Wednesday, November 29, 2000

Time to turn the tables

Corruption affects our affluence adversely. And only we can change that. All we need is the strength to say: "No!"
Gautam Chikermane
I’M NOT absolutely certain, but news reports tell me that one source of easy money for a large section of Indians is under threat. There seems to be more pressure on government servants to live within the salaries they are given, out of taxes paid by the rest of us. It shocks me to see a junior engineer in the Municipal Council of Delhi have crores of rupees stashed away. To them, corruption is not the monster we think it; rather, it’s a conduit for amassing great wealth. Being in a position of power -- the power to delay endlessly or even stall our day-to-day business, from the innocuous birth certificate that gives us our first identity in India, through the innumerable government departments we have to deal with day in and day out, right till we get our death certificate–these rogues in the garb of ‘servants’ abuse that power. Systematically, mercilessly.
Opinion in Outlook Money

Wednesday, November 15, 2000

No future in accounts

Accountants must realise that their 500-year-old system is irrelevant in the new knowledge-based economy.
Gautam Chikermane
THAT WE'RE living in the Information Age is a cliche. We, as consumers, investors, workers, citizens, are all becoming part of a new knowledge-based world. But the one profession that doesn’t seem to understand this, and is, in fact, obscuring assessment of the true wealth created by companies and, therefore, investors, is that of accountants. It’s a profession that’s living in an information autarchy, unaware of, unconcerned about, and untouched by its customers -- investors, governments, and companies. As an industry that has often been accused of concealing rather than revealing the workings of its paymaster, the company, accountants are today standing at a crossroads. Their sole link to the new world: computing prowess that allows them to run the same numbers faster.
Column in Outlook Money