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Possible Best Practices - Branches of ICAI

Madhukar N Hiregange 
on 22 February 2016

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The Organisation of the ICAI is in 3 levels- The Central Council – To make Policies; The Regional Councils – To spread the policies and enable/ empower branches to take forward; and the branches to actually execute/ implement the policies and initiatives.

Presently the branches of the ICAI are performing at a reasonably high level with them generally taking care of members needs to a great extent and to some extent the needs of the students.

The branches of the regions are the delivery points of service to the profession, students and members. They are also points where the public interact/ perceive what we do.

They are also the first level leadership development centres. Leaders generally move to the region and then to the central council. From there is national leaders if they wish to be.

Some best practices which could be considered by the branch:

a. A permanent group of academicians to enhance the intellectual capital of the profession and be part of the teaching/ training of students and members. The Chairman + VC could be ex officio part of this group.

b. The role of the VC, Secretary, Treasurer to be able to share the burden of the Chairman is very important. Ideal that it is in writing. 

c. The syllabus is undergoing change and would be finalised in coming 3- 5 months once Govt. revert with the approval. If a group of concerned teachers is available, they could review the course and offer suggestions now. After 6 months this group can be temporarily disbanded.

d. There is a need for monitoring felt across the ICAI functioning. If Branch can ensure that concerned members are sought, they could report to the Chairman.  GMCS, CPE, ITT  could be the areas presently.

e. Look at the segments above relating to activities for the profession, distinct from activities for students and then members and see what contribution is possible in each of them by holding what type of event/ program.

f. Have an adequate infrastructure in place which should be able to cater to the coaching needs, reading room for students, separate reading room for members, a hall for meeting of members, administration. The possibility of having a large hall which can be used for examination could also be examined. The hall could be used for 2 months exclusively and other than that time for coaching/ student reading room etc.

g. Start emphasizing the coaching of students at CPT to start with.  Then maybe IPCC.

h. Look for faculties who could be eligible to be examiners and suggest they apply. The advantage is greater learning, a contribution as well as reasonable compensation for time. They could also teach in future.

i. Matter of interest to profession- discussed in managing committee and escalated to region/ centre.

j. There are a number of specialised areas where the opportunities are existing and emerging:  existing – direct taxes, company law, internal audit, assistance in finance, information technology, service tax, local VAT, .... emerging – GST, XBRL, ERP implementation, Forensic audit. In these areas can continuous study circles be put in place which over a period would become an excellent knowledge base for that subject.  All these are workshop based. ( 30-40 members)

k. While conducting programs follow the CPE advisories/ guidelines. It would surely enhance our image with the general public while allowing us to keep our pride intact.

l. Good colleges could be accredited to teach CPT, IPCC. Increased conceptual understanding is expected to be the result. Over time students may prefer joining them as they would be having better results.

m. IDT has got some traction. Need to have a small group for GST study.

n.ICAI resources / initiatives for members and students are many. Enable by making 1 staff responsible to report monthly.

o. Branding of ICAI in forefront in all programs. Avoiding photos where possible. Have 1 topic on professional attributes necessary in all students and members day long program- Integrity, Independence, Professional approach, due care, confidentiality, versatility…

p. Branding of the member as one who is beyond income tax and audit necessary. Have joint programs with industry/ chambers. [ will try and see that CPE got]

q. Ensure that there is a proper channel of complaints with follow up by staff.

Kindly send me your additional suggestion which would empower our profession, serve the students and members in a better way.

The author can be reached at madhukar@hiregange.com


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