A career in accountancy encompasses virtually all fields of commercial activity whether in the manufacturing industry, retail marketing, banking consultancy or even government service. Accountants deal with financial management and control.
The most prestigious of careers in accountancy is that of a chartered accountant. A chartered accountant is a person who is accepted as a member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI) after having passed the final examination for the chartered accountancy course conducted by the institute.
In recent times, accountancy has grown in popularity as a profession. Wherever there are users of money, however small their business may be, the services of a CA are required. Moreover under the Companies Act only CAs in professional practice are entitled to be appointed as auditors of companies in India.
Although the number of women who join this profession is limited, chartered accountancy can be a challenging career for women with numerical talent. Traditionally chartered accountancy has been a male preserve, but increasing numbers of women are now making a successful career in this field.
This includes writing up of accounts and the preparation of financial statements from the simplest receipts and payments to complex and detailed accounts, and the maintenance of books of accounts as required by the Companies Act.
The purpose of auditing is to satisfy the users of financial statements that the accounts presented to them are drawn up on correct accounting principles. CAs perform financial, cost and tax audits, and some aspects of secretarial audits.
CAs are trained at maintaining cost auditing records, compiling cost information, installing cost controls and even performing cost audits.
The CA with experience in accounts has an advantage when it comes to preparing returns for tax purposes, representing assesses before the income tax authorities and rendering general advice on taxes to clients. CAs practicing in the field of taxation usually deal with direct taxes, that is those which are collected directly by the government like income tax and wealth tax. However, they do provide advice on indirect taxes that is those, which are borne by the public through increased prices and surcharges like sales tax and excise duty.
An additional responsibility recently placed on CAs is that their services will now be required by the revenue authorities in making proper assessments. With rates of taxes continuously undergoing revision, up to date tax information is an
Important input for financial management.
CA's are experts at examining specific aspects of businesses in order to ascertain the financial position of the business for the information of interested parties on new issues of share capital, the purchase, sale or financing of a business and for reconstruction and amalgamation. Their services are also sought for undertaking investigation.
Accounting is an information-related service, and the area of consulting is most talked about and coveted not only among senior CAs but also among the bright and ambitious starters in the profession. The various areas of consulting are:
· Management accounting and internal audit.
· Corporate law advice.
· Project planning and finance.
· Business advice.
· Systems design and information consultancy.
A CA is often appointed executor under a will or trust in order to carry out the administration of the estate or settlements. Appointments of this nature require the CA to work in cooperation with solicitors and lawyers. CAs can also perform functions under special positions directorships of companies, arbitrators for settling of disputes, handling work related to insolvency and bankruptcy, to name a few.