The demand for chartered accountants (CAs) in the corporate world has shot up with stringent income tax laws which require compulsory maintenance of accounts by specified categories of taxpayers.
Around 102 companies from the information technology, business process outsourcing, financial services and manufacturing sectors came recruiting when campus interviews were organised by ICAI at 11 centres across the country during 2005.
Average salary levels during the placement shot up by 50 per cent from Rs 2 lakh per annum to Rs 4lakh. The highest salary offered was Rs 12 lakh.
The Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI) churned out 8,000 CAs last year, of which 84 per cent has been placed in companies.
What's the reason for this trend? Explains T N Manoharan ICAI president. "Fresh passouts prefer the corporate sector to begin their career since it is less riskier than setting up an independent practice and the remuneration on offer is just too attractive to refuse."
The ICAI training equips CAs to prepare the returns for tax purposes and represent assessees before the income tax authorities and this has spurred the demand for accountants.
Manoharan notes there is a huge demand for CAs abroad too but with the demand picking up in India, migration of CAs to foreign lands has declined considerably. Currently, there are 12,000 CAs from India employed In corporates abroad.
Under the current laws, Indian CAs are not allowed to set up practice in foreign countries. ICAI is however negotiating with countries including Singapore, US, UK and Australia to allow Indian CAs to set up practice in that country, Manoharan said.
However, ICAI states there is an acute shortage of CAs in India and corporates are increasingly finding it difficult to find qualified CAs.
Proof of this is the fact that during last year's campus placement in ICAI, corporates managed to recruit just 1,034 CAs of the 8,000 CAs who passed the examination, as the rest had already found jobs in corporates outside the placement process.