SWOT ANALYSIS & SUGGESTIONS
C A Profession as a Whole
For our profession; there are three broad internal factors i.e. Self, Clients and Staff. And
there are three external variables i.e. Everchanging laws, Infrastructure and Authorities.
Proper balance between all the variables is needed.
Opportunity at one time may convert into threat if preparation is not according to the desired level and threat may be converted into an opportunity if extraordinary efforts are made.
- CA Surendra Rakhecha
1. Low Cost of Education
2. Performance in typical situations
3. High Speed
4. Capacity to handle various types of tasks simultaneously
5. Knowledge of everchanging different types of laws
6. Accuracy guaranteed in Government & in Other Departmental work
7. Goodwill in Public Mind
8. World Calss Journal and Publications
9. Sound Vision : System Analysis and Data Processing subject introduced more than 20 years back.
10.Sound examination pattern all over India.
11.Tactful analysis of Subject Material
13.Good Health (you will not see a single member whose health is poor- this is performance a(re)ward given by God to a CA)
14.(More can be added : as you wish) as each member is a brand ambassador of the institute
1. Unmatched Training Programme:
While the examination pattern of C.A. profession is very sound; the training part is not so sound except at some metro/big cities. In metro cities also; each and every student don’t get the same quality of training during the articleship.
I mean; in comparison to the sound examination system; the training system is not so sound. There is a lot of difference between a student getting training in Mumbai and one having training at Surat .
The reason of the difference is/may be due to the scope of work at Mumbai and Surat. Many other points are also important like availability of books, coaching facilities and number of articled clerks and members in the firm etc.
2. Unmatched Coaching :
For 5 Lacs approx students; in most of the cities/chapters; oral coaching facilities are not made available.
Only suggestions like there is no substitute of hard work etc. is given. That is why despite passing CPT and PCC; many students cannot succeed in CA Final. At the time of results; they presume - luck is unfavourable.
If we analyze the above sentence; the students who passed CPT and/or PCC; it means they worked hard. Then should we presume that at CA Final level; they have not worked hard?
Why there is high failure ratio of students although they passed preliminary and semi-qualified examinations? The course of CA is not of a competition. I mean it is not like that only a certain number of seats are available for CAs.
Basic question is that-when a student passes CPT, he assumes that now he is a fit person to qualify CA. But after certain number of attempts; he feels that it is almost impossible to pass.
Either CPT passing is not a criteria to get guaranteed success or there is lacuna in coaching (not existing at all in some cities). Then what should be done by the students who are at half of the way?
3. Unmatched CPE Hours for Members :
It is compulsory to have 30 hours of CPE in a calendar year for a practicing member. Such types of requirement were never felt in any other profession. (That is why CA Profession is unique?). This may be treated like a coaching.
For whom coaching should be made compulsory : for students or the members?
Do the members not have the sense to update the knowledge? If it is presumed that members are not knowing the real source of updating the knowledge then how we can expect from the students that they will have real sources of updating knowledge?
4. Non-Standardization of Faculties :
The contents of the matter and the presentation skills should be highly informative. Many times; speaker is good but contents are poor. Many times contents are good but speaker is poor (rich in the sense of money).
No panel of speakers are maintained. Without checking the quality; each member who shows his willingness to speak; is freely allowed to speak.
5. Lack of Communication Skills :
1. Good Speakers in CA Profession : Out of approx 1.50 lacs qualified members only 1,000 are speakers (i.e. less than 1%). Out of them how many are effective speakers is yet to be analysed.
Above words may be hurting. But it is a fact.
2. Members are not able to convince the clients regarding value of the services they provide. Most of the CAs are ready to do Tax Audits at Rs. 5,000 (even below) as they counts number only at the cost of quality. Even if books are presented for audit on last day; audit reports are prepared and neatly printed. (see further comments elsewhere in the article).
3. That is why despite introduction of tax audit 25 years back; these reports are not valued by the Income-Tax Department at the time of scrutiny and heavy additions are made although NIL adverse comments are there in the audit reports.
6. Lack of Day to Day Time Management
I read about 15 years ago; that business tycoon Mr J R D Tata used to go at Golf Club at evening 5.00 pm everyday. During the day; he used to handle so many business meetings. But he well managed his time for personal needs also.
Now-a-days; we see that upto 15th of April every year; some companies publish their annual accounts audited despite having turnover of millions.
But; look at the other side of the coin.
In every part of the nation; we see the last hour rush to file the Returns etc.
Because services are guaranteed by CA without charging extra unlike Doctors.
(Remember that the medical profession is known as one of the best profession worldwide and profession of accountancy is hated all over the world !)
The last hour rush causes tremendous pressure to do work in limited time with great accuracy. Only chartered accountants are required to do legal work/compliance in a particular time frame of a large number of clients. The story of advocates is different. They can run the case as long as they wish.
Despite the fact that heavy penalty is there for not filing Tax Audit Reports; people tend to come at last moment because CAs have guaranteed these services without any extra cost. It is my opinion; that in such types of cases; the fee should be charged at least double so that in next time; the client will come well in time.
7. Overloaded Work :
I have experienced that Earnst & Young Articled Clerks use to come after 36 hours at their home during peak season of audit.
Chartered Accountants often remains busy on phone as if running an Information Bureau.
Even on Refresher Program they cannot switch off their mobile which proves their busi-ness (business without any cash value-telphonic services are never considered so useful by the clients). Fortunately or unfortunately; the spelling of business is same as of business.
