Chartered Accountancy (CA) is fast becoming a highly preferred career option in the field of finance especially as cost of completing the program is much less compared to other professional programs. Moreover, it offers excellent job opportunities in the field of accounting, corporate finance, auditing, taxation, corporate governance, business laws and investment banking. The Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI), New Delhi, regulates the Chartered Accountancy course and profession in India.
Over the years, the Chartered Accountancy profession has achieved rapid growth by virtue of quality professional services rendered by its members, and has come to occupy a prominent role in our economy and society. As against a meager membership of 1,700 in 1949, today the membership of the Institute is around 1,65,000.
Increasing responsibilities are being placed by the government and the society on the members of the profession, and their specialized knowledge and skills are being utilized in various fields of activities. Statutory recognition is given to the role of the members of the profession and their audit / certification is insisted upon for various purposes in different statutes.
The Institute is playing a prominent role in the international accounting bodies by virtue of its membership and active involvement in the activities of the International Federation of Accountants (IFAC), International Accounting Standards Board (IASB), Confederation of Asian and Pacific Accountants (CAPA) and South Asian Federation of Accountants (SAFA).
CA is a profession that imparts the best of technical skills in financial and management areas, and abilities necessary for deciding and acting upon the high-pressure situations. It is a small wonder, then, that Chartered Accountancy is a high status profession and a passport to a challenging and rewarding career in the field of industry and commerce. Chartered Accountants today have occupied top management positions in public as well as private sectors. They also render professional services as accountants and management consultants. The society has increasingly recognized the services of CAs in entire gamut of management consultancy including management accounting, management information and control systems, international finance, information technology and financial services. CAs today are part of the top management team and hold key positions in the corporate sector. Even in the government, they occupy prominent positions. Rapid changes taking place in the economy have further opened up new vistas of opportunities for Chartered Accountants. On becoming a Chartered Accountant, you will find that you have a plethora of options for pursuing a challenging and rewarding career.
Independent Professional Practice
As practitioners of public accounting, CAs may start professional practice as proprietors or join any existing firm as partners or staff members. A CA has been entrusted with substantial responsibility of complying with the provisions of various legislations such as compulsory audit of the accounts of all companies, banks, cooperative societies, stock brokers, big income-tax assessees, large bank borrowers, etc. A Chartered Accountant also provides compilation and review services, as and when required by enterprises. While practicing as an independent professional, a CA also acts as a business advisor by providing all kinds of services including the preparation of financial reports, helping the business to secure loans, preparing financial projections showing how the loans will be repaid, and determining the viability of businesses. As tax advisors, CAs helps businesses and individuals to comply with tax laws and represent their clients before government agencies.
Management Consultancy Services
A CA plays a vital role in assisting businesses to improve the use of their resources, increase their efficiency and achieve their objectives. As a management consultant a CA can also identify, evaluate and recommend ways to increase revenue and reduce operating costs; analyze operations and suggest changes in structure and individual responsibilities; conduct special studies, prepare recommendations, plans and programs; and provide advice and technical assistance in their implementation. The breadth of management advisory services rendered by Chartered Accountants reflects their clear response by application of their theoretical knowledge and business experience to the clients’ changing needs. Such services include –
- Financial management planning and financial policy determination such as capital structure and related areas
- Preparation of project reports and feasibility studies
- Market research and demand studies
- Management accounting systems, cost control and value analysis
- Budgeting, inventory management, working capital management
- Personnel recruitment and selection, incentive plans
- Business policy, corporate planning, organisation development, growth and diversification
- Organisation structure and behaviour, development of human resources
- Systems analysis and design, and computer related services
- Advisor or consultant to an issue
- Investment counselling in respect of securities
- Registrar to an issue and for transfer of shares/other securities
- Quality audit, energy audit and environmental audit
Opt for Industry/Government Organisation
A Chartered Accountant may choose to join an industry or even a government organization and hold an important position of great responsibility. Chartered Accountants are responsible for developing, analyzing and reporting on information needed for business decisions. They also evaluate the financial effects of the management’s actions. A Chartered Accountant may also take up the job of an educator at a university / college level. Many Chartered Accountants hold key positions in businesses or industrial firms as CEOs, Managing Directors, Director (Finance) and Chief Accountants.
The opportunities are plenty, and ever-multiplying. Today, huge opportunities are available for professionals with specialized knowledge and skills sought by global organizations. These include the areas of national and international taxation, finance and corporate law. The knowledge of local laws and regulations, of course, places Chartered Accountants in a stronger position to supply services to global organizations entering the Indian market.
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