‘Commitment’- it may seem to you a simple word. But rather it’s an ‘act’. An act that bridges the gap between goals and desire. Basically, our commitments are nothing but an accelerator of our life. The two powerful words Commitment and Achievement always go parallel. One can never think of Achievement before Commitment. And so acts the two letters C and A. Tow letters so powerful that if you join them and put them before the name it not only becomes a professional qualification but more it represents Dedication, Will power, Intelligence and the ability to march on Come What May. To the world, the two letters mean Chartered Accountant “CA”. But for them its something completely different, it’s “Committed Achievers”. Let me tell you stories of the committed achievers.
The Story of Chartered Accountants – The ‘Committed Achievers’
She Couldn’t See but had the Vision
A young girl was wrongly prescribed with penicillin for the common cold. As a result, she became visually impaired. A nine-year-old became blind. She decided to be a Chartered Accountant. Her name is Rajni Gopal. So what if she was visually impaired? The world might think of it as a disability, but SHE DID NOT.
The only place where Achievement comes before Commitment is in the dictionary.
The commitment that was stronger than circumstances
In another story, Prema Jayakumar, the daughter of an Auto driver, scored All India Rank 1. She switched to her English alphabetical textbook for the first time when she was 16. Pushing all the boundaries, Prema cleared her CA examination in the first attempt and that too with a rank. She never thought her circumstances to be the barrier. She only wanted to give her parents a life of comfort.
I enjoyed growing up with them, I wish they enjoy growing old with me .
– The words
No study table, No proper light. Food two times a day was a struggle.
In another similar story, the daughter of a man who sold coffee outside Borivali Railway station on a bicycle decides to learn English in the 7th std and she FAILS, tries again, FAILS again. She goes on to become a Chartered Accountant. Did she ever think language will be a barrier? She did not. Did she ever think the financial status will be a barrier? She did not. All she wanted was to become a Chartered Accountant – a committed achiever. Her name is Dhanshree Vilas Todka.
“Dhanshree” her name was an irony to her condition. Her father didn’t have money to get the sweets for the celebration. He got biscuits for her. #Salute to the Father and the Daughter.
Story of Cancer Institute to CA Institute
A boy from a traditional middle-class Tamil family born and brought up in a village. At the age of 7, his monotonous life changed when he was diagnosed with cancer. He traced his path from Cancer institute WIA-Adyar, Chennai to CA Institute. He never considered his health as a constraint and kept moving forward. Also, he could not sit for long, failed twice in final went for the third attempt and scored 60+ in all the subjects. Today he is a Chartered Accountant and has his own firm.
During chemotherapy, all my hairs had fallen but my COURAGE was intact. Even the CANCER has ‘CAN’. Why can’t I?
It was their commitment to achieving that led them to their dreams. The commitment that was pillared by the organization. The organization that is guarding their dreams. The organization that deep roots itself sheltering them and their future – The ICAI – ‘The Institute of Chartered Accountants of India’.
The ICAI: Guardians of Committed Achievers
The organization that is glorifying its existence since the past 70 years. Sheltering thousands of dreams. Today, the ICAI is relishing 70 years of dedication, commitment, achievement – it’s celebrating its 70th Anniversary. The date marks the completion of the 70-year long fulfilling journey of excellence. The day not only marks as the Platinum Jubilee of The ICAI but moreover is a landmark for the profession.
From women development to women-led development.
The leaders of this nation were visionaries. They knew the role the Chartered Accountants would play in developing the country which is why on 1st of July 1949, a year even before the constitution of India was formalized, an act of parliament gave birth to the ICAI. Today the ICAI counts itself among the oldest professional institution of the country. It acts as a regulator to the accounting system and aids the economic growth of the nation. It is the second largest professional accounting and finance body in the world in terms of members. Starting with a few hundred members in 1949, today it has about 3 lakh members. With its 5 Regional Councils and 164 Branches spread across the nation and 34 overseas Chapters across the world. The ICAI marks the presence of about 71,000 female Chartered Accountants and 3.5 lakh girl students. ICAI holistically carries the mission of transforming the nation from women’s development to women-led development. Its the only profession with no reservation quota promoting equality to every committed achiever in its eyes.
During its journey of 70 years, the ICAI has become an integral part of the Indian Economy taking it to the path of the fastest growing economy in the world with its emphasis on the financial reforms. The ICAI radiated with shining milestones that stand as the acknowledge cornerstone of India’s economic growth.
The First mover
Soon after its birth, the ICAI with just 1700 member in 1955 led the foundation of its first committee. This committee submitted to be the backbone of the institute that played major roles in the years ahead. In the year 1956, Chartered accountants were recruited for the first time in the Commercial Audit Branch of CA&G.
