Redefining the Role of a Chartered Accountant
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Redefining the Role of a Chartered Accountant

  • Highlights

  • Moving from traditional to advanced accounting

  • Emerging fields in accounting

  • Diversifying areas of consultancy

  • Staying ahead of the curve

As per the annual report of ICAI 2015–16, there were 253,337 members as on 1st April 2016. Out of which more than one lakh CAs are practicing in India.

Shift in The Role of CAs

Mark Spofforth, president of ICAEW, says, “CAs in India are technically far superior but accounting now is not just about technicality. It is also about identifying and solving problems. Clients look and value those CAs who can be trusted as advisors and who understand the dynamics business.”


Conventionally the services offered by CAs are:

- Company Audit
- Direct, Excise, And Service Tax
- International Tax
- GST Compliance, Audit, And Training
- Company Secretarial Services
- Cost Accountancy

Some of the emerging areas include:

- Insolvency related consultation
- Share evaluation
- Forensic accounting and auditing
- Structuring entry strategies for overseas companies
- Financial modelling
- NRI services
- Risk assessment and management
- Corporate governance
- Government schemes
- Intellectual property valuation
- Planning and structuring revenue models

The scope of financial modelling includes research - equity, market activity, IPO, and so on.
The dynamic economic environment requires CAs to shift their role from just being accountants, auditors or financial reporters to being business advisors, strategists, and forefront administrators to businesses who can guide them through the changing business scenario. They need to skillfully interpret reports, and find solutions to business problems as accounting cannot be taken in isolation.

Other areas include investment banking, Merger & Acquisition analysis, equity and IPO research, fraud and insolvency analysis, etc.

The accounting, and audit firms are also including roles of data management, and cyber security. This will help to improve transparency and reduce frauds in the financial system.

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The way forward

1. Practice Expansion

CAs can cater to newer markets by diversifying their services and thereby broaden their client base.

The platform for executing the redefined role of CAs is wide. MSMEs can be an emerging area. As per the MSME annual report 2016-17, the number of MSMEs are at least 512.99 lakh. AS per the MSME annual report 2016-17, the number of MSMEs are at least 512.99 lakh.

Such expansion needs to be supported with sufficient capital which can be easily funded with a business loan or loan against property for CAs.

2. Upskill themselves

CAs can also undertake courses on advanced courses to stay ahead of the curve.

These courses will help provide CAs, the skills to:

- Provide solution for business challenges
- Think analytically, critically, and in an integrated manner
- Conduct research

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