Careers in Company Secretary
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
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.
In recent times, the rapid corporatisation
has increased the demand for Company Secretary's in corporate functions.
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.
Company Secretaryship course is divided into
three sections. Foundation, Intermediate and Final. After the final exam the
candidate has to undergo practical training.
Duration of Foundation Course is 8 months.
Students are required to pass the Foundation examination within 3 years from the
date of their admission. Candidates who have passed senior secondary (10+2) can
apply for foundation course. Registration for foundation course is open through
out the year. The exams for the foundation course are held in December and June.
To appear for the exams in December candidate should apply for the exam before
the previous march. Similarly to appear for the June exam, candidate should
apply before the previous September. i.e the Registration for each examination
should be done at least nine months before the month in which the examination is
English and Business Communication (FCEBC)
Basic Economics and Business Environment (FCBE-BE)
Financial Accounting (FCFA)
Elements of Business Laws and Management (FERBAM)
Information Systems and Quantitative Techniques (FCISQT)
Candidates who have passed the foundation
course, and are not less than 17 years of age can apply for 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. Intermediate course consist
of two groups. Candidates registered for intermediate course including the month
of February in a year are eligible for appearing in both the groups of the
Intermediate examination held in December of that year and those registered up
to and including the month of August in a year are eligible to appear in the
Intermediate examination held in June of next year.
General and Commercial Laws (IGCL)
Company Accounts and Cost & Management Accounting (ICA&CMA)
Tax Laws (ITL)
Management Information Systems and Corporate Communication (IMIS&CC)
Company Law (ICL)
Company Secretarial Practice (ICSP)
Economic, Labour and Industrial Laws (IELIL)
Securities Laws and Regulation of Financial Markets (ISLRFM)
A candidate can get exemption for some
individual papers on the basis of qualification -
Company Accounts and Cost & Management Accounting
(ICA&CMA) - Master of Corporate Secretaryship/M.Com./M.B.A (with Accountancy
as one of the subjects at B.A (C.S)/B.Com. level with full paper in Cost
Accounting/Management Accounting/Financial Management at Master of Corporate
Secretaryship/M.Com./M.B.A. level and must have secured fifty per cent marks
in the subject concerned of a recognised university is exempted from this
General and Commercial Laws (IGCL) - A degree in Law or
Master of Corporate Secretaryship is exempted from this subject.
Tax Laws(ITL) - Master of Corporate Secretaryship is
exempted from this subject.
A Candidate who has passed the Final
examination of the ICWAI is eligible to seek exemption from the following papers
of Intermediate examination under a reciprocal arrangement existing at present
between the two Institutes- Company Accounts and Cost & Management Accounting
(ICA&CMA), Tax Laws(ITL)in the intermediate level. Financial, Treasury and Forex
Management, Direct and Indirect Taxation - Law and Practice in the final level.
A student is admitted to the Final
examination only after a minimum period of nine months after passing
intermediate examination. The examinations are conducted twice a year in June
and December. Last date for enrolment applications for the final examination is
25th March (with late fee of Rs. 100, 9th April) for June examination and 25th
September (with late fee of Rs. 100, 10th October) for December examination.
Advanced Company Law and Practice (FACLP)
Secretarial Practice relating to Economic Laws and Drafting and Conveyancing
Secretarial Management and Systems Audit (FSMSA)
Financial, Treasury and Forex Management (FFTFM)
Corporate Restructuring-Law and Practice (FCRLP)
Banking and Insurance-Law and Practice (FBILP)
WTO-International Trade, Joint Ventures and Foreign Collaborations (FWTO)
Direct and Indirect Taxation-Law and Practice (FDITLP)
Human Resource Management and Industrial Relations (FHRMIR)
A candidate who has passed the Final
examination of the Institute is required to possess the practical experience and
undergo the practical training. The objectives of training is to apprise the
students with the functioning of the Corporate Sector and to create a cadre of
professional Company Secretaries having a sound theoretical base and practical
exposure to serve trade and industry effectively, both as a part of the
management team as well as independent practicing professionals. Students who do
not possess the specified practical experience are required to undergo on the
job training for a period of fifteen months in recognised companies or under a
Company Secretary in Practice duly approved for the purpose.
Ahmedabad, Allahabad, Bangalore, Baroda, Bhopal, Bhubaneswar, Chandigarh,
Chennai, Coimbatore, Delhi, Ernakulam, Ghaziabad, Guwahati, Hyderabad, Indore,
Jaipur, Jamshedpur, Kanpur, Kolkata, Lucknow, Madurai, Mangalore, Modinagar,
Mumbai, Nagpur, Panaji, Patna, Pondicherry, Pune, Ranchi, Shimla, Jammu/Srinagr,
Tiruchirapalli, Thiruvananthapuram & Visakhapatnam.