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CAs face major challenge from MBAs: Kumar Mangalam Birla

Aditya Birla Group chairman says he is unhappy with the rate of pass percentage of CAs

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Stating that chartered accountants face a major challenge from MBAs, Aditya Birla Group Chairman today said there is strong need to expand the curriculum of CA courses beyond accounting.

"CAs today face top challenge from MBAs who are good at communication skills, know finance and economy better," he said while addressing the two-day 'All India Conference of Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI)' here.

Seeking steps to re-orient the curriculum for CA courses, Birla said having knowledge only in accounting would not help the present day CAs to face the challenges.

"MBAs have an edge over CAs in many fields as the Indian economy is much closer to the world economy now. As merger and acquisition are order of the day, CAs have big roles to play," he said.

Stating that the employers want new CAs to become productive from day one, Birla suggested the CAs to take leadership by virtue of their quality and have knowledge over other matters besides accounting.

Birla, a and an himself, is not happy over the rate of pass percentage of CAs. "The pass percentage during our time was 4 per cent. Now it is 17 per cent. The pass ratio should be 10 per cent," he said, emphasising on the need for better products.

To a query from participants at the session, Birla said public analysts would misinterpret results and confuse IFRS. "IFRS (International Financial Reporting Standards) should be implemented very carefully," he said.

While the Ministry of Corporate Affairs (MCA) contends that the existing Indian Accounting Standards must converge with the IFRS to increase the credibility of Indian companies globally, Birla felt it might create confusion.
As per an earlier roadmap laid by the MCA, companies with a net worth of over Rs 1,000 crore were to converge their financial statements as per IFRS from April 1, 2011. But the move hit roadblock in view of opposition by some corporate houses.

Corporate affairs minister Veerappa Moily, earlier this month, asserted that IFRS would be implemented from April 1, 2013 to ensure that corporate biggies keep pace with the changing times and global trends.

Stating that IFRS should suit Indian needs and not be based on the US disclosure model, Birla said public analyst groups need to be educated on how to interpret numbers.

Replying to another question, he said that because of the policy paralysis, the confidence of investors has been shaken, adding that decline in the FDI and insurance sectors is result of such policy matters.

On research and development (R&D), Birla said: "R of R&D has not made much progress. Indian industries have done much in development side."

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