The back bone of a company
The Institute of Company Secretaries of India (ICSI), created by the enactment of Company Secretaries Act, 1980, conducts the Company Secretary course. This Act develops and regulates the company secretaries in India. In order to become a qualified company secretary, a candidate has to clear the foundation, intermediate and final course. In addition to this, he/she must also undergo practical training.
Company secretaries act as a conduit pipe between the company, the directors, shareholders and government agencies. They deal with central and state sales tax and excise, labor and corporate laws. Their other jobs include taking care of finance, accounts, legal matters and administrative functions.
To register for a foundation course aspirants must have completed 10+2 or equivalent examination. However, even before completion of 10+2, candidates can enroll but should be able to submit proof of passing within in six months. Students, on completion of foundation course and 17 years of age are eligible to apply for intermediate course. Direct entry to intermediate is also possible. Those eligible for direct entry are graduates and post graduates other than the fine arts stream and those pursuing final ICWAI, ICAI or other accountancy institutions. Candidates can apply for final exam only on completion of intermediate course.
Candidates may be exempted from appearing for some papers on the basis of their qualification. They are:
Candidates with Master of Corporate Secretaryship/M.Com./M.B.A (with Accountancy as one of the subjects at B.A (C.S)/B.Com. level with full paper in Cost Accounting/Management Accounting/Financial Management at Master of Corporate are exempted from writing the following papers: Company Accounts and Cost & Management Accounting (ICA & CMA) – Secretaryship/M.Com./M.B.A. level and must have secured fifty per cent marks in the subject concerned of a recognised university is exempted from this subject .
Those with degree in Law or Master of Corporate Secretaryship are exempted from General and Commercial Laws (IGCL). Candidates with Master of Corporate Secretaryship is exempted from Tax Laws(ITL).
Those having completed ICWAI final exam are eligible for exemption of the following papers in the intermediate level: Company Accounts and Cost & Management Accounting (ICA & CMA), Tax Laws (ITL). In the final level: Financial, Treasury and Forex Management, Direct and Indirect Taxation – Law and Practice.
Jobs and careers:
Company secretaries can find placement in private companies, consultancies, financial institutions, banks and in the government sector and regulatory bodies. A good company secretary should be able to handle secretarial, legal, accounts, administrative and financial responsibilities.