R.Sivabhogam: India's First Woman Auditor


Famous Male Chartered Accountants are many, but here I would like to mention about India’s first woman auditor.

The acclaimed place of the First woman Chartered Accountant in India is held by R.Sivabhogam (Born 23th July, 1907 in India). She did her early schooling at Lady Wellington School Chennai, was a student of Sister Subbalakshmi in the field of Social Service and graduated from the Queen Mary’s College Chennai.

A freedom fighter and follower of Mahatma Gandhi, R. Sivabhogam participated in Non-Cooperation movement started by Mahatma Gandhi and was imprisoned for a year. It was while in the jail she developed a keen interest in the accounting field. Subsequently, after she was released from the jail, she surprised the whole nation by becoming the first woman accountant in India in the year 1933 after completing the Government diploma in Accountancy Field.

She started her independent practice in 1937 and was a part-time assistant with M/s. sastri and shah which still functions from the Armenian street in Chennai. On the formation of ICAI in 1949, she was enrolled as a member. She was also the first lady to occupy the post of Chairperson of Southern India Regional Council of ICAI (then Madras Regional Council). Between 1955 and 1958 she served as the Chairperson of the Southern Regional Council of the ICAI. It was during this period that she instituted an award in the form of the gold locket for the best lady candidate declared successful at one sitting in the CA Final examinations conducted by ICAI.

This bright and bubbly lady passed away on June 14, 1966.  Women auditors are now in plenty but in many ways, it was because of her commitment and dedication and what she decided to do, while imprisoned in a cell in Vellore. By the way, she placed a marked role in the history of a Chartered accountant.


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