To be future-ready, professional accountants should learn and equip themselves in new-age technology skills, acquire strategic managerial skills besides continuing their prowess in accountancy, finance, taxation, and business laws, said ICAI President CA Atul Kumar Gupta.
In the last couple of decades, the fast-paced economic reforms coupled with technological advancement created a need for unswerving staunch accountants who are committed to the profession, industry, society, and the economy. The present challenging times have further strengthened the well-established position of Chartered Accountants as a harbinger of change. With their deep understanding of complex and intriguing financial concepts, proximity to the businesses of all kinds, and sizes, the professional accountants can and should play an instrumental role in making India truly Aatmanirbhar.
CA Atul Kumar Gupta also said that ICAI already has a curriculum that is benchmarked to the best in the world with a unique blend of rigorous training and theoretical education. While maintaining our supremacy, we need to continuously evolve and undertake innovative actions.
He also advised to keep following aspects in mind:
- Study information about the current and future opportunities: While we are having a strong membership base of 3,25,000 plus, the emerging Indian economy needs more accountants to practice and work in the industry. Rational planning requires realistic projections of the future demand of accounting professionals.
- Attract entrants with high potential into the profession: It is important to promote the utility of the accounting profession in the society to generate interest of the students with high potential. While general perception about Chartered Accountants in the country is positive, it can be further build to enhance perceptions about the need and the career opportunities it offers.
- Provide quality education and training: ICAI from time to time changes its scheme to provide quality education and training. The education for the aspiring professional accountants as well as existing members should keep them abreast of current knowledge in the core and related areas of competence. There is a need to familiarise them with the new and emergent areas related to professional development.
- Increased liaison between profession and academics: With the dynamic changes in the system, processes, laws, and technology there is an emergent need for both practitioners and academia to cohesively and creatively foster a culture of innovation with the goal of improving the quality of accounting education in the country. Universities and colleges can work in tandem with the Institute so that basic accounting knowledge is gained by all. The subject faculty are the key driver of change in curricula and pedagogy. The quality of the future can’t be ascertained and improved without having capable faculty. In this regard training of faculty members with unambiguous recognition and reward structures can improve the quality of accounting education in the Institute and in the country.
- Encouraging Accounting Research: To build a learned and future-ready profession there is a need for more research in the areas related to the accountancy profession. As of date, 105 Indian Universities, 7 IIMs and 2 IITs (Madras & Bombay), a total of 114 institutions in the country have recognized Chartered Accountancy qualification for the specific purpose of registration to the Ph.D. program. Going forward, flexibility, and exploration of new research is quintessential to maintain the quality of delivery of accounting education in the future. There is a need for more effective research where more professionals join to identify grey areas and charter mechanisms to iron out creases.