Pursuing the Chartered Accountancy course is never easy. One student needs great focus and dedication to crack this one but we have your backs. Continue reading this till the end, and we guarantee that you’ll know everything there is to know about this professional yet challenging course.
After clearing your 12th final board examinations, many children get confused as to what is the best option for them. Are you going through the same? Well, deciding can be hard but make sure that you go through everything before signing up for it.
In today’s time, there’s much value of mind and of course, if you’re good at something then never to it for free. If you think that you the right kind of mind for this tough course, then go ahead. Know every detail related to this program, and please try to make the right decision.
Before we begin, here’s a reminder. The profession of Chartered Accountant is financially rewarding but also very challenging and tiring. This article will provide you with in-depth knowledge of the course including eligibility criteria, further studies & courses, career prospects and job opportunities.
Graduates, 10th and 12th standard passed students may make use of this guide and start preparing for CA course.
Regarded as the toughest professional course in the Commerce stream, Chartered Accountancy is nothing to be taken lightly. People dedicate their lives to cracking its exam and if you want to become a CA, then probably you should too!
A chartered accountant is a professional who is capable of working and managing in all fields of business and finance. Finance management, accounting, auditing, taxation and general business management are some of the tasks that chartered accountants are capable of performing.
In simple terms, they deal with accounting and money matters (management).
The Chartered Accountancy Course and Profession in India is regulated by The Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI), New Delhi. This body is responsible for maintaining the quality of CA course and education in India.
If you wish to qualify for CA in India, then he/she must complete the training and get himself/herself registered with the ICAI. The membership has to be renewed each year.
Scope of CA
A Chartered Accountant has immense and in-depth knowledge of Accounting. CA is considered as the topmost possible profession in the field of commerce.
Another important aspect of CA as a profession is taxation. Every CA is expected to know and apply his knowledge of taxation, for the benefit of his client, in a legal manner.
International taxation, and the implementation of International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS), with respect to Indian companies, is another important field, were only CA can excel.
Being trusted for intellectual work, and immense financial knowledge, a Chartered can also practice in financial, and investment consultancy.
Another most important field is Auditing and Assurance. Being a Chartered, you can always think of this field as a whole time profession.
Eligibility criteria to become CA
Students who have passed 10+2 from any stream (Science/Commerce/Arts) can apply to pursue this course. Graduates or postgraduates, who have completed 3 or 4 years long Bachelor’s Degree program from a reputed institute is also eligible to pursue CA.
Students who opted for Commerce in their high school are always at an advantage in this course as it consists subjects like accounting and finance. Moving on, let’s also have a look at the wide course structure.
CA Course Structure
If you want to see yourself as a qualified Chartered Accountant then you have to go through these three stages:
It is an exam in the form of multiple choice questions (MCQs). There are four subjects: Accounts, Mercantile Law, Economics and Mathematics & Statistics.
Here’s an overlook at the subject-wise portion at CPT level:
General and basic concepts of accounts. Very basic of company accounts. Some advanced issues in partnership accounts as compared to HSC. Some other topic, but not a major concern for accounts lovers. This paper has 60 marks weightage.
This is a brand new subject, packed in all new book cover. It comes in three acts. In the first week, you are expected not to understand anything. As the subject is brand new for you, you will, of course, enjoy the subject.
Three acts are the Sale of Goods Act, Contract Act, and Partnership Act. The portion covers certain parts of all three acts. The subject has 40 marks.
So, accounts and mercantile law combined to carry the weight of 100 marks, out of the total 200 marks.
You’ve been studying this subject since 11th but trust me, this level is something else entirely. The first section covers the theories, while other covers Indian Economy on an overview, basics of banking and money, and other things. This subject is for 50 marks.
Mathematics & Statistics:
Last but never the least. This subject is a headache for most of the CA student at CPT level. It comes for 50 marks. Contains some maths and some stats, formulas, and logic. It can be tackled.
Hence, combined they’re a solid 100.
Passing Criteria in CPT Exams
You need to score a minimum total of 50% marks and minimum 30% in each subject. Yes, both the criteria’ need to be fulfilled.
