Jayaraman Iyer Biography

Jayaraman Rajah Iyer is a Chartered Accountant from ICAI, New Delhi (1966) who has a unique insight into major changes in accounting in India’s history culled from experience with major firms across the globe. He interned at Hindustan Lever, worked his way up holding key positions at API and Mafatlals.

He introduced the principle of Likely Ultimate Cost while appointed as Forestry Operations Accountant at Wimco. Leaving India in 1977 was appointed as General manager of ITI Nigeria, Lagos. Selected by Sir William Castell who is now the Chairman of the Wellcome trust, joined the Wellcome Foundation, UK to set right the accounting functions of Wellcome Nigeria.

He had also been visiting faculty at SPJIMR, SIES School of Management, and Vivekananda School of Management where he taught Balanced Scorecard and Strategic Cost Management based on the Proprietary IBCM (Jayaraman owns the copyright to Inactivity Based Cost Management, 2006).

He is the son of the renowned educationalist late Rajah Iyer, Headmaster, policy maker and Member of the Legislative Council of Tamil Nadu till his death in 1974.

Major contributions to the world of Accounting:

In 1966 Jayaraman learned the ropes under visiting IIM-A faculty member late R Subrahmanyam of Hindusthan Lever, submitting cost data to the Govt of India for the fortnightly increase in the selling price of vegetable oil, Dalda. Sub as he was known, used all possible cost allocation and apportionment while Forward Commodity Exchange was prevalent during that time. Not a single cost driver could afford to be missed as the difference in price from one fortnight to the other was so insignificant that it would not be possible to accommodate in today’s currency break-up. In due course, the Govt. of India brought in a Cost Audit Dept. including medicine and petrol under Dr. Rajagopalan, the first Management Accountant of ICAI and ICWAI and Jayaraman’s mentor in Management Accounting.

In 1972 as Forestry Operations Accountant for Wimco, Jayaraman acquired an in-depth knowledge of forest terrains and realized a discrepancy between the accounting year for WIMCO (Jan. to Dec) and the forestry season (Sep. to March). This made it difficult to estimate cost for wood sent to the factories. This prompted him to institute a system called Likely Ultimate Cost to achieve a balanced figure through the year without overloading a cost figure at the end. It necessitated estimating cost constantly a year ahead.

In the course of his duty, as per the case study detailed in the book, Jayaraman was called upon to play whistle-blower to corrupt practices. He says “An Accountant is the trustee of the public wherever he/she is employed. The personal case study reported in this book is not to be construed as whistleblowing but performing one’s duty. An Accountant undertakes social responsibility quietly fighting for justice where ‘matsyanyaya’ is prevalent. Matsya means fish and nyaya justice, where the big fish swallows the small one.” Jayaraman went through subsequent inquiries at great personal cost to be vindicated in his stand against corruption. His joining the Wellcome Foundation later remains possibly the only HR case study where the whistle-blower was appointed to a company despite a written negative reference from the previous employer specifically imploring the new employer not to appoint him. It was in 2001, called upon to prepare a normal ROI for an investment in a major ERP package that Jayaraman drafted a unique methodology – RoI based on intangible, covering the entire spectrum of usage of an ERP package and its capability rather than submitting to the futility of its usage hovering around 8%, for almost all highly priced ERPs, based on cashflow.

Inactivity Based Cost Management was born (and copyrighted) in 2006.

Jayaraman Rajah Iyer

Kodaikanal, India

Twitter: @jayaribcm

Author of Corporate Critical Density: Amazon: ; Smashwords:

Author of Inactivity Based Cost Management:


Printed version:

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