lower costs using its proven and industry renowned delivery model.

Providence partners with its clients and helps them achieve their business and IT needs right from the start to the end of the project lifecycle. It brings the best ideas and skills from various facets right to its clients’ doorstep through its expertise and team of qualified consultants.

Competitive Advantage with ABAS

Challenges faced by businesses in an active market environment are greater than what an average person could imagine. Unless drawbacks are identified and addressed effectively to maximize the return on investment, the chances are high that such ventures would lose ground to competitors.

The cement industry is not an expectation to this global norm. Tokyo Cement Colombo Terminal happens to be a key venture in Sri Lanka that plays a bigger role catering to the national requirement in the construction industry. During the recent past, amongst many other multinationals engaged in cement manufacturing and trading in the island, Tokyo Cement faced some considerable disadvantages over effective planning and utilization of its resources against technological enhancements introduced by its competitors. According to Thiloka Jayawardena, Finance Manager of Tokyo Cement Colombo Terminal (Pvt) Ltd. these issues were identified and rectified pushing the company forward by introducing a solution, which was the turning point. “The solution that presented itself  to overtake our competitors was Abas ERP. It covers all business fundamentals including business intelligence, which is vital for an organization of our scale in addition to the cost effective ERP solution system, which performs up to our expectations,” explained Jayawardena.

“Among the many unique features found in Abas ERP we feel comfortable with its inherent database and the ability to customize. Adding more to it, we have the ability to seek support from the local partner Providence Network & Solutions (Pvt) Ltd. as well as Abas Software AG in Germany.” added Jayawardena who recommends Abas for any organization looking for strategic growth.

Inauguration of IFRS Academy for Banks in Sri Lanka

On 6 and 7 September, local banks will be given a leg up by Providence Networks and Solutions who have organised a two-day workshop on International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) with renowned international guest speakers and consultants to boot. The IFRS Academy will see nearly 180 participants from the local banking sector come together to learn how to tackle the 1 January, 2012 deadline set by the Central Bank, in implementing IFRS.
Some of the guest speakers at the free workshop at Hotel Taj Samudra will include Dr. Sarath Amunugama as chief guest and the Secretary of the European Bankers Association.  


The workshop hopes to shed light on what has been called ‘an incredibly complex’ standard.
The new standard was introduced to the country by the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Sri Lanka (ICASL) which has taken steps to adopt IFRS by issuing a Sri Lanka Financial Reporting Standards (SLFRS) and Sri Lanka Accounting Standards (LKAS) for annual financial periods.
But despite the International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) being swiftly implemented across the globe (with over a 100 countries having adapted it), Sri Lanka has been lagging: Secretary General of the Sri Lanka Bank’s Association Upali De Silva, who recently spoke on the topic of IFRS put the delays in implementation down to complexity of the standard, which he states many other bigger countries struggled to understand at the beginning.
De Silva said, “…bringing in expertise, training people, system enhancements — which can be time consuming and complex in itself, are some of the challenges banks face. I recently met with certain accounting officials from London and even they said that most accounting personnel found the whole operation to be quite complicated,” but he went on to state that the world has come a ‘long way’ since then in identifying issues that he firmly believes that most banks, the bigger ones especially have already made progress and are on the right track.
The benefits
USA, Canada, India and Japan are some countries which are currently in a transitional process to IFRS. According to De Silva, the benefits of a smooth IFRS transition that would result in the country conforming with a set of global accounting standards, will encourage overseas investors who need not have concerns of different local accounting standards when evaluating the financial status of local organisations and in turn will boost investor confidence.
For the economy, a marked increased growth of international business, by encouraging international investing would be likely.  
For the industry, as a whole, it will be able to raise capital from foreign markets at lower cost if it can create confidence in the minds of foreign investors that their financial statements comply with globally accepted accounting standards.
And for the men behind the operation: Convergence with IFRS benefits accounting professionals in a way that they will be able to sell their services as experts in different parts of the world. The thrust of the movement towards convergence has come mainly from accountants in public practice. It offers them more opportunities in any part of the world if same accounting practices prevail throughout the world.
The challenges
 According to the statement by ICASL, all existing IAS’s and IFRS’s will be adopted with effect from 1 January, 2012 to comply with international accounting standards in all material respects in order to bring ‘more credibility’ to financial reporting in Sri Lanka.
For many banks, convergence with IFRS is expected to have a significant impact on their financial position and financial performance, directly affecting key parameters such as capital adequacy ratios and the outcomes of valuation metrics that analysts use to measure or evaluate performance.
However, in addition several challenges on the path to convergence, that are applicable to all companies, banking companies in Sri Lanka are faced with a very short deadline.
Manil Jayesinghe, Partner at Ernst and Young recently voiced concerns that the banking industry was not 100% prepared for the 2012 deadline. Jayesinghe attributed the delays in implementation to inadequate resources and the previous war scenario but stated that the banks should have been working on IFRS implementation.
 The deadline
Jayesinghe said, “Now they’re at a crunch. However, this can be sorted out with the right resources. There will be a cost involved: for example in bringing in consultants and experts, the changing of systems (IT) as well as changes to management and training but the bank’s success depends on how good or bad a bank’s current system is.
He went on to warn that the risks for banks are many: the new application can change the way banks are used to reporting and seeing standards and they will have to prepare to exercise a certain amount of judgment because none of the transactions provide black and white answers.
On top if this factor is that the standard is like ‘a moving goal post’ according to Jayesinghe. Currently two more standards have been released and by the end of this year, there are more to come.
Jayesinghe said, “What’s important is that we need to stop looking at these standards as a chore, the end result we want is to make better reports so that the big economic decision makers out there make better economic decisions.   
IFRS has evolved over the years and will continue to evolve due to the complexities of the operations that companies deal in. From 2012 onwards, Sri Lanka will envelope such changes no sooner the changes are issued. Hence, being compliant with SLFRS as of now, is a moving target but one that the IFRS Academy will hopefully bring closer to local bank’s grasp.

