Are you the one who aspires to become a CA? And looking for something to help you foresee an entire CA journey? Then you have landed on the right page as we are here with the four-step journey to become a CA professional to make you conclude – is this the right professional for you and that you are an ideal candidate to complete this course successfully.
Class 12 is a crossroads for most of the students in India. They have to take care of board exams but they also have to decide about their future career path. Without proper knowledge about the possible career options, it has been observed that often students choose a course and career blindly which everyone around them is opting for.
This herd mentality and blind choices can under-utilize their own talents and potential, that’s why it is important for students to first gain knowledge of all available career options before opting for one.
Among all the available options, becoming a Chartered Accountant is also considered to be one of the best career options in India. But before we begin, we would like to provide every single detail about Chartered Accountant (CA) here.
CA focuses on multiple areas, including auditing and assurance, Management Accounting, Financial Accounting and reporting, and Applied Finance or taxation. CA’s can work directly with a company or take on clients as part of a chartered accountancy firm.
Nowadays, many teenagers aspire to become CA professionals, however, they seek guidance under which it can become a smooth sailing process for them. Through this article, we have tried to present the crucial information, a CA aspirant must know, in the simplest and precise form.
The Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI) is a statutory body established by an Act of Parliament, viz. the Chartered Accountants Act, 1949 (Act No. XXXVIII of 1949) for regulating the profession of Chartered Accountancy in the country.
What is Chartered Accountancy?
Terms Accountancy and Chartered Accountancy represent the same thing. It is a profession that involves managing the finances of an entity. They are responsible for managing financial accounts, budgeting, auditing, business strategy, and taxation.
The difference between an accountant and a chartered accountant is that the second one has undergone years of intensive training and passed several examinations in various aspects of accounting to earn the title of Chartered Accountant.
Responsibility of a Chartered Accountant?
CA’s are professionals who can easily find jobs in various domains of the economy. They manage the finances of an entity, providing finance-related advice, writing up of accounts, preparing financial statements, financial analysis, Taxation and cost accountancy, and helping with wealth management. They can provide their services to a business, individual, or government.
The most simple reason for pursuing a career in Chartered Accountancy is that it is a highly lucrative and secure profession. Money is like gasoline for the whole world and each and every business house needs a helping hand to manage their finances, tax filing, and audits.
There are endless opportunities to work as a Chartered Accountant. Whatever the industry, every organization needs finance management and Chartered Accountants are the solution.
Scope of Chartered Accountancy
A chartered accountant can work in the following sectors:
- Businesses and industries
- Chartered accountant firms
- Consultancy firms
- Capital market services
- Financial institutions
- Independent practice
Chartered Accountants are a highly sought profession in the above-mentioned sectors. You can work for a business or organization and help them by managing their accounts, finance, taxation, or auditing.
There is also an option to work independently and offer your services to anyone who wants it.
Financial institutions are always in search of skilled Chartered Accountants, which is another employment opportunity. Working for consultancy firms is another way to use your accounting skills.
Consultancy firms hire chartered accountants to help their various clients with their short or long term financial goals. Therefore, a consulting firm may be a good fit for you if you want to work for multiple clients.
Demand for Chartered Accountants
As per an article published in the Times of India, in April of 2018, the total number of CAs were 2.82 lakh in India and from this 2.82 lakh only 1.25 lakh were in full-time practice. This means that only 44% of the total CAs were actively working. The notable fact is that in India total number of taxpayers is 68 million and more and more businesses are being set up every year, thus it is quite clear that the demand for CAs is higher, and it is not going to decrease in near future.
So, the present time is the perfect time to seize all the opportunities and pursue a highly beneficial career. There are various employment opportunities that are immense and they will grow soon as more startups and businesses are being established.
Advantages and Disadvantages
|High Pay Scale||Learning Period never ends|
|High demand job||Long monotonous working hours|
|Endless of opportunities||Will have to difficult Deadlines|
|Stable income||Lots of stress|
The path to become a chartered accountant is tough but really clear without any confusion. This profession provides stability, steady growth, and a high pay scale. But it requires always up-to-date knowledge and details of every financial transaction. Additionally, this profession also requires constant learning and studying.