The Pages to Freedom Struggle
Many of you may not be aware that many accountants took part in the Indian freedom struggle. Like first lady auditor CA, R. Sivabhogam participated in non-corporation movement on call by the father of our nation Mahatma Gandhi Ji. She was also imprisoned for a year.
The Taxation Policies
Recognizing ICAIs strong regulatory framework, the high court recognized ICAI strict disciplinary Mechanisms in 1960. In 1964, the council of the ICAI submitted its’s pre-budget memorandum for the first time. The memorandum contained useful suggestions for orientation of taxation policies and procedures to the finance ministry. The process was so helpful that it’s being practiced ever since.
Steps to Financial Literacy
In the ’70s, the ICAI started providing free advisory services to SMEs and small taxpayers on the maintenance of accounts, tax, and other financial matters. Not only did it enhance the financial literacy of the citizens of the country, more importantly, but it also started the industrial growth in the country. It also collaborated with the government to enlarge the scheme of scholarships.
Steps to Digitalization
1967 visualized the emerging need of IT-savvy CA professionals in view of the usefulness of computers, electronic data processing systems and mechanized aids to accounting and data processing. Also, the constitution of Digital Accounting and Assurance Board in 2017 and that of a special-purpose Digital Transformation and Process Reengineering Group in 2018 aim to analyze the impact of digital and information technology, big data, blockchain, and artificial intelligence and improve the internal operations and dealing mechanism at the Institute.
Pro bono Professional Service
In the year 1972, the ICAI members provided pro bono professional services to the heirs of the jawans and officers of the armed forces who sacrificed their lives in the war. Complete exemptions from tuition and registration fee of the institute were also granted to the children of Amar jawans and officers. The ICAI has always felt responsible for its members’ and students’ welfare. In 1999-2000, the ICAI took a path-breaking decision to help its physically challenged members by deciding that one scholarship be reserved for them for pursuing Post-Qualification Courses.
Journey to Independent Advisory
Before the ’80s there was widespread grooming of India’s microeconomic performance due to the then prevailing conditions of the country. However, during the period between 1980 and 1990, the economy began to improve and the growth rate accelerated. The government appointed CA member and various committees like boards of public sector undertakings and nationalized banks. The government also appointed the ICAI as an expert and independent advisor on company law, fiscal and various other committees. The corporate sector, the public sector corporation, corporative societies, and public trusts were brought under then accounting discipline by legislation.
In its 90s
In the 90s, sale tax audit was introduced in many states as a result of ICAI’s efforts. To showcase the role played by the CA community. Also, the ICAI developed a research center in the form of a non-profit company to be named as Accounting Research Foundation. It was during this time that the government recognized the ICAI as the sole recommendatory body for setting accounting standards in the country.
The Era of MOUs and e- Sahayata
2000 onwards marked the period where many MRA/MOUs were signed with international bodies such as ICAWEW, CPA Australia, Ireland, and CICA, etc. The ICAI was recognized by IGNOU as a Research Center for the Benefit of its members and employees to pursue doctoral research. e- Sahayata was launched for members and students by ICAI to provide prompt services against queries, complaints, and grievances.
Birth of CA Award Ceremony
In 2007, the ICAI decided to recognize CA leaders in the industry which gave birth to the glittering award ceremony. In 2009, ICAI was awarded the ‘Recognition of Excellence’ Award by the then president of India Smt Pratibha Patil.
The ICAI moves to Abhiyan
In 2014, the Prime Minister of India Shri Narendra Modi nominated ICAI for Swachh Bharat Abhiyan under the banner of Swachh Bharat Abhiyan. In 2015, Swachh Vidyalaya Abhiyan was launched to provide separate toilets for boys and girls in all the government schools throughout the country. The ICAI undertook the pilot study for Indian railway. The in-depth cost analysis helped to streamline the running of the railways. Also, in line with its commitment to the environment. The ICAI has developed its Green Vision and taken a decision to encourage members to go for the e-copy of the ICAI journal. It was also decided to provide a discount of 500/- to the members in their annual membership fee for opting not to receive the hard copy of their Journal.
Considering the need for eradication of black money, the Tax Act, 2015 was introduced. CBDT decided to go all out and conduct workshops with ICAI to clarify any doubts the assessees may have had. The ICAI was chosen as a preferred institute to partner with the government of India to create awareness and maximize the potential of income tax declaration scheme 2016. The ICAI together with the ministry of finance & the ministry of commerce and industry organized events in more than 470 locations across the country. It was attended by more than 42000 citizens including Chartered Accountants, Company Secretaries, Advocates and members from trade and industry. ICAIs contribution to the scheme was acknowledged by Shri Arun Jaitley, the then Honourable Minister of Finance & Corporate Affairs. For the benefits of its members, ICAI established the Indian Institute of Insolvency Professionals of ICAI (IIIPI).
