A chartered accountant is as indispensable in a business as mercury in a thermometer. His knowledge and his abilities are of immense service to business, not to mention his importance in matters related to compliance. But, as they say, not every doctor is a surgeon. A businessman cannot depend on his chartered accountant for many crucial financial analyses and strategies to provide tactical advantages to business. Like a good doctor, the CA can diagnose and detect certain patterns in your business, but he may not be the man to set the bones, or unclog the arteries. Since businessmen generally know what a CA can do, they would be interested to know what a CA can’t do. Let’s look at some of those things.
CA cannot provide a road-map for profitability and goodwill
Your CA can crunch the numbers in your business, tell you what is going where and whether it is legally going there. But he cannot tell you how to make your business profitable. He has a rudimentary understanding of business, but it needs an expert to understand the fine nuances and advice on what changes can be made to business financially to drive it to profitability and goodwill.
CA does not conduct periodic financial analyses
The chartered accountant will prepare tables and formats and set your accounts in a precise and correct legally compliant manner. However, your CA will not go into the ‘why’ of things, nor will he advise you on the ‘how’ of distributing your finances to bring financial optimization in your business. His job is to make sure the compass is correct, he will prepare maps for your journey.
CA focuses on compliance, not on performance framework
The function of a chartered accountant is to ensure correctness and compliance. He cannot and will not analyze the performance of your business. He will not be concerned with the underlying causes of why your business is not performing, or how it can be made to perform better.
CA does not carry in-depth analyses of business processes
How many functions in your business are automated? How many of your resources are optimally utilized? These questions are of no concern to your chartered accountant. He is not even concerned whether there are any processes in your business. He may give a few observations he must have come across during his routine work, but there are no ways to verify whether those suggestions will work for your particular business.
CA is not concerned with Vision, Mission, Ethics and Values of Business
Your CA will never ask you whether you are on your track to achieve your yearly targets. He will not discuss with you the Vision or philosophy of your business, maybe as a friend, but never as an expert. His training and profession do not instruct him to advise businessmen on value systems and business strategies. He will give you the numbers. Think of your CA as the lab person that gives you your blood pressure and X-ray reports. Reading those reports and interpreting them is the job of a doctor.