Chartered Accountants have to take care of certain deadlines that need to be met at the end of each financial year and during that time this job can be really stressful. Every profession has their own pros and cons, and so does chartered accountancy, but to reach a conclusion you have to dive deep to figure out whether this profession suits you or not.
You can start your journey to become a chartered accountant either after your 12th or after completing graduation or post-graduation. In both cases the paths are similar but if you’re a graduate or postgraduate, there are few steps you can skip, they are mandatory only for someone who has just passed out of high school.
After 12th: Foundation course route
After clearing your 12th class you will have to pass a series of tests. Below we are engraving a list of exams you need to clear in the given order after clearing 12th.
- CA Foundation course previously known as Common Proficiency Test (CPT)
- Integrated Course on Information Technology and Soft skills (ICITSS)
- CA Intermediate (previously known as IPCC or Integrated Professional Competence Course)
- Articleship (3-year training)
- Advanced Integrated Course on Information Technology and Soft Skills (AICITSS)
- FC (Final course)
So, you need to go through all the above mentioned courses and exams step by step.
Here’s how you have to go about it.
- After passing 12th enroll yourself in the CA foundation course.
- Complete the study period of 4 months and appear in the CA Foundation Exam.
- After clearing the CA Foundation Exam, Enrol in the CA Intermediate Course.
- Before your articleship, complete 4 weeks of Integrated Course on Information Technology and Soft skills (ICITSS).
- Complete the 8 months study course of CA Intermediate and appear for the exam. There will be 2 sets of exams, you must pass at least one before proceeding.
- Join 3 years article training after clearing any group of CA Intermediate exam and complete ICITSS before starting your articleship.
- Clear the remaining group of CA Intermediate Exam (if any).
- Enroll yourself for the CA final course.
- Complete a 4-week Advanced Integrated Course on Information Technology and Soft Skills (AICITSS) in the last two years of your articleship and before appearing for the final exam.
- Appear for the final examination either after completing your articleship or during the last 6 months of that.
- Complete your article training, if you decide to appear for the final exam during your articleship.
- Clear CA Final Exam.
- After passing the exam, enroll yourself as a member of ICAI to be designated as “Chartered Accountant”.
After Graduation or Post-Graduation: Direct Entry Route
If you have completed your graduation or post-graduation and now want to become a Chartered Accountant, the path is quite similar to the one mentioned above.
But, you can only pursue this path if you have scored at least 55% aggregate in your commerce graduation/post-graduation, or at least 60% if you are not a commerce graduate/post-graduate.
If you are eligible to pursue this path, then the step by step procedure that you need to follow is provided below..
- Enroll in CA Intermediate Course.
- Before your articleship, Complete 4 weeks of integrated courses on Information Technology and Soft Skills (ICITSS).
- Register for 3 years articleship or practical training.
- After 9 months of your practical training, appear for the CA Intermediate Examination.
- There are two groups of CA Intermediate Examination, clear both.
- Register for CA Final Course.
- In the last two years of your articleship and before appearing for the final exam, complete 4 weeks of Advanced Integrated Course on Information Technology and Soft skills (AICITSS).
- Appear for the final exam either after completing your articleship or in the last 6 months of it.
- Complete your 3-year training.
- Clear CA Final Examination.
- After passing the exam, enroll yourself as a member of ICAI to be designated as “Chartered Accountant”.
Steps To A Chartered Accountant Exams
One can start his journey to become a certified chartered accountant just after passing 10th or 12th or even after graduation. The eligibility for the same is:
- Qualification in Senior Secondary Examination (10+2) and Entrance test for CA.
- Graduation or Post-graduation in commerce with an aggregate of 55% by appearing for three papers- Auditing, Accounting, Mercantile Laws etc.
- Graduation in another stream with an aggregate of 60% or more.
