Dress code for CAs!!!

Aisha (Finance Professional) (7672 Points)

15 November 2007  

Blog worth a read i found on the web ... i dont endorse it though

Dress code for CAs?

DNA reports:

The Institute of Chartered Accountants ( ICAI), a statutory body
for regulating chartered accountants in the country, has tied up with
retail major Provogue to provide a dash of colour and style to the

?A professional should be identified by his knowledge, garb and
panache. I believe the new dress code ? blue blazer and tie ? will give
chartered accountants a new identity,? said president of ICAI Sunil

A well intentioned but poor idea. Doctors wear white coats and
lawyers may don black ones. But, they work in specific work settings
like hospitals and courtrooms. By ICAI’s own estimation 75,000 of the
1.4 lakh CAs registered with the body work in industry. ie. regular
corporate office. Can you imagine them wearing ‘uniform’??

The remaining 65,000 must be in private practice. But here too, a blue blazer and tie is not going to help ‘market the brand’.

A dress code is merel\ cosmetic, it cannot solve an overall identity crisis.

I have nothing against CAs, despite what you may think after reading
this piece.. I do believe however that the MBA has impacted the CA
profession. CAs have more ‘core skills’ but in a world where
showmanship, branding, soft skills and a macro view seem to matter
more, the CA loses out.

The acid test of a professional’s worth is: do I get the last word?
If a doctor scribbles out medicine X, you take it. If a lawyer advises
defence Y, that’s what is argued in court. If you don’t agree you can
go to another doctor or lawyer. But whichever you finally gets to be
the expert. You have to trust him or her.

With a CA, what happens. He advises. The client may or may not
agree. Or even believe he knows better. CAs are manipulated or coerced
into signing audits they know are false. Inflating or deflating
figures. And so on and so forth.

And this is not just in India. As the Financial Times noted after the Enron scandal:

Over the past five decades, accountants have changed from
watchdogs to advocates and salespersons. Auditing has become one of a
number of services, including consulting and tax advice, in which
accountants “sell” creative tax avoidance and financing structures.

No doubt black sheep exist in medicine and law as well but there the
regulatory body when it comes to accounting is particularly weak. I
have not heard of CAs being ‘unchartered’ for malpractice. If it does
happen, it’s an event so rare and invisible that no one is afraid when
signing off on doctored audit reports.

Again, not to suggest MBAs are highly ethical but that’s a separate story.

As a core skills profession, bound by a charter, CAs need to live up
to high standards to regain their rightful place in the sun. And then,
they won’t need those ties and blazers…

Terribly unsuitable for Indian weather in any case!….