Indian Chartered Accountants seek recognition

Venkat Raman – 

Chartered Accountant qualified in India and continue to be members of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI) may get some form of recognition in New Zealand if the Chartered Accountants Australia New Zealand (CA ANZ) is convinced of the benefits of such a move.

An indication to that effect was given by the ICIA President Manoj Fadnis (his term has since ended) in Auckland last fortnight while inaugurating on February 4, 2016 the New Zealand Chapter of his Institute, seen as a ‘significant development in a little country.’

More than 70 people attended the event hosted by KPMG at itsViaduct Complex.

High Standards

“We hope that the New Zealand Chapter will be able to enter into a Mutual Recognition Agreement (MRA), allowing Indian Chartered Accountants to practice in New Zealand. ICIA is the second largest professional accounting body in the world with more than 160,000 members and about 720,000 students. The Institute sets rigid standards of entry (with a success rate of less than 6%) and practice and has in place stringent codes of conduct. As such, CA ANZ will find our members subscribing to high standards of discipline, integrity and competence,” he said.

Membership to CA ANZ is among the toughest in the world and while qualified Chartered Accountants (CAs) from either side of the Tasman have automatic recognition, CAs from most other countries including India do not enjoy such a privilege. The CA programme in New Zealand and Australia envisages years of study, assignments, workshops and examinations, each of which demands high calibre and integrity from candidates.

Mr Fadnis argued that since ICIA sets equally high professional requirements, its members should have recognition of the CA ANZ.

There is no indication from the latter that such a clear pathway would be available.

ICAI President Manoj Fadnis gets up to speak watched by (from left) Bimal Dalal, Chandan Ohri, Sandeep Sood, Kanwaljit Singh Bakshi and Mahesh Bindra

High Expectations

But ICAI New Zealand Chapter Chairman KPMG Partner (IT Advisory) and India Market Leader Chandan Ohri was confident when he spoke at the inaugural function.

“We will ensure that the members of this Chapter get benefits in the form of networking opportunities, continuing professional development, facilitation of membership issues and constant discussion on mutual recognition clauses,” he said.

Mr Ohri said that a meeting was held with CA ANZ General Manager (Membership) Murray Taylor and that the chances were bright.

Mr Fadnis, ICAI Vice-President Devaraja Reddy, Mr Ohri and other officials of the New Zealand Chapter attended the meeting.

“We discussed at length what needs to be done to bring the membership of the two bodies closer under the MRA. We were told that this area would be given a priority and that the two organisations would work towards the objectives,” he said.

ICAI appears to have made a headway with the New Zealand Chapter of CPA Australia. According to Mr Ohri, meetings were held with Chye Heng, Executive Council Member and Trustee of the organisation and that he had assured that the recognition process will be considered on a case-to-case basis.

“There is a formal route in place, requiring completion of only one paper and a CPD Unit for full membership of the New Zealand Chapter of CPA Australia. Ten member of ICAI have become full members of the Organisation taking this route in the past two months,” Mr Ohri said.

High Profile

Among the other speakers at the inaugural function were Indian High Commission Charge de Affaires Sandeep Sood, Members of Parliament Kanwaljit Singh Bakshi (National) and Mahesh Bindra (New Zealand First) and Chapter Secretary Bimal Dalal.

Swathy Gudipoodi, a member of CA ANZ and ICAI, was the Master of Ceremonies whose presentation including salient features of the profession, its challenges and the growing importance of accountants to companies in meeting compliance issues, was not only informative but also entertaining.

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