Wednesday, 21 May 2014

Our CA profession is in grave danger

What you start thinking when you hear news of some foreign accounting firm taking over a small or medium scale CA firm or any other such professional firm. When you hear more and more chartered accountants are joining Big Four or Big Ten firms (most of them are foreign companies). Can you think of these incidences as wake up calls for our profession?
If no, then I am sorry, we are in grave danger. (First mistake is that we are not realizing it). 

Even if you think it as wake up call, we are still facing that challenge ahead of us. We have to move mountains to face that challenge. Now, let me not puzzle you for longer and come to the point.
There was a time in history of developing India when multinational companies started coming to India and with their world class technology and work culture, they progressed in leaps and bounds. After a passage of time, somehow, we were able to insulate ourselves from the grave repercussions that lie ahead. (Don't worry, we still have to face it now even if we have given deaf ears to the problems).

But, here I want to make a different case, I want to talk about the problem that lies ahead of Indian Accounting Profession. The probable victims are Indian Chartered Accountant practitioners. (If we don't take steps at the moment, this moment, right here, right now).

Now, let’s analyze what is missing in our profession. First and foremost problem is that we are not building people oriented, people centric, people caring organizations (whether its small or large, whether it’s a service industry or manufacturing industry. Of course, you will find few exceptions).
Hence, the cycle of depression in our profession begins. Here we go. Let’s see what exactly happens.
Step 1. Dissatisfied employees lacks happiness.
Step 2. Unhappy employees cannot innovate or work full-fledged on creative work and bring around new ideas. (Happy employees are 12% more productive than normal employees –
Step 3. Lack of innovation and deficient employee morale leads to sub-standard services (Concept equally applicable in manufacturing industries)
Step 4. Step 1-3 leads to lesser satisfaction of clients and customers and results in lesser turnover and lesser progress of your organization. 
Step 5. Your customers and clients start searching for better products and services. And eventually finds out that your fellows are suffering from same problems. And ultimately finds out that Big Ten foreign firms are very efficient and they charge hefty fees. But gives better services. (of course, who will be willing to take bath with an Indian soap when you get a Quality soap at a little higher price,  people don't think much about price when there is a quality concern). Stressing on selection of foreign firm’s services does not mean they are smarter than us. Who runs their firms after all? Are they all white people? No, they are like you and me.  Foreign version of Indian people like all of us. We run the MNCs in India and all over the globe. Where you don’t find Indians working, just keep in mind their government is fearful about our presence (like Obama who did not allow Modi to come to United States, lol). We should be proud to have smarter brains than any other kind of people around the globe. (Sorry, am not sure about Japanese people, LOL).
Step 6. Results of above steps - foreign exchange outflows and slow growth of domestic players.
Step 7. Slow growth of domestic players makes them think to go for merger with a big corporation (I don’t know what must be the reasons and what they must be tempted by, but the discussion requires another write up. Will think and give it here for benefit of all). One of the reason they feel is they think they cannot compete big MNCs. It’s better to join hands and earn out of the association. (They don’t realize that ultimately who suffers? Our own business community which will pay hefty fees of the MNC professionals).
Step 8. Takeover by multinationals adds further problems in economy. (Of course, only if the MNC is optimistic about the takeover and expects to earn in millions, then only they will go for the takeover, don’t think you have made fool of them. It can be a reverse scenario.)
Step 9. Above all steps results in existing employees woes. Fears haunts them every now and then. They starts thinking that there are blink chances of progress here, let’s move away. But they will observe that all domestic firms and organisations are working on the same principles (profit centric principles, all for themselves, nothing for others). Then he will feel, let’s join hands with Big Ten. (Just like small and medium firms does), at least I will get a better paycheck if not satisfaction of work, if not recognition.
Step 10. We have been worrying about brain plight from India to Foreign countries (for last two three decades and at present also). And now, on this day, more and more MNCs are coming to India, hence we are giving deaf ears to the brains that joins MNCs day in day out. (I don’t know whether I am making the point clear but I feel, the same can be called as brain export. And the brain works for a foreign company. The difference is just that the brain is resident and not an NRI.)
Note:- Very serious note from me, my personal views - Presence of MNCs or MNC service providers like big ten firms does not mean we, small and medium practioners are not capable to provide world class services. Of course, we can.
“kuchh paane ke liye kuchh karna padta he, kuchh khona padta he, kuchh an-dekhe sapne dekhne padte hai, kuchh mushkile jelni padti he, kuchh anchaahe kadam uthaane padte he, kuchh naye khwaab sajaane padte he, Insaano ki kimat samajni padti he”

Inputs should be world class in order to match outputs to the world class. Our inputs are our people, our employees and our ideas, our employees’ ideas and creativity and innovative capabilities.). When we start recognizing them, valuing them, the days are not far when we will soon become world class and Chartered Accountants will join the small and medium firms leaving behind the glamorous MNCs. (I hope, you are not facing a situation at this moment where some of your young chartered accountants are joining big four and waving you good bye)

Before the situation goes out of control, we should work towards solving it. I think it's late, but its better late than never. We can make a difference, if we think we have to. You can contact me anytime for a detailed discussion about the possible solutions for this. Presently, I am not charging anything for sharing my ideas. Lol. It’s a social project for me, I feel it’s my responsibility to save my profession. Will surely think on possible solutions and will give a detailed article once again.

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