Company Secretary - How to become a Company Secretary

Company Secretary better known as CS, contrary to what the name suggests, the work of the company secretary is a lot more important than the routine ‘secretarial work’ to its management. Company Secretary’s work profile involves a wide variety of functions, from being an all important link between the Company, the Board of Directors, shareholders and governmental and regulatory agencies to be a compliance officer, the Corporate Planner and Strategic Manager he handles a lot of important issues of the company.

Apart from these functions he also looks after finance, accounts, legal, personnel and administrative functions of the company he is working for. Company Secretary is required to handle matters related to central/state sales tax, excise laws, labour laws and corporate law too. In this respect Company Secretary is considered one of the most important members of the management of the company.


Company Secretary Required Skills

  • To become a Company Secretary one has to be really dedicated and hardworking.
  • The job of a Company Secretary demands intensive knowledge of legal aspects of taxation, accounting, auditing or financial analysis etc.
  • For this one should have the capacity to work hard with commitment and honesty.
  • The job requires a lot of hard work, agility of mind and adaptability to follow difficult time schedules.
  • To discharge his duties efficiently and effectively he requires special kind of knowledge and training that he can achieve by undergoing the course designed by ICSI.


Company Secretary Eligibility

1. Educational Qualification for CS

  • The minimum eligibility required for the Foundation course for Company Secretary is 10+2 or an equivalent examination. Candidate who has enrolled for the 10+2 examination can apply with the proof of passing the examination within 6 months.
  • Candidates who have passed the Foundation Course and are not less than 17 years of age can apply for the Intermediate course. 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 intermediate course without doing foundation course.
  • After passing the intermediate course a registered candidate can apply for the Final course.

2. Age

There is no specific restriction with regard to the age of the candidate or marks secured in Senior Secondary Examination or subjects studied. However the candidates that are not less than 17 years of age can apply for the Intermediate course

Note:- A registered student is required to complete the Intermediate and the Final examination within the registration period.


How to become a Company Secretary?

To become a Company Secretary one has to follow the steps given below:

CS - Company Secretary Courses

Step 1

Foundation Course

Students who have registered themselves with the Institute of company Secretaries of India (I.C.S.I) are required to pass the Foundation Examination within 3 years from the date of admission.

Eligibility for this course is as follow:-

Candidates who have passed senior secondary (10+2) can apply for foundation course.

Important: Registration for foundation course is open throughout the year. The exams for the foundation course are usually held in December and June. The Registration for each examination should be done at least nine months before the month in which the examination is held.

The minimum duration of the course is eight months.

How and Where to Register for Professional Education Course:

Students of Foundation course can send their applications in the prescribed form along with the prescribed fee through Demand Draft drawn in favour of The Secretary, Institute of Company Secretary of India.

The subjects of study for the Foundation Course are:

  • English and Business Communication (FCEBC)
  • Basic Economics and Business Environment (FCBE-BE)
  • Financial Accounting (FCFA)
  • Elements of Business Laws and Management
  • Information Systems and Quantitative Techniques (FCISQT)

Step 2

Intermediate Course

The minimum duration of this course is ten months.

Eligibility/conditions for this course are as follow:

Those candidates who have passed the foundation course and are 17 years or above can apply for intermediate course.

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 recognised by the Council of the Institute can directly enrol to the intermediate course without doing foundation course

Note:- Candidates who have appeared in the above mentioned examinations are also eligible for “Provisional Registration” for this course.


Course of Study

Group I

  • General and Commercial Laws (IGCL)
  • Company Accounts and Cost & Management Accounting (ICA&CMA)
  • Tax Laws (ITL)
  • Management Information Systems and Corporate Communication (IMIS&CC)

Group II

  • Company Law (ICL)
  • Company Secretarial Practice (ICSP)
  • Economic, Labour and Industrial Laws (IELIL)
  • Securities Laws and Regulation of Financial Markets (ISLRFM)

A candidate of the Intermediate course has to pass the above given subjects given in Groups I and II with prescribed limit of marks in individual and aggregate subjects.

