If keeping accounts or managing numbers is something that you are good at, Career as a Chartered Accountant is the perfect option for you. But, like all lucrative career options, the path to becoming a Chartered Accountant is lengthy and difficult one. But before you embark your journey to become a CA, it is important to know and understand all important aspects related to Chartered Accountancy. So, let’s explore different Career options and scope of Chartered Accountancy.
What is Chartered Accountancy?
Chartered Accountancy is one of the most sought after career options among the commerce students. A Chartered Accountant is an important and integral part of all business and commercial transactions that happen around us. Be it helping corporate leadership take important decisions or simply filing IT returns for working professionals; everyone needs a CA. In broad terms, a Chartered Accountant looks after financial and accounting matters related to financial planning, auditing, taxation and strategic planning for investment and share capital.
Who can be a Chartered Accountant?
Being a Chartered accountant is as challenging as it is rewarding. However, as far as ideal candidates are concerned, students who are comfortable with numbers and accounting, have an eye for detail and can do financial analysis are ideal to be a CA.
Career Path of a Chartered Accountant
Step 1: Clearing the CPT
Journey of a Chartered Accountant begins right after Class 10 Board Exams. Candidates / students interested in taking up CA as their life’s calling can register and take up the Common Proficiency Test (CPT) offered by the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI). The CPT test covers 4 key subjects i.e. Accounting, General Economics, Mercantile Laws and Quantitative Aptitude.
Step 2: Clearing the IPCC
After clearing CPT, the next step is to appear and clear the IPCC - Integrated Professional Competence Course. The IPCC programme is designed to train students into accountancy, auditing, taxes, and business communication and information technology. As far as eligibility is concerned, students who have taken up CPT after 10th or have cleared their Class 12 Board exam can take up the IPCC. IPCC is divided into two groups i.e. Group 1 consisting of 4 Papers and Group 2 with 3 papers. Clearing Group 1 is compulsory in order to register for Articleship.
Step 3: Clearing ITT (Information Technology Training) and Orientation Course
After IPCC, CA students have to take up ITT (Information Technology Training) and Orientation Course which covers topic such as communication skills, personality development, business environment, office procedure, general knowledge of commercial aspects, etc. Completing the IIT programme is a must for CA candidates before registering for Articleship.
Step 4: Completing the Articleship
Articleship is the most important training period for any Chartered Accountant. During this period, a student has to register as an Articled Assistant with a Registered CA for a period of 3 years. Articleship can only be taken up after the clearing either Group 1 or both the Groups of IPCC.
Step 6: Clearing the CA Final Exam
After completing the Articleship period, students can appear for the CA Final exam, which is the final milestone in the process of becoming a CA. The CA Final exam consists of total 8 papers which cover topics such as Financial Reporting, Strategic financial management, Advanced Auditing & Professional Ethics, Corporate and Economic Laws, Risk Management and others.
Step 7: Clearing the GMCS
After completing the CA Final, students have to undergo 15 days Course on General Management and Communication Skills.
Step 8: Membership of ICAI and becoming a CA:
The last step is to enrol as a member of the ICAI and getting designated as a Charted Accountant (CA).
Career Opportunities for a Chartered Accountant
Chartered Accountants have several career opportunities before them. They can start their own practice as a sole proprietor. While this is a tough option, it surely is rewarding in the long run. Income of a self-practising CA would depend upon their network / contacts as well as their expertise in the subject. Alternatively, they can join an existing firm as a partner.
In terms of job, CAs can take up Jobs with Government firms or big PSUs in their finance department. Through this route, they can expect a starting salary of Rs 4 to 8 lakhs, depending upon the organization and the position. In the private sector, Indian companies pay the Chartered Accountants around Rs 3 to 5 lakhs for entry level positions. On the other hand, private MNCs hire CAs on much higher pay scale i.e. Rs. 7 Lakhs to Rs. 15 Lakhs.
So, that was all about Chartered Accountancy as a career option. For more videos related to education and career, please visit www.jagranjosh.com.