I am very optimistic about this course and have written many articles advocating this course, but there are certain practical issues that make us believe that if this course is worth it? Some people say that increasing number of CAs are impacting the value of this course, but is it the actual reason considering that there are just around 3.5 lacs CAs in our country? Is it the competition or some other reason due to which we are becoming pessimistic about this course? Let's try to look at some of these:
1. It's not a red carpet even after you clear CA
Be it job (unless and until you are rank holder) or practice (unless and until your family has been into practice). You will have to search for the right job or the right clients. Nothing is going to be on your plate. The struggles start from the day you become CA and continue for long. "Beggars cant be choosers", at time this approach do work. You have to take whatever is in your stride rather than waiting for what you want. At times you have to take up jobs which are not paying you that well but its still better than sitting ideal at home and waiting for opportunities. Gain experience, get used to the work culture before you look for bigger opportunities.
2. Efforts required to become and its return
"The efforts we put in to become CA are not worth it". I have heard this line from my colleagues and friends so so many times. Even people working in BIG 4 have to work day in and day out. CA is definitely not "Complete Aaram". You will have to continuously upgrade your knowledge and skills all the time. You just cant lay back and relax. There are no holidays in the lives of CA. As I am writing this article on the lazy Sunday morning, I have just received a query from my client on my phone. I cant say "No, its Sunday today and I will reply tomorrow". I will have reply if I really want to grow. Every other day a new notification relating to GST, Income tax or MCA comes out and you have to understand it so that you can keep up with all the amendments.
3. Dilemma of Job or practice or coaching
The biggest question that remains in the minds of CAs is "Job or Practice or Coaching". Each of these options look lucrative until dealt with practically. Job has its own pross and cons and so does the practice and coaching. Nothing is easy. Practice takes hell out of you when you began. As a CA we are not allowed to advertise ourselves. So the only way is to make contacts, reach out to them and then the biggest problem i.e to deal with people. In practice you will deal with people who at times will test your patience levels and who will cheat you of your hard-earned money.
What is management? Its managing men tactfully. But are we taught about this in CA? World has become a jungle now-a-days. The difference between humans and animals is that in case of animals you know most of the times what that particular animal will be doing to you; if its snake then it will poison your body, if its lion then its certainly going to eat you, but you can never judge humans like this. At times you will be dealing with people who will seem polite on your face and will be plotting at your back. In CA we are never taught about dealing with people, but in practice or job we have to deal with all types of people.
5. Internal Politics in ICAI
Yes, ICAI is a professional body, but it has some issues in itself. Right now the most reasonable demand of giving opportunity to old course students is not being heard. As a member of this esteemed body I too have written about granting more opportunities to the old course students, but nothing of that sort has happened till now. Also, some members, try to attack CCMs just to settle their personal scores even if it means misguiding students. There are court cases, students are instigated against members and ICAI and most of these things are done around elections to gather some weightage for their favorite candidate. All these things are only damaging the image of our parent body which shouldn't happen. Politics should be kept separate from it.
6. Lack of support from Govt
Some of the policies of govt towards our profession have been baffling. Taking away GST Audits, increasing tax audit limits, allowing advocates to incorporate companies and LLP, creation of NFRA, advertising that you don't require professionals for return filling now, failure of portals be it income tax, gst or MCA. Slowly and slowly these steps are diminishing the value of CAs. Its high time that our council members should raise their voices against these things too otherwise they are leaving CAs at the mercy of these policies. Most of us will almost be finished the day tax audits are taken away from CAs and that day is not far considering the approach of Govt towards this body.
7. Unethical Practices by some CAs
How often we hear news of CA being arrested in GST or Tax fraud? At times it becomes very difficult for CAs who are working honestly to prove their innocence. Not every CA is corrupt, but few who are corrupt are damaging the image of everyone. Young and aspiring CAs need mentors and negative news about fraud does impact their perception and image of CAs.
8. Coaching or self-study
Another issue that students who wish to join this course face is about coaching. Some teachers or coaching institutes take hefty fees from students and when they fail to deliver the results they divert attention and energy of students against ICAI. But do you actually require coaching? I didn't take any coaching yet I cleared CA. Now a days institute material is more than enough for you. Self study is the must in CA. Think about spending money on coaching.
9. Advent of technology in CA Profession
Upgrading to technology is another issue. Today is the world of digitalization. Everything is about computers and technology. Today we talk about IT audit, IT internal controls so CAs have to upgrade themselves too. Technology is the part and parcel of this course now.
10. Easy go easy attitude of CAs
Sorry to say, but we CAs have limited our scope. We find a comfort zone and limit ourselves to it and then curse this course. How many CAs are into start-ups? How many are into valuation? We have to look beyond our comfort zones of tax audits or income tax or GST audits.
In the end I just want to say that I am not against this course and I feel proud of being a CA. I still believe that becoming CA is much much better than not becoming CA. You are always better than being a graduate and the prefix CA gets you a lot of respect. But its high time that we look beyond our boundaries if we want to grow.
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