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Efforts on to set up university: ICAI

By Our Staff Reporter

Coimbatore. Dec. 25. The Council of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI) has cleared the proposal for a university and talks are on with the States of Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, Uttranchal and Rajasthan to create a legal and infrastructural framework for the project, Sunil Goyal, president, ICAI, said here on Friday. "We propose to acquire 100 acres for the university and are speaking to State Governments on legal questions", he added.

Elaborating the need for the university, he said that the current bachelors-level commerce courses that most chartered accountant aspirants pursue are only a formality with no real value addition. Calling it a backward integration of sorts, he said that a commerce degree developed by ICAI would benefit para-accountants who form the backbone of the industry. He also suggested an MBA course for chartered accountants on the lines of the one started by the Indian Institutes of Technology for their graduates.

`Upgrade skills'

Presiding over the inaugural address of `the national continuing professional education conference on Emerging Empowerment' organised by the South Indian Regional Council (SIRC) of the ICAI here, he called on the professional community to upgrade their skills, knowledge and network to meet the emerging challenges and opportunities.

With the implementation of the General Agreement on Trade and Tariffs (GATT) and World Trade Organisation (WTO) provisions from January 1, 2005, Value Added Tax (VAT) from April 2005, new service taxes and opportunities in the Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) industry, accountants should broaden their horizon.

As the scope of the accounting profession was changing, accounting professionals should go beyond income tax, auditing and accounting to provide value-added services. With the advent of information technology, there were tremendous opportunities for accountants in the BPO sector such as back office accounting, offshore auditing and insurance, he said.

Proposal placed

Accountants would play a tremendous role in implementation of VAT. He said that 23 states had envisaged a check and balance role for the accountants. But in Tamil Nadu which did not have a clause for the audit of VAT by accountants he said that a proposal had been placed before the Chief Minister highlighting the need for the services of CAs for transparent implementation of VAT.

To enable proprietary and partnership CA firms to collaborate to execute large projects, a capacity building and networking programme has been instituted, where State and national projects worth a few crores on a multi location and multi staff basis can be executed.

A system of peer review for practising CAs and a Financial Review Reporting Board (FRRB) for corporate members was developed to ensure compliance with standards.

A Permanent Placement Cell has been developed to provide information of national and international vacancies to members and assist with placement. A portal was developed where the members can register. For the first time, campus interviews for CAs will be organised in March 2005, he said.

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