The Higher National Diploma in Accountancy (HNDA) was established in 1943 in the name of National Diploma in Accountancy with the aim of detecting, preventing frauds, errors, and malpractices in Ceylon Tea Estates and Ceylon Railway; and this was the first professional accounting course introduced back then in Sri Lanka (Ceylon). Later, this course was transformed into the Higher National Diploma in Accountancy (HNDA) in 1946.
Gradually, this course gained popularity and in 1963 part-time evening classes were also introduced in order to meet the market demand. Per Public Administration Circular No.46/90 of 1990, the HNDA qualification is considering as an equivalent( an alternate) to a Bachelors of Commerce degree (B. Com) offered by an accredited university, recognized by University Grant Commission (UGC) of Sri Lanka. This course is mandated for auditing enterprises, excluding public sector organizations and quoted companies. The certified auditors credential were granted for the HNDA holders in 1968. Beginning 2001, the HNDA program is conducting courses throughout the Island by the Advanced Technological Institute (ATIs) which is administered by the Sri Lanka Institute of Advanced Technological Education (SLIATE)
After completing the HNDA program, the HNDA holders can start their own careers as a registered auditor and can conduct the audit of companies except for public sector organizations and quoted companies.
The HNDA syllabus was lately revised after taking into consideration of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Sri Lanka (ICASL) and with the few other courses syllabus. The HNDA program can be completed in a full or part-time basis within a four-year period. ATIs (formerly known as Technical Colleges) of SLIATE is conducting this program throughout the Island from its inception in 1965 with the mission in mind to produce excellent diploma holders of higher education sector and for this purpose, the HNDA holders are taught to be skillful, competent, and also equipped with modern technology in the field of accounting and finance for contributing to the sustainable development of Sri Lanka.