Fifty years, six hundred editions and countless impact points it is. As BCAJ crosses one more milestone of completing its Golden Jubilee, my thoughts are full of pride. Starting with humble beginnings in 1969 with a 40 page bulletin priced at an annual subscription of Rs. 18/- and covering only direct taxes, the BCAJ has matured into a 140 page edition containing all relevant laws, regulations and practice areas for the Chartered Accountant. In essence, the BCAJ represents the chartered accountancy profession.
The essence of the Journal, to my mind, is the passion of its volunteers to deliver latest relevant content, in an easily readable form with impeccable quality of English and Grammar. The ability to stay relevant in ever changing external landscape is derived from countless efforts undertaken at the Editorial Board Meetings and the Ideation meeting popularly called “Marathon Meeting”. Indeed, the annual event in January is nothing less than a marathon of ideas – some implementable, many not so. However, to my mind, this Marathon Meeting sets the fertile ground for the development of the most relevant content.
The task of the Editor of such a prestigious Journal is very intense. The countless ideas and suggestions thrown up at the Marathon Meeting need to be garnished with a pinch of realism and then actioned out. This is where the biggest challenge of the Editor lies. Identifying potential authors, requesting them to write and making them actually write is by no means an easy assignment. Doing this month after month requires tremendous commitment and deserves special acknowledgement.
As we celebrate the Golden Jubilee of the BCAJ, it is time to step back and reflect and identify some learnings.
One thing which strikes me the most is the fact that over the last fifty years, the BCAJ has never fallen short of content. The ability to disseminate something of extreme relevance month after month for more than 50 years tells a lot about the ever changing external environment. Be it the birth and death of taxes like fringe benefit tax, or the progression of principle centred accounting standards to rule and disclosure based standards and thereafter to the Ind AS, the consolidation of various state level indirect taxes into VAT and the ultimate consolidation of state as well as central indirect taxes into GST, the Journal has witnessed and reported it all. The learning is evident, the only thing which is constant is change.
Another important aspect which I observed during the Editorial Board Meetings is the extreme eye for detail – not only for the legal and the interpretational aspects but also the semantics like the consistency of writing style, the acronyms used, the placement of the nouns, choice of correct words, etc. There is just so much to learn from these meetings.
One can go on and on. But it is not the ethos of the BCAJ to rest on past laurels but to move ahead and scale even larger peaks. Knowing fully well that going digital is the need of the hour, the BCAJ has its online avatar in the form of www.bcajonline.org. The Journal also regularly includes articles and features on effectively using technology in the professional practice. The traditional journal which had features and articles now caters to multiple needs through multiple formats like interviews, view and counterview, surveys and the like.
While the BCAJ always evolves to identify new topics, features and articles, it also nourishes existing features and articles which are relevant to the readers. The feature “Tribunal News” is the oldest feature in the BCAJ and is being carried out for more than 30 years. It requires tremendous efforts on the part of the feature contributors to consistently find out time from their busy schedules and contribute content month after month for such a long period.
As the President of this esteemed Society, I take extreme pride in the BCAJ achieving this very important milestone and I congratulate the Editor Raman Jokhakar, who has put in tremendous efforts to constantly “up” the bar every time, month after month. I wish the BCAJ all the best and would look forward to the 60th year as well.
This being the Special Issue of the BCAJ, I feel it appropriate to only talk about the BCAJ and not about the other happenings within and outside the profession. I will cover those thoughts in my subsequent communication. Till then, happy reading.
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CA. Sunil Gabhawalla