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    Career Option - Chartered Accountancy
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    Introduction

    With the rapid growth in economy, careers in finance and accounts have gained tremendous popularity and the most prestigious career option in this filed is that of Chartered Accountant. Chartered Accountancy is a dynamic, challenging and rewarding profession. All the countries have their own Accountancy Association which regulates the quality and quantity of the professionals in this field. Chartered Accountancy Course is a professional course in Accounting introduced in our country in 1949, with the enactment of the Chartered Accountants Act. The Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI) was formed the same year . 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. 

    A Chartered accountant is one who is specialised in accounting, auditing and taxation. He also serves as a management and corporate caretaker. In recent times, accountancy has  become popular as a profession. The services of a CA is 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. 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.  

     

    CA programme is of two years apart from the training period. It has three sections, Professional Education (course-I), Professional Education (course-II) and Final examination.  The registration for Professional Education Course-I & Course II is open throughout the year. A student may register at any time during the year. However, as the examinations 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.

    After passing the Professional Education exam II candidates are eligible for registration as articled clerks/audit clerks for practical training.Computer Training Programme is compulsory for the candidates who wish to register themselves as auditor clerk. Students can undergo this programme while pursuing Professional course I or course II. Articled clerk is a trainee attached to a practicing chartered accountant under a Deed of Articles for the duration three years. During this period the articled clerk will also need to continue studies for the CA exam. An audit clerk is a person who has served as a salaried employee for a minimum period of one year under a practicing chartered accountant. During the training period, candidates would be required to work in different areas learning the basics of auditing and taxation . This training enables them to learn the technical details of the job as well as to get an idea of the working environment of the profession.

    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.

    Eligibility
     
     A Candidate who has  passed the Senior Secondary Examination (10+2) or waiting for the 10+2 exam results can register for the Professional Education course I (PE 1)of the CA programme. There are no restrictions with regard to the age of the candidate or marks secured in Senior Secondary Examination.

    Commerce graduates with 50% marks, non-commerce graduates with subjects other than Mathematics with an aggregate of 55% marks and non-commerce graduates with Maths with an aggregate of 60% marks are exempted from the Professional Education course I, and are permitted to register for Professional Education course II (PE 11). 

     

    Candidates who have passed the Final Examination conducted by the Institute of Cost & Works Accountants of India (ICWAI) or the Institute of Company Secretaries of India (ICSI) can register for professional education course II.

    After passing Professional Course II, the candidates can register as Articled clerks for practical trainingand for admission to the Final course of the Chartered Accountant. Every graduate above18 years of age is eligible to register as an articled clerk/Audit Clerks for Chartered Accountancy. Computer Training Programme is compulsory for the candidates who wish to register themselves as auditor clerk. Students can undergo this programme while pursuing Professional course I or course II.

    Candidates aspiring for this career should have a pleasing personality, practical approach and a natural instinct to deal with figures to do well in this profession. 

    Job Prospects and Work Area

    The growing importance of trade and industry along with the rapid growth of capital and money markets in an economically developing nation like ours, has increased the importance of Chartered Accountants enormously. Moreover all the companies registered under the Companies Act,  are required to get their accounts audited only by practicing Chartered Accountants. A qualified Chartered Accountant  has the option of joining the Government Service, Public Sector undertakings or taking up a lucrative assignment in the private sector. The duty of  Chartered accountant is to  ensure that the financial transactions of an organisation are maintained according to the law, they also keep track of cost of management of the company and manage tax matters.   

    Chartered accountants work as Finance Managers, Financial Controllers, Financial Advisors or Directors (Finance) and  watch over the finances in the day to day management of companies. Their main areas of work include Accountancy, Auditing, Cost accountancy, Taxation, Investigation and Consultancy. 

    The accounting department prepares, analyses financial reports and documents of an organisation. Auditing involves checking the accuracy of the financial statements, ensuring that the accounts presented are drawn up on correct accounting principles. Cost Accountancy involves maintaining cost auditing records, compiling cost information, installing cost control and performing cost audits. Taxation involves dealing with direct taxes, like income tax and wealth tax, assessment of taxes, filing returns and providing advice on indirect taxes. Investigation include expert examination of specific aspects of businesses for the information of interested parties on new issues of share capital, the purchase, sale or financing of a business and for reconstruction. The various areas of consulting include Management accounting and internal audit, corporate law advice, project planning and finance, business advise, systems design and information consultancy. Chartered Accountants also act as directors, arbitrators for settling disputes, handling work related to insolvency, bankruptcy etc. and also as executors under a will or trust in order to carry out the administration of an estate or settlements. They are also engaged in activities like markets research, budget planning, working capital management, inventory control, policy planning, securities consultancy, registrar of issues of securities etc.

     

    Some of the opportunities available for Chartered Accountants are in capital markets, business houses and industry. They can also have their own consultancy or private practice which could be more lucrative and satisfying. With the country liberalizing its policies and approach, opportunities are expected to grow further.

    Course Details

    CA programme is of two years apart from the training period. It has three sections, Professional Education (PE-I), Professional Education (PE-II) and Final examination.

    Professional Education Course -I and  Subjects

    Anyone who has a 10 + 2 can enroll for the Professional Education Course I. Duration of the course is 10months. Graduates who doesn't have the request percentage of marks have to do the Professional Course I. The registration for Professional Education Course I  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  Professional course I, 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 Professional Education course-I

    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 Education Course-II & Final Course 

    The CA Programme is mainly divided into Professional Education Course II and Final course. After completing the  Professional Education Course I or graduation  with required marks can go for Professional Education Course II .The registration for Professional Education (Course-II) 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.

     

    After passing the Professional Education Examination-II, and 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. 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.

    Subjects for study:

    Professional Education course-II

    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

    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

    Note : Various paper wise exemptions are available.

    Remuneration
     
    Chartered Accountancy is a well-paid profession, be it Government Service, private firms or own consultancy. 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 more than Rs. 25,000 according to the company they work for or depending upon the cities they are working in..

      
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