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How to become CA

Update on 2024-04-15

How to Become CA - Steps to Become a CA (Chartered Accountant)

How to Become a CA: To Become a CA is not a piece of cake. Chartered Accountant is a designation granted to professionals whose specialization is in accounting and it is considered to be an international designation also. Those aspirants who are interested in accountancy can begin their career in CA in order to attain a bright future ahead. This article will give you a glimpse of "How to become CA (Chartered Accountant)".

How to Become CA:

Understanding the process of becoming a CA can help the aspirants to develop a plan for fulfilling all the requirements for CA certification. CA is not a tough course but it is a course for tough people. Chartered Accountant is the most presumed course in the commerce stream.

Therefore, every aspirant dream to become a successful CA. Becoming CA is not as easy as it needs hard work, dedication, and passion.

A CA is qualified in a business’s tax return, audit financial statements & business practices, and offer advisory services to clients. There are four core areas on which CA’s focus are: audit and assurance, financial accounting and reporting, management accounting, or taxation for the individual.

In India, The Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI) is the regulatory body ensuring the status and standards of CA education in the country. To practice CA, one should be a registered member of the ICAI and to continue the practice the membership should be renewed.

Five Reasons to Become CA (Chartered Accountant):

If you’re thinking about a career in accountancy, business, or finance, then becoming a Chartered Accountant can take you there. Reasons to become a CA (Chartered Accountant).

1. Great Choice to Career Path: After gaining prestigious and respected CA qualifications there are numerous lucrative job opportunities. One can go on to work with the highest levels of accountancy, finance, and business.

From cutting-edge technology companies to global financial centers, accountancy firms and government bodies have become the success path for CA. If you've received an entrepreneurial streak, then chartered accountancy also offers the perfect foundation for starting your own business.

2. Interesting and Exciting Work: The certitude is that CA is a dull and boring course. However, the reality is this. You’ll do so much ample work than your crunch numbers. An individual chartered accountancy degree can make this happen.

It is a gateway to numerous allied and non-allied sectors and one can really find it interesting to work with the industry that one is inclined to.

3. Caliber to Work Anywhere in the World: The CA qualification is globally identified and esteemed around the world. CA can work around the world in 181 countries that are recognized by ACCA (Association of Chartered Certified Accountants).

4. Great Salary and Benefits: Chartered Accountant jobs are one of the fruitful paid professions not only in India but in abroad countries also. Since you are assumed to be glazed with absolute knowledge of Business and Accountancy which can make you receive a hefty pay along with other allowances also.

5. A Secure Profession: As long as business binds the different nations of the world, the demand for a Chartered Accountant will perpetually be on the rise.

While the other profession gets influenced by slumps and recession in the business, this CA profession enjoys some kind of immunity which makes it a pretty secure and stable vocation to pursue.

Eligibility Criteria for Becoming a CA:

  • A candidate who has passed their 10th examination conducted by any recognized central or state board of India can register themselves with ICAI, but they are permitted for the examination only after passing the Senior Secondary Examination (10+2) or expecting the result for the 10+2 exam.
  • There are no restraints on the age of the candidate or marks grasped in the Senior Secondary Examination.
  • Commerce graduates with a minimum of 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 spared from Common Proficiency Test (CPT) and are authorized to register for Integrated Professional Competence Course (IPCC).

Steps to Become CA (Chartered Accountant):

The vast syllabus of Chartered Accountancy is divided into 6 steps:

  • CA Foundation
  • CA Intermediate
  • Articleship Training (3 years)
  • CA Final

Step 1: CA Foundation

The CA Foundation is the first step towards becoming a Chartered Accountant and it is the entry-level exam for the CA course.  The registration for CA Foundation can be fulfilled after completing class 10, but the exam can be attempted after class 12 only.

The most advantageous part of the CA Foundation is that one can appear for the exam twice in the same year. Once in the month of May and another time in the month of November. Even though CA Foundation is an entry-level exam, most students opt to go for additional classes which will help them prepare for the exam.

The exam will be for 400 marks and is objective as well as subjective. The course is much similar to class 11th and 12th syllabus (Commerce stream). - you can also check to Prepare for Chartered Accountancy (CA) Course After 12th.

The syllabus is divided into four subjects:

➤ Paper 1: Principles and Practices of Accounting

Paper 2: Mercantile Law and General English

  • Part I:  Mercantile Law
  • Part II: General English

Paper 3: Business Mathematics, Logical Reasoning, and Statistics

  • Part I: Business Mathematics and Logical Reasoning
  • Part II: Business Statistics

Paper 4: Business Economics and Commercial Knowledge

  • Part I: Business Economics
  • Part II: Business and Commercial Knowledge

Step 2: CA Intermediate

After completing CA Foundation, one is qualified to pursue an Intermediate course. This is considered to be the second level of CA and in this stage, students are introduced into the advanced curriculum of CA.

During the Intermediate Course, candidates are able to identify their weaknesses and strengths in the field of CA. It will also introduce various topics in the financial world.