Four Steps To become CA in India:
Step 1. Registration for CA Foundation Course
Step 2. Registration for The Intermediate Course 2020
Step 3. Enrollment for Articleship
Step 4. Registration for CA Final 2020
Step 1: CA Foundation Course
To register for CA Foundation course, you first need to check your eligibility i.e. 12th standard qualification in any stream with a minimum aggregate of 33%.
If you are eligible, you can fill out an online form on the official website of ICAI and get a registration number, user id and password.
After the registration, you have four months to prepare for the foundation exam which was held twice a year- one in May and another in November for which the CA Foundation exam forms are filled in December and June respectively, to get an admit card which is mandatory for appearing for the exam or entering the examination centre.
A total fee of INR 11300 has to be paid by the applicant and this includes registration fees, online form fees, examination fees, and journals for members & students.
There are two subjective type papers and two objective type papers of four subjects which are as follows:
- Paper 1: Principle and Practice of Accounting
- Paper 2: Business Laws and Business Correspondence and Reporting
- Paper 3: Business Mathematics and Logical Reasoning & Statistics
- Paper 4: Business Economics and Business and Commercial Knowledge
Each subject carries 100 marks and a minimum of 40% marks in each subject and 50% aggregate is required for qualifying the CA Foundation level.
Step 2: The Intermediate Level
The intermediate level can be reached directly after graduation or post-graduation and also by qualifying CA Foundation level if you have started your journey to become a Chartered Accountant after 12th.
You can register for the Intermediate exam in March and September and appear for the exam in November and May, respectively, so you get 9 months for the preparation. You can register for CA Intermediate exam form by filling an application form online and download the Admit card.
Exam paper for Intermediate Course is divided into two groups – both group includes 4 subjects of 100 marks each and hence makes a total of 8 subjects of 800 marks.
Subjects in each group are as follows:
Paper-1: Accounting (100 Marks)
Paper-2: Corporate Laws & Other Laws (100 Marks)
- Part I: Company Law (60 Marks)
- Part II: Other Laws (40 Marks)
Paper-3: Cost and Management Accounting (100 Marks)
Paper-4: Taxation (100 Marks)
- Section A: Income-tax Law (60 Marks)
- Section B: Indirect Taxes (40 Marks)
Paper-5: Advanced Accounting (100 Marks)
Paper-6: Auditing and Assurance (100 Marks)
Paper-7: Enterprise Information Systems & Strategic Management (100 Marks)
- Part I: Enterprise Information System(50 Marks)
- Part II: Strategic Management (50 Marks)
Paper-8: Financial Management and Economics for finance(100)
- Part I: Financial Management( 60 marks)
- Part II: Economics of Finance(40 marks)
A candidate has to pay a total of INR 27200 for the intermediate course for both groups. For the single group, a fee of INR 23200 is applicable.
Students of intermediate have to take four weeks of ICITSS training which can be taken after clearing any of the one group of the two. Once both the groups are qualified and training is completed, the candidate becomes eligible for CA final level.
Step 3: Articleship And Finals
This is the final phase which consists of practical experience as well as theoretical exams.
The aspirant who has cleared any of the two groups of the intermediate is eligible to get registered for Articleship and the practical training can be started as soon as both the groups are cleared.
While undergoing 3 years of mandatory training or Articleship, you start earning a stipend and can register for the Final level in the last 6 months of practical training by filling the CA Final exam form online.
Although there is no due date for the CA final course registration, registration is compulsory to appear for final exams which are held in May and November.
The total fee of INR 32300 (22000+3300+7000) is charged for both the groups of CA final and includes registration fees, examination fees, and GMCS fees.
The final course is categorised into two groups with 4 subjects under each group and 100 marks for each subject. 50% marks in aggregate or 40% marks in all subjects are mandatory to qualify for the exams.
