Today we live in a world of digital panic driven partly by incomplete information and traditional fear, read insecurity for survival. The recent flurry of messages regarding setting up of IIA's and reducing the power of CA's as a professional sensationalised by a few headlines already declaring the 'downfall' of a profession that has succesfully helped the Government in regulating law in India for over 70 years! , is one such panic that i will want to discuss today.
We as a professional body have survived and thrived since 1949. We have had competition from other similar professionals, but we have held our own and become arguably the leading finance experts in this country today. Chartered Accountants are not only experts in Accounting and Taxation, but in the new world a plethora of various avenues to earn incomes have sprung up for CA's - International taxation advice, Financial Management, Mergers & Acquisition to name a few.
What lead to the rise of our profession, will help understand why we shouldn’t fear competition. It’s the course that is designed to make hard working, out of the box thinking experts (sceptics will always disagree). This profession has enough ambassadors that have taken the name of CA to the highest level. More recently we also saw 2 'sharks' proving that we are good at whatever we do.
Fear & insecurity is a part of the CA course and once we clear it , we learn to handle these. This helps us in life as life in general will put various situations in front of us that will need one’s ability to conquer these emotions.
Now for the recent social media ‘panic’
The corporate affairs ministry had introduced a bill in Parliament last December whereby changes have been proposed to existing legislations governing the apex institutes of chartered accountants, cost accountants and company secretaries.
The Lok Sabha had referred the Chartered Accountants, the Cost and Works Accountants and the Company Secretaries (Amendment) Bill, 2021, to the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Finance for scrutiny.
The Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI) has flagged certain provisions in the bill, including those relating to the disciplinary committee, striking off names of defaulting CA (Chartered Accountant) firms and approval of names of CA firms registered with the institute.
Currently, the disciplinary committee has five members -- three ICAI central council members and two government nominees. The bill has proposed to include two CAs and three non-CAs. Besides, it has been proposed that the disciplinary committee will be headed by a non-CA.
The Bill is proposing changes in structure of the disciplinary committee, names of CA firms and similar. What we as an institute are contesting is the fact that we have successfully regulated the profession ourselves and should be allowed to continue to do so.
The Government on the other hand has been facing a lot of fraud cases in the economy where even banks have been able to mis report data, leading to huge losses. The Government has a feeling that regulating the regulators will lead to better reporting and stricter implementation of laws.
While I can share my opinion on the matter, I feel its irrelevant to the cause.
What is IIA? So where does this parallel IIA concept fit in: Indian Institute of Accounting,
The parliamentary panel has proposed the concept of IIA’s to be set up in the country similar to the IIT’s & IIM’s. This is still in the thought process and is yet to be proposed formally for legislative discussion.
However even if it happens, lets get ready for competition!! We don’t need to be protected. Lets be our own competition and lets strive to take our own individual competence and ethics to the next level. The degree gives us a great start in life , but where one goes and reaches will also be dependant upon one's own personal ability and drive. Lets collectively work for adding value to the word 'CA" - alphabets of Trust!!
NOTE will look forward to your comments and inputs - let the debate start!
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