As per the annual report of ICAI 2015–16, there were 253,337 members as of 1st April 2016. Out of which, more than one lakh CAs are practising in India.
The 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 also include roles of data management and cyber security. This will help to improve transparency and reduce fraud 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 broadening their client base.
The platform for executing the redefined role of CAs is comprehensive. MSMEs can be an emerging area. As per the MSME annual report 2016-17, MSMEs are at least 512.99 lakh.AS per the MSME annual report 2016-17, the number of MSMEs is 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 solutions for business challenges
- Think analytically, critically, and in an integrated manner
- Conduct research
Additional Read: Tips every practising CA must keep in mind
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