The Subjects for the Final level are as follows:
Paper-1: Financial Reporting
Paper-2: Strategic Financial Management
Paper-3: Advanced Auditing and Professional Ethics
Paper-4: Corporate and Economic Laws
Paper-5: Strategic Cost Management and Performance Evaluation
Paper-6A: Risk Management
Paper-6B: Financial Services and Capital Markets
Paper-6C: International Taxation
Paper-6D: Economic Laws
Paper-6E: Global Financial Reporting Standards
Paper-6F: Multidisciplinary Case Study
Paper-7: Direct Tax Laws and International Taxation
Paper-8: Indirect Tax Laws
Jobs for Chartered Accountants in India
There are huge opportunities for Chartered Accountants in India. Take a look at an inclusive list of vacancies for Chartered Accountants in India as of September 2019:
Job roles in Chartered Accountancy
|Financial Accounting||Manage Accounts, Manage Taxes, Perform Internal Audits, Manage Salaries & Wages, Send Invoices,|
|Auditing||To conduct a statutory audit as per Companies Act, Internal Audit|
|Cost Accounting||Expenditure Control, Forecasting, Budgeting and Controlling,|
|Tax Management||Advice on taxes as business plans change|
|Consultancy||Corporate law advice on financial aspects, business advice about profits, project planning, information systems management, extension and more,|
Chartered Accountant Salaries
Chartered Accountancy is a very high paying job, and that’s why the average salary of a CA in India is around ₹ 7 lakh. However, just like any other profession, the salary depends on the years of experience. Here are some details from AmbitionBox:
|Experience||Annual Average Salary|
|1-4 years||₹3 lakh to ₹11 lakh|
|5-9 years||₹4.5 lakh to ₹20 lakh|
|10-19 years||₹6 lakh to ₹25 lakh|
Chartered accountant Skills
|Communication||Ability to explain complex financial information to non-CA associates.|
|Commercial Awareness||An understanding of the day-to-day changes in the business world affecting organizations.|
|Ethics||CAs deal with money and being professional and trusted by companies requires great ethics.|
|Analytics||It is a profession of numbers and hence, it requires great analytical skills to make the right business decisions.|
|Self Motivation||CA needs to work continuously and learn at the same time. It requires self-motivation to learn and adapt.|
Chartered Accountant Tools and Resources
Charted accountants were using manual logs and registers to keep a record of everything related to finance, accounts, and business, but those days were gone now. However, digitization changed it as well. Especially with automation and SaaS-based tools.
There are various tools and software available on the Internet that allow Chartered Accountants to maintain accounts and perform all kinds of tasks online.
Chartered Accountants need to stay up-to-date with the latest information, changes and all the guidelines. Additionally, people who are preparing for CA need valid resources to gain all the knowledge and what can be better than the official website icai.org. Below is a list of some important links that you will find helpful.
Chartered accountancy Blogs
Some popular finance and chartered accountant blogs are listed below:
- CA Blog India
- Chartered Club
- CA Portal : SAG Infotech
- Apna Plan
Chartered Accountancy Books
Looking for some trustworthy chartered accountancy books? Some of them are following:
- CA Foundation Scanner Cum Compiler by Dr S.K Agrawal
- Business Laws by Dr V.K. Jain
- Principles and Practice of Accounting by DR S.K Agrawal
- Business Mathematics Logic Reasoning & Statistics by Kailash Thakur
- Business Laws by Dr V.K. Jain and CA Shashank S. Sharma
- Business Economics and Business & Commercial Knowledge by Dr P.M Salwan and Dr C.B Gupta
Business Correspondence & Reporting By Dr C.B. Gupta
Tips to Get a Chartered Accountant Job
Becoming a CA is a great achievement but there is one more thing that is equally important, Getting the right job!
To get the job that suits you, review your interest and match your overall personality. Every employer looks for the knowledge and skill-set of an employee. Thus work on them to seize the most profitable opportunity.
There are some common traits you need to work on to get the dream job
Written and oral communication is of extreme importance for any job. As a Chartered Accountant (CA), you will have to interact with stakeholders, peers, and decision makers, and therefore it becomes important that you be able to deliver your message in a professional manner.We wish you all the luck !