Established in 1849, Chartered accountancy(CA) in India is regulated by the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI). Chartered Accountant course is very popular in India, US and UK. Students need to have formal education, preferably in commerce till at least class 12. They have to clear the qualifying exams by ICAI and thus be eligible to be trained for CA.
How to become a Chartered Accountant
Chartered Accountancy in India can be pursued after class 12 or graduation. The whole course can be summarised as follows:
The foundation course is for students who complete their class 12. It is a yearlong course, mostly taken up in a distance education format. Upon successful completion, students can apply for internship (article ship) with any experienced CAs.
- During article ship, students are paid a stipend and get a firsthand experience into the functioning of finance, audit, tax or any other chosen specialisation.
- Once you pass the intermediate examination, you can serve in any financial, commercial or industrial project as part of the training. This training ranges from about 9 months to a year.
After the final examination, you need to gain membership to the ICAI before they can start practicing as a CA.
Having a professional qualification ensures that one doesn't have to start working at any entry level jobs. Typical designations for CAs are:
- Finance Manager
- Accounts Manager and
- Internal Auditor
These jobs lead to senior management roles such as
- Financial Controllers
Typically, it takes about 10 years to reach the above roles. Chartered Accountants also have plenty of opportunities in:
- Capital markets (Share markets and bond markets)
- Business houses like any multinational conglomerate or a big blue chip company
- Investment companies
- Financial consultancies ( Karvy Consultancy is an example)
Professionally qualified Chartered Accountants are required for research, preparing project reports and do budget planning along with cost analysis.
Jobs & Salary
Opportunities for chartered accountants
Chartered accountants perform a variety of functions. A few of them are listed below.
- Cost Accountancy
- Special Company Work
A chartered accountant can also act as an arbitrator to settle disputes concerning insolvency and company fraud.
Salaries of CAs employed in public or private sector companies vary depending upon qualification and experience. Average salaries at junior level are 10000 to 15000 per month while person with 5 years experience can expect to get 50000 to 60000 per month.
Chartered Accountants who are engaged in consultancy and private practice also earn enviable incomes depending upon the numbers and kinds of clients they have.
Pros & Cons
- The profession is highly challenging.
- It pays well and provides opportunities for fast growth within a few years of leaving high school. No other profession affords lucrative career opportunities so soon, not even Engineering or Medicine.
- One also has the advantage of offering competent services across the board or specialising in one or more domains within Chartered Accountancy.
- Jobs are practically guaranteed on enrolment at the institute and the training makes candidates career-ready even before they received the official certification.
- The examinations are difficult with very low pass rates.
- Updating oneself constantly is a given in Chartered Accountancy since new rules and regulations are added continuously by the lawmakers and one could get left behind and cause immense losses to clients if one's not aware of the changing scenario.
- The responsibility stakes are really high in this profession since CAs are the official money managers of any company.
- The profession is in the direct line of fire when companies are not doing well or have been found to have compromised financial ethics.