Scope of Company Secretary Career
This article is the preface to the lucrative and demanding job of a company secretary. We guess not many people out there are aware of this career path. Here we provide a comprehensive guide to help you make a clear choice if this is worth a try and help you tread your path into this exciting field.
A company secretary is a senior managerial position at any private or public sector company.
He / she is responsible for the efficient administration, particularly with regard to ensuring compliance with statutory and regulatory requirements and to ensure the decisions of board of directors are implemented.
One common myth is that – many people confuse the job to be a clerical or a secretarial one, but it’s not. The duties of a CS also include keeping tabs on the organization to see that it complies with relevant legislation and regulation and to keep its board of members informed about their legal responsibilities. The crucial part is to ensure that both the company and its directors operate within the law.
Byte: Company secretaries are the representatives who are named on legal documents i.e. these are the ones in charge of communicating with shareholders and to make sure that their dividends are paid accordingly. They also keep track of the company records and accounts.
The role and importance of company secretaries in India
In India, every company with a paid up share capital of Rs.5 crores or more is required to appoint a qualified person as a Company Secretary. A company with not less than Rs. 10 lakhs paid up capital are not required or mandated by law to appoint a full-time Secretary. They can file for a compliance certificate with the Registrar of Companies issued by a practicing CS which would suffice for a full time CS.
Company secretaries are also authorized to issue various certificates by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI). The Institute of Company Secretaries of India is the premier professional body in India responsible to develop and regulate the profession of Company Secretaries in India. It was set up by an Act of Parliament in 1980.
We go a little deep into the topic here. This info is provided to share as much details as possible to help you make a right decision in choosing your career in this field.
Some important points to be noted are:
• The Section 383A of the Companies Act of 1956 mandates that every company with a paid up capital of at least Rs. 5 crores are required to appoint a full time company secretary. So this leaves a lot of scope for new graduates as India is a power house of several companies and world’s third largest economy.
• Statutory declarations of compliance under the provisions of the Companies Act (1956) are also required to get certified by practicing company secretaries. So you can either join a company as a full time employee or set up your own firm and offer consulting to MNCs. Under the MCA 21 e filing regime several forms (including some, exclusively) are required to be pre-certified by practicing company secretaries.
• The annual returns, stocks, etc of companies listed on national stock exchanges viz; NSE, BSE, etc are to be signed by a practicing company secretary.
• Further, the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) – board that regulates and monitors activities of all the listed companies in India also recognizes a CS as the Compliance Officer and also authorizes currently practicing company secretaries to issue various certificates under its Regulations apart from the RBI.
• Companies Bill, 2012 passed by the parliament and has now become Companies Act, 2013. The National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) is responsible for any complaints and litigations relating to company law and is the statutory body. All proceedings will be heard before it instead of judicial courts. A Company Secretary shall be eligible to appear before NCLT. This has opened more opportunities for a Company Secretary.
These features of a CS make the career even more exciting and alluring. Several companies and MNCs come and heed the advice of a CS. One thing you can be sure is that you never run out of business in this field as there are some millions of companies registered in India. With experience you can even fly abroad where CSs are paid heftily.
More about this career choice like courses offered, eligibility, institutions; etc shall be discussed in the articles to be followed.