Last year’s revelation of an accounting scandal in Satyam Computer Services has not dented the charm of accounting as a career, it seems. Between February 2009 and 2010, the number of candidates registering with the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI) to qualify as a chartered accountant has grown by more than 25 per cent.
“The level of enthusiasm has not wavered, and at a time when there have been several job cuts, chartered accountants have remained untouched by the economic crisis,” said Amarjit Chopra, president, ICAI. In the span of one year, the number of aspiring CAs under ICAI has risen from 5.05 lakh to 6.3 lakh, and it has nearly doubled from 3.5 lakh in 2008.
The role of auditors has come under the scanner after B Ramalinga Raju, the disgraced founder of Satyam Computer Services Ltd (now renamed Mahindra Satyam), confessed to doctoring of the company’s accounts for several years.
ICAI, the profession’s regulator created by an Act of Parliament, is now planning a correction in its course content to make the curriculum contemporary and more relevant to industry’s needs.
“We will revise the study material very soon because there is a strong need to re-orient and revise to bring in more applicability skills in training procedures,” Chopra said. The global economic meltdown that roiled the world economy also seems to have spared CAs as compared to management professionals majoring in finance.
“Though the latter half of 2008 and 2009 were marred by job losses, most of them were MBAs with high salaries,” said the head of a leading executive search firm, who did not wish to be named. ICAI is also organising campus placement programmes to help qualified chartered accountants find suitable jobs across major cities.