(45) Our first Chartered Accountant…

Registering SVYM as a formal society was only one part of the story. Running it was totally another. At age 19, you do not know any business management principles (not that you know it at a later age either!) and you pick up as you go along. We had completed more than a year of existence. In those days, one could close accounts based on the financial year declared by the organization and we had made the calendar year our financial year.

It was around January 1986 and I had to figure out how to get our accounts audited and how to submit the returns to the Registrar of Societies and Income Tax department. Before all this, I had to find a Chartered Accountant who would be willing to have our accounts audited gratis. I had been to Bangalore for a few days break and I suddenly recalled that my neighbour, Mr.Krishnamurthy was a Chartered Accountant. He was a Sri Lankan tamil who had settled in India. I approached him for help and he was not only willing to do it for free but also was very supportive and helpful. When I produced the accounts that I had maintained for the year, he could not help laughing. He told me that what I had written down (meticulously, I thought) was nothing more than a petty cash book and books of accounts was something very different. He then set about educating me on credit and debit, on cash vs accrual systems, on single entry vs double entry and the basics of posting ledger entries. He not only trained me in the basics, but also was gracious enough in having the 13 months accounts re-written. And our total revenue then was a princely sum of around Rs.7700!

Krishnamurthy helped audit our next balance sheet too and he remains my neighbour and friend even today.