It is indeed a great achievement of passing CA examination. But after coming successfully from the toughest examinations there lies another toughest phase of life- taking a decision of choice “Practice” or “Employment”. Here one should follow his heart and brain. Whatever the choice in life, if we do It with passion, we will succeed. For start ups in the profession of chartered accountancy, these useful tips may help them to become successful professionals.
1. Selection of location/place: The place of practice viz., town or city for CA is one of the most important criteria. Many factors are to be looked upon in selection of the place of profession like, the family and friends, other known people having business connections, Growth prospects of the surrounding places etc., If you or your family have good number of known people who are mostly in business community, it is advantageous. But remember however you may feel that a person is very close to you, do not expect him to disengage his existing auditor and come to you for professional service immediately. Even if it is a new place, one can succeed with commitment and dedication.
2. Office and Residence: It is always better to have separate premises for Office other than Residence. Though in the initial years of practice, to cut down the expenses one may render service from residence, but it is always advisable to have separate office premises as soon as possible so that the visitors to your place of profession have privacy. It is a wise decision to invest or spend some money on having separate office with good furniture and Office Equipment which will reap benefits in future.
3. Improving client base: Not compromising on the ethics of the profession, one should try to improve his client base. Once CA was such a profession where we do not get random customers without any reference. But these days due to advent of web based approaches, one may get calls from unknown persons for services of a CA. Initially getting a client is difficult but with sustained and sincere efforts one can improve his client base. The Bankers, financial institutions, Part time accountants/ Tax practitioners are one of best sources from where you can get clients. Never ignore even a small client for he may become a big client in future or he may bring another for your services.
4. Assignments/ Work sharing with seniors of the Profession: For startups this area helps in both ways. Any work sharing or assignment from a Senior CA / Tax practitioner gives monetary benefit as well as practical work experience. Sometimes this may get you more opportunities. The seniors who cannot allot much time to some works may entrust you to carry out the work on assignment basis and rely on the work done by you. Such acquaintance with seniors will help you in solving your own issues in profession.
5. Timings and Commitment: The person who has some work with you must be sure that you are available to him at the given time. Be committed in keeping up the promises for delivery of services and give value to the time of others. Keep up the time schedule. Office should be open on all working days at the specified time.
6. Fees: This is the most complicated area of profession. Though the ICAI guidelines are there to charge on hourly basis, it all depends on case to case basis. But charging less should not be the criterion for coming to you. Be aware of the prevailing fee structure in the area of your practice.
7. Jack of All- Master of One: In the initial stages, one must be Jack of All. We have various avenues for rendering service viz., Income-Tax, Service Tax, VAT, ESI, PF, Partnership Deed drafting and registration, Company Incorporation, Bank Project reports etc., Get practical knowledge of registrations under various Government Authorities and periodical returns filing. One must be “Jack of ALL”. As the time passes by one may choose to “Master of One” with specialization. The other partners or juniors may divide the work among them as per the convenience. Keep track of all latest developments and update your knowledge on daily basis., Be familiar with offices in your area.
8. Social/Service Organizations: Joining and taking active part in social or service organizations viz Lions club/Rotary etc., will help in making new friendships and acquaintances. Responsible positions in service organization give the chance of building up personality also. Enroll with the Professional bodies of Accountants, Tax practitioners and nearest branch of ICAI. Attending regularly the meetings conducted by these organizations helps a lot in knowing each other in the similar profession.
9. Empanelment: ICAI empanelment is one more source to get audits. Similarly the engagement of CA s as observers/Checkers/Examiners for CA exams is one more opportunity for generating income.
10. Representing the client: Representations may be necessary for attending Scrutiny assessments on client’s behalf where in CA has to appear and present the case. Before attending any work on representation with Government authorities or a Banker, have clear idea of the issue and be prepared with full answers. Collect all the information from the client well in advance. This not only saves time and energy but also improves your value in the eyes of the officials.
11. Pressures: In getting things done, do not yield to the pressures and always have a long term vision. The professional standards to be at high always. In rendering attest function, one must be diligent and careful. The signature of a Chartered Accountant is powerful and it should not be misused.
12. FAMILY: Though coming up in the chosen field is always admiring, do not neglect the family / parents and friends. They also need your quality time.
WISHING YOU ALL THE BEST
By CA SHIVAJI PRASAD BHIMAVARAPU