It is divided into 8 Subjects:

  • Accounting
  • Corporate and other Laws
  • Cost and Management Accounting
  • Taxation
  • Advanced Accounting
  • Auditing and Assurance
  • Enterprise Information System and Strategic Management
  • Financial Management & Economics for Finance

The applicants are expected to score 40% in all the subjects and have an overall aggregate of 50% marks. If any scholars score more than 60% in any particular subject then they will be exempted from repeating the subject in the next three attempts.

Step 3: CA Articleship

Articleship is a compulsory 3-year practical training or on-the-job-training time where candidates learn to the work on real-life cases under the supervision of real Chartered Accountants or Chartered Accountant firms.

The articles can be done at any CA firm according to your interest and abilities. ICAI has norms that say that, at the time of articles, you can be paid between Rs. 750 to Rs. 15,000. During the period of articles, two written exams are been conducted.

  • The first exam will be conducted in the first year for 75 marks. The marks are divided into three subjects with 25 marks each. The mandatory subject is Accounting and Auditing inclusive of corporate laws, which will be for 50 marks and one optional subject is for 25 marks can be chosen from Direct Tax, Indirect Tax, and Internal Audit.
  • The second exam will be held at the end of the second year. The exam will be for 100 marks and the duration will be 3hours. Just like the first-year exam, in the second year, Accounting and Auditing is a compulsory subject for 50 marks inclusive of corporate law and candidates have to choose two optional modules for 25 marks each from Direct Tax including international taxation, Indirect Tax, and Internal Audit.
  • The students will be eligible to appear for the exam twice a year and need to complete it within that period of time to become a CA (Chartered Accountant).

Step 4: CA Final

CA Final is the last level of examination Steps to become a CA (Chartered Accountant). This exam is conducted in the month of June and December for which the registration with the ICAI has to been done in the month of May and November respectively.

Registration fee should be paid on or before time to avoid any inconvenience otherwise additional amount will b charged as a fine. The exam should be exerted after completing two and a half years of articles.

The candidate needs to complete the CA final exam which consists of 8 subjects that are divided into two groups with 4 subjects in each group which will have a written examination for 100 marks each.

To become a CA (Chartered Accountant) candidate needs to pass in the following subjects:

Subjects in Group 1 are:

  • Paper 1: Financial Reporting
  • Paper 2: Strategic Financial Management
  • Paper 3: Advanced Auditing and Professional Ethics
  • Paper 4: Corporate and Allied Laws in which the paper is divided into three sections: Section A- Company Law and Section B- Allied Laws)

Subjects in Group 2 are:

  • Paper 5: Advanced Management Accounting
  • Paper 6: Information Systems Control and Audit
  • Paper 7: Direct Tax Laws
  • Paper 8: Indirect Tax Laws (Section A- Central Excise, Section B- Service Tax, and Section C- Customs and Foreign Trade Policy)

It is mandatory for the candidate to score 40% marks in each subject from both the groups and 50% of total marks to pass. If the candidate gives the exam for both the groups together then the average for both the groups will be taken and not for one group alone.

Step 5: Information Technology Training (ITT)

After the CA final Information Technology Training is a compulsory course added to the curriculum of CA course by ICAI. The main aim of the training is to focus on the development of technical skills of those who are pursuing CA.

The curriculum includes training in advanced features of Microsoft Office components like MS Access, MS Excel, Core Banking Solution (CBS), Computer Assisted Auditing Techniques (CAAT), Office automation application and IT security, etc.

The time duration of training is 100 hours (which means around 1 week) and should be compulsorily executed by the candidate.

Step 6: Register as a Member

Just like lawyers have to register themselves at the BAR council for practicing law, the same as CA has to register at the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI). After completion of Intermediate Level, Final, and 100 hours training of ITT one can register at the ICAI. After registering one can use the title ‘Chartered Accountant’ before their name.

Career Prospects After CA:

Chartered Accountants work in private practice or in the accounts department of firms and organizations. The range of work in the private sector varies enormously according to the size and place of practice.

CA opens wide opportunities for aspirants according to their ability and talent. Several organizations today happily welcome the CA with a huge choice of careers ahead to explore their potential. Candidates can easily expect their jobs in top recruiting companies of the world like TATA Company, Reliance Industries, Aditya Birla Sun Rise, SBI Bank, etc.

Employment Areas of CA:

  • Independent professional practice
  • Chartered Accountants firm
  • Capital market services
  • Business houses and industry
  • Consultancy firms
  • Large organizations and institutions
  • Financial institutions

Salary for Chartered Accountant:

An average salary which is offered to Chartered Accountants is around Rs 7.36 Lakh per annum (approx) in the latest campus placement program of ICAI, and the highest pay reaching Rs 24.64 Lakh per annum (approx).

Average Salary for CA in numerous reputed Companies per annum (approx):

  • Reliance Industries: Rs. 25-45 Lakhs
  • Bharti Airtel: Rs. 12-22 Lakhs
  • TATA Company: Rs. 10-22 Lakhs
  • Aditya Birla Sunrise: Rs. 13-28 Lakhs
  • SBI Bank: Rs. 6-17 Lakhs
  • Hindustan Unilever Limited: Rs. 10- 36 Lakhs

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