Company secretary is a professional course that is 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, those companies which have a paid up capital of 50lakhs are required to appoint a company secretary. The company secretary course gives one knowledge and understanding of the financial and legal practices.
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, 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.
Eligiblity for Company Secretary
The Company Secretary Course conducted by The Institute of Company Secretaries of India (ICSI) has three sections -Foundation, Executive, and Professional.
The minimum eligibility for the foundation course is 10+2 or an equivalent examination. Candidate’s who are appearing for the 10+2 exam can also apply with a proof of passing it in 6 months.
Candidates who have passed the foundation course and are not less than 17 years of age can apply for Executive program.
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 recognized by the Council of the Institute can directly enroll to the Executive program without passing the Foundation Examination.
A registered student is required to complete the Intermediate and the Final examination within the registration period. After passing the Executive Program examination, a registered candidate can apply for the Professional Program.
Job Prospects in Company Secretary
A company secretary can work in various areas like Private companies, consulting firms, financial institutions, banks, Department of company affairs and other regulatory bodies. A qualified company secretary can work 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 programs. 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.
The average monthly earnings ranges are Pre qualifications Junior Secretarial Office-Rs. 8000 plus per month, Deputy Company Secretary Rs12000 per month, Rs. 15000 plus for company secretary and 25000 plus for financial controller.