Non-CA Student: Hey, How do you feel about your profession?
CA Student:* After thinking for few mins* Ah! Not that great.
This has become a reply which most students would give (Or worse).
There are ‘n' number of reasons CA students are not happy with their profession, to be frank disappointed. However, one of the main reason could be ‘lack of care/concern' from our institute ICAI.
In audit(Subject), they teach us about corporate governance, in Strategic Cost Management and Performance Evaluation (SCMPE), they teach us about various frameworks such as Triple Bottom Line, Balanced Scorecard, Performance Prism, etc., wherein utmost importance is given to stakeholders by the organisations in order to prosper. But in our situation, we(student) being one of the most important stakeholder,is brutally ignored. ICAI has not shown the real care and concern which the students expect from such an esteem institute. If the same continues, it would reach a point where students wouldn't be "Proud" of their institute rather stop recommending the course altogether.
The ICAI has kept the minimum stipend at Rs 2000/2500/3000 (1st/2nd/3rd Year). Whereas, they charge Rs 7000/7500 for GMCS and Advanced ITT each. How is this a fair deal? Most of the students during their Articleship work almost equivalent to what a CA works. Nobody in the practical world has ever followed the concept of 35 hours a week. And let's not talk about working during weekends. The brutal reality is that an article student has become a labourer rather than an intern. Students face immense problems during their Articleship which ICAI never cares of. They have never asked us whether our firm is taking good care of us? Are we learning enough? Etc.. Such is a state. I don't say ICAI has not done anything for the students. But,it being a professional body is expected to maintain such admiringly high standards.
Keeping the stipend issue aside, here is a suggestion to ICAI for monitoring the Firm-Student Relationship :-
i) Institute is requested to develop an app through which students can directly express their views to the institute.
ii) It should take monthly reviews from all the articles among various parameters such as:
a) Does your firm follow 35 hours a week?
b) Is stipend being credited to your bank account on a regular basis?
c) Are you pressurised by your firm to quit CA Final classes?
d) Does your firm provide regular seminars and teaching sessions to enhance learning?
e) Does your firm involve you in Non-Professional activities?
f) Is there a Vigil Mechanism in your firm to address your issues or atleast a partner whom you could freely express your views?
g) Does your firm motivate/encourage you to be a better person everyday?
h) Are you forced to work on weekends even during Off-season?
i) In general, Are you happy with your firm?
iii) Based on the data accumulated, Institute should quarterly perform an analysis of all those firms which do not meet the Parameters or failed miserably in performing their basic duties.
iv) A notice must be sent to the respective firm to improve their performance within a month. If not, the institute needs to initiate some action.
v) Also, ICAI already assesses firms as per their own standards such as Code of Ethics, Peer Review, ISO Audit etc.
vi) Considering 50% weightage for point (ii) and 50% for point (v), Institute could allocate ratings to Firms. Such ratings should be openly available for public so that, a new article before joining a firm or a new client before approaching a firm, could know how they perform.
vii) Using such Benchmarking technique, ICAI could award firms on an yearly basis. Some of the awards could be:
a) "Firm of the Year" Award
b) "Most loved firm by Articles" Award
c) "Most approachable firm" Award
d) "Most Innovative firm" Award
viii) Such an initiative would create competitive, friendly as well as engaging environment for ICAI, Firms as well as students.
ix) I believe, such a mechanism could drastically change the perspective of many towards their institute.
There is a dire need for such mechanism because learning is not merely dependent on what work we perform at the workplace(Such as audit, tax etc.) rather, learning is acquired through multimodal routes such as Seminars, Conferences, Experience and many more.
I hope this article reaches the Institute.
Also, this is article has been written purely with a view of changing the industry rather than hurting anybody's feelings. My apologies if I have done the later.
Tags :ca students