Chartered accountants are hankering for a bigger role in the business. Not happy with their status as essentially number crunchers, CAs are looking for a position akin to their counterparts who wield management degrees. To activate this transition, the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI) plans to spend Rs 250 crore in setting up 11 centres of excellence (CoE) across India in the next eight years.
Work has already began on its first centre in Hyderabad with a planned investment of Rs 10 crore, which shall be operational next year. Two centres will follow in Delhi and Mumbai over the next two years. CAs have more knowledge than MBAs yet they lag in terms of salary and position. This has to change, said ICAI president Sunil Talati.
CoE will offer a PG qualification exclusively for CAs and will draw its faculty from the premier management institutes such as ISB and IIMs. It will focus on improving communication and marketing skills of CAs and help them build personality traits required to become a team leader. Earlier, Sandip Bhandare, chairman, Western India Regional Council of ICAI, had said: CAs are poor in marketing themselves, or negotiating their position. Thats where an MBA scores. CoE will focus on improving presentation skills, including command over English and body language.
While the average starting salary of a CA ranges from Rs 10-12 lakh per annum, at par with what IIM students are offered, theres a feeling within the CA fraternity that accountants tend to lose out to MBAs in the long run.