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Roadblocks for CA Firms and How to Solve Them

  • Highlights

  • Growing number of practicing CAs

  • List of challenges faced by CA firms

  • Top remedial actions

As on 1st April, 2017, there are 269350 members of The Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI). Out of these only 126892 members are in practice.


  No. of Fellows No. of Associates
In full time practice 70352 48446
In part-time practice 2805 5289
Not in practice 13482 128976
Total 86639 182711

The CA firms face some major hurdles. The International Federation of Accountants’ 2015 IFAC Global SMP Survey involved 6725 small, and medium-sized accounting practices SMPs from 169 countries.
The major roadblocks of SMPs were:
-Attracting new clients
-Keeping up with new standards, and regulations
-Standing out from competitors
-Being pressured to reduce their fees

However, there are other hurdles for CA firms too, which include:
-Shift from the role of auditor to business advisor, and strategist
-Serving international clients
-Keeping up with new technology
-Attracting new, and retaining existing staff
-Attracting new, and retaining existing clients

Solutions to Implement

1. Expand Practice

Given the intense competition it is important to ensure organic growth by generating new clients. Getting new clients can be a slow but a steady process. CAs need to increase their visibility and reach. This can be done by publishing problem or industry specific quality content. The expert opinion, and the knowledge bank of CAs will help to build their domain authority.
ICAI members can be the speaker in various seminars, and webinars. The delegate fees of various ICAI seminars is Rs. 1000 to Rs. 1500 on an average. Visits, and cold calling are still a critical part of networking. The existing clients can get you referrals. Quality service, and fee benefits can delight them.
CAs are required to shift their role from mere accountants to being strategists, and business advisors.

2. Increase Your Learning Quotient

In order to render exceptional service to the client, all the members in the CA firm should continuously learn new skills. Some of the conventional skills are:
Company secretarial services.
Taxation - national, and international.
Consultancy for insolvency, share evaluation and others.
ICAI offers several courses that can help enhance the knowledge quotient. Some of these courses are Information Systems Audit (ISA), ERP courses, Certification Course on Forensic Accounting & Fraud Prevention etc. Qualifications like US GAAP will help members to serve the international clients.


3. New technology

CA firms need to be tech savvy to beat the competition. Adoption of software programs such as accountancy software, accounting tools, and client management software will help to boost the efficiency of the firm. These can be further aligned on a CA-ERP platform. For example, Gen GST software installation costs Rs. 5000 with a per year updating of Rs. 2000. For the enterprises, the application charges are Rs. 79999, and hosting pricing standard (India) is Rs. 39999 per year. CAs can avail chartered accountant loan to absorb these costs.

These ways will help CA firms circumvent various roadblocks.

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