Though a conversation of about 7 minutes does not merit a detailed article, I thought it would be appropriate to jot and share a few lines about an interesting acquaintance and small conversation I had a couple of days earlier.
I have a certain reverence for elderly gentlemen, so when I see one I am reminded
of the fond memories with my grandfathers and granduncles. They were a storehouse
of good stories, tales and anecdotes. They narrated them with such fervor
and finesse that one would be all ears till the end. On a number of occasions, I
would notice an elderly Gentleman visiting our client. Our client has a number of
businesses for which it chiefly employs two firms. The elderly Gentleman Mr. Srinivasan
happened to be the Partner of the other firm. Old age is clearly written over the
appearance of Mr. Srinivasan. He sports a sparkling white hair, walks rather
slowly and has wrinkles (though not too many) on his face. His eyes however are
very bright and he does hear with seeming attention.
We (myself and my colleague) prefer to limit our conversations between both of us. However on a certain day, I approached the Gentleman and exchanged pleasantries. He enquired my name and about the stage of my CA article-ship. He might have been occupied at that moment and hence I preferred to keep the conversation short.
About two days back, while I was about to start my lunch with the colleague, he called me and asked me about the examination results. I said my results are yet to come.. so he started telling us about the exams those times. They used to be tough and hardly 20 students would pass out of 1000... it did stun us mildly (being well aware that institute kept similar standards last year). Then I enquired him about when did he qualify as a CA. With much joy and pride, 1 could also see his eyes shine and a warm smile.. he replied "1951"
"1951" we said or rather mildly shrieked.. "that is about 6 decades. Sixty Years" He must be well aware of similar reactions from younger aspirants and hence continued smiling. "Yes those days it was very difficult.." he continued. "The names would come prominently in the news dailies. Then he suddenly turned serious and said, "Though the opportunities are more nowadays the conditions for studying and practice are not ideal." He did not comment further and going by his expression it meant that he was well aware of the distractions a student has to face and the absence of scrupulous people bothered him.
Then he asked the both of us.. What interests you more? Financial Accounting/Audit or Taxation. Sheepishly we replied, "Both." However he asked us to be more specific. Then I said, that one comes across interesting aspects of financial and business perspectives while being engaged in an audit and gets to learn more.
Seeing his quizzical expression, I further retorted," However in a Tax Audit, 1 commands more respect and remuneration".
"Absolutely yes!! You also have the benefit of having more control on the client while advising him on Tax issues" He chortled. "However Management Accounting has become very interesting nowadays." We exchanged some words on a few contemporaries of his whom I had come across in a memorial lecture conducted by Society of Auditors.
He wished both of us Good Luck for the future and left us in a cheerful mood wondering about the experience of the gentleman and also the challenges, respect and rewards one gets from one of the most sought after professional courses for generations.