Financial Daily from THE HINDU group of publications
Thursday, Mar 18, 2004
Columns - Account Speak
Grim truths delivered sans sugarcoating
Apart from the altitude of the new office, he is also "fully conscious of the responsibilities that have been entrusted" though "with the cooperation of everyone" he is hopeful of discharging them "keeping the best interests of our members in view". Ah, when will the ghost-writers of president's messages learn to be different!
As usual, "this is a crucial time for the profession in India". And there are "several issues of a very long-term nature," the resolution of which, "in the long-term perspective is essential for the welfare and growth of the profession as a whole in India."
Capacity building to render an umbrella of services, brand building of firms, bringing in new assurance related engagement opportunities and rotation of auditors, proposed amendments to the CA Act, and "all kinds of permutations and combinations of all these factors and situations."
That leaves nothing unsaid, since as they say, all words in the English dictionary are but permutations and combinations of only 26 letters, not counting hyphens, apostrophes and spaces.
There are two types of problems that Sunil Goyal has on his table: Chronic ones that are "so long-term that they may not be resolved" even during his tenure; and evolutionary ones that "will mean the participation of the membership as a whole" and that is also not going to happen too fast. Which perhaps explains he has at least some respite penning a message rather than trying to straighten a dog's tail.
But I am happy he has discerned the immutableness of the Institute right in the first missive to the members, because the source of dejection for many of his predecessors has been their drive to change things that simply went awry or dangerously backfired.
Goyal does not sugar-coat his lines when saying, "The new trends in economy and business will, therefore, leave large proportions of our firms without meaningful engagements unless and until we gear ourselves up to match emerging structures of business." No warning, he says, "this is a certainty". Grim prognosis indeed.
Like everybody else, he is also tired of what they keep pouting from podiums: "That our members are capable of doing anything that others in the finance area can do, and do it better".
It is time to tell everybody the truth, in the interest of the profession, he thinks, and so marks out two areas for CAs: first, the exclusive area under the CA Act, and, second, the non-exclusive area where one must compete with others. For the latter, the ICAI can but remove the "roadblocks".
Big blocks, they look like, because Goyal is going "everywhere, and to everyone, including the Government" to say: "Give us and our members time to adjust."
That could sound like a first-time offender pleading pardon from a cop, but the message is simple: There is no second chance, unless his successors too make similar pleas before the babus.
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