Tip- Plan Your Study.
Generally, Mathematics is the freaky kind of subject in CPT. Students hate that subject, but because of passing criteria you need to score at least 30%, i.e.; (50*30%)= 15.
Try to use law and economics as your strong points and score in them. So that your final calculation can be somewhat like:
Maths: 15/50; Economics: 35/50; Accounts: 45/60 and Law: 30/40.
That takes you to total marks of 125/200.
Another tip is kept at least 20% margin while planning for studies. That will save you from failing with small margin. Also, another point to be noted is, no exemption rules like IPCC and Final apply to CPT. You need to clear all the subjects with required criteria in single attempt itself.
After you’re done with your initial stage, be prepared for the biggest turnover. Why is it a turnover, you ask?
Well, the basic reason behind this is, till CPT, your expected class timing is maximum 4 hours. At IPCC level, they rise to minimum 7-8 hours a day. The expected study is at least 10-12 hours a day, for a minimum of 3-3.5 months.
Also, at CPT you had only 4 subjects but at IPCC level, you will have 8. And at CPT, you have approximately 12 months to prepare, while at IPCC, you get maximum 10 months (June to April).
Moving on to the routine of an average IPCC student:
Out of the 10 months part, classes will be a maximum of 6-7 months. Remaining three months will be preparation leave for students appearing for both groups.
Hence, in the initial class period, you will be attending classes for 7-8 hours a day. On Sunday for minimum 4 hours. After that, you are anytime required to study for a minimum 10 hours. In short, these 10-11 months will be the busiest or the hectic one in your life. We tend to feel the heat of CA as a profession during the period.
At the same time, we are expected to update our self with news, economic conditions, and even the stock markets. After these 10 months, you will find a whole new you in yourself. Once, you get the change in yourself after IPCC exam, you are on the correct track. You may or unfortunately not clear the exam, but you will definitely be successful in your life.
Here’s an overlook at the subject-wise portion at IPCC level:
The subjects cover some of the Accounting Standards. Advanced Issues in Partnership. Amalgamation and Internal Reconstruction. And other topics. It is generally the favorite topic of IPCC student.
Law, Business Communication, and Ethics:
Do get frightened by the size of the name. The subject basically consists of three part. Out of which, Law comes for 60 marks, Communication for 20 marks, and Ethics for 20 marks.
The law includes some portions of the following acts:
- Labour Law
- Provident Fund and Miscellaneous Provisions Act.
- Payment of Bonus Act. iii. Payment of Gratuity Act
- Indian Contract Act.
- Negotiable Instrument Act
- Companies Act, 2013
**From the above-mentioned acts, the Companies Act alone comes for almost 20-30 marks. Whereas, other acts come for 40 marks.
Costing and Financial Management:
This is the brand new subject at IPCC level. We, till the CPT level are not aware of anything related to costing, or financial management. These two subjects have equal weighting of 50 marks. Some basic concepts are discussed at IPCC level. The subject basically needs practice, and conceptual clarity to score good marks.
Another brand new subject. This deals with Income Tax, Service Tax, VAT, Excise Duty, Customs Duty, and Cenvat. Income Tax forms part of Direct Tax portion which consists of following topics:
- Income from Salary.
- Income from House Property
- Profits and gains from business and profession
- Income from Capital gains
- Income from other sources. And certain other topics
**The direct tax portion has a weight of 50 marks, in taxation paper at IPCC level.
For indirect tax, only service tax and VAT are explained in detail. Other taxes are discussed at an introductory level, at IPCC level. Indirect taxes portion has a weight of 50 marks, in taxation paper at IPCC level.
The only subject of Group B, where you will have to deal with numbers. This subject covers Accounting Standards, Financials of Insurance Companies, Financial Statements of Banking Companies, Accounting for Employee Stock Option Plan. Accounting for Underwriting, Bonus Issue, and Right issue.
Information Technology and Strategic Management:
Some might consider this subject as the nightmare! It is something different from the real CA profession, but still, it carries a weighting of 50 marks.
Audit and Assurance:
This subject covers basic concepts of audits and certain topics of Standards on Auditing, and Company Audit.
