Chartered accountants to discuss networking, mergers

“Networking, mergers and brand promotion of professional firms” will be among the themes of focus at a two-day all-India conference of chartered accountants to be held here from July 16.

Conceived to meet the emerging needs of the profession and its clientele, the concept of “networking” aims at encouraging accountants located at distant places and operating on a stand-alone basis to take to the culture of cooperation and coordination, “short of merging and as a prelude to merger to form partnerships,” according to T.N. Manoharan, convener of the conference and Central Council member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI).

Relevant theme
Addressing mediapersons here today, Mr. Manoharan said the “overwhelming response” to the conference from practitioners in districts and towns in different States showed the relevance of the theme of networking, the session on which would feature a talk by Manoj Phadnis (Indore) and would be chaired by R.S. Adukia (Mumbai).

On the issue of allowing multidisciplinary firms of professionals, Mr. Manoharan said this was the “need of the hour” and the ICAI had recommended to the Union Government that it amend the statute relating to the ICAI for amending the institute's code of conduct.

The code, formulated under different conditions in the late 1940s, prohibited chartered accountants from forming partnerships with non-members and sharing fees with them.

Though at present the ICAI emphasised permission for firms whose partners could be chartered accountants or cost accountants or company secretaries, members of other professions would also be welcome provided they were under the purview of a regulatory body. The institute also favoured corporatisation of consultancy firms.

Technical sessions
Mr. Manoharan and V. Murali, co-convener of the conference, said the other five technical sessions would cover `corporate governance and reporting requirements', `global banking and financial market trends,' `BPO (business process outsourcing) and insurance,' `recent developments in corporate taxation' and `emerging opportunities and competitive strategy.'

A special general session on “health enhancement” of professionals would be part of the conference, whose overall theme is “Enrichment for Excellence.”

Organised by the institute's committees on allied laws and professional development jointly with the Southern India Regional Council (SIRC), the conference would be inaugurated by Mani Shankar Aiyar, Union Minister for Petroleum and Natural Gas and Panchayati Raj. K. Rahman Khan, Union Minister for Chemicals and Fertilizers, who is also a chartered accountant, will deliver the valedictory address. The ICAI president, Sunil Goyal, will deliver the president's address.

Invitee speakers and chairmen of sessions include N. Rangachary (former Chairman, IRDA), K.P. Padmakumar (Chairman, Federal Bank), N. Ramachandran (iGate Global), Prithika Chary (Apollo Hospitals), N. Ravichandran (IIM-Ahmedabad), G. Narayanaswamy and S.A. Muraliprasad.

The ICAI would submit further recommendations to the Government on surrogate practice by foreign firms, Mr. Murali said in reply to a question.

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