We all have appointed chartered accountants and think that everything should be alright after that.But have you checked that is it so? Or rather are you aware what exactly you want to be OK.
We all are experiencing specialisation in every aspect of our life be it Doctor,Lawyer,Engineering or any other day to day field.But somehow when it comes to a C.A tendency of general public especially S.S.I and small proprietors is that once they have appointed a C.A then he or she should solve all their problems which include financial/Taxation/Statutory/Compliance and other legal aspect of course if I were one of the Proprietors or a S.S.I or for that matter even a big size company,I will ask myself 2 important questions:-
1) What are the other services I really need apart from what my C.A is already offering. ?
2) Whether I can afford it?
So coming to the first question
Q.1) What are the services a C.A can offer apart from traditional services. Or rather what has changed in recent times?
Well traditionally if you are done with your statutory audit not much things were left.I am not saying doing business was easier those days but definitely number of compliances and the seriousness with which those compliances are being monitored by government these days have increased.What more with demonetisation, GST and changing laws everyday it is getting difficult for even C.A to keep track of all the changes.
On the other side ways of financing,restructuring the finance,applying for bank loans,starting up a new venture which all seemed to be only for bigger business houses those days has become very easy these days.But for that owner should be aware that he needs some of these for his own business.
Some of non-traditional services offered by C.A
A) Regular day to day business services
1) Solving working capital issues:-99% of SSI and proprietors face working capital issues.However they don’t have solution for the same.Solving working capital issues can immediately solve quite a few financial problems and even increase the bottom line of the company if it results in saving of interest cost.
2) Designing a small MIS:- Many believe that MIS is only for bigger companies and owner of a small company should know in his head what all is going in.Well then think again in head at these times.Really or are you joking? Would’nt it help if you get a snap shot of all the key reporting at your desk every month or at all critical dates.
3) Internal Audit/Business solution:- Internal audit is definitely a traditional service but its availed generally by only those who are compulsorily required to do so.That is why i have selected the word business solution with it.It can be very useful to even smaller businessmen. Infact the fact that its applicability or complusory applicability is only to selected companies based on turnover criteria has sometimes made its real use unknown to so many proprietors.As I always believe statutory audit is for the government or say investors or sometimes general public but Internal audit is for businessmen.Identifying one loophole in your existing system might earn you lakhs or crores of rupees depending on size of business.
B) Specialised services
1) Outsourcing activities:- Again a belief which many might hold that these are offered only by a top group of C.A firms or for that matter even other specialised firms with substantial cost and also availed only by bigger companies. That’s where things have changed or are rather changing and such services are being now offered by smaller firms and also seeked about by smaller companies.
2) Restructuring of finance or entire company:- Sometimes owner continues the failing methods or the failing business and does not know that there is some restructuring needed for which he needs a specialised guidance.
While list can still continue and these are just some of the areas which comes to my mind the key thing here is that the times have indeed changed
Now here is the most important question. Now to think about affordability first step is to know the price and even before that to be aware that you are not availing certain services which are on offer these days but which are required by your business. So if you are done with the first step then of course cost benefit analysis is needed before you avail any services.
You would be a nut if in an organisation having 5 employees you go for designing a MIS or going for internal audit. But at least you should be aware that such things are not taken care of by your existing C.A and also aware that these services are not as costly as you might think.
1) Know services offered by your current compliance person be it a C.A or from any other profession, as many a times it can be a case that it is not even written and while owner believes this is already taken care by his compliance person from which he is availing services but in reality it might not be the case
2) Identify the problem areas in your organisation by discussion with the key persons in your organisation
3) Identify what all you need as change. If it’s difficult to even identify what change is needed but feel that definitely there is some problem area then for a very small fees there are consultants availaible to identify the problem areas in your organisation
4) Cost benefit analysis:- Do the cost benefit analysis of the services which you are thinking of availing after asking for a formal quote.
To conclude I would just say that in this complex world one way to remain focused is not to try and learn everything as it is practically impossible but learn enough to know that what you want and leave specialised thing for specialised persons while you continue specialising in your own field or business.
C.A Vishal Mehta