Company Secretary is a professional course administered by The Institute of Company Secretaries of India (ICSI) under the Company Secretaries Act, 1980 to develop and regulate the profession of Company Secretaries in India. According to the Companies Act, companies with a paid up of Rs 50 lakh are required to appoint a Company Secretary. Company Secretary course gives you knowledge and understanding of the modern practice in corporate financial and legal affair. To become a company secretary, the candidate need to pass the Foundation, Intermediate, and Final course conducted by the institute and further, they need to undergo practical training to become eligible for the membership as a Company Secretary.
A Company Secretary's service is very much important for a company’s management The work of a company secretary covers a wide variety of functions, he acts as a vital link between the Company, the Board of Directors, shareholders and governmental and regulatory agencies. He is a compliance officer of the company as well as Corporate Planner and Strategic Manager. Apart from carrying out these functions he also looks after finance, accounts, legal, personnel and administrative functions. Company Secretary is required to handle matters related to central/state sales tax, excise laws, labour laws and corporate law.
Company Secretaryship course is divided into three parts Foundation, Intermediate and Final. This course is a mixture of postal tuition, optional coaching classes and regular examinations at specified centers. Candidates who have passed senior secondary (10+2) can apply for the foundation course. Graduates, post-graduates (excluding fine arts) and who passed final exam of ICWAI or ICAI or of any other accountancy Institution in India or abroad recognised by the Council of the Institute can directly enroll to the intermediate course without doing foundation course. Candidate who passed the Intermediate exam can apply for final course. Registration for each examination should be done at least nine months before the month in which the examination is held. The examinations are usually held in June and December every year. Study material is provided to the students at the time of admission.
The Company Secretary Course conducted by The Institute of Company Secretaries of India (ICSI) has three sections -Foundation, Intermediate, and Final course.
The minimum eligibility required for the Foundation course for Company Secretary is 10+2 or an equivalent examination. Candidate who has enrolled for the 10+2 examination can apply with the proof of passing the examination within 6 months. Candidates who have passed the Foundation Course, and are not less than 17 years of age can apply for the Intermediate course. Graduates, post-graduates (excluding fine arts) and those who have passed final exam of ICWAI or ICAI or of any other accountancy Institution in India or abroad recognised by the Council of the Institute can directly enroll to the intermediate course without doing foundation course. A registered student is required to complete the Intermediate and the Final examination within the registration period. After passing the intermediate course a registered candidate can apply for the Final course.
In essence, excellent command over English, both written and oral is important for a company secretary. At the same time ability to understand, analyse complex and technical issues and exercise accordingly with tact and intelligence are other essentials. It is the moral responsibility of the company secretary to be loyal to his organisation on knowing their top level plans and important secrets.
Job Prospects and Career Options
Exposure to detailed study and practical training in various fields adds to versatility of a company secretary. Company secretary has a great scope of employment in Private companies, consulting firms, financial institutions, banks, Department of company affairs and other regulatory bodies. A qualified company secretary is competent enough to take up wide range of responsibilities in legal, secretarial, finance, accounts, personnel and administrative departments of companies and are involved in major decisions such as formulating long and short term corporate policies and programmes. Their other responsibilities include incorporation, managing public issues, act as internal legal advisor and representative, process inter-corporate loans and investments, maintain company's records, take care of company's tax planning, tax management, tax returns, explore expansion opportunities, arrange collaborations, amalgamations, joint ventures within and outside India etc. They are required to understand relevant aspects of law, update themselves with the changes to ensure proper compliance of legislations. The job also involves arranging company meetings, collecting and compiling information and recording the decisions. Nowadays, they are even foraying in capital markets and financial services industry. Their assistance in administration, management, planning and general running of the company makes them the company's chief administrator.
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