“Chartered accountants should come out of their safety cocoons and explore areas, where there is huge opportunity such as insurance consultancy or forensic auditing,” P.S. Prabhakar, Senior Partner at Rajagopal & Badrinarayanan, - a chartered accountant firm in Chennai said.

Prabhakar was in the city to speak on ‘Emerging Audit Opportunities in Insurance Sector’, a seminar organised by the Coimbatore branch of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India.

On the sidelines of the event, he said that present day aspirants and professionals lacked practical orientation and expertise.

“They are more bothered about the score and clearing the exams conducted by the Institute.”

“The chartered accountant is invariably the financial adviser for every corporate. If only these professionals are aware of the insurance products, they will be able to guide their clients better.

"Look at the pathetic response to the seminar. If it had been on the subject of branch audit or income tax, the hall would overflow,” he told Business Line.

Less than 50 professionals attended the seminar.

“Non-life (insurance) market is huge in India. The penetration here is less than 3 per cent. People think of insuring their property or any such asset, only after a mishap, as they think insurance is an avoidable expense.

Globally too, non-life has not caught up in a big way,” Prabhakar said.

He added “unfortunately, CAs think big only of income-tax and bank audit, as areas of huge opportunity.”

Highlighting the opportunity in insurance consultancy space, he said there are over 20-plus regulations and the industry’s (life and non-life) investment is estimated at around Rs 18-lakh crore.

revathy.lakshminarasimhan@thehindu.co.in

(This article was published on August 16, 2012)
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