Important:- However a candidate can get exemption for some of the above given papers on the basis of his/her qualification: -


Exemption 1. Company Accounts and Cost and Management Accounting (ICA&CMA)

Requirement:- Master of Corporate Secretary ship/M.Com./M.B.A (with Accountancy as one of the subjects at B.A (C.S) /B.Com. level with full paper in Cost Accounting/ Management Accounting/Financial Management at Master of Corporate Secretary ship /M.Com./M.B.A. level and must have secured fifty per cent marks in the subject of a recognised university.

Exemption 2. General and Commercial Laws (IGCL)

Requirement:- A degree in Law or Master of Corporate Secretary ship.

Exemption 3. Tax Laws (ITL) –

Requirement:- Master of Corporate Secretary ship is exempted from this subject.


Special exemption under a reciprocal arrangement existing between the two Institutes

Exemptions in papers of intermediate exams:

1. Company Accounts and Cost & Management Accounting (ICA&CMA)

2. Tax Laws (ITL)

Exemptions in papers of Final level:

1. Financial, Treasury and Forex Management

2. Direct and Indirect Taxation - Law and Practice

Requirement:- Passed the Final examination of the ICWAI

Step 3

Final course

A successful at intermediate level can get admission in the Final exam after a minimum of nine months after passing. The examinations are conducted twice a year in June and December.

Important:- Last date for enrolment applications for the final examination is 25th March (with late fee of Rs. 100, 9th April) for June examination and 25th September (with late fee of Rs. 100, 10th October) for December examination.


Course of Study

Group I

  • Advanced Company Law and Practice (FACLP)
  • Secretarial Practice relating to Economic Laws and Drafting and Conveyancing (FSPELDC)
  • Secretarial Management and Systems Audit (FSMSA)

Group II

  • Financial, Treasury and Forex Management (FFTFM)
  • Corporate Restructuring-Law and Practice (FCRLP)
  • Banking and Insurance-Law and Practice (FBILP)

Group III

  • WTO-International Trade, Joint Ventures and Foreign Collaborations (FWTO)
  • Direct and Indirect Taxation-Law and Practice (FDITLP)
  • Human Resource Management and Industrial Relations (FHRMIR)

Company Secretary Training

A successful candidate in Final examination has to undergo the practical training to have a firsthand experience of the functioning of the corporate sector. Training at this level also helps to create a cadre of professional Company Secretaries having a sound theoretical base and practical exposure to serve trade and industry efficiently. However those candidates who do not possess the specified practical experience are required to undergo on the job training for a period of fifteen months in recognised companies or under a Company Secretary in Practice duly approved for the purpose.


Company Secretary Job Description

Company Secretary Job description largely depends upon the size as well as the nature work of the company he/she is working with. A Company Secretary has been recognised by law as one of the principal officers of the Company responsible for carry out functions in fields related to finance, accounts, legal administration and personnel division in general irrespective of the size or nature of the company. He is apt to handle legal aspects that need to be covered for incorporation, formation, promotion, amalgamation, reorganisation or winding up of a company. If a company goes public, then management of the public issue falls under the ambit of a Company Secretary's responsibility. All legalities involved with inter-corporate investments and loans are looked after by a Company Secretary. All responsibilities attached to meetings of Board of Directors are attached to the Company Secretary.

Besides these all important work within the organisation he is also responsible  to handle matters related to  various central/state sales tax, excise laws, labour laws and corporate laws. The Company secretary i of a company is also authorised to sign the annual returns of the company,.


Company Secretary Career Prospects

After going through this mind absorbing company secretary course one always expects good results in the form of financial and social gains. With a   sustained growth rate of nearly 10% for a decade now, the continually growing companies need advice from a person with a thorough knowledge of all relevant law which is available with the Company Secretaries. Thus the employment opportunities in this field are ample in both private and public sector. Being an important member of the management of a corporate sector, a Company secretary not only commands respect but also is compensated handsomely for his trustworthy services paid to the company. With experience and his ability to serve the corporate sector a Company Secretary can reach the apex of the management level like Chairman, Director or Managing Director of the company.

Company Secretary Salary

Company secretary salary largely depends upon the abilities of the person himself and the company he is working with. On an average a newly appointed company secretary can get nearly Rs. 4,00,000 to Rs. 5,00,000 per years. Those with abilities and some experience can get more than double this initial amount.

  Page Views: 31688 | Updated On: 09-Jul-2014