Introduction to the profession of Chartered Accountant (CA)

by Sneha Rathod | Feb 15, 2023

Chartered Accountants provide financial advice to individuals and businesses, audit accounts, and prepare taxes. They are highly respected professionals who provide valuable service to individuals, companies, and businesses. It is no wonder that Chartered Accountants are in high demand in India. 

Roles and responsibilities of CA

  • Prepare financial statements, reports, and records.
  • Analyse financial information and make recommendations.
  • Advise clients on taxation matters.
  • Monitor compliance with taxation laws.
  • Perform audits, reviews, and compilations.
  • Prepare and review budgets.
  • Manage investments and financial portfolios.
  • Develop and implement financial strategies.
  • Advise clients on financial planning.
  • Assist in mergers and acquisitions.
  • Provide financial advice to businesses and individuals.

The ICAI (Institute of Chartered Accountants of India)

The (ICAI) is the regulatory body for Chartered Accountants in India. It is responsible for setting the education, training, and practice standards for Chartered Accountants in India. Also, it provides guidance and support to the members of the institute. It has an established code of conduct for its members. Moreover, the ICAI provides training and specialization in finance-related subjects.

How to pursue the CA course? 

To become a Chartered Accountant in India, you must complete the necessary educational qualifications and register with the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI). While preparing for the CA course, there are two options that you can choose. ICAI refers to these as two routes: the foundation route and the direct entry route.

Option 1. After the 12th (Foundation route)

After passing the 12th, you can apply for registration in the foundation course with ICAI. Also, the 1st of January and 1st of July are the cut-off dates for applying for exams in May and November. Further, the subjects covered in Foundation Course are-

  • Accounting, 
  • Business Law, 
  • Business Correspondence and Reporting, 
  • Business Mathematics, 
  • Logical Reasoning and Statistics, 
  • Business Economics, and 
  • Business and Commercial Knowledge.

The foundation course helps students understand accounting principles and practices and the practical application of those principles in the workplace. Furthermore, the candidate becomes eligible to register for the intermediate course after clearing the foundation exam.

Option 2. After graduation (Direct entry route)

The direct route means admission to the intermediate course without clearing the foundation course. Firstly, it is available to Graduates or post-graduates. At this point, the minimum percentage of marks required for commerce graduates or post-graduates is 55%, and for others is 60%. Secondly, the Intermediate pass students of ICSI or ICMAI are eligible for this route. These candidates have passed the intermediate courses of Company Secretary or Cost Accountant and become eligible to take this route.

Intermediate Course

Subjects covered in this course are-

  • Accounting,
  • Corporate and Other Laws,
  • Cost and Management Accounting,
  • Taxation, 
  • Advanced Accounting, 
  • Auditing and Assurance,
  • Enterprise Information Systems and Strategic Management, and
  • Financial Management and Economics for Finance.

With the intermediate course, the candidates also go through Integrated Course on Information Technology and Soft skills (ICITSS) and an orientation course. This IT course intends to teach candidates how to apply various IT tools in accounting and the presentation of financial data. After passing the intermediate exam and beginning Practical training or the Articleship, the candidate can register for the final course.

Final Course

Before appearing in the final examination, you must clear the AICITSS (Advanced Integrated Course on Information Technology and Soft skills) and the Practical training. 

The subjects in the final course are-

  • Financial Reporting,
  • Strategic Financial Management,
  • Advanced Auditing and Professional Ethics,
  • Corporate and Economic Laws,
  • Strategic Cost Management and Performance Evaluation,
  • Elective Papers:
  • A- Risk Management,
  • B- Financial Services & Capital Markets, 
  • C- International Taxation, 
  • D- Economic Laws, 
  • E- Global Financial Reporting Standards, or 
  • F- Multi-disciplinary Case Study. 
  • Direct Tax Laws & International Taxation, and
  • Indirect Tax Laws.

Once you have passed the final examination, you can apply for the Certificate of Practice from the ICAI. Finally, this certificate will enable you to practice as a Chartered Accountant in India.

Some tips for Preparation

The first step in preparing for the CA exam is understanding the syllabus. The syllabus of the chartered accountant course undoubtedly covers various topics, including accounting, auditing, taxation, and corporate law. Therefore, one must be familiar with these topics and understand the concepts. You can also practice problem-solving and develop the skills to answer questions accurately and quickly. Further, the study material and other learning resources are made available by the ICAI on its website. 

The second step is to develop a study plan. In addition to a timeline for completing the syllabus, this study plan should include a schedule for taking practice tests. It is also essential to stay organized and review the material regularly. Additionally, take advantage of study resources such as online tutorials and practice tests to understand the topics.

Lastly, for the latest information and updates, visit the official website of the ICAI. Since the subjects and course curricula are frequently revised per the latest trend, the official website is the best source of information.

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