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Dear colleagues and CAclub family! Happy New Year! The year 2015, like every New Year has finally dawned. With it, it will bring expectations, resolutions, successes and failures. As a professional, one has to have a proper plan for his/her future. When we talk about the future, there are two types of futures viz- Immediate future and long term future. The immediate future is something that you can fully control. The immediate future is something that you can influence and shape as per your will and power.

Every New Year therefore should start with a resolution. What are resolutions? Are they meant to be broken? Not at all. Just as a good business begins with a good idea and a solid foundation, a good year will begin with good resolutions. As professionals we realize that there are no shortcuts and that continuous professional learning is the best way to success.

Therefore let us chalk out some resolutions for this New Year 2015.

I shall develop a good habit of reading! I will always strive to discover new areas of interest worth Reading.

Reading is the one of the oldest form of learning known to the mankind. Whatever we are, at any stage of life, some part of our success can be attributed to whatever we have read in life. Therefore Reading and learning is something that we can continue to do in our entire life.

From a professional point of view, learning is extremely important. Who better than chartered accountants, company secretaries and cost accountants can explain the importance of reading. When we talk about reading that does not mean reading only your core area related materials. In 2015, we are at a point when we have the best reading materials available at a click of a button. 40 % of quality content is free and 60 % content , especially curated content has some costs involved in it.

What should CAs/CMAs/CS read? The answer is everything that they find interesting. Those who are avid readers will find that whatever they read, they can find and relate something out of it to their profession. Let me give one practical example. Whenever I get time, I read a fine technology site arstechnica that is just beyond a tech site….Since I am into the Cs domain , I often stumble upon intellectual property news, case laws and judicial orders on that site. In the past two months I  read a bankruptcy agreement (gtat, a sapphire glass supplier to apple), a mega copyright case (aereo inc vs American broadcasters co, 2014). Suppose that I am a Chartered accountant. The site had a nice article related to strategic failures due to technical obsolescence. So, by chance if you are applying for a research analyst in a global Investment Bank and the interviewer asks you about listing two such cases , you can easily answer…. This is just a hypothetical situation but it helps you to understand why reading is important.

Some of the institutes like ICMAI and ICSI are seriously lagging in providing additional reading material ­­­to their students. That’s one of the many reason that the cma and cs qualifications are faltering on a standalone basis. For e.g. even the latest cs portion has no reference to major company law cases including the sahara cases , uphaar cinema tragedy (vicarious liability of directors etc).These rulings are one year old and therefore should be included in the portion or at least in forms of supplements etc.

Compared to them, the ICAI provides excellent quality additional reading material, that too free of cost (in digital form).

Therefore a good reading habit will definitely help you to widen your knowledge horizon. Your knowledge can take you beyond the limits and therefore never have doubts anout what future has in store for you.

I will learn and will not hesitate to go beyond ‘what is my core area’.

This needs no explanation. Core area can be professional core area as well as personal core area. As a CA/CS/CMA we specialize in some domain. But should we remain limited to that? Or is there a scope for your capabilities beyond that point? The answer is yes. To give one example, I have got some nice friends through this site. One is an aspiring cost accountant and a very nice poet. Other one is a qualified CA and a very good all-rounder (Djing and events)…

In professional domains, there is an opportunity for professionals who work in large companies to be involved in areas out of their core domains. As a professional one should not hesitate to at least develop a interest outside their core domains.

I will develop good professional contacts and professional relationships.

As you climb up the career ladder and become more mature, you understand the true importance of professional contacts. When we are in college, we say to our friends ‘Arrey yaar koi job reference ho to bataana’….Similarly, in professional terms, you not only get references but also get guidance, mentoring and valuable advice from your peers and even subordinates.

As you stride for better realms, it’s always better to be in touch with all the professional friends you get through the years. You cannot predict in what way and how they will be useful to you.

I will not hesitate in asking questions, even if they are common sense/basic or meaningless.

Asking questions is the best way of learning. We have always been doing that. As a student, you have the maximum opportunity to learn (since after that, its probable that you yourselves have to answer the questions).Therefore if you are in your articles/management traineeship etc, its better that you write down your doubts and discuss it with your principal/boss etc. The reason for writing this in a new year resolution is that we still hesitate to ask questions.

I will accept my mistakes pointed out by others.

It is better to be willing to learn than being adamant, stubborn and irresponsive. Therefore one should resolve that he will be more open to learn this year.

I will try to be more active in social work/philanthropy/pro bono works

IF you go through linkedin profiles of successful professionals, you will find that their profile has an equal emphasis on social and societal work done by them. As a professional, we have certain responsibility towards the society. How you perceive this responsibility is your personal choice. However there is really certain joy and sense of fulfillment in social work. Even big professional institutes are involved in such type of work. The ICAI offers pro bono auditing of small firms, the Bar council and NSUI Bangalore students offer free legal aid and awareness to the weaker sections of society. In a similar manner, you yourselves can too contribute to the society.

If you work for a large company, consulting firm or a MNC, you’ve a very good opportunity as these companies have in-house csr departments. Just give it a try and you would not regret.

If my recent past was problematic, I will try to introspect…….Was it somewhere, my fault?

If your recent past was filled with problems , try to see it from another perspective. Was it somewhere that you were erring or that the problem was due to your own intrinsic behavior? Self-appraisal is the best appraisal and therefore it is important to solve the problems before they deepen.

Therefore resolve that you will be open to good suggestions however bitter they are.

That’s it for now…..Wish you all fellow professionals, friends a very happy and successful new year.

(I believe in the supreme court doctrine of ‘if you do not like it , do not see it’……… if you find this article as amateur, irrelevant or too simplistic, please don’t read it. This is meant for people who are not familiar with all the above aspects. Do not waste your precious time in commenting badly or criticizing this. There is much more creative that you can do ) 


Rohit Jain

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