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Cos netting CAs from campus itself
March, 10th 2007

Things just got even better for chartered accountants (CAs). Over 300 top corporates, including multinationals, have begun focusing on campus recruitment, offering recruits fresh from the course a more than 150% jump in starting salaries.

CAs today command up to Rs 27 lakh compared to the starting salary of Rs 1.5 lakh offered just a few years ago.

Thanks to the economic boom and complex tax structures, the profile of a CA has catapulted to a professional with a high level of managerial skill with multi-disciplinary talent. CAs role now is not confined to accounting alone.

Companies are expecting them to play crucial roles in human resource divisions, merger and acquisition activities, cross-border taxation, transfer pricing, setting up infrastructure projects, software development, etc.

The heightened economic activity has also triggered an unprecedented demand for CAs. Consider this: There are currently 1.4 lakh CAs against a demand for 5 lakh CAs.

To net the best talents, companies are going through the campus selection route. The Institute of Chartered Accountants of India, which is facilitating campus recruitment, now insists that the threshold limit of pay package on offer should not be below Rs 3.5 lakh. Yet, see the figures for the campus recruitment last year - ICICI recruited 100 CAs, RIL 98, Tata Sons 74, Ernst & Young 74, TCS 64, Jaypee Capital Services 67, BSR & Co 62, Kotak Mahindra 47, Infosys 45, etc. The Institute has put in place placement programme centres in Ahmedabad, Indore, Baroda, Coimbatore, Chennai, Kolkata, New Delhi, Hyderabad, Bangalore, Bhilai, Jaipur, Kanpur, Mumbai and Pune.

Olam International, during the campus interview held in 2006 recruited four CAs at a package of Rs 27 lakh. Eta Ascon Group recruited four at a package of Rs 8 lakh. UTI Bank recruited eight CAs for Rs 7.49 lakh. ICICI Bank recruited 100 personnel at Rs 5 lakh package.

Uttam Prakash Agarwal, chairman of the committee for members in industry (CMI), an ICAI arm for campus selection, said: There are 14 centres all over India for campus recruitment which is held twice a year. At least, 70 % of the CAs will find jobs through this process itself. He said the first phase of recruitment for 2007 was on and major companies in banking, infrastructure and IT sectors, besides MNCs, had participated in the process.

The corporate sector felt the shortage of CAs with the BPO boom. BPOs, which need to streamline transactions, most of which are cross-border, have recruited a sizeable number of CAs. As the stock market moved steadily from 6,000 points to border the 15,000 mark, corporate activities in India too multiplied, resulting into a flurry of IPOs and M&As. The introduction of transfer pricing rules in India, which necessitated filing of separate returns and related documents on cross-border transactions, has also generated an additional demand for CAs with specialisation in overseas deals.

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