Bundles of papers are to be retained for years. These files increase day by day. Everytime; old papers are to be referred which consume a lot of time. Audit Reports also to be retained for 10 years with working papers. Although paper problem has been solved to some extent with the help of computers.
Despite giving on spot services most of the time; CAs do not differentiate the normal services and urgent services. The charging pattern is same at the cost of whole office system whenever an urgent work come to the table.
8. Poor Charging of Services Rendered
Recently I have come across a case; where to get a Stay Order an Advocate charged a fee of Rs. 40,000/-. A similar fee by an Advocate of High Court was charged for Rs. 70,000/-. All the fee were paid in advance.
In most of the firms; bills are not raised immediately after the services are rendered. The situation is not applicable to the firms who are under service-tax net.
9. Poor Co-ordination between the members
The members do no share their views if there is any new development in the profession. Although the matter is published in the magazines much before than it is going to be implemented; but the same is not discussed honestly between the members. This is one of the reason of inferior quality in services.
10. Poor Concentration
Due to overloaded work; concentration lacks.
Various new avenues (need no discussion) in the profession have emerged which provide marvelous opportunities. One of the opportunities waiting for CA is Goods and Service Tax.
To grab the opportunities; complete change in vision is required.
Hereinbelow; I give the following example of medical profession how it is run:
1. 1.Case preparation – file charges
2. Writing of prescripttion by physician in normal course.
3. If somewhat problematic; testing in laboratories.
4. If case is not under the control of physician; it is referred to the expert.
5. If still it is complicated; it is referred to another expert for second opinion.
6. And if required; hospitalization.
7. In hospitalization; how much mediclaim he has; is asked.
8. Accordingly treatment is made.
9. Despite this; no guarantee is there that the patient will be saved !!
All this is possible because whatever new development in the medical profession is there; is well shared in Seminars by the Doctors. These seminars are well managed and are very particular in time.
In Surat; 5 years ago, in an International Medical Conference there were 59 speakers from all over the world. And the subject was only one : That is Diseases of Eye. Four different speakers were speaking on predecided topics at a time in different halls. The choice was left to the doctors to whom they wish to listen. Some of speakers were to speak only for 3 minutes on a very particular topic. Introduction of the Speaker was well distributed to the participants beforehand. They also maintained Advance Scheduling of Time.
As soon as the speech of a faculty was likely to over; before 15 seconds a bulb used to spark and the speaker has to finalise his speech and by the same time another speaker took the place right behind the present speaker so that without any loss of time; he could start his speech.
Since the introduction about the speakers were given in the seminar materials and booklet; hence no need of any garlanding and killing of time.
Are we so professional ?
The answer is No……. Because we give services to our clients on spot; without even charging emergency costs. A person who gets his account audited two months before is more harassed by calling so many details than the person who comes at last moment. Because the late comer get his work done without paying any extra cost. Then who will not prefer such style of getting his work done?
What should be done then ?
If we see that even in tax audit cases; the stock records are not up-to-date; the work can be allotted to some young C.A. who will give his comments on stock records without having any bias.
The above is an example only. If we see a number of unsecured loans; the work can be allowed to another CA to verify the correctness of the loans by calling confirmations and other relevant details.
But here most of CAs think the work might be snatched by new CA if allotted.
This is the perception of the members when they have qualified one of the subject at CA Final Level : Professional Ethics.
It clearly means; merely passing a subject does not have any real value. It is also a facult in the present education system. It should be introduced as a part of CPE in real sense.
Increased No. of Articled Clerks and Complexity of Audit Work etc.
By introducing increased number of articled clerks per member; now each chartered accountancy firm has availability of staff.
Since the work is going to be increased with the introduction of GST, IFRS etc. hence by proper training we can do following things for our profession :
1. To grab the opportunities
2. To Train the Articled Clerks
3. To get the work supervised by Senior Articled Clerk
4. Public Awareness.
(see the tactis of new doctors in the name of free checkup to find patients although public take it as a work of charity).
If we expend only 15 minutes in a day to all of our articled clerks; a tremendous help in the day-to-day work may be achieved at an very efficient way.
1. Lacking time management
2. Lacking advance learning of Computers
3. Lack of Liaison with Top Authorities
4. Lack of trained people
5. Increasing complexity in the tax laws, fema, auditing etc.
ACTION PLAN :
1. Try to find our best time a day. Mental work requires concentration. Best time for dealing with others is relaxed time.
2. 21 days programme :
a. Reschedule the whole work (Total work of the Office)
b. Proper delegation of work to the extent possible-(a management tool)
c. Raising bills immediately and follow up –(Deem it as part of work)
d. Cut down time for completion of job to the extent possible
–(Practical approach of Cost Accounting)
e. Spend time with family at least six hours in weekly working days (Is it called as Social Welfare ?)
3. Stress : analyze the causes thereof and remove them:
a. Try to do too much work
b. Afternoon drowsyness
c. Too many interviews/visitors
d. Most telephones from whom
e. Professional time Schedule
4. Time Demands :
Tasks Purpose & Priorities Other People
5. Work Analysis :
Many times; due to shortage of time this analysis is not done.
6. Purpose of Work and Key Priorities
Although all we know about the key priorities; but due to unscheduled pattern of attending clients; particularly in small cities; in most of the cases the whole schedule get disturbed.
It should be taken in control to serve better to the disciplined and valued clients.
Note : Some of the situations explained in the article may not be found in all the cases.
Other suggestions/comments are welcome.