Alternate courses in finance and taxation

There is life beyond CAT. Alternate courses in finance and taxation like Chartered Accountancy, Company Secretary and ICWA are equally prestigious and respectable.

When you are struggling with a career decision for yourself and have just been disappointed with not having your name listed in the CAT winner list, what you do? Did you have a plan B in place that you can put into action? Or do you think that you’ve missed on some other opportunities which you were for some reason just pushing into backseat because you wanted the easy way out the quick step to the top?

Frankly, if you were to ask yourself some hard questions, you would be sitting back and asking yourself can I deal with numbers? do I understand them? and do I have the abilities to pursue a career in finance? What is the remuneration package I am actually aiming for? What is the kind of work life balance I am looking for? What is the work culture I would like in the profession I take up? Have I truly analyzed the occupational hazards of my careers options an am I willing to live with them? Am I looking at my career as an end or as a means to achieve my personal goals? And when you ask yourself questions, many more doors open up. If I am inclined to be a finance person, not qualifying an MBA exam is not the end of the road for me. Here an equally good career available in Chartered Accountancy i.e. in becoming a CA.

Any profession that we choose with have its arguments for why it is the most appropriate one and it will also have many counter arguments The top argument for doing an MBA is that you are in a role where you see the big picture without having to get into micro level detail of transactions and how the actual numbers are generated. You feel you are able to influence an organization because you can decide what to do when to do and how to do there. Another thing that may lure you into doing an MBA is that the ladder up to the CEO seems to be more available than if you are a CA in which case you may reach a CFO level not beyond that.. But then I can also think of counter arguments maybe at least 6 – 7 of them offhand.

So why not look at other options. Undoubtedly, the most sought after professional degree in the Commerce stream is Chartered Accountancy. Chartered Accountants usually occupy high and respectable posts in any organization. A Chartered accountant also holds prestige in the society and earns handsomely. The role of a CA is moving away from the traditional activities of audit and tax management to becoming consultants and advisors in the true sense. After acquiring the membership one can either choose to public practice or join any organization at the public sector or private sector. Several career options open up. Chartered Accountants are required to assess the risks of the companies and can help them in designing control system to counter those risks. They could provide new assurance and performance measurement services. They can support change management at the ownership structural and operational levels. They can be the critical advisors for stake holder value creation and strategic management. Thy can provide support in financial administration, financial regulation and matters related to insolvency and corporate recovery. They can become management consultants, mercantile bankers and private equity investment advisors.