Are you a CA and working in industry? Do you feel you are undervalued? Do you feel if you would have been in an audit firm or in a finance company or instead, if you may have started something of your own you would have felt more significant and worthy? But not all of us want to work in an audit firm or finance company or start something nor do we want to sacrifice the benefits of working in an industry. Then what goes wrong? Why do CAs who have struggled so much fail to get recognition in industry? Is it that CAs are not meant to be in industry? Does the industry really need a CA?
Of course, the industry needs CAs and definitely CAs have a choice to join industry. Then why do we feel less recognised not only at our work but also at our institute. Here are the reasons:
1. Revenue generators and cost centres: In any industry, the team that directly generates revenue(particularly, sales and marketing) get the recognition more as their work is seen right upfront by the top management. But as CAs, we are just a cost centre. We do the post-mortem of the job already done – analysing the numbers, playing with them to look good or bad depending on the needs of the management.
2. Presentation: Let us not deny the fact that marketing and sales people present better. Not that we don’t have the skills, but because we have not got much chance to polish our skills nor do we get the opportunity to present in front of the management much.
3. Interaction: CAs interact the least with other teams/outsiders. At the most, they interact with other departments for data to put in a format to make it information. And the outsiders are nobody more than the auditors or tax consultants or at the most, bankers.
4. Slog the most: The finance team normally gets the smallest team as our work is seasonal (at least that is what the management believes). Monthly once MIS, quarterly/half yearly audits and then yearend jugglery. What the management does not realise is that it is just said monthly, quarterly/half yearly or yearly, normally the auditors are there throughout the year chewing our brains! We have deadly timelines and we have to burn the midnight oil and complete all the work when other teams are enjoying team dinners or their family life. Another major problem is, at the year end, all other departments enjoy and celebrate but finance work starts then. This way, we miss out on a lot of events of the company.
To add to the miseries of CAs working in industry, even our institute does not recognise us unless we have contributed something extraordinary. We can’t blame our institute for this.
1. CAs in industry have varied profile and not restricted to one speciality thereby we do not specialise in any subject but are jack of all.
2. We don’t get time to contribute much for the institute and hence, fall behind
3. We do not have mandatory structured CPE hours to complete either, and hence skip the major events of the institute. What we give is what we get back.
The question now is, how do we get over this? How do we find a way to escape all of this and earn some credit?
Here are some tips to get noticed at work and institute:
1. Show your face: Participate. Be a volunteer. Even if you have work, do not miss the chance of showing your face at the events for as much time as you can spare. These events are important for the company you are working for and the institute you are a member of, so be a part of it, celebrate together, attend the major seminars, conferences to widen your knowledge base and network.
2. Go that extra mile: Do something different, do something unique. Get recognised. Everyone in the company is hired for the work they are doing, what different are you? Why should the company give you special recognition for the work you are doing? Come up with ideas to improve the processes and control, display your talents whenever you are given an opportunity. Anything extra that you do apart from the work you are hired for will give you acknowledgment and appreciation.
3. Oratory skills: Talk – whenever and wherever you get a chance. The more you talk, the better you will get at it. You need not wait for your chance to formally present, just speak to superiors (informal talk also works fine) and get noticed.
4. Present on form: Dress well and be confident about yourself. Do not focus on impressing people and do not hesitate from expressing yourself. You are a qualified chartered accountant, which means you are intelligent and smart. Just follow the above easy tips and get recognised and succeed in your career
CA Rashmi Vadavi
The author is a Chartered Accountant and a professional dancer