‘Keep investing in your personal development – your qualification is only a start. Ask yourself whether you are better today compared to yesterday – you can become obsolete very quickly.’
‘Work hard if you want to be successful. There are no shortcuts to success.’
‘Be different, don’t just follow in someone else’s footsteps. Create your own path, have your own original ideas and be yourself.’
‘Whatever you do, you have to have fun. Unless you have fun in what you do, things will start to become boring.’
Dinesh Jangid ACCA is scaling new heights. Not only is he taking on a new position at a large audit firm in India with a leadership role in technology, data and analytics for audit, but he has also just spent the Christmas break trekking in the Himalayas. ‘Mountaineering is a big motivation for me outside work,’ he says, adding that he reached the Mount Everest base camp back in 2018.
He is also a long-distance runner, regularly taking part in half marathons. His personal best is 1 hour 55 minutes, although his aim is to run the 13-mile distance in under 100 minutes.
But his immediate challenge will be his new role, as he switches from specialising in IFRS Standards to data analytics for external audits.
Change of focus
‘More than two years ago I started to focus more on the digitalisation of finance concept, where we try to help CFOs digitalise the finance function, automating manual tasks,’ he says.
‘This gave me a very good insight into technology and the tools available. But more recently I have been thinking the audit and assurance profession has been undergoing a significant transformation because of these new technologies and business models.
‘The historical auditing approach is no longer appropriate; a different form is required. Audit is heading towards a more predictive approach, one where you can predict events such as going concern.’
As a result, after spending a number of years helping companies converge their Indian GAAP numbers with IFRS – areas such as consolidation and restructuring, revenue recognition and leases have been keeping him and his team occupied for some time – Jangid believes that now is a very good time to be moving back into audit.
‘Over the last two years we have been making significant investments in technology. This was accelerating even before we hit the pandemic, but then during the Covid-19 period it accelerated even further,’ Jangid says. He cites the rapid adoption of communication tools, which previously might have taken many months to implement but instead were up and running in a matter of days.
The audit and assurance profession has been undergoing a significant transformation because of new technologies and business models
Leadership role in technology, data and analytics for audit at a large audit firm in India
Partner, CFO advisory services, KPMG in India
Joined KPMG in India, Mumbai
Audit manager, Grant Thornton India, Mumbai
Audit senior, Barnes Roffe, Uxbridge, UK
But with this rapid transformation come many risks. Jangid is quick to point out that cyber attacks, data protection, the impact of cloud services and the number of people now working from home mean that cybersecurity remains high on every business’s agenda.
The pandemic has been an eye opener for Jangid in other ways, too. Prior to India’s shutdown, he used to spend a lot of time travelling, but has since made only one business trip. Although he misses the interaction with colleagues, he believes he is more efficient. ‘I can work from anywhere, even up a mountain, and I’m busier than ever,’ he says.
With his career options limited by a humble family background, Jangid decided to study accountancy. ‘I was really interested in the course content and was able to do my three years of articles in my hometown,’ he recalls. ‘It was a building block, and I passed at my first attempt.’
From there, having qualified through the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India, he came to the UK, joining Barnes Roffe in Uxbridge, London. This allowed him to study for the ACCA Qualification.
‘It was such a great platform,’ he says, ‘and my exposure to IFRS and international standards on auditing meant that when I came back to India in 2007 I could find work easily.
‘The qualification has helped me immensely. It gave me problem-solving skills based on a practical approach where you can deploy concepts and solve real-life problems.’
After a year as an audit manager at Grant Thornton in Mumbai, he joined KPMG in India in its CFO advisory group, becoming a partner in 2016. ‘KPMG was setting up this new group – there were seven of us when I joined in 2008, and there are now more than 500 in the team.’
Jangid also spends time training the next generation of professional accountants. He believes the shift online caused by the pandemic has actually improved access to training.
‘I used to do a lot of classroom-based training for my clients as well as my team members, but now there is no limit on class sizes,’ he says. ‘You can share so much content online, and I am really enjoying the challenge. It is a real bright spot that has emerged out of the pandemic.’
His work as a trainer ties in with a wider commitment to helping the younger generation coming into the accountancy profession. In particular, he was concerned that the pandemic would diminish learning opportunities, as younger professionals would not be able to interact with their more senior colleagues.
‘I initially thought it was going to be very difficult for people to adjust, but to my surprise the younger generation had no difficulty. Within a couple of months of lockdown, most had readjusted to the new working environment. Since then, I have seen people finding their own comfort zones, whether that was a corner in their home or going back to their hometown.’
The ACCA Qualification has been steadily gaining in momentum in India in recent years, and Jangid believes there are great opportunities ahead for it. ‘The ACCA Qualification can co-exist with the Indian qualification,’ he says.
‘We have a population of 1.3 billion people, 25% of whom are below the age of 25. Foreign direct investment into India has been huge in recent years, and even during the pandemic has been growing significantly. There will always be demand for ACCA-qualified accountancy professionals.’
Jangid was recently appointed chair of ACCA India’s members’ committee, a position he sees as part of giving back to the profession. ‘I am involved in some training sessions, including the recent ACCA virtual careers fair, where I interacted with a group of recently qualified ACCA members.
‘The members of the committee are very enthusiastic. They come from diverse backgrounds where some work in practice, others in companies. I’m really enjoying working with them.’
And that is perhaps what it is all about. Whether it is starting up a new service with KPMG or tackling the Himalayas, Jangid is keen to stress the importance of enjoyment. ‘Whatever you do, you must have fun,’ he says.