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CA or Chartered Accountant is a professional course which offers a lot of career options and opportunity with the best salary in hand and is managed by the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI).
This course is very popular because in this course students are trained in auditing, accounting and taxation. The chartered accountants are very much required in every small scale industry and large scale industries.
If you want to go for the CA course, then you have to do a lot of hard work and after the result you will be selected as auditors for several companies in India. Many multinational companies are offering job opportunities and they are in search for good Chartered Accountants.
Every registered firm or organization under the Company Act, have a CA that manages various tasks like Finance Managers, Financial Controllers, Financial Advisers or Directors and audit their accounts.
There are many scopes or jobs for those students who are pursuing Chartered Accountant Course. There are many government and private companies that are providing jobs with a good package.
The aspirants can become employed in a firm as an employee or can start their own private practice.
The Chartered Accountancy course has three levels:
First Stage: CPT or CA Entrance (Common Proficiency Test)
A student who has passed class 10th examination may register with the Board of Studies of ICAI. Student must register for CPT at least 60 days prior to the examination.
The student can however appear for the CPT examination only after appearing for 10+2 examination.
Common Proficiency Test is both objective and subjective type examination of 400 marks with 4 subjects of 100 marks each. Desired level of knowledge is Basic Knowledge.
There is negative marking of 25% for wrong answers. Blank answers fetch zero marks and correct answers fetch one mark. Students have to score at least 50% marks to clear the examination.
Second Stage: CA Intermediate / IPCC (Integrated Professional Competence Course)
The Intermediate (Integrated Professional Competence) Course comprises of eight subjects divided in two groups. Group I comprises of four Subjects and Group II is also of four subjects.
Desired level of knowledge is Working Knowledge. Following three categories of students can register for Intermediate:
Category A: Student who has passed CPT and 10+2 examination
Category B: Graduate or Post Graduate from Commerce / Non Commerce stream exempted from CPT as above.
Category C: Students who passed Intermediate exam of Institute of Cost Accountants of India or Institute of Company Secretaries of India.
A student needs to secure 40% marks in individual subjects and aggregate of 50% in order to pass the Intermediate (Integrated Professional Competence) Examination.
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Student has to undergo three years of Articleship with Practicing Chartered Accountant as part of course structure.
During Articleship students have to undergo Two General Management and Communication Skills (GMCS) Programme of 15 days each with ICAI itself. Articleship can be done anywhere in India.
Third Stage: CA Final
CA Final comprises of eight subjects divided in Two Groups with four subjects each. Students are expected to have Expert Knowledge of Subjects.
A student can appear for the final examination only after passing both groups of the Intermediate (Integrated Professional Competence) Course and completion of 2.5 years Articleship.
Passing criteria is similar to the Intermediate (Integrated Professional Competence) Course.
Career Opportunities for Chartered Accountants
Chartered Accountancy Course offers the students a dream career in the specialized areas of Accounting, Auditing, Corporate Finance, Corporate Laws and Taxation.
As practitioners of public accounting, CAs may start Independent Professional practice or join any existing firm as a partner or staff member.
CAs plays a vital role in assisting business and industry to improve the use of their resources, increase their efficiency and achieve their objectives.
This includes services like include financial management, planning and financial policy determination.
Before discussing the scope of chartered accountant career, let us look into the various reasons for why CA is a good career option-
This professional degree course gives you flexibility to go for higher education like MBA, CFA etc.
There is no constraint on study hours – that is, you do not have to go to college to study and you can control the pace of your study.
Articleship is a mandatory part of the curriculum, and as such, it gives you practical experience while doing articleship. An aspirant can choose the organization they want to work with.
Most of the CA’s end up being entrepreneurs. They are their own boss. CA’s can choose to become tax advisers and consultants also.
Maintaining continuity in career is easier for a Chartered Accountant, as they can afford to take breaks and sabbaticals and make a comeback after little brushing up of knowledge.
Now, considering the various benefits of becoming a CA, it is a common understanding that many students would want to pursue this career path.
In fact, if statistics are to go by, then in any given year, there are over 1 lakh students who appear for the ICAI exams. However, the pass percentage for these exams is abysmally low.
This, however, should not be a deterrent for the large number of CA aspirants. Many students don’t take the CA exam too seriously, that is why there is lower pass percentage.
If you study seriously, you can easily pass the exams.
Scope abroad for Indian CA
The scope of a chartered accountant is not defined by the institute it gives you an ample scope to pursue in any area which gives you interests in alignment with the subjects in the curriculum.
CA’s can choose to set up their own independent practice and develop their clients on merit, apply for job at an existing firm of Chartered Accountants, offer their services in the field of capital market or join the Government Service, Public Sector or even in the Private Sector.
And in case you want to work abroad, Institute of CA of India is also well recognized abroad like in England, Wales and Australia so one can even practice in these countries as well.
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Indian Chartered Accountants can only have jobs in foreign where Indian operations are involved or else you need to pursue the locally recognized course in that country, check what exemptions you get because of your Indian education and pursue that course to do practice in both – Foreign Operations and Indian Operations, outside India.
The Institute of Chartered Accountants of India has MoUs with various countries and thereby an Indian CA can become a member of the institute in respective country and carry on the profession.
