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‘Don’t fret about work-life balance when you’re new to the job’

Pallavi Gupta, an Associate at PwC and Apeejay Kharghar alumna, dispels the notion that the only role of a Chartered Accountant is to save tax



Pallavi has been working with PwC (PricewaterhouseCoopers), considered one of the Big Four accounting firms, along with Deloitte, EY and KPMG, for more than a year now. She cracked CA exam in the first attempt and did her Articleship from Ernst & Young. Coming to her education, Pallavi completed her B.Com from H.R. College of Commerce and Economics, Mumbai and from Kishinchand Chellaram College, Mumbai. In a candid interview, Pallavi tells us what inspired her to become a CA,puts in her two cents on work-life balance, gives important advice to freshers, and more. Edited excerpts:

Tell us about your role?

I work for PwC (PricewaterhouseCoopers) US, so I deal with a lot of American clients. To put it simply, my role is to explain the management of an organisation about how to reduce cost and optimise processes. The main purpose of process optimisation is to reduce or eliminate time and resource wastage, unnecessary costs, bottlenecks, and mistakes while achieving the objective. However, it’s easier said than done as every organisation is unique and has its own set of challenges.

What did you choose CA as a career?

I picked up Commerce stream after getting inspired from my elder sister who was pursuing B.Com then. She encouraged me to get on the CA bandwagon as it offered immense employment opportunities and has a bright future as more startups and businesses are being established. Hence, I started pursuing CA along with my graduation.

There’s a perception that the only role of a CA is to help save tax. Is it true? 

I agree that saving tax and managing money are the prime responsibilities of a CA. However, apart from that a CA has varied knowledge in the stock market, forex, law, and finance taxation to help clients comprehend the norms and regulations. CAs specialising in equity, IPOs, insolvency, mergers, and acquisition are also in high demand. A CA can also become a Management consultant to assist organisations to solve issues, create value, maximise growth and improve business performance.

What’s your take on work-life balance?  

A healthy work-life balance is essential for better staff retention, increased productivity, higher employee engagement, more profitability, increased morale, reduced absenteeism, among other benefits. However, I believe that when you are new to the job or in the process of finding your feet at the workplace, don’t fret about work-life balance. The emphasis should be taking more responsibilitiesabsorbing new skillsand learning tricks of the trade.  At PwC, I enjoy a good work-life balance, but I too had to work extremely hard to reach where I am now. For instance, during my articleship, my only focus was on work. I had zero social life and got the bare minimum amount of sleep. During the three years of my rigorous training my prime focus was to acquire as much knowledge as possible as I knew it will always stand me in good stead in my professional career.

Your advice to freshers.

The focus should be to absorb new skills while learning the intricacies of the industry you are a part of. In this process, you might also discover new interest areas and find out how you can add to the existing setup. You must also demonstrate that you are good at meeting deadlines, handling workloads and are a responsible colleague and employee.

Dheeraj Sharma is Asst. Editor (Newsroom). He covers events, webinars, conducts interviews and brings you exciting news snippets. He has over 10 years' of experience in prominent media organizations. He takes pleasure in the small things in life and believes a healthy work-life balance is key to happiness. You can reach him at [email protected]

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