Company Secretaryship Overview
A Company Secretary is a professional whose role in a corporate set up is that of an advisory for legal matters. As per the Companies Act, a statutory requirement is that companies with a paid up share capital of a minimum of Rs 50 lakh are required to appoint a Company Secretary. A Company Secretary is a very important member of the company’s management. He’s an advisory to the management of the company with regard to legal and business matters. He is not only the company’s advisory on legal matters but also the co-coordinator as he is the vital link between the company, shareholders, board of governors, governmental and other regulatory agencies. Thus a company secretary is an important member of the corporate management team, mainly appointed for its efficient management.
Nature of work
A Company Secretary carries out a vast range of services for the company. The knowledge and training acquired by him makes him/her professional in carrying out various functions in Production, Finance, Accounts, Sales, Marketing and Administration. Major responsibilities of a company secretary are
- Maintenance & and updating the company’s records.
- Preparation of bills and invoices, monthly statements, share transfers, profit forecasts etc.
- Legal duties – Ensuring the statutory compliance’s of the company.
- Planning, management & general functioning of the company.
- Communicate with lawyers, insurance brokers, investment managers, auditors and bankers.
- Handling public issues, Investments, private placements, public deposits,etc..
- Arrange meetings of Board of Directors, circulate agendas & record meetings.
- Advise the Board of Directors of legal obligations, company law & practice.
- In general, Company Secretaries are the organisation’s experts.
To become a company secretary one must possess..
- Excellent analytical, logical & business skills.
- Good verbal & written English skills to understand complex technical & information issues.
- Good Administration, Time Management & organizing skills to handle multiple issues.
- Academic Competency in numeric & accountancy.
- Good observation and sense of judgement, common sense and the ability to be tactful and discrete are also necessary.
- One must have liking for laws as 11 out of 16 papers deal with Law.
The Institute of Company Secretaries of India
The Institute of Company Secretaries of India (ICSI) ‘ICSI House’ 22, Institutional Area, Lodi Road, New Delhi – 110 003 develops and regulates the profession of Company Secretaries in India. It’s a statutory body under the Company Secretaries Act, 1980. It registers students, imparts training through postal courses as well as optional oral classes and conducts examinations through the 4 regional centers in Delhi, Kolkata, Chennai, Mumbai and 36 chapters covering all major cities in India. For more details log on to : www.icsindia.org
Company Secretaryship Regional offices :
- Eastern region : 3-A, Ahiripukur, 1st Lane, Near Beck Bagan Nursing home, Kolkata – 700019.
- Western region : No. 13, Jolly Maker Chambers No. II (1st Floor) Nariman Point, Mumbai – 400021.
- Northern region : ICSINIRC Building, Plot No. 4, Institutional Area, Prasad Nagar, New Delhi – 110005.
- Southern region : No. 4, Wheatcrofts Road, Nungambakkam, Chennai – 600034.
Steps to become a Company Secretary
- Enroll for the foundation course / Intermediate course (as per your qualification) and complete the compulsory postal coaching. Clear the Foundation / Intermediate Exams conducted by ICSI.
- Enrol for final course – compulsory postal coaching. Simultaneously also undergo 18 months practical training under a practicing Company Secretary or a CS firm (CA’s are exempt form the training). This training includes brief placements in large public and private sector undertakings and Stock Exchanges. This is followed by 4 months of practical training known as SMTP (Secretarial Modular Training Programme).
- Pass the final examination, you qualify to become an Associate Company Secretary (ACS) with ICSI and later with seniority, one will become as Fellow of ICSI & can use the tag FCS.
Company Secretaryship Eligibility
- For Foundation course : 10+2 or an equivalent examination.
- For Intermediate course : Graduates or post-graduates in commerce, or any other field except fine arts. Also those who have passed out of the Institute of Cost and Works Accountancy or the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India.
- For Final Course : Pass in Foundation / Intermediate Course.
- Foundation level course is Rs.1200/-.
- Intermediate level course: Rs.2250/- (for commerce grads), Rs. 2650/- (for non-commerce grads).
- Final level course: Rs.1500/-.
- (For the latest fee format, kindly contact ICSI).
Company Secretaryship Examinations
Examinations are held in June and December every year, at 36 centres, spread across the country. A student has to register for each of the examinations at least nine months prior to the month in which the examination is held.
After registering with ICSI as an ACS or FCS, company secretaries can find employment in the following areas.
- In the corporate sector (public sector as well as private sector)
- In Banks as specialists in the fields of Finance, Accounts, Law and Merchant Banking.
- Financial institutions, co-operative societies as Financial directors, advisors, etc.
- State & Central Government Departments – Department of Company affairs
- Department of Public Enterprise
- Stock exchanges as stock broker, consultant or share transfer agents
- Company law boards – Public & private sector.
- Self Employment by obtaining a practice certificate from ICSI.
- Set up own CS firm after gaining good expertise & reputation.
- As lecturers in Universities.
- Become eligible for a Phd. After successful completion of ICSI exams.
Ultimate Crowning : A combination of experience and expertise can lead to appointment at top level positions like chairman, directors and managing director, in reputed organisations.
For a new Company Secretary, the starting salary may range between Rs. 10,000 to Rs. 30,000 per month. Senior Company Secretaries who are Finance Controllers with more than 3-4 years of experience get approximately Rs.50,000 per month plus perks. Salaries cannot be generalized since it depends on the size and nature of the firm as well as merit. (The author is a Career counselor working with MSW- Career Guidance & Information center, Bangalore.)
Originally Written by Mr. Ameen-E-Mudassar for the Milli Gazette, Dated On 1 December 2005