Chartered accountants are a happy lot, as quite a few CA firms have promised a 15-20 per cent hike to their employees for the next financial year.
Many big and mid-sized firms such as Ernst & Young, Deloitte, KPMG and Kalyaniwalla and Mistry, among others, have completed the initial rounds of appraisal and have communicated to their employees about the hike. The companies that follow the April-March cycle of financial reporting give annual hikes for the year April onward.
CA firms have been doing good business amid the slowdown, as there has been constant demand for chartered accountants from companies and individuals throughout the year, say industry officials.
Viraf Mehta, partner, Kalyaniwalla and Mistry, says as businesses across sectors have taken a hit, so has theirs. “We have already announced a 20 per cent hike for 2009-10 because we have had a steady business during 2008-09,” Mehta told Financial Chronicle. The salary hike will be effective from April 2009.
Firms such as Grant Thornton follow the October-September cycle, and have annual hikes starting October. An employee with the firm said last October (in 2008), the firm had given hikes ranging from 10-25 per cent.
Dhananjoy Bansod, chief people officer, Deloitte, one of the Big 4 in the country, said though there would be hikes, they might be less than last year. “Last year, we gave around 8-9 per cent hike to the lowest level of employees, and 20 per cent to the highest ones. We are yet to decide on this year’s figure,” Bansod said, adding that the slowdown would have to be factored in.
A chartered accountant with Deloitte in Mumbai, however, disclosed that they had got e-mails stating that a hike in the range of 10-15 per cent was on cards. According to the employee, there are categories in the appraisal where they are rated as ‘above the expectations’, ‘meeting the expectations’ and ‘below the expectations’, based on which they would get a 20-30 per cent hike, 10-15 per cent hike and 0-10 per cent hike, respectively.
“With constant demand for professionals and less number of CAs to match up to demand, CA firms are constantly poaching talent by giving fat hikes,” an industry expert said. For most of the firms, it becomes necessary to match to the industry standards to retain talent.
Shailesh Haribhakti, partner, Haribhakti and Associates, said, the proposition was about fairness and passing benefits to employees. “Though we will be giving hikes this year, we have not decided on the amount,” said Haribhakti. According to him, the firm had given an average of 20 per cent hike to all their employees last year.
“We have been assured a good raise by our superiors after the annual appraisal in January,” says an employee with Ernst & Young. According to him, the hike will be 15 per cent more on the current cost to company.” An e-mail query sent to E&Y by FC failed to elicit any response.
KPMG refused to comment on the issue, citing it as an internal matter. But a chartered accountant with the firm said that they had been assured 10-20 per cent hikes from next financial year by their heads of department.