Government’s partner to GST
The ICAI extended its infrastructural and technical support towards the accounting reforms of various government offices this meant moving from cash to accrual system of accounting after assessing the tremendous positive impact of national financial reporting. It was also an important year for the Indian economy. GST as being doubted as the game changer leading to one nation one tax. ICAI as always was there to partner the government with effective and smoothen implication of GST throughout the nation. As a result, ICAI and CA members became a proud pronged partner for GST success. For a clearer understanding of GST, ICAI carried out more than 300 programs benefitting more than 2.5 lacs participants. ICAI also established GST Sahayata desk all across the country. This facilitated small businessman, traders, shopkeepers and the public at large.
SSP portal ICAI’s steps to digitalization
The ICAI announced a new platform called SSP, i.e., Self-service portal. The platform opened the door to members and students to fill all the forms online which were earlier available offline. SSP is a great initiative towards a digitized world.
Check out| Important Announcement on SSP Portal
The International Legacy
The ICAI as an institution has supported its members by getting into a number of MoUs and MRAs with other established accounting bodies of the world with a view to help its members with global education/degree and training, and professional opportunities.
- The ICAI played the role as a founder member of various global accounting bodies. It conceptualized and played a major role in the formation of IFAC (International Federation of Accountants) in 1977.
- In 1978, it aid to the foundation of CAPA (Confederation of Asian and Pacific Accountants)
- It was ICAI that mooted the idea of forming the SAFA (South Asian Federation of Accountants) in the year 1982, in view of the common culture, trading practices and legal systems of the South Asian region.
- The ICAI is also a member of the International Valuation Standards Council (IVSC), which is an independent global standard-setter for the valuation profession. ICAI has similarly joined the Chartered Accountants Worldwide (CAW), which brings together the leading accountancy bodies of the world, support and promote the CA profession and professionals, and aims to create global opportunities.
- Owing to its reputation of a proactive accountancy body, The ICAI was assigned the Indian jurisdiction of XBRL International in 2008. Then in 2010, realizing the need to involve the regulators, technology experts, corporations and academics, and promote XBRL in India, ICAI formed XBRL India, a Section 8 company under Companies Act, 2013, which also manages the affairs of Indian jurisdiction of XBRL International.
- Given its global reputation, last year, ICAI’s global reach and professional standing were recognized, when it was given the prestigious right of hosting the 22nd World Congress of Accountants (WCOA) in the year 2022, which is considered the Olympics of Accountants today.
Considering its fundamental professional responsibility, ICAI has been reaching out to help the developing countries in formalization of accountancy profession and development of professional accounting bodies. So far, ICAI has helped many developing countries in the past that include Nepal, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Djibouti, and Mongolia.
The ICAI Safeguarding its Members
In order to safeguard its members from misrepresentation by miscreants, ICAI has implemented in a phased manner an innovative concept of UDIN, i.e. unique document identification number. Where Chartered Accountants with full-time Certificate of Practice can register on the UDIN Portal and generate UDIN by registering the certificates attested/certified by them.
The ICAI sheltering students
As a major initiative for our students, a Coaching Board was constituted in 1955- 56. Now designated as Board of Studies. This Board has grown bigger and better ever since, constantly keeping the parameters of CA education in tune with the times. Continuous development and revision of our education and training scheme is the hallmark of the profession.
- The ICAI through its regional councils and Branches provides the facility of Reading Rooms that are available all over India. Providing the students with the conductive academic environment.
- It also facilitates Campus Placement Programmes through a unique initiative called Career Ascent.
- The Cloud Campus was launched in 2016 as a virtual campus for students where e-learning courses, audio lectures, video lectures, webcasts, online mentoring, articles training resources, etc. were provided to the students free of cost. As another first in the history of ICAI. This heralds a knowledge revolution by providing online resources to the students to prepare for the CA course.
- ICAI launched Student’s Journal to promote a platform for the students. In order to enrich their charter and knowledge. The journals proved to be so effective that it soon started fetching the interest of the aspirant at large.
The ICAI has created a milestone by launching various intervention centers. In line with the Prime Minister’s vision to support startups, ICAI is providing a massive platform for CAs to start their businesses. Not many people know that there is an accountancy museum in India. Also, ICAI is the first accounting body in the world to start a digital accounting and insurance board. There are 3 forensic labs in India to monitor the financial boggling and frauds. With this ICAI is keeping its eyes and vision firmly on the future. The ICAI has a very strict code of ethics. The motto of ICAI is a quotation taken from Upanishad, Ya Aeshu Suptaeshu Jagruti translates as the one who is awake in those that sleep.
Here to the guardians and the Committed Achievers who stayed wake when we slept to protect us. Our salute to the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India for the work they have done in the past seven decades and wish them a very best in the years to come. Its a glorious moment for the ICAI and for all the committed achievers it gave birth to. Marking the day add your tributes to the institute and committed achievers.
Happy CA Day to all of us. Wish everyone in the comments below.