An exclusive Interview with KK Rao on ICWAI Course, Changes proposed to the Course and Future Prospects…
How is the demand for ICWAI course in the Job market?
We have 12 lakh registered companies in India and Andhra Pradesh has 80, 000 of them. These companies have to regularly submit Cost Compliance and Cost Audit report to the government. The changes in Laws have mandated companies to recruit Cost Accountants for preparing fact sheets and other production and process materials. Due to ever-increasing manufacturing and Services sector, the demand for Cost Accountants is to stay in the near future and the course is preferred to be a Job guarantee course.
Comparing to Charted Accountancy and Company Secretary Courses, what is the career scope for ICWAI?
There is not much awareness on the ICWAI course, which has more career scope when compared to CA, CS Courses. Charted Accountant looks after accounts and taxation and Company Secretary has grip on the legal issues where as Cost Accountant has great roles and responsibilities and decision-making powers on operations, production and other crucial aspects. Comparing salaries, the Cost Accountants are paid distinctly higher than the other courses and in the senior level, the salaries are as high as 30- 40 lakhs.
Yearly, how many Cost Accountants does ICWAI produce?
The registrations for ICWAI course are in lakhs and the figure is increasing rapidly due to improvement in job scenario with certain changes introduced in the law. Even the Engineering students are opting for this career, which gives job guarantee for lakhs of freshers who otherwise are finding difficulty to get a job with engineering background. Presently there are 50,000-trained Cost Accountants available in the country.
Does ICWAI course need some kind of academic background suited to the course? What do you say on the general perception that Final papers are difficult?
There is no specific background required for taking this course and there is no truth in the perception that the final papers are difficult. As the course is on professional lines which need application oriented study, the syllabus and papers are set to the standards that meet the present needs of the market to face the future challenges therein.
Which is a better option after the completion of the course – Job or self-practice?
Practicing may be a better option. One can have a bright growth prospects in practicing as they learn real life situations and are exposed to challenges and problems, where as if one works in a company they are accustomed to a routine work.
The ICWAI course has less craze among the students when compared to CA and CS…
This has resulted due to lack of awareness on prospects of the course among the students. The major advantage of ICWAI course is that students can do other parallel degrees while this is not possible with the CA and CS courses.
What is eligibility criteria, course duration and admission procedure for Cost Accountancy course?
There is no specific time limit for admission to Cost Accountancy course. This is a 24/7 available course and students can join in any time and in any part of the year. The course is divided into Foundation, Inter Level, Final phases. We have four papers in Foundation, 6 papers in Inter Level and 8 papers in Final phase.
What are the career prospects and commensurate salary? What is the assistance from your chapter for placements?
This is a 100% job guarantee course. Immediately after completing the course one may get salary package of six lakhs per annum. Recently coal India has offered eight lakhs to a student. Placements are offered in companies like BDL, BHEL, Reddy Labs, ECIL, Aurobindo Pharma, L&T. A placement cell is working to assist students attain good jobs. Even FCI representatives have also visited our campus recently to recruit Cost Accountants.
Are you taking any measures to create awareness among the students on the prospects of this course?
As part of the awareness programme we are visiting various colleges and conducting seminars on the prospects of this course. This has given some results. Students are now realizing the benefits of this course and showing interest in taking up this course.
As changes are taking place in syllabus of CS and CA courses, do we expect any such changes in the ICWAI course?
Yes, we can expect changes according to the needs. Present syllabus was updated in 2008. Next year, huge change in the syllabus takes place when Goods and Services Tax, Direct Tax Code, IFRS Bills are passed in the parliament. To meet the companies goals and to develop knowledge based skills changes take place accordingly in the syllabus.
What should one do to kick-start his/her career after completion of the course?
After completion of the ICWAI course, a starting salary of two lakhs is offered for freshers. Committed and hardworking people grow faster in their career when compared with their peers and even has huge scope to attain high posts as Managing Directors.
Do ICWAI student require membership?
An ICWAI student has to work for at least three years as practicing Cost Accountant for setting up his/her own business. In CA, we call it as Articleship and in ICWAI it is called as Traineeship.
What skills does one require to do this course?
Analytical and Application Oriented skills, Mathematical skills, swift decision-making skills are suited to the course.
What is your advice to students willing to take ICWAI course?
ICWAI as said is job guarantee course, which secures immediate job irrespective of the market tendencies. A Cost Accountant by profession has a good social status. So, have thorough knowledge on the course, its career prospects and develop passion towards the course, you will definitely have a bright career.