IPCC Passing Criteria
You need to achieve a minimum total of 50$ marks and 40 marks in each paper out of a hundred.
If any of the criteria are not fulfilled then one needs to appear for the whole group again. Subjects with more than 60 marks are considered as exempt and you are not required to appear for that paper again.
The second level, IPCC is a big leap into your bright future so ace your game and crack it open!
Try and score 60+ in Accounts, Advanced Accounts, and Costing & Financial Management. Then 45-50 in all another subject will do the job for you, at the IPCC level in CA IPCC Course.
Simply, just score as much as you can in your subjects with numbers.
Once you’ve cleared this level, then you are required to register articles with a practicing CA. This period is considered to be the most important phase in a rookie CA. The total period of 3 years, is to be served as an article in CA as a profession. You can give your final examination attempt, after 2.5 years of articles.
*Note- Even if, both the groups of IPCC are not cleared, after clearing the first group, you can start your articles under any Practicing Chartered Accountant. You can clear the second group, during the articles in CA as a profession.
This one is all about having the expert knowledge and nothing less. This is divided into two groups with 4 subjects each. It withholds the same criteria as IPCC level: 0% in totality and 40% in each subject. The average result is 5-6%.
- Financial Reporting
- SFM (Financial Management)
- Direct Tax
- Indirect Tax
- ISCA (IT)
Don’t be disheartened but when you will reach this level, you won’t be looking for any tips or study material. At this stage, you’re expected to know in and out of what you’ve been preparing all along. You are almost a CA; this is just a formality now. Though the formality part is of utmost importance, the student at the final level has the knowledge, grasping power and other required capabilities to crack the examination.
Further courses to pursue:
Once you’re a certified CA, there are hundreds of other options to pursue. After CA, you can easily enroll in specialized courses such as law, finance management, taxation etc. Some of the well known advanced courses available are-
CFA (Chartered Financial Analyst)
The Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) designation is regarded by most to be the key certification for investment professionals, especially in the areas of research and portfolio management.
FRM (Financial Risk Manager)
Financial risk managers identify and analyze areas of potential risk threatening the assets, earning capacity or success of a business. They may work in sales, origination, trading, marketing, financial services or private banking and may specialize in areas such as credit or market risk.
An MBA in finance will prepare students for senior level and management jobs in the financial sector, with courses focusing more on management, communications, marketing, business leadership and organizational behavior. Almost all MBA programs require the GMAT or GRE for acceptance.
CFP (Certified Financial Planner)
The Certified Financial Planner (CFP) designation is a professional certification mark for financial planners conferred by the Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards (CFP Board) in the United States, and by 25 other organizations affiliated with Financial Planning Standards Board (FPSB),the international owner of the CFP mark outside of the United States.
CS (Company Secretary) course
The company secretary is responsible for the efficient administration of a company, particularly with regard to ensuring compliance with statutory and regulatory requirements and for ensuring that decisions of the board of directors are implemented. Despite the name, the role is not clerical or secretarial.
CWA (Cost and Work Accountants)
The cost and works accountant collects, assimilates, collates and analyses financial information from every angle and then interprets those numbers for the management. The CWA is now an essential part of any corporate strategy – whether he or she is an employee or a consultant on retainer.
Actuarial science is the discipline that applies mathematical and statistical methods to assess risk in insurance, finance and other industries and professions. Actuaries are professionals who are qualified in this field through intense education and experience.
The Bachelor of Laws is an undergraduate degree in law. There are two options to pursue LLB course. One is the 3-year course for which the minimum eligibility criterion is graduation and the other is the integrated course of 5-year duration for undergraduate students.
The course is divided into six semesters in most of the law universities and admission to the same is based on entrance exams like CLAT, LAWCET to name a few.
Career Prospects and Job Opportunities:
After completing CA, there are a lot of job opportunities available. From government jobs to private, the whole world is ready to be claimed! ax related matters, finance management and auditing are the main work formats that CAs get. It is like bread and butter for them.
