This Indian Advocate, CS & US CPA convinced a US based Attorney to set up My CPA Expert, today serving 100+ clients globally
- Hi, I am Ameya Munagekar, a CS, CPA US, and an Advocate from India.
- In 2013, I chose to follow my passion for Law with tremendous support from my mother and mentor, Adv. Laxmikant Parnerkar.
- During the same time, I quit my job and took up an opportunity that could hone my entrepreneurial skills.
- In 2017, with 3 years of hands-on entrepreneurial training, I started my own firm - Adv CS Ameya Munagekar & Associates.
- In 2018, I set out on the unconventional route of CPA and in 2020 started the venture, ‘My CPA Expert’. The best part is I managed to convince a US-based Attorney and CPA Aman Bagga to join me. This partnership made all the difference.
Choosing Company Secretary over Chartered Accountancy
I grew up in a family of CAs where my late father, as well as my maternal grandfather, were Chartered Accountants.
I opted for Commerce and contemplated pursuing CA. However, my mentor Adv. Dr. V. R. Parnerkar guided me towards the Company Secretary (CS) course as I had acumen towards law. So, in June 2008, I started my CS journey.
At the end of these three years, in May 2011 I had the following in hand:
- I had completed all three levels of CS from The Institute of Company Secretary of India (ICSI) in my first attempt
- I had passed the Special Diploma in Commercial German ranking second in the University
- Completed all levels of German as a foreign Language up till C1 (the sixth level) from the Goethe Institute
- I had completed my graduation in Commerce with Distinction
What next now?
Learning the ropes of entrepreneurship and finally making the leap
By May 2011, I had a job offer letter in hand from Avaya India Private Limited, a US internet-based telecommunications major for the position of Finance Associate with special German competency. This was my dream job.
I was earning well, and my job gave me the opportunity to travel frequently to Germany. Despite everything going really well professionally, I wasn’t satisfied. My ambitions were much larger.
In September 2012, I decided to fulfill my dream of pursuing an MBA and started applying to US Universities. However, my mentor, Adv. Dr. V. R. Parnerkar counseled me and advised me to choose the actual entrepreneurial route and learn practically rather than academically through books. And I did exactly that.
In May 2013, I left my job as I was offered an opportunity to join the entrepreneurial venture of Laxmikant Parnerkar, (son of Adv. Dr. V. R. Parnerkar). This stint taught me the in and out of entrepreneurship and by 2014 at the age of 24, I became an advisor and director in an IT start-up!
Around the same time, I realized that techies had great working business plans but no experience in corporate compliance, managing finance, and administration. It began to occur to me that there was a vacuum that I could easily fill in!
Yet again on my mentor’s advice, I started pursuing law, not to become a legal advisor or an advocate, but to sharpen my knowledge and skills as an entrepreneur.
And in 2017, I set up my own firm, Adv CS Ameya Munagekar & Associates.
Realising another gap in the market and deciding to pursue CPA US
The firm was set up to provide consultancy services to the common man. I could also provide corporate services to the entrepreneur including drafting and conveyancing, company incorporation, compliance, and legal vetting, etc.
One day while interacting with an Indian Not For Profit Organization with a US presence I realized that the NGO had to bear large fees each year towards the costs of retaining the Foundation’s CPA and Attorney.
My curiosity took over and I questioned what a CPA was and what he does. Knowing my educational background, the person I was interacting with at the NGO informed me that I was eligible to pursue a US CPA career!
The CPA career thus began as an effort to help the foundation save a few dollars year on year.
I cleared my CPA too in the first attempt in March 2018. There was no looking back thereafter, as I set on the mission to provide CPA and Attorney services at reasonable rates to the common man.
Idea to start My CPA Expert with a US-based attorney and CPA
My first CPA client was a company in India that wanted to set up a subsidiary in the United States and needed someone who knew both the laws in India and the United States. Here I won my first corporate client!
CPA gave my individual practice a global business outlook and platform and this gave me the idea to start – a platform where I could bring people across boundaries on the same page and provide trustworthy, sincere, and confident advice at economical prices.
Around the same time in 2018, I met Aman Bagga, a US CPA, and Attorney incidentally over an assignment that I had handed over to a NY CPA back in 2018 which was apparently outsourced to Aman by the latter. Our strengths being in different fields I did find possible synergies in a long-time joint collaboration.
Fast forward, in 2020, Aman was convinced with the idea and My CPA Expert was born in the middle of the pandemic. This partnership gave us a cutting edge over global compliance, taxation, book-keeping, and accounting as well as agreement drafting, vetting, Trademark registrations, and ensured that our clients enjoyed complete services under one roof. This earned us both a good reputation as well as a strong clientele base in the very short run.
Challenges in finding the right partner to pursue my dream of building a global
The first big challenge was convincing Aman about this collaboration since Aman is 15 years my senior and was a Partner in a 40 years old CPA firm on Long Island in NY.
To give you some backgourn: In 2019 when Aman visited Pune for his official work; I met him over lunch to discuss my interest in partnering with him to set up a firm. But he virtually stopped picking up my calls when he reached the US!
But after the pandemic set in February 2020 with a worldwide lockdown thereafter, Aman finally received my phone call and that made all the difference.
He began believing in the idea that I had conceived and agreed to set up a separate corporate legal entity with me. However here comes the twist, Aman was reluctant to pay any capital at first. So, my second challenge was funding our monthly expenses. Our business was born in the pandemic and that too without a working capital at hand.
I allocated a budget of INR 8K (almost USD 150) from my personal savings to fund a marketing campaign and design our brochures. The campaign was a huge success. Soon, Aman generously matched up to his part of the contribution too as the initial State Fees for the business incorporation and we were on a roll!
From the beginning of our venture in April 2020 to a year later, we’ve successfully served over 100 plus clients. Aman’s 21 years of expertise and my 6 years of experience combined helped us get referrals from our individual practice, old and new clients, and kept the business rolling.
In the future, we want to grow the firm internationally with a presence in almost every country of the world.
What services do we provide?
My CPA Expert Private Limited or My Expert Inc provides the following services:
- Global Incorporation & Compliance Services
- Global Book-Keeping and Accounting Services
- US/Canada Individual & Corporate Tax Filing Services
- US Financial & SOC Audit Services
- US Corporate Attorney services
Our uniqueness lies in multiple factors:
- Our location and physical presence in both countries - the US and India.
- The fact that we are both Attorneys and CPAs (We better understand both sides of the case, typically in Taxation and compliance matters. We can provide more balanced advice than what an only CPA or only attorney would probably advise).
- The fact that we understand the laws in multiple countries and help entrepreneurs sail smoothly.
- The fact that all services are under one roof.
My entire entrepreneurial and CPA journey taught me to jump into business while learning in the process, and the right guidance helped me sail through my career path.
The path to success often lies in continuous and sustained effort. If you’re convinced that your idea is going to click then there is absolutely nothing that should stop you!
The Finance Story is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel and get updates with latest stories of finance professionals.