Pursue Career in Chartered Accountancy (CA) in India | How to become a Chartered Accountant

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Chartered Accountancy (CA) is a professional course registered under the autonomous body Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI). The trend of CA is currently in range with everybody flooding away from regular Engineering. So how to pursue a career in Chartered Accountancy? How to become a Chartered Accountant?

What does a Chartered Accountant do?

A Chartered Accountant is responsible for preparing the financial statements which include Profit and loss account that provides with the profit or loss the company has. A CA also prepares the balance sheet which shows the assets and liabilities of the company as of certain date.

A CA also helps in tax filing. Chartered Accountant is different from an accountant, while the latter works for the company internally a CA is an external employee.

Chartered Accountant is more proficient and can also be an auditor. He also audits the banks and other financial institutions.

An accountant can do with the basic accounting stuff but a CA should be well versed with company laws, auditing, Financial and Cost Management, business laws. CA fulfills all the requirements and eligibility criteria set by ICAI to be designated as Chartered Accountant (CA).

How to become a Chartered Accountant?

Chartered Accountancy course can be approached in two ways:

After Intermediate: Becoming a Chartered Accountant in India

STEP 1: After completion of intermediate groups in school (be it MEC, MPC or another group), one is eligible for the Chartered Accountancy Entrance test. Common Proficiency Test or normally called CPT is a multiple choice test. One should be careful of the negative marking for the wrong answer, so keep in mind to answer if you are only 100% sure. The CPT consists of 4 subjects divided into two parts- Accounts and Law; Economics and Statistics. There are coaching Institutes to guide even if accounts wasn’t a chosen subject in Intermediate.

STEP 2: After qualifying for CPT, the next level is the Integrated Professional Competence Course or IPCC. There are 7 subjects which are categorized into Group I and Group II.

  • Group I
    • Paper 1: Accounting (100 marks) 
    • Paper 2: Business Laws, Ethics and Communication (100 marks)
      • Part I: Business Laws (60 marks) comprising
        • Business Laws (30 marks)
        • Company Law (30 marks)
      • Part II: Ethics (20 marks)
      • Part III: Communication (20 marks)
    • Paper 3: Cost Accounting and Financial Management (100 marks)
      • Part I: Cost Accounting (50 marks)
      • Part II: Financial Management (50 marks)
    • Paper 4: Taxation (100 marks)
      • Part I: Income-tax (50 marks)
      • Part II: Indirect Taxes (50 marks)
  • Group II
    • Paper 5: Advanced Accounting (100 marks)
    • Paper 6: Auditing and Assurance (100 marks)
    • Paper 7: Information Technology and Strategic Management (100 marks)
      • Section A: Information Technology (50 marks)
      • Section B: Strategic Management (50 marks)

The coaching will be for 9 months or less or more depending on the institute. IPCC exams are conducted in the months of May and November.

STEP 3: After qualifying both groups, the candidate must do articleship (internship) for a period of 3 years under a qualified Chartered Accountant. The ICAI conducts classes for 4 weeks called ICITSS (Information Technology and Technological aspects of CA) that are compulsory and are to be qualified.

STEP 4: After qualifying both groups of IPCC and when there are 6 months left of the articleship, the candidate is eligible for Final Course. This final course has 8 subjects also contains 2 groups

  • Group I 
    • Financial Reporting (100 Marks)
    • Strategic Financial Management (100 Marks)
    • Advanced Auditing and Professional Ethics (100 Marks)
    • Corporate (70 Marks) and Other Economic Laws (30 Marks)
  • Group II
    • Advanced Management Accounting (100 Marks)
    • Information Systems Control and Audit
    • Direct Tax Laws (100 Marks)
    • Indirect Tax Laws (100 Marks)

In this level too there is a compulsory 4-week course in advanced ICITSS conducted by ICAI. This course can even be attended in articleship period and after this course is completed one is eligible to attempt the Final exams and after qualifying both the groups and completing the internship, the candidate takes on the role of a Chartered Accountant.

After Graduation: Becoming a Chartered Accountant in India

The other way is registering with ICAI after graduation (in any field). The candidate must enrol for the compulsory Intermediate Course ICITSS which undergoes for 4 weeks and then join internship with a qualified CA. After 9 months into articleship, the candidate is eligible to attempt IPCC and after that carry on with the internship and rest of the process is similar to above.

Work and Remuneration

Chartered Accountants are always in demand due to increase in companies. A chartered Accountants salary depends upon the size of the company. The average salary of a qualified chartered accountant ranges between 7 -8 lakhs per annum.

Check the official website of ICAI to know more details about CA

Helpful references for CA course

Superprofs
Koncepta Blog
Castuff Blog 

Chartered Accountancy course requires perseverance and lot of patience and sometimes it depends on luck. But the important thing is never to give up. People keep on saying CA is tough, well every professional course is destined to play with the candidates mind.

It is us who have to find the strength to head on straight despite the roadblocks.