Careers in Chartered Accountancy
Chartered Accountancy is a dynamic, challenging and rewarding profession. A Chartered accountant is one who is specialized in accounting, auditing and taxation. He also serves as a management and corporate caretaker. The services of a CA are required in money matters even in a small business. Moreover according to the Company Act only CA's in professional practice are allowed to be appointed as auditors of companies in India. The scope for this lucrative career is bright in an economically developing nation like ours and as such the career can be termed as challenging and rewarding for competent professionals in the field.
Each country has its own Accountancy Association which regulates the quality and quantity of the professionals in this field. In India the regulatory body is the Institute of Chartered accountants of India. This Institute is both an examining and a licensing body. It is the responsibility of the institute to conduct the Chartered accountancy (CA) Course. The course involves a blend of theoretical education and practical training which run concurrently for a period of three years and equips a student with knowledge, ability, skills and other qualities required of a professional accountant.In India, a chartered accountant is a person who is accepted as a member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI) after having passed the Final examination of the Chartered accountancy course conducted by the institute.
Course Details for A Career in Chartered Accountancy
The CA exams has three levels, Competency Professional Test (CPT), Professional Competency Course (PCC) and Professional Competency Examination, the Final examination.
Competency Professional Test (CPT)
The entrance Examination for the Charted accountants, Competency Professional Test, CPT ,is conducted by the institute once in a quarter. The four-hour examination paper of 400 marks consists of four subjects namely fundamentals of accounting, mercantile law, general economics and quantitative attitudes. Minus mark is also applicable in the examination.
Anyone who has passed the10 + 2, can enroll for the Competency Professional Test (CPT). A student who has passed the 10th examination can also register with CPT but could write the exam only after the Plus Two examination. Duration of the course is 10months. Graduates who don't have the request percentage of marks have to do the Competency Professional Test . The registration for CPT is open throughout the year. A student may register at any time during the year. The exam will be held twice a year in May and November. Students have to ensure their registration at least 10 months before the examination. The application for registration should reach the office of the institute on or before 30th of June and for November Examination on or before 31st December of the preceding year.
A candidate is declared successful in Competency Professional Test (CPT), if he/she secures an aggregate of 50% of the total marks in all the papers subject to a minimum of 40% marks in each paper.
Subjects for Professional course I
- Paper 1- Fundamentals of Accounting
- Paper 2 - Mathematics & Statistics
- Paper 3 - Economics
- Paper 4 - Business Communication and Organization and Management
Registration for Competency Professional Test (CPT)
Eligible candidates have to forward their application for registration along with a crossed demand draft for the requisite amount (registration and tuition fee) drawn in favour of Secretary, The Institute of Chartered Accounts of India payable at the respective places where the Offices of the Institute are located.
Professional Competency Course (PCC)
The CA Programme is mainly divided into Professional Competency Course and Final course. After completing the CPT or graduation with required marks one can go for Professional Competency Course (PCC). The registration for PCC is open throughout the year. A student may register at any time during the year. The exam will be held twice a year in May and November, it is necessary that a student must register at least ten months before the examinations.
Subjects for Professional Competency Course (PCC)
The Professional Competency Examination has two groups that consists of three papers each (i.e total 6 papers) and each paper consist 100 marks each.
Group I Paper 1 – Accounting
Paper 2 – Auditing
Paper 3 - Business and Corporate Laws
Group II Paper 4 - Cost Accounting and Financial Management
Paper 5 - Income Tax & Central Sales Tax
Paper 6 - Information Technology
The student should get 40% mark minimum with an aggregate of 50% in a group. Along with PCE one has to under go 100 hours training in Information Technology, i.e the computer training programme as specified by the council. The candidate can register as an articled clerk with a firm of chartered accountants for undergoing practical training and simultaneously as a student with the Board of Studies for theoretical education. The candidate is a trainee for a period of three years. During this period he gets thorough knowledge of the various fields in which a Chartered Accountant can render services. During this period the articled clerk will also need to continue studies for the CA exam.
The candidate could register as a final student and write the final exam once they passed the PCE and the Information Technology training. The final examination also has similar type of papers of two groups, four papers each
Subjects for Final Course Group I Paper 1 - Advanced Accounting
Paper 2 - Management Accounting & Financial Analysis
Paper 3 - Advanced Auditing
Paper 4 - Corporate Laws & Secretarial Practice
Group II Paper 5 - Cost Management
Paper 6 - Management Information and Control Systems
Paper 7 - Direct Taxes
Paper 8 - Indirect Taxes
The person should get minimum of 40% mark with an aggregate of 50% in a group and once the final examination and article ship completed, the Charted accountant should under go a communication and management course that would help him for better communication. On successful completion of the Final examination one becomes the member of the Institute. Member of the Institute may either practice as a Chartered Accountant on his own or go for employment.
Career Prospects of A Chartered Accountant
The companies Act make it mandatory for the Indian Companies to have their accounts audited by Chartered accountants only.So only the CA’s can be appointed auditors of Companies. They can also serve as a management and corporate caretaker. They can also indulge in their private practice of audit and consultancy. The consultancy work is becoming more lucrative these days as it includes wide arrays of services like operating accounts, supervising, controlling and organizing income and expenditure and coping with taxes. The other areas of consultancy are cost accounting that includes working out cost of a particular operation as well as minimizing costs and future forecasting. Tax Management is another type of consultancy taken up by Chartered Accountants. It requires minimization of incidence of direct and indirect taxes using legal means. Besides this, Chartered Accounts often indulge in providing consultancy services in the fields related to finance and accounts. They can efficiently provide services in areas like corporate law advice, project planning and finance, amalgamation and business advice.
Institutes offering a course in Chartered Accountancy
The Institute of Chartered Accountants of India is the apex regulator of profession of C.A. in India. Having headquartered in Delhi it has four regional offices at Mumbai, Chennai, Calcutta, and Kanpur. There are 87 branches within the country and 9 chapters outside the country that enroll, conduct exam, train and grant certificate of practice to C.A. Besides there are other institutes that offer C.A. courses in India: Badruka Institute of Professional Studies, Kachiguda (A.P.); J.G. College of Commerce, Ahmedabad; Allahabad Degree Collage, UP; Agrawal P.G. College, Haryana; A.V.S. College of Arts and Commerce, Salem and many more.
Chartered Accountancy is a profession where returns are quite high be it public, private sector or own consultancy firm. Salaries of C.A. employed in public or private sector companies vary depending upon qualification and experience. Most multi-national firms provide numerous perks besides the salary such as medical benefits, house allowance and so on. Some of the average monthly earnings range between Pre Qualification Rs. 2,500 - Rs.3,000, Fresh CA's Rs. 5,000 - Rs. 6,500, Accounts Managers Rs. 6,500 - Rs.8,500, Financial Controllers Rs. 8,500 - Rs. 15,000, Directors Rs. 10,000 - Rs. 25,000 and an experienced CA's may get monthly earnings more than Rs. 50,000 in India and 5,00000 in abroad, according to the company they work for or depending upon the cities they are working in. This depends up on the involvement, commitment, hard work and dedication to the job.