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Friday, May 21, 2004

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ICAI recruiting accountants for GE India

Kripa Raman

Mumbai , May 20

A GIANT finance and accounting services outsourcing project appears to be headed towards India, with the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India recruiting accountants in "hundreds and thousands" for GE India.

"We have been recently approached by GE to recruit thousands of accountants of various levels of qualification - qualified chartered accountants, those who are doing their articleship and even students," said a council member of ICAI.

"GE is looking at qualified and semi-qualified accountants from across the country."

ICAI is identifying and placing people for GE, he said, but declined to say what particular project it was for, whether it was for the GE group's own consumption or for third parties.

He said the American Institute of Certified Public Accounts, (AICPA), the body governing certified public accountants in the US, had recently approved the outsourcing of tax-related work to India and elsewhere. This is subject to some conditions issued by AICPA to its members as to what work can be outsourced to overseas countries.

The ICAI member said that this would, in general, open up a lot of possibilities in the accountancy for BPO services providers, and it is likely that GE is also taking up some work.

On the other hand, GE might have its own worldwide businesses for which it needs financing and accounting work, he said.

GE India would not confirm or deny its recruitment of accountants. "GE India is committed to finding the best talent to lead and staff its diverse businesses. The company continuously taps its internal talent pool as well as talent sources from outside for the purpose," said a statement from a spokesperson for the company.

The GE group, which is now well known for the army of recruits at its various outsourcing outfits, has several accounting-allied activities already happening out of India.

It has a Financing and Accounting Centre of Excellence in India, which provides finance and accounting services to 26 capital businesses and six industrial business of the GE group itself.

GE's Centre of Excellence provides modelling and analytics support to GE capital businesses across the globe in improving their processes and profitability. The mandate of the centre is to provide data-driven business strategies to variety of functional areas such as asset management, collections, fraud, marketing, pricing, and risk.

"We don't know what exactly the GE plan is, but it certainly appears to be a very big one," said the ICAI council member.

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