How to Become a Chartered Accountant (CA) in India?

Chartered accountant (CA) is a designation granted to professionals whose specialization is accounting and is a practice in many of the worlds and it is also considered to be an international designation. A CA is qualified to file a business's tax return, audit financial statements, and business practices, and offer advisory services to clients.

 The core four areas that CA’s focus on audit and assurance, financial accounting and reporting, management accounting and applied finance, or taxation for induvial or various institutions. If you have completed your CA you are eligible to work in a CA firm or do freelance and have multiple clients.

 

Sr. No.

Title

1.

CA Foundation

2.

Intermediate Course

3.

Articleship

4.

C.A. Final

5.

Information Technology Training (ITT)

6.

Register as a Member

 


 The Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI)

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

 ICAI was established on 1 July 1949, under the Chartered Accountants Act, 1949. The main aim for setting up ICAI was to standardize the profession of Chartered Accountancy in India.  In India, only ICAI has the authority to give out licenses for CA’s for financial auditing and to practice accountancy as a profession. The only way to become a part of the ICAI is to successfully get through the exams prescribed by the board.

 Apart from issuing licenses to practice financial accounting, the ICAI ensures that certain sets of ethics and discipline to be maintained in the profession. In order to enforce these rules, the ICAI has published a handbook that talks about the dos and don’ts of the profession.

 


Procedure for becoming a CA in India

Step 1: CA Foundation

  • The CA Foundation is the first step towards becoming a Chartered Accountant.

  • CA Foundation is the entry level exam for the CA course. 

  • The registration for CA Foundation can be done after finishing class 10, but the exam can be attempted only after class 12.

  • 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 and has subjects.

  • The exam will be held through 4 papers. 
    • The first two papers are principles and practices of accounting and business laws and business correspondence and reporting, they are subjective.

    • The third and fourth paper consists of subjects like business mathematics, logical reasoning & statistics and business economics & business and commercial knowledge which are considered to be important in the world of finance and these papers will be objective type. 

  • It is mandatory to get 30% marks in each subject to be qualified for the next step, but it is mandatory to score a total aggregate of 50% as well.

Step 2: CA Intermediate Course

  • After completing CA Foundation, one is qualified to write 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, you will be able to identify your weakness and strengths in the field of CA.

  • You will be introduced into various topics in the financial world.

  • If you have completed your B.Com. or any other course on the same lines, then you can directly attempt this level.

  • 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 students are expected to score 40% in all the subjects and have an overall aggregate of 50%.

  • If a student scores more than 60% in any particular subject then they will be exempted from repeating the subject in the next three attempts. 

Step 3: Articleship

  •  Articleshipis a compulsory 3-year practical training or on-the-job-training time that ensures that students will learn to work on real-life cases under the supervision of real chartered accountants or Chartered Accountant firms.
  • Before continuing further with the articleship, the students have to complete certain pre-requisites or conditions like completing their Intermediate level, a certain amount of orientations, etc.

  • The articleship can be done at any CA firm according to your interest and abilities.

  • The ICAI has norms that saying that, during the period of articleship, you can be paid between Rs. 750/- to Rs. 15,000/-.

  • Even during the period of articleship, you will be writing two exams.

    • The first exam will be held 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 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 as well Accounting and Auditing will be a compulsory paper for 50 marks inclusive of corporate law and you should 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 within that period of time.

  • The phase of articleship is considered to be very pressurizing with trying to balance both articleship as well studying but this is the time where you will about your capabilities in this field.

  • This is the time where you can improve on both technical skills as well as personal skills like communication skills and learning to have the work-life balance

  • Most of the students who want to do articleship aim at doing it at one of the Big 4 companies which are KPMG, PricewaterhouseCoopers, Ernst and Young and Delloite.

  • If you are unable to get articleship at the Big 4, you can always try to get an articleship at any other big firm or even a mid-size firm.

Step 4: C.A. Final

  • CA final is the last level of examination one must give in order to become a Chartered Accountant.

  • The exams for the course will be held in the months of June and December for which the registrations with the ICAI has to be done in months of May and November respectively.

  • One should ensure that the registration fees are paid on time and if not done so, an additional amount will be charged as a fine.

  • The exam should be taken after completing two and a half years of articleship.

  • 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.

  • The 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)

  • The 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.

  • It is up to the choice of the candidate to either give the examination for both the groups together or separately.

  • 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)

  • Information Technology Training is a compulsory course added into the curriculum of the CA course by the ICAI.

  • The main aim for this curriculum is to focus on the development of technical skills of those who are attempting for CA.

  • The curriculum includes training in advance features of Microsoft Office components like MS Access, MS Excel, Computer Assisted Auditing Techniques (CAAT), Core Banking Solution (CBS), Enterprises Resource Planning (ERP), Office automation application and IT security which are considered to be a requirement in the CA profession. 

  • The training will be for a total of 100 hours and should be compulsorily completed by the candidate.

  • The training can be taken up after Intermediate Level or Final but needs to be completed before applying for registering at the ICAI.

Step 6: Register as a Member

  • Just like how all the lawyers have to register themselves at the BAR council for practicing law, one has to register at Institute of Chartered Accountants of India.

  • 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.

 



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