What was your meeting with CII about?
We talked about how higher education should be tailored to build competencies in people. So, where CIMA is coming from is, how do we bring professional management accounting competencies to people. CIMA is the only global accounting body and what we do in management accounting is, management accountants work within a business in order to provide decision-making information on a dynamic basis, unlike traditional accounting professionals who come into the picture after the act has taken place.
What exactly are you looking at - running your programme in India?
Yes, at the moment we have students and members in India - this is one of the fastest growing markets for CIMA. We have 2,500 students in India. And the number is doubling and tripling every year. As and when, we are spreading knowledge about what we do at CIMA.
Can you tell us about the course exemptions for Indian chartered accountants, company secretaries and cost and works accountants?
Indian cost and works accountants are excused from taking 11 out of the 15 CIMA papers. Similarly, CIMA exempts chartered accountants from seven to eight papers at the moment. The cost of the CIMA programme is hence just one-third.
Post-2002, Indian chartered accountants are exempted from seven to eight papers at the moment. And we are negotiating a Memorandum of Understanding with the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India to decide on exemptions. Company secretaries are given a waiver of five to six modules.
CIMA member also get automatic membership of CPA, Australia and CMA (Certified Management Accountants), Canada.
Why should someone go for a CIMA qualification?
It's a global qualification. The BPO sector grew because of the members of the Indian diaspora (who were certified financial analysts, certified public accountants) who came back and started companies. What's the other alternative? You have to train people in the local community. And CIMA is a global passport. You will be able to attract foreign clients and investments because of your people's global qualifications. You still need some form of global recognition.
However, I would like to add that I am not degrading any local qualification.
There's an MBA pool and there is the regulatory space. A CIMA-member fits between the two. Employers need people who understand the whole breadth of business and finance.
Big conglomerates can hire people for the three different areas strategy, performance management and regulatory compliances. But the long tail of small and medium organisations wants someone who has capability in all the three - to take care of all these three pillars.
What's the average salary of a CIMA student (in India)?
It's about Rs 9.7 lakh a year.Aub