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Countries ICAI has MOU with:
The job profile is a bit different. In Middle East, money laundering is of high importance. In USA, Canada, etc. accounting is of high priority. It will take a lot to enter in auditing sector there.
Lifestyle is the difference. Some people do like over there.
VISA application for working professional is easy to get. In Middle East, salary is bit more than India but so is the lifestyle. In US, Canada, you can get not less than 60K USD but again so is the cost of living there.
Let us discuss about scope of Indian CA abroad, based on different parameters in different countries having MoUs with the ICAI.
Some of the countries having MoUs with ICAI are Australia, Canada, England and UAE.
Australia – MoU with Australia allows you to become an Associate member after submitting the required documents. You can’t publicly practice there i.e. you will be able to join the Industry but not sign or certify in independent capacity.
Canada – MoU with the Canada professional bodies ended in 2016 and ICAI has initiated talks to continue the same. The professional bodies in Canada have been reconstituted, as of now it’s hard to say anything clearly about professional opportunity there other than employment.
England – MoU with England’s ICAEW is in existence for a long time. ICAEW associate membership is same as Australia you cannot sign or certify in Independent capacity.
But the ACCA a professional body in UK without the MoU allows you few exemptions in the exam papers, so you can avail their membership after clearing the non-exempted papers. Their membership allows you to act in Individual capacity.
UAE – ICAI has its own Middle East chapters unlike any other Professional body to give an upper hand to its members to establish practice in the Country.
There is an abundant number of opportunities for CAs in employment in this country than practice and are also paid handsomely.
Job profiles in the above countries are more towards corporate employment rather than individual practice, except in UAE where Indian Firms in the country hire CAs for their audit works.
Cost of living – Taxes, insurance, and other factors
The cost of living is very high in Australia due to its housing taxes. Housing in Canada is far more affordable at the moment when compared to Australia.
Regular living expenses also tend to be higher in Australia that they are in Canada. When compared to Australia with England, Australia is still on a higher side.
Rental facts: Apartment (1 bedroom) in City Centre in Toronto $1,464.62, in Sydney $2,244.02 and in London $1400. Abu Dhabi $1367 – $3,267.
Personal Taxes: No taxes in Canada till $43,561, Australia $18,200 and in England tax slab starts from £0 -£31,785 at 20%. No taxes in UAE for any amount of income.
Typically, the visa application process for Canada is easier, despite the recent emphasis on having fluency in English or French.
While both Australia and Canada functions on a points-based process and have a preferred skills list, Canada does have far fewer visa subclasses and less stringent visa application assessments.
UK has stricter Immigration laws than the other two countries. UAE immigration laws are much easier and are just a little behind the laws of immigration in Canada.
Permanent residency- Gaining permanent residency for Australia or Canada or England or UAE is all based on eligibility and factors that affects the immigrant’s future prospects within the country such as field of expertise, work experience, references and relations in the country.
Culture, Lifestyle & Safety
Australia as well as Canada and England have a widely diverse population, but with different ethnicity factors. Canada has a dominant Chinese, Indian, Sri Lankan, Jamaican base and a notably increasing number of Middle Eastern populations.
Australia, on the other hand, has a more diverse population, with Indonesian, Thai and Lebanese as the dominant communities, and small Central or South American communities.
Canada defines itself largely in opposition to the United States and Britain. Quebec forms a distinct society, but links itself strongly to the US economy.
Canada is less centralized than, for example, London-focused Britain, so each province runs many of the activities that in Europe are usually co-ordinated at a national level, most notably health-care and education.
In other ways Canada seems more similar throughout than Britain and with the exception of Newfoundland; the English-Canadian accent sounds the same from Halifax to Victoria.
Canada is proud to see itself as a bilingual, multi-ethnic country.
UAE is globally known for its free trade ideologies which attracts many immigrants and is also known to be people friendly.
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Salary and Profile
In case of Middle Eastern countries:
In case of Middle Eastern countries like UAE, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, etc., the average salary of a fresher is around 180000 to 225000 per month. However, depending upon the exchange rates, the salary in terms of the foreign currency may differ.
Profile is generally the same for a fresher like accounting, financial planning and analysis and also in some cases it might be investment analysis, wealth management and transaction advisory.
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In other countries like Canada, Australia, Singapore, etc., CAs from ICAI are quite in demand due to which the salaries are around the same what we can get in Middle Eastern countries.
Profile is generally the same what we get in India and middle eastern countries.
The scope of opportunities and work life balance is quite good in foreign countries as compared to India, at least when you work in Big 4 firms or any big consultancy firm.
Hike in salaries is never an issue. You get paid much more than what a CA can be paid in India and also as most of the expenses are paid by the companies itself so the cost of living isn’t much.
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If you are going abroad with an inter company transfer, you need not worry.
But if you want to go abroad and start on your own, your CA qualification should be backed by another qualification, preferably the one which is recognized in that respective country.
(for example: Australian CPA for Australia, Canadian CPA for Canada and master’s degree from an American university for opportunities in the USA.)
The additional qualifications will help you root for better opportunities. We hope this will help you.