GST opens job opportunities for finance, commerce graduates

Ravi Kohli, 23, had been looking for a job at a tax consultancy firm for over two years. But the graduate in accountancy and finance was unable to find his dream job as all the top tax consultancies wanted either a chartered accountant or a degree from top universities.

But after the Goods and Services Tax was rolled out by the government, Kohli suddenly found multiple openings.

“I was forced to work as a sales assistant at a brokerage firm for a year after completing my Bachelor’s in Accountancy and Finance and was unable to find anything suitable for my qualification. However, in June, just before GST was to come into effect, I got a job at a top tax consultancy in Hyderabad,”Kohli said.

Kohli’s is not an isolated case. GST rollout is turning out to be a big boon for finance professionals, who are seeing a massive spurt in job openings. According to experts, companies across sectors will hire over 20,000 finance professionals this year.

“Given that CAs are in short supply, even mid-sized financial firms have hired finance graduates instead of just CAs. We expect to see the demand for at least 20,000 finance professionals to come up in the coming year,” said Ajay Shah, Vice-President, Recruitment Services, TeamLease Services.

Job prospects for, and MBA finance graduates is improving irrespective of the colleges they come from.

GST related hiring stems from the fact that after the overhaul of the multiple cascading taxes levied by the Central and State governments, all businesses, irrespective of size, have had to adapt to the new tax regime and go digital. This, in turn, has resulted in demand for specialised fields like taxation, accounting, and data analysis going up. Many large coprorates have set up special GST cells internally to deal with the new tax regime. “There are changes in software almost every week. Most of our group companies have set up a dedicated cell with finance and tax professionals to ensure smooth implementation,” said the CEO of a large corporate.

Manendra Singh, Managing Partner, Antal International, says, “The most benefited from the GST implementation have been commerce graduates. There has been a significant rise in jobs pre and post GST especially for such professionals across industries. The rise in hiring such professionals is happening across levels from junior to senior level.”

Take for example, consultancy firm Ernst & Young India. In its Indirect Tax practice, the firm has seen over 60 per cent increase in hiring. “Almost all our Indirect Tax hiring in FY2017 was GST related,” said Sudhir Kapadia, National Tax Leader, EY India.

“It (GST) has provided immense opportunities and increased the scope and span of activity. The mode of delivery is also changing rapidly to keep pace with the change. We would continue to be bullish in hiring,” Kapadia added.