CMA Awadh Jaiswal
Career of a Cost & Management Accountant (CMA) / Chartered Accountant (CA) in Information Technology Industry (IT), their suitability for the job, Sustainability and the Job satisfaction.
CMA/CA are the most coveted professional degree in India in the field of commerce and it is the dream of every commerce student to be a qualified CMA/CA. It needs hard work, commitment and intensive study with honest efforts of one to be a qualified CMA/CA.
The pleasure of being a qualified CMA/CA is nowhere less than the pleasure of a commander of an army who conquered the world. But this triumph never comes alone, it comes with another distress that can be termed as “The distress is of getting a dream job”.
There are numerous career avenues available for qualified CMA/CA, viz:
– One can start his own practice.
– Getting job in various industries like Manufacturing, Service Sector Industries etc.
– MNC’s, KPO’s etc.
The latest avenue opened up is by Information Technology Industry. This Information Technology Industry is not very new, its 20+ years old industry of India but earlier in this industry the career avenues for fresher finance professionals were not same as it is today.
1. Career Description
Most of the Information Technology Company will recruit you for the role of a financial consultant designated as “Business Analyst”, with a high expectation that you already have the commanding finance domain knowledge blended with Business knowledge. So the soldier is already prepared and they will just equipped you more with some Information Technology tools/ERP software packages and expose you directly with the client project. You are supposed to use your arms & armors intelligently.
A variation of ERP software packages are available, like- Oracle EBS, SAP, JD Edwards, PeopleSoft etc. Each ERP software package has its own separate modules for separate tracks like- Finance, Supply Chain Management, Human Resource etc. Being in Oracle, let me share in high level what exactly a Business Analyst do in Oracle for an Information Technology Company.
Oracle has so 25+ finance modules, out of which mostly used by any industry are modules like- General Ledger (GL) , Accounts Payable (AP), Accounts Receivable (AR), Cash Management, Asset Management, etc. They will train you on these modules and make you work on the client project.
Again a Project may be of different type, mainly:
(a) Implementation Project– A project where for the very first time you have to implement the Oracle EBS for client. Earlier they may have manual accounting or may be using some legacy system/ local ERP from where they will be shifting to Oracle EBS.
(b) Upgradation/Development Project– Oracle EBS has so many versions, like 11i, R-12, Oracle Fusion etc. Suppose a client is maintaining his accounting system in ‘Oracle 11i’ version and now because of some advanced features they want to shift to new version “Oracle R-12”, this falls under the Development Project.
(c) Support Project– Once Implementation/Upgradation or Development is done, here we provide support and provide solutions on day to day basis for the issues faced by the client.
In nutshell, the Information Technology Industry’s expectation from a finance professional is to:
– gather the client requirement in terms of their expectation from the ERP
– Understand the Business of the client, their transaction flow and guide the technical team in customizing the ERP as per their requirement.
-fill the gap between Client’s business requirements, and ERP customization limit.
-explain the Technical team the accounting flows, taxation rules and other financial terms for better understanding and customizing the ERP accordingly.
2. Suitability for the job
We the commerce student know very well what the traditional industry expects from us, but when it comes to Information Technology Industry, we are almost blank. We and this Industry both are almost new to each other- we don’t have much past experience to analyze and get an idea from them.
Now a big question comes in the mind, is this IT job suitable for a newly qualified finance professional having no IT experience? The answer is – It depends on one’s own personal interest and choice. If one is very good at IT and passionate enough to explore and learn more and can maintain the same interest in another domain as interested in our finance domain then it’s absolutely fine. But definitely, in the initial period it demands a bit stretching schedule to get into the technological mode. So one must be mentally prepared to take the challenges.
3. Being a non IT background, how we will sustain in the IT Industry-
See nobody is born talented, if one is really passionate enough about learning new things breaking the domain barrier then this industry will provide you enough time and opportunity to learn and get your hands on. But the big question is – R u ready for that?
If yes- then u can be the next champion and if no- this is the time you should make a pause, think again and make a correct choice.
Your sustainability depends on your overall capabilities. Overall capabilities includes your domain knowledge, your overall personalities, communication skills, behavior etc. If you are good at all these characteristics, comfortable and learning, exploring the stuff then there is no need to worry. You will be automatically get settled with the time but if some unfavorable/unpleasant driving factor drove you here then it will surely make you feel the pain, because in absence of utility you will not get any learning and without exploring further you can’t go beyond a level. There it will definitely put a question mark on your sustainability.
4. Job Satisfaction:
This is something which matters the most for any employee in any industry, and again it depends on one’s own personal choice he made. It differs from one person to another person, but still if one has chosen his job properly as mentioned under SUITABILITY para then job satisfaction will always be there.
CMA’s/CA’s having finance in blood, it is relatively easy to explore further in the finance domain compare to exploring in Information Technology Industry. But if one is dynamic and passionate enough to learn and explore more and more then IT industry is also equally good.
So don’t judge the industry, Judge yourself, introspect yourself, do your own SWOT analysis and choose your career carefully.