Some of the best job options are:
Banking and Insurance Sector (Government and Private)
Income Tax Department
The Income Tax Department also referred to as IT Department, is a government agency in charge of monitoring the income tax collection by the Government of India. It functions under the Department of Revenue of the Ministry of Finance.
Tax Advisory Firms
The services of a tax advisor are usually retained in order to minimize taxation while remaining compliant with the law in complicated financial situations. Tax advisors can include Certified Public Accounts, tax attorneys, and financial advisors.
An audit is an objective examination and evaluation of the financial statements of an organization to make sure that the records are a fair and accurate representation of the transactions they claim to represent. It can be done internally by employees of the organization, or externally by an outside firm.
Stock Broking Firms
A stockbroker is a regulated professional individual, usually associated with a brokerage firm or broker-dealer, who buys and sells stocks and other securities for both retail and institutional clients through a stock exchange or over the counter in return for a fee or commission.
Investment Banking Firms
An investment bank is typically a private company that provides various finance-related and other services to individuals, corporations, and governments such as raising financial capital by underwriting or acting as the client’s agent in the issuance of securities.
Asset Management Firms
An asset management company (AMC) is a company that invests its clients’ pooled funds into securities that match declared financial objectives. Asset management companies provide investors with more diversification and investing options than they would have by themselves.
Law Firms (LL.B. Degree will be useful)
A law firm is a business entity formed by one or more lawyers to engage in the practice of law. The primary service rendered by a law firm is to advise clients (individuals or corporations) about their legal rights and responsibilities, and to represent clients in civil or criminal cases, business transactions, and other matters in which legal advice and other assistance are sought.
A company concerned primarily with providing money, e.g. for hire-purchase transactions.
CA firm means a firm which provides Services like Auditing, Accounting, Business Advisory, Tax Consulting, Management consulting, Corporate advisory etc. … CA firm can be opened only by a qualified Chartered Accountant alone or in partnership.
Corporate Houses (Planning and Budgeting team)
Corporate housing is a term in the travel industry meaning renting out a furnished apartment, condo, or house on a temporary basis to individuals, military personnel, or corporations as an alternative to a traditional hotel or an extended hotel stay.
While most industries and companies have to deal with finance and tax matters, qualified CAs are a must. But if you’re looking for something other than the monotonous CA firms, then you can, of course, start your own practice.
Just before starting independent service, one must gain enough working experience by working for a firm.
Some well-known job profiles include-
Auditor (statutory, internal, tax etc)
An auditor is a person or a firm appointed by a company to execute an audit. To act as an auditor, a person should be certified by the regulatory authority of accounting and auditing or possess certain specified qualifications. Generally, to act as an external auditor of the company, a person should have a certificate of practice from the regulatory authority.
Cost accounting is the process of recording, classifying, analyzing, summarizing, and allocating costs associated with a process, and then developing various courses of action to control the costs.
Tax specialist (Direct and Indirect taxes)
The term “tax specialist” can refer to a variety of positions and roles – tax accountants, tax advisors, tax preparers, tax managers, etc. They utilize this expertise to guide companies and clients through increasingly complex and labyrinthine tax rules and regulations.
An investment banker is an individual who often works as part of a financial institution and is primarily concerned with raising capital for corporations, governments or other entities.
The primary function of the Asset Manager is to assist in all aspects of the administrative, financial, capital and operations of the assigned portfolio. Essential Functions: Oversee local third-party property managers and leasing agents. Assist in the preparation and approval process of property operating budgets.
Manager/Assistant Manager (Accounts, Finance, Credit etc)
The duties of an assistant manager may include direct supervision of staff, employee evaluation, initial disciplinary contact, and performing other managerial tasks when the manager is unavailable. Assistant managers are often promoted from within the ranks after being recognized for efficiency or leadership potential.
Tax consultants, also know as tax advisors are experts in tax law, planning, and compliance. A tax consultant typically expands on the role of a tax preparer. While tax consultants prepare tax returns, they also often work closely with clients throughout the year to ensure client tax liability is minimized.
Please feel free to ask any question or queries. It’s better to ask than be sorry. All the best! Hope this guide was helpful to you. Don’t forget to share it with your friends, because sharing is caring…