Campus hiring -and one immediately is flooded with the images of the MBAs from premier institutes and their 'breathtaking beating the roof' salaries!! While some sanity has prevailed among this years announcements from the respective colleges-in the terms of atleast not directly correlating individual names and their respective salaries, the B schools have been going ga-ga about all the previous records being rewritten, an occasional dropout from the campus scene to pursue dreams, differential salary for lateral hires et al!
It is therefore refreshing to see a press note on the increasing demand f
or another set of professionals..Chartered Accountants- who seem to have rather missed the bus on the expressway in the last decade!
The key reasons are obvious:
1. the economic boom and complex tax structure, the profile of a CA has catapulted to a professional with a high-level of managerial skill with multi-disciplinary talent.
2.CA‘s role now is not confined to accounting alone. M&A activities, cross-border taxation, transfer pricing issues, setting up infrastructure projects, development of software etc
3.Booming stock market enticing a flurry of IPOs and M&As.
4.Transfer Pricing Rules in India which necessitated filing of separate returns and related documents on cross border transactions has also generated am additional demand for CAs with specialisation in overseas deals.
Personally though, I think it is the result of a some strategic interventions taken by the Institute of Chartered Accountants in the recent years, albeit late, like
-changing the course curriculum to attract students even as they pass out from high school- by starting foundation classes a few years back
-introducing the element of 'soft skills training' that a hitherto 'auditor' wasnt expected to -in the past decades
-insisting on a minimum threshold level of campus salaries -ala the BSchools have been doing for ages!
So while the BPOs and KPOs did spur the demand for shared finance services, and analytics -which was predominantly usurped by MBAs, CAs are slowly regaining their share under the sun!!
With the corporate salaries at entry levels -being attractive, one is likely to see more and more CAs postponing the urge to 'go on their own' till they have acquired sufficient brand equity and industry experience/specialisation!!
I must however, admit- the CA institute must take a leaf from their colleagues in the Law field (National Law School and NALSAR are now being offered salaries on part with the top B Schools..so much so one rarely finds students opting out to set up their own practices!!) and create the halo around the profession to attract the best raw material in the years to come....