Institute Publications and Study Notes

11 August 2007 |

I was browsing the websites of ICWAI, ICSI and ICAI to know about how they expect the members, students and general public to order their publications, I was quite surprised that there was little information on their websites. ICSI was better than her counterparts where they had a order form which was available for download and print. After filling up the details, the form can be sent to the institute along with the cheque. It is too long a process to order !!!

I remember in my student days, I had to commute to the WIRC to buy the Study Notes at a particular time of the day. If they were available in stock, then you could buy them or else you had to wait. Same with the institute publications for Cost Audit Record Rules, most of them were out of stock. I think, it was no different for a student of ICAI. What a sheer waste of time, travelling from one end of city to other and then you find the book is not in stock. At that time, the telephones were not answered. I hope the situation have changed now !!!

I feel our institutes should outsource the job of managing publications to a publication companies who have the resources to manage sales through internet and shops.

For eg.

Student Study Notes : The study notes should be a mix of Theory, Practise Questions & Answers and Revision Notes (3 books to be purchased separately) so that it gives a student a proper diet about the subject. Institute should have one or two authorised publishers and a panel that reviews that authorised publishers study text are as per standards set by the institute. See how ACCA manages their approved text book publishers.

The institute should approve the publishers based
  • Quality of writers they have
  • Infrastructure to manage selling the publications viz. internet/outlet sales
  • Royalty on sales
With this approach, our institutes will be able to devote their energies in other areas. Moreover students will be able order study texts on phone or internet and get it to their door step.



PS: I found the Management Accounting Book by Saxena Vashist & Accounting by Maheshwari sheer waste of time to read. They are considered a bible in student community, but our institute publications were much better since they explained the concepts.

The list of books that were recommended either contained too much or too little or they were too vague for ICWAI syllabus. So it is difficult for the student to answer since his basics are not clear and he had been solving problems and solutions from these books.

Research and other Publications:

Currently all these publications are bought from institutes's offices by visiting them. The pdf version should be available for download and purchase on the institute website. Similarly publications should be made available to order online or by phone. This would save time for both members and institutes.

I feel that Indian Accounting bodies should streamline their operations so that they are user friendly for their stake holders. Good IT infrastructure will help them to manage their operations and one call centre and a single number to call from anywhere in the world would help their stakeholders. Arrangement with VOIP (internet telephony) companies will help them to bring down the telecommunication costs since a person from Nagpur or Kochi or New Delhi will call the same number to get connected to the call centre and costs will be same irrespective of distance.

Cheers,

Santosh Puthran
AICWA


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