Contributing Writer – Shtakshi Gupta
Name – Surinder Arora
Profession – Chartered Accountant
Age – 64
Gender – Male
City – Khanna, Punjab
Industry – Accounting
- Compared to other streams such as medical or engineering, the costs associated with training and education in charted accountancy are very low.
- Living in a highly globalized, capitalistic world economy with a multitude of businesses and industries means this profession is in high demand.
- There is a lot of scope for professional and financial growth in this line of work because currently there is shortage of qualified professionals in this field.
- Continued Professional Education is a must for all chartered accountants as they have to keep up with even the most minor changes in tax laws and structural reforms in the economy.
- Having inviolable moral standards is of paramount importance when handling other people’s finances.
Where have you been born and raised?
I was born and raised in Chandigarh. My father worked as a SDU (sub-divisional officer) for the Punjab government any my mother was a housewife. I have 3 brothers and 1 sister, the one younger to me works as PR manager for Pizza Hut, another one works as a manager in the bank of Maharashtra in the Delhi and the third one has his luggage and bags business in Delhi. My sister is married into a business family and lives in Orissa.
Who all had the most influence on you and how?
There were a lot of factors at work, I had initially opted for medical, but it soon became apparent that that was not my forte, then I was left with 2 options which were non-medical i.e. engineering or commerce. The reason why I opted for commerce was because my cousin brother had a friend who was a C.A. and looking at his work, position and prestige is what made me decide to go in a similar direction and as luck would have it I even ended my interning under his tutelage.
Please give us a summary of your career, chronologically, including organisation names and your role/designation.
After I did my B. Com from Government College, Chandigarh I worked as an accountant for Punjab State Small Industries and Export Corporation, then I joined the Haryana division of the same organization where I joined as an accountant and left as an accounts manager and it was after that I opened my independent practice in Mandi Gobingarh, Punjab.
I am part of a partnership firm with 9 main partners and we mostly deal with jobs of accountancy, auditing and income tax of our private clients most of whom are in the iron and steel industry.
Which institutes are best for the education/training of this profession?
Shri Ram College of Commerce in Delhi would be my top pick, other than that any well-reputed private or government college for B.Com will do. However, there is only institute to get your CA and that is ICAI, Delhi.
What are the costs associated with the education/training of this profession?
For institutes I think it would range from 30,000–40,000 per annum and the extra coaching for charted accountancy entrance, the whole course would cost you about 50,000. So, your overall cost probably won’t exceed 2 lakhs.
What are the typical entry level jobs in this profession?
The process to become C.A. is a very tough. It is a multi-layered process and one of the prerequisites of the giving the final exam is that you should have interned under a professional charted accountant in a firm/company for a minimum of three years. That essentially covers your on-the-job training, after you’ve cleared the exam and you have your license you can go in the line of accountancy or finance, open up your own practice.
There are many opportunities in the stock exchange market as well. For a novice his/her main responsibility would be managing the accounts of the company they work for.
What is the range of remuneration one can expect when starting out in your line of career & industry?
To earn well, work experience is important. Your packages will get more lucrative depending on the number of years of work experience you have.
Describe your work? What do you typically do on a normal work day?
Presently, we are handling the audit of NHPC (National Hydroelectric Power Company), and their plants are situated all over the country. When we get large government projects such as this we hold a meeting and allocate the work. I and one of my partner and my son are handling 3 projects in Ludhiana for NHPC. We are simultaneously handling bank audits as well. There are 2 types of bank auditors one is the branch auditor and the other is CSA (central statutory auditors), we are one of the five CSA’s appointed by the J&K Bank; so, these are some of things that make up my daily workload.
What are some of the positives, which would encourage someone to consider this career/job?
First off, the educational costs of charted accountancy are minimal as compared to other professional courses.
Secondly, you get direct entry to the job immediately after your education is complete because we live in a capitalistic society so as long as there are businesses around, they will perennially need people to handle their finances, so this profession will always be in demand.
Another important positive of having your own private practice would be that your work hours are pretty flexible, so, are your work days so you can spend time with your family.
Also, as you build up your roster of clients, you do so on the basis of your reputation and standards which in turn builds customer loyalty.
What are some of the challenges that you would want someone to be aware of when considering this career/job?
The biggest one would be the constantly changing nature of the profession, tax and financial laws are often amended and new ones introduced with every new budget and parliamentary session. The most recent example being GST.
As a C.A., we have to keep up with these issues and as such we are required to fulfil our CPE (continued professional education) obligations. As a C.A., one is privy to innermost financial workings of your clients/companies thus maintaining client confidentiality is a must. Although this doesn’t not necessarily have to be a challenge if you abide by the rules laid down by the ICIA and your own work ethic.
What kind of person would be happy in your career?
Anyone who has a head for analysing numbers, a strong moral code and the ability to seamlessly interact with people from varying backgrounds will rise to the top in this line of work.
Given another choice, what would you do differently as far as your professional selections are concerned?
Yes, like I mentioned before I took medical and was aspiring to be a doctor but in this particular case my aptitude did not align with my area of interest.
What would be your advice to students or professionals who are just starting their journey on a path similar to yours?
I would mostly encourage young professionals to come into this field because there is a huge gap between the opportunities available and the number of people actually availing them which is why as of today in our country this profession has huge unrealized potential and unlike a lot of other professions we would actually welcome an influx of people into our ranks.