Published: September 1, 2011, DailyFT 



Business sustainability with ERP ABAS - May 2012

Identifying the fullest potential for enterprises to maximise resources, Providence Global has organised a symposium on ‘Business Sustainability with ERP’, which will be held on 30 May at Cinnamon Grand Hotel Cedar Room from 6p.m. onwards.


This symposium, which is held for the third consecutive time within past one year, will be participated by Abas Software AG Chief Operating Officer Peter Forscht. The ABAS Software AG, located in Karlsruhe, develops the ABAS Business Software and successfully distributes it in Germany and abroad together with its sales partners. The company has many years of know-how and service as the focal point.
ABAS ERP is a unique system that has opened source advantages as well. It comes with a built in proprietary database which eliminates the need for clients to invest in a database separately, the user licenses is concurrent and perpetual licensing. Abas believes in continuous development of its products and releases two new updates every year, the new Abas ERP for 2012 comes with a built in CRM with document management system and it also boasts a graphical screen editor with drag and drop features which can be modified as per the users requirements. Looking at the local partner, Providence Global, which is a dynamic software engineering, business consulting and IT services provider, enables regional clients to leverage on its expertise in the IT and consulting arenas. Providence Global has a proven track record in delivering high quality software engineering products and services using proven and industry renowned delivery model.  
“Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) solutions form the backbone of the most efficiently run manufacturing and logistics firms in the world today. ERP solutions aid in reducing operational costs, facilitating inventory management, streamlining day-to-day management, and supporting resource planning and forecasting. We would invite enterprises to take part in the forthcoming forum by joining our market leading partner in ERP,” said Providence Global Managing Director Dr. Vaz Santhosh Gnanam.


Published: May 30, 2012, Daily News

MA’s Tropical Food Processing (Pvt) Ltd signs up for Abas ERP

Providence recently signed an agreement with MA’s Tropical Food Processing (Pvt) Ltd. to provide and implement the ABAS ERP solution. MA’s has been leading food processor in Sri Lanka for over 25 years supplying both the local and Export Market. The company has two main factories located in Dambulla and Minuangoda and produces a wide range of products ranging from Spices and Condiments to Sauces and Canned Coconut Milk. MA’s employs over 250 persons within the group which stretches through the entirety of the Agri-Foods chain. Its major markets other than the local retail and industrial markets include EU countries, Japan and Australia.