With the rapid growth in economy, careers in