Corporate houses may have frozen hiring or are even downsizing their employment rosters in some departments due to the gloomy economic weather. But their hiring of fresh chartered accountants does not appear to have been impacted by current slowdown.

‘Boom or downturn, companies need chartered accountants to maintain their financial books’- this seems to be the picture emerging out of the on-going second round of corporate recruitments of CAs this year.

The Institute of Chartered Accountants of India holds two rounds of campus placements for fresh CAs every year — February-March and August-September, after the final CA exam results are released.

Trends so far indicate that corporates will be taking aboard more than 2,100 fresh CAs this year against 1,500 they had absorbed during the two rounds of placement last year. The annual average salary this year is likely to be a tad above the average of Rs 7.11 lakh that last year’s recruitment had touched.

“In the first round of placements this year, 903 vacancies were filled. In the current round, we expect corporates to take in another 1,200 fresh CA graduates,” says Vijay Kumar Gupta, Chairman of the ICAI Committee for members in Industry, which conducts the all-India placement.

In the first round this year, Bharati Airtel picked up five fresh CAs for the highest salaries of Rs 16 lakh a year each, while an overseas firm took in three candidates for Rs 21 lakh each.

Like last year, this year too, BPO segment hired the maximum out of the fresh CA pool, followed by the banking and financial services sector. These companies include Wipro, ITC, Suzlon, HP, Vedanta, TCS, L&T and HCL.

The ICAI usually fixes the minimum salary for a fresh CA before the start of interviews. “This year we kept the minimum salary at Rs 4 lakh a year, like last year. However, we have pegged the minimum pay-out by companies on the first day of hiring at Rs 8 lakh a year,” Gupta said.