Insights:

  1. Chartered Accountancy is a challenging and extremely remunerative career. For those aspiring and willing, it will serve as a real learning experience.
  2. This career requires continuous learning as new acts, returns, provisions and related software keep coming.
  3. In companies, Chartered Accountants manage the finances of the entire company such as the cost of production, salaries, revenue etc.
  4. This career is built on trust of several years. Once you handle a few clients properly, then through word of mouth, you get more clients.
  5. It also allows to network with rich people by advising them on various tax matters.
  6. You can work from your own city or hometown.
  7. The income is high in comparison to the IT sector.

Profile Details

Name – Gandikota Surya Sundar Kumar

Profession – Chartered Accountant & Partner in M/s Rao & Kumar

Age – 60

Gender – Male

City – Vishakhapatnam

Industry – Finance

LinkedIn – https://www.linkedin.com/in/sundar-kumar-pem053160-0135246b/

Where have you been born and raised?

I was born and raised in Anakapalli, Visakhapatnam District, Andhra Pradesh. My father was a retired Post Master and mother was a homemaker. I have two sisters and one brother, and all are well settled and residing in India.

It was a typical middle-class family where we learned the value of a disciplined and principled life not by preaching but by practicing. The value of money and morals were imbibed very strongly into our minds by the entire patriarchy. This could be the reason for my option on this profession.

Please describe your journey into becoming a Chartered Accountant.

I did my schooling in Visakhapatnam city and graduated in Bachelor of Commerce from Andhra University in Visakhapatnam. Later on, I pursued and successfully completed the Chartered Accountant course by joining articleship for three years as per the regulations of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI). For gaining more experience, I continued to stay with the same firm as an audit supervisor. Later, I joined Visakhapatnam Port Trust, an autonomous body under the direct administration of Ministry of Shipping (Earlier known as Ministry of Shipping, Road Transport & Highways, and Tourism).

Who all had the most influence on you and how?

My father had a great impact on me. He insisted on being accurate and sincere in whatever task I take up. My mother taught me people management in her own way, which was so useful when I had to deal with my clients. I give full credit to my family for encouraging me to continue my profession post-retirement as it is a challenge to work at this age. Today I am proud to have an impressive client list that I advise on auditing and tax matters.

Please give us a summary of your career after becoming a Chartered Accountant.

I qualified as a professional Chartered Accountant in the year 1989. Then I joined Visakhapatnam Port Trust as Deputy Chief Accounts Officer in 1990 and promoted to the post of Deputy Financial Advisor and Chief Accounts Officer (FA & CAO) in 1992.

Later, I was promoted to the post of Senior Deputy FA & CAO and continued till 2013 following which I got promoted to the post of Financial Advisor and Chief Accounts Officer and transferred to Paradip Port Trust and continued till retirement in 2014.

I am presently associated as a Partner in M/s Rao & Kumar Chartered Accountants, a well-established firm of 48 years vast experience in audit as well as taxation areas.

Which institutes are best for the education/training of chartered accountancy?

There are many coaching centres across the country for CPT, IPCC and Final exams such as Bhavan’s Vivekananda college of science, Hyderabad, Loyola College, Chennai, Jain Coaching centre, Kolkata, T.I.M.E, at HyderabadAcademy of Commerce, New Delhi,

What are the costs associated with the education/training of a Chartered Accountant?

The total fee charged by the ICAI is INR 65,000/-, which includes registration for CPT, Final exams and for pursuing all mandatory training programs.

The cost of books and other incidental expenditure during the training period of three years may vary depending on the cost of living in the place.

A candidate will receive a monthly stipend ranging between INR 1500/- and 2500/- during articleship, which is essentially interning with a practicing CA.

What are the typical entry-level jobs for a Chartered Accountant?

Once qualified, one can establish an individual practice or join services in public sector undertakings or private companies or Banks or Government services in the initial cadre of Executive category or may join professional institutions who offer consultancy services to various agencies.

One can work in the departments like Finance, Indirect taxation, Internal Audit, Treasury and so on.

One can start as Deputy Manager and go on to be Manager, Sr. Manager, General Manager, Chief Financial Officer (CFO) in governmental organizations.

If you start with a well-known Chartered Accountants Firm, then you start as an Associate and move on to be Manager, Senior Manager, Director, and Partner.

What is the range of salary one can expect when starting out as a chartered accountant?

Average salary for a CA practicing on their own

Starting out — Rs.30,000 to 50,000 INR per month

5 years of experience — Rs.50,000 to 75,000 INR per month

10 years of experience — Rs.75,000 to 85,000 INR per month

15 years of experience — Rs.75,000 to 85,000 INR per month

20+ years of experience — Rs.1,00,000 to 1,50,000 INR per month

Above is average income. Though, few CAs have earned lakhs and crores and grown their firms to employ several CAs.

Working for a company/firm/govt

Starting out — Rs.75,000 to 1,25,000 INR per month (Perks extra)

5 years of experience — Rs.100,000 to 150,000 INR per month (Perks extra)

10 years of experience — Rs.150,000 to 175,000 INR per month (Perks extra)

15 years of experience — Rs.150,000 to 175,000 INR per month (Perks extra)

20+ years of experience — Rs.200,000 to 250,000 INR per month (Perks extra)

Please describe your work as a partner in a Chartered Accountancy firm.

As a partner, I have to attend various types of audits of public sector undertakings and private companies such as statutory audits on yearly basis and Internal audits on a quarterly basis by visiting the clients’ units established across the country.

Thus, most of my time is spent on outdoor audits. Whenever I am at the head office, I have to attend clients’ income tax return works. Also, I give advice to clients on various tax-related issues and attending local audits besides preparation of audit reports of completed units.

I have to guide the CA students, during their article ship, by supervising their assignments.

What are some of the positives, which would encourage someone to consider becoming a CA?

This career is very professional, and we get to deal with like-minded and highly professionals only.

It also allows to network with rich people by advising them on various tax matters.

You can work from your own city or hometown.

The income is high in comparison to the IT sector.

Openings are at an all-time high as all individuals and organizations need auditor’s service.

What are some of the challenges that you would want someone to be aware of when considering a chartered accountant as a career?

One has to be confident that he can do hard work. It requires at least 8 to 10 hours during studies to successfully clear the CA exams.

The course requires good memory power as one is supposed to remember many acts, rules, and regulations.

Strong analytical skills and computations skills are a must.

One has to update continuously regarding the government policies, tax revisions, and any other financial related issue.

One has to keep revising the accounts mechanism and software even before a bill becomes an act and should be ready to implement it with immediate effect.

What are the relevant trends/skills/technologies that are currently commanding a premium for a CA?

Know-how of computer software programs, improving skills in the adoption of software techniques, knowledge in latest acts related sections and provisions and updating with present ongoing trends, etc., are contributing as premium in this profession.

What kind of person would be happy as a Chartered Accountant?

A person with qualities of taking up any challenge is highly recommended and suitable for this profession. One who would not bother about fixed working hours suits the profession best. If you provide advice to companies, then you can work from home.

Given another choice, what would you do differently as far as your professional selections are concerned? Would you pursue another profession or a passion perhaps?

I would have pursued Medicine if I had been successful in obtaining an admission. Though now I realize that I am really happy with what I have chosen.

What would be your advice to students or professionals who are just starting their journey on a path similar to yours?

The CA course is one of the toughest and time-consuming courses out there. To be a good Chartered Accountant, one has to possess patience and meet the challenges. If one is inclined to take up employment updating of acquired knowledge is just sufficient and reasonable.

Contributing Writer – Vivek Daddala

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