Classic infrastructure! Top clients! Time for studies! Handsome stipend! A promising career! A Big Brand name! Etc. Etc. That’s what every articleship aspirant dreams of while searching for a firm.
The same feelings were echoing within me.
Some told me “Go for a mediocre”; Some said “Brand matters”; whereas a few even suggested to go for “Dummy” and do studies for CA Final. Oh yes! And I guess it happens with all of us, but ultimately what you get is what you should Enjoy.
Mind it “At this time, You are a Beggar ! Not a Chooser!”
With these mixed thoughts in mind, I also started forwarding my resume in all kind of firms. Days passed, weeks passed, the interviews were going and I luckily got joining calls from some good firms like SNB, O.P Bagla, BDO, SP Chopra etc.
After all permutations and combinations and taking guidance from every person I could, I finally decided to kick start my professional career from the World’s No. 5th leading firm “BDO Internationals” in Statutory Audit.
Me & BDO
First day (Day of joining)
“Oh Bhais ki Aankh”- The first words from my mouth when I entered the workplace on the 1st day of joining.
Wow this is it! The HR manager came and introduced me with my team of Statutory Audit, the Admin department, the IT staff and finally the driving force of Statutory Audit in BDO “The Partner”
I was issued a personal Laptop & welcomed in BDO India family with my E-mail Id (firstname.lastname@example.org) created on the first day itself. A designated audit software in Laptop with a separate user ID made me feel on the top “Akhil Gupta – The Auditor!”
The day passed with a series of all these exciting events and as soon as the clock ticked 6:30, we (I accompanied by my department’s fellow articles) packed our belongings and called off the official day.
The corporate personality within me was shouting aloud the song of glory that time. Dressed in formals, laptop bag in hand, having corporate contacts of BDO on my phone, I was feeling the happiness of the hard work I did to get into BDO.
After travelling 45 Km’s I reached back my home at 8:30 and joyfully celebrated this great start with my family and on social networks.
That’s what I can call “PERFECT START IN BDO”
Journey of 8 months in BDO
The first task I was assigned was to type the content from PDF to word by my senior sitting next to me, which nearly took me 4-5 hours. I was amazed by the typing speed of the fellows sitting around me and wondered how one can learn this skill.
Anyways, for 2 weeks, I was given all these kind of tasks like printing, scanning, photocopying, typing, that are not as small tasks as they seem to be. Using the big photocopy machines, printing the pages on letterheads, scanning and sharing on servers, stamping the audit reports, formatting the MS- Word files are few things that I got to learn in the beginning.
Once learnt, we are supposed to do all these basic tasks in day to day manner along with the other technical work throughout our articleship phase of 3 years and even after that.
So no work is small. One must learn all these things with open arms and they actually come handy in your journey.
After 2 weeks of all this work, I was allocated on the stock & cash counts of few clients as it was the year end 31st March, 2014 and closing stock and cash in hand needs to be verified.
This was the first time I had to go to the client. The cab came and along with my fellow senior article, we went off for the clientplace at Golf Course Road.
Awesome experience it was! A big warehouse with piles of stock lying all over the place.
We holding a sheet of inventory and a pen, were asking the client’s staff to show us the stock items that we want. OMG ! I mean it was amazing feeling to act like an inspector and noting the deviations.
Similarly for the next Stock Count, we went all the way to Sonepat and I was amazed to see the big big manufacturing unit of client with many hundred’s of workers all around. The big pallets, tonnes of inventory to verify; the whole team was given separate areas to check and each of our team member was assisted by 3-4 workers and a supervisor.
After all this tedious work, we all decided to dine out at Sukhdev Dhaaba in Murthal - my first dinner with my amazing team members.
Overall Stock count is a great experience and it becomes an icing to the cake when the client is a manufacturing unit.
During my journey in BDO I had done various areas in the various engagements of Statutory Audits, Group Reportings, Limited Reviews of company (listed abroad) & Agreed Upon Procedures. I got an opportunity to work on clients of Manufacturing industry, Packaging industry, Fashion Designing & MBA College and few other clients.
I have heard that the Audit line is meant to be a division in which there are a lot of late sittings, a lot of working papers need to be made, dealings with new people daily and acting like a Watchdog at every point of time.
YES! I had got an opportunity to experience all these things in BDO.
The best part is the food that audit personnel get! Haahaha. The clients ask us out for delicious foods and its like EAT WHATEVER YOU WANT, HOW MUCH YOU WANT, WHENEVER YOU WANT. I was lucky enough to be allocated at a client who was very flexible on the auditors food and everything (be it Italian, North Indian, Chinese, South Indian) we had ordered during the 2 months of the engagement with that client.
I got to know a lot of new people during this phase of my life. I have made many new friends; be it on the clientside or be it in BDO and CA Fraternity
Audit is a very deep field in itself and with the importance being given to IFRS these days, the scope of audit is outstanding in itself. I am really thankful to my seniors who shouldered me with great work and responsibilities during this tenure.
The article can go on endlessly; but to sum up in few points that I think one must learn in their articleship other than the technical aspects are:
1. To operate photocopy machines & using printers professionally to print on letterheads etc.
2. To learn MS-Office, especially MS Excel
3. Working on TALLY & SAP
4. To deal with the client
5. To understand the financial statements
6. To attend meetings with your seniors
7. To draft Engagemnet letters
8. E-Mail etiquettes
9. Working late nights and under pressure
10. Tact of taking a leave
11. Travelling in metro daily while standing for hours
12. Avoiding your phonecalls and whatsapp
13. Tackling the questions asked by the clients
14. Behaviour in the corporate culture
15. Keeping aside Sir and boss culture as everyone is same here
16. To have lunch in a formal manner and table ethics
Guys, really there is a lot of difference between the corporate world and the world we are in before the articleship and really THANKS TO ICAI for giving us such a great opportunity of 3 years to do mistakes and learn in Corporate World. We should do our articleship seriously with enjoyment and should also try to keep a pace between our work and studies for sure, but Dummy is not justified. May be you can learn the technical aspect of CA but one can only learn the social aspect of a Chartered Accountant if and only if he has done his articleship seriously.
Earlier I was also confused, whether join small, mediocre or Big firm, but “We are Beggers, not choosers”. First have options in hand, then you can choose & yes, no firm is small, the person should be capable to learn. Its just that if you are in a BIG Firm (International), the pace with which opportunities hit your door is must faster than the domestic firms.
There is a lot more to share with you all as I have now moved in Grant Thornton in Indirect Taxation.
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ALL THE BEST !