Institute of Company Secretaries of India

December 04, 2015

Dear Professional Colleagues,

Introduction of Secretarial Audit, Annual return certification etc. under the Companies Act, 2013 has given a big boost the practice of Company Secretaries. At present Practising Company Secretaries are doing practice in the form of sole proprietorship firm or in form of partnership firm and only a few firms have 10 or more partners.

The key challenges being faced by small and medium PCS firms include limitation of resources including skilled manpower, infrastructure, Information technology; ;limitation in providing services at multi locations; Competition with other professional firms; Professional development; Limitation of Client base; Limitation in getting quality work due to limited resources and specialized team; Limitation in scale of operations; Limitation in Brand Equity; Succession planning, etc.

In view of enhanced scope of practice, it is expected that evolution of partnership firms with 10 or more partners shall take place. Possible mode of such evolution may also include/involve mergers/demergers of existing firms to retain benefits of their past experience/credentials.

The key benefits of Networking include the following:

a) Growth, better visibility and branding of Company Secretary firms in view of likely sharing of knowledge, data base, profit, cost, common ownership, control, management, common quality control policies and procedures, common business strategy, the use of a common brand name or resources.

b) Standardization of practices and procedures followed by Company Secretary firms.

c) It provides an opportunity to start up firms to scale up their operations, learn and adopt the standard practices and nuances thereof.

d) Attracting the best talent and retention of best and skilled staff and manpower.

e) Single window services – one stop shop for clients.

f) It may facilitate execution of BPO work.

g) Advantage of economies of scale.

h) Gives more confidence to clients in services.

i) It provides an opportunity to compete with fellow professionals as well as global service providers.

j) It is a step towards adaptation of Global practices and may open gates for International tie-ups for the Company Secretary firms

k) It may encourage Research in more systematic and meaningful manner.

l) It may encourage Company Secretary firms for moving towards specialist firms, as through Network they can offer complete set of services to their clients without taking liabilities.

m) It improves client satisfaction due to standardized service delivery modules in diversified areas and at different locations.

n) It enhances the confidence to handle assignments in new areas and provides an opportunity for continuous professional updation/training/knowledge dissemination to members as well as service users.

o) Empowerment to small firms and brand building.

p) To provide and accelerate multi disciplinary services.

q) To satisfy the needs of multi locational clients.

r) To provide opportunity to overcome Infrastructure constraints.

s) It provides a base to firms to understand each other, which may lead to merger/ formation of mega/bigger firms.

It is proposed to introduce the concept of Networking among PCS members of ICSI. Accordingly the Exposure draft of the Guidelines for Networking are appended below.

We request you to send your views / suggestions on the draft guidelines to Mr. Mahesh Airan, Assistant Education Officer in the Institute at the email id mahesh.airan@icsi.edu so as to reach the Institute not later than December 10, 2015.

Regards,

CS Ashish Garg

Council Member, ICSI & Chairman, PCS Committee

DOWNLOAD EXPOSURE DRAFT OF GUIDELINES FOR NETWORK AMONGST THE FIRMS OF COMPANY SECRETARIES

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