Business expansion is an important part of the growth process of a developing country like India and cost accounting helps in expansion of businesses. The Institute of Cost Accountants of India has worked for the betterment of businesses in India. Sanjay Gupta is the present President of the institute and he spoke to BE about his institute.
Q) How is your institute helping in building cost accounting as a profession?
A) In this globalized world, organisations require professionals such as cost accountants (CMAs) who have specialised knowledge on business strategy and value creation. CMAs are the driving force in all economic activities, as they are the value creators, value enablers, value preservers, and value reporters.
CMAs are in great demand in government sector, private sector, banking and finance sector, developmental agencies, education, training and research sectors as well as in service and public utility sectors. Further, in view of their specialised knowledge and training, CMAs may hold top management positions in public and private sector enterprises. There is no doubt that a CMA can attain the highest ranks in his professional career. There is a sustained demand for qualified, trained and experienced cost accountants in India and abroad. Many members of the institute are also engaged in providing professional and cost consultancy services and in teaching cost and management accountancy in universities and colleges.
Q) Why should young aspirants choose this profession and what are their prospects?
A) Over the years, the CMA profession has strived relentlessly to promote the socio-economic development of the country. The CMAs are considered to a main moving factor of the Indian economy as they are trained to be cost competitive, utilise available resources in an efficient and cost effective manner through cost optimisation, efficient deployment of scarce resources leading to cost control, cost reduction and cost consciousness. The industry/ government/stakeholders gain skills for growth and development by effective application of cost management accounting techniques. Completion of this CMA course enriches the degree holder with higher degree of employable skills and guarantees life-long employability, statutorily recognised by the Parliament. As part of our professional social responsibility, the institute is continuously updating and enhancing the professional expertise of young aspirants.
The Institute launched SYLLABUS 2016 from August 01, 2016, to nurture young business leaders of tomorrow who can convert the dream of Make in India into reality by taking strategic management decisions effectively. The objectives and the salient features of the new syllabus are detailed below-
l To create awareness and promote cost and management accounting education.
l To inculcate skills for employability.
l To extend all possible professional expertise to ensure transparency and governance as desired by the government.
l To have a student-centric syllabus.
l Achieve six skill sets, viz. knowledge, comprehension, application, analysis, synthesis, and evaluation.
l Be based on four knowledge pillars - management, strategy, regulatory function and financial reporting. There’s rigorous training and campus placement.
l Emphasis on accounting, analysis, reporting and control, strategy, performance measurement, analysis, reporting, corporate and allied laws, taxation, ethics and governance.
Q) What are the important changes of policies that will help in the ease of doing business in India?
A) The Companies Act 2013 is one of the landmark legislations enacted in recent years to bring forth transparency, ease of doing business and protecting minority shareholders. Section 247 of the Companies Act, 2013 contains provisions exclusively regarding registered valuers. Effective valuation will not only help in eliminating doubts relating to arbitrary valuation and window dressing but will also act as an assurance to the concerned stakeholders and regulators regarding the authenticity of the valuation of the asset or liability under consideration and consequently help in ease of doing business. Cost accountants, by virtue of their qualification and experience, are likely to be included in the list of qualified professional for acting as a registered valuers in respect of any property, stocks, shares, debentures, securities or goodwill or any other assets or net worth of a company or its liability.
In the year 2017, India leapfrogged into the 100th rank in the World Bank’s Ease of Doing Business rankings, jumping 30 notches from last year, in an endorsement of the string of reforms implemented by the government that led to better business conditions. India is the only large country this year to have achieved such a significant shift. On paying taxes, India has jumped 53 places, from 172 to 119. On getting credit India has jumped 15 places, from 44 to 29. This is a significant movement.
CMA professionals can expedite FDI by effective valuation of assets/liabilities/stocks/properties to facilitate investors to make the right financial decisions, fulfil regulatory obligations, understand and manage value risks and can issue valuation certificate in respect of Foreign Exchange Management. Moreover, with implementation of a series of reforms including enactment of Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (IBC), India has climbed to the fourth position in protecting interest of minority investors and in “resolving insolvency” parameters, India is now ranked 103, according to the Ease of Doing Business report.
Q) How has the Goods & Services Tax (GST) enhanced the scope for CMA professionals?
A) A CMA with his academic knowledge and professional expertise can play a crucial role as a consultant and a catalyst for due compliances of law relating to GST for the general business community and spread tax-literacy and GST awareness. A CMA is well equipped to assist the business entities in providing assistance towards GST registration, claiming tax credits, ensuring all the necessary legal compliances, procedural formalities and other administrative follow ups. We, the CMAs are recognised to make representations before the Appellate Tribunals under the Indirect Taxation statutes in India and would continue to represent even after the implementation of GST for dispute resolution.
I am happy to inform you that the name of cost accountants have been included to certify work sheet of tax liability before GST and after GST to be submitted by contractors on existing ‘work contracts’ under the Ministry of Railways, Government of India.
Q) What are the new reforms initiated by the institute made in support of GST?
A) The institute has opened Goods and Services Tax (GST) helpdesk to enable businesses comply with the new system and to assist professionals acquire proper knowledge about the new tax structure. The ICAI’s decision to introduce the cell was welcomed by representatives of corporate houses and professionals and is expected to go a long way to eliminate the confusion that exists regarding GST and its provisions. Recently, we have also submitted our suggestions and comments on the models suggested by GST Council for simplification of GST returns to the Group of Ministers formed by the GST Council.
A course module on GST has been prepared so as to upgrade the knowledge level of our members & professionals in a structured and practical oriented manner. The course would benefit members, non- members and students. There would be a special discount for corporates who enroll bulk students.
Q. As per Companies (Registered Valuers and Valuation) Rules, 2017, practicingmembers of a professional institute like The ICA of India, set up under an Act of Parliament; having at least five years’ experience after such membership can be enrolled as Registered Valuers. What is the Institute’s plan of action in this regard?
A. Credible valuations are critical to the efficient working of the capital markets, businesses, government and all its stakeholders. With growing shareholder activism, importance of independent valuations is arising all over the world including India. Different Regulators in India have prescribed different valuation methodologies for different purposes.
However, in most of the cases, there is neither any guidance on the basis for selection of a particular methodology nor much of details on its manner of application including its technical nitty-gritties. In this backdrop, the Companies Act, 2013 brought into the light the concept of ‘Registered Valuers’ to regulate the practice of Valuation in India and to standardise the valuation in line with International standards. In addition, to administer and perform functions under the said rules, the MCA by way of notification on 23 October, 2017, has specified the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Board of India (IBBI) as the responsible authority.
The notified Rules attempt to bring in standardization in the valuation standards in India and ensure that valuation reports disclose a true and fair view and result in greater objectivity in valuation procedures.