ICAI increases intake to meet shortage of CAs

Posted on    11 April 2008

ICAI increases intake to meet shortage of CAs

Source: Business Standard

To meet the growing demand for chartered accountants, the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI) has upped its intake of students.

It admitted a record 125,000 students last year. This year, after exams are conducted in May and November, the institute plans to take an even higher number of students.

As a result, ICAI hopes there will be an annual addition of around 25,000 to the army of chartered accountants in the country from 2010 onwards. This is more than double the 10,000 to 12,000 chartered accountants it churned out annually between 2001 and 2006. The student intake then averaged between 35,000 and 40,000.

With the boom in the corporate sector, there has been an unprecedented rise in the demand for chartered accountants in the last few years and this has improved their remuneration manifold. The average annual pay packages in the last round of placements at the ICAI too touched a new high of Rs 5.94 lakh, compared with Rs 4.79 lakh in 2007.

Aware of the growing demand for skills commensurate with basic tasks like accounting and book keeping, the ICAI recently launched a two-year course aimed at creating a second tier of accountants. This will lead to another 50,000 accountants being produced annually, taking the total number of accountants to around 75,000.

While there are no definite numbers on the shortage of accountants, experts say the deficit will be massive. "Given the current boom in the economy, along with other reasons like increasing financial norms and risk management in companies, the need for skilled accountants is bound to rise," an expert said.

"There is no estimate as of now but a report of the Ministry of Human Resource Development has put the shortage of finance professionals in the country at around 200,000 by 2009," Amit Azad, a consultant said.

Besides opening up computer labs across the country to impart IT training to CA students, ICAI is also coming up with a 25-acre campus at Jaipur that will be developed into a centre of excellence where students will be taught management skills in a three-month residential programme.

Encouraged by the rising student registration, both in the country as well as abroad, the ICAI has, from this year, allowed articleship training overseas as well. Earlier, a student pursuing the chartered accountant course abroad had to come to India for a three-year articleship training.

"ICAI is conscious of the need for skilled as well as employable workforce. We are confident that we will meet the requirement of the growing economy. There is no restriction on the student intake and with our teaching expertise, infrastructure and growing membership, we are hopeful to bridge the skill gap in future," ICAI president Ved Jain said.

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