Chartered Accountancy though demanding commitment to profession through hard work ad unmitigated consistency, is a lucrative and prestigious opening for those who love to undertake challenging jobs.
But the rewards are also equally handsome. To be a successful Chartered Accountant, one should be good at financial matters, have an analytical mind with a good numerical ability, apart from good verbal and writing skills.
In our country, Chartered Accountancy (CA) has been one of the most respect, admired as also paying professions since long. With the advent of liberalization and subsequent globalization of the Indian economy, it was being felt that CA was losing its glamour, because many of the jobs related to it were going to others such as a Company Secretary. There was constant need for specialized services. Keeping in mind the new changes in the business environment and subsequent challenges faced by the profession, the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI) brought about a new scheme of education and training. this became effective from October 1, 2001.
In order to become a qualified Chartered Accountant, a candidate has to get through four stages -PE-I, PE-II, articleship and final examination. The minimum eligibility criteria for joining the CA course is 10+2. And very importantly, there is no restriction in regard to the age of the candidate. All of you who are awaiting your 10+2 results can also apply. To qualify as a Chartered Accountant, a 10+2 pass student from any stream has to clear the Professional Education Course I (PE-I) held in May and November every year. However, a candidate can appear in the exam after 10 months from the date of registration. He has also to satisfactorily comply with the other requirements of Board of Studies. Prior to appearing in this exam, he has to get himself registered with the Institute of Chartered Accountants, in any of its five Regional Councils, viz., Western India at Mumbai, Southern India (Chennai), Eastern India (Kolkata), Central India (Kanpur) and Northern India (New Delhi). Candidates appearing for 10+2 or equivalent exams can also apply for registration exams can also apply for registration provisionally, subject to production of proof of their having passed the exam within six months of registration.
After registering a candidate, the Board of Studies of Institute of Chartered Accountants supplies him a set of study papers along with a test paper booklet to enable him to appear in PE-I exam. The study material is available both in English and Hindi.
Professional Educational Course-I (PE-I), which is, first entry point or gateway to the CA course after schooling at 10+2 level, consists of 4 papers: Fundamentals of Accounting; Business Communication and Organization and Management; Mathematics & Statistics; and Economics. In order to qualify in PE-I, a candidate must obtain 40% in each paper and an aggregate of 50% of the total marks in one sitting.
For appearing in May exam, the application for Registration must reach the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI) on or before 30th June of the preceding year and for November exam on or before 31st December of the preceding year to meet the requirement of appearing for PE-I exam 10 months after the date of registration.
A student must pass this exam within five consecutive attempts. After passing the above exam, candidates are eligible for admission to Chartered Accountancy Course which consists of Professional Education course II followed by a 250 hour compulsory computer training prior to the commencement of Practical Training and final courses. PE-I course is compulsory for all who join after 10+2 and for graduates with less than specified marks.
There is exemption from this course for graduates with more than specified marks or who have passed the final exam of the Institute of cost and works Accountants of India (ICWAI) or Institute of Company Secretaries of India (ICSI). The registration and tuition fees for PE-I course is Rs. 2,000 and minimum duration of the course is 10 months.
After passing the PE-I examination or CA foundation exam under CA Regulations 1988, or final exam of ICWAI or the ICSI, you can enroll for the PE-II course. The candidates are required to qualify the PE-II in the five consecutive attempts. The minimum duration of the course registration fee for the course is Rs. 2,650.
Both PE-I as well as PE-II exam are held in May and November every year. Computer training has become mandatory for all the CA students which is of 250 hours duration.
After passing the PE-II and compulsory computer training, candidates are eligible for registration as Articled Clerks. The Articled Clerk is attached to a practicing Chartered Accountant as a trainee for the duration of the training namely 3 years. However, he must be not less than 18 years of age on the date of commencement of articleship. After completion of practical training with a practicing CA for 3 years and passing the final examination, the candidate is required to attend a Programme on General Management & Communication skills and such other programme as prescribed by the ICAI from time to time, before applying for membership of the Institute. He has to obtain a certificate of Practice from the Institute before practicing as a CA.
This training is necessary because it exposes a student to all the aspects of the function which a CA has to perform. During this training / articleship you will be paid a stipend fixed by ICAI.
Once you have completed your articleship, you have to pass the final exam of the institute (ICAI) and later on undergo a Programme on ‘General Management and Communication Skills’. Now, you are eligible to register as an ‘Associate-Member’ of the ICAI. ON completion of the five years, you can become a Fellow Member.
Though traditionally, Chartered Accountancy had been associated with accounting and auditing, liberalization has opened up areas such as technology risk consulting, management information system and management consultancy. Further, with the coming of multinationals, the demand for CAs has increased. This profession allows a lot of flexibility in employment. You can work in government, industry, with management consultants, accountants and can even go abroad. What’s more, you can practice on your own as well.
Where To Study
The Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI), with its headquarters in New Delhi, acts as a the nodal agency in regulating the profession of the CAs as well as conducting examinations, granting certificates and exercising disciplinary control over the members. There are five Regional Councils and several branches under them. There are several chapters overseas also.
Head Office and Northern Region – Regional Office ICAI,
New Delhi – 110052
(For candidates residing in the states of Delhi, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu & Kashmir, Punjab and Union Territory of Chandigarh)
Central Region – Regional Office ICAI,
16/7 Civil Lines,
The Mall, Kanpur – 208001
(For candidates residing in the States of Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan)
Southern Region – Regional Office :
122, Mahatma Gandhi Road,
Post Box No. 3314,
Nngambakkam, Chennai – 600034
(For candidates residing in the States of Andhra Pradesh, Kerala, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Union Territories of Pondicherry and Lakshadweep)
Western Region 0 Regional Office ICAI
Anveshak, 27 Cuffe Parade,
P.B. No. 6081, Colba, Mumbai – 400005
(For candidates residing in the States of Gujarat, Maharashtra, Goa and Union Territories of Daman & Diu and Dadra & Nagar Haveli)
Eastern Region – Reginal Office ICAI
7 Russel Street, Kolkata – 700071
(For candidates residing in the States of Assam, Meghalaya, Nagaland, Orissa, West Bengal, Manipur, Tripura and Mizoram and Union Territory of Andaman & Nicobar Isalnds)
Membership fee and Registration fee of the students are also accepted at the following offices :
123 Sardar Patel Colony,
Ahmedabad – 380014
No. 16/0 Millers Tank Bed Area,
Bangalore – 560052
11-5-398/ C Red hills,
Hyderabad – 500004
Amber Chambers (Vth Floor),
28/A, Budhwar Peth,
Pune – 411002
D-1 Institution Area,
Jaipur – 302004
Opportunities for employment are available in the government departments, in the public sector, in the co-operative sector, in universities / research bodies and in the private sector. Apart from these, there is always the option of professional practice. The areas of professional practice are – assurance and certification services, tax consultancy and allied services, accounting and secretarial work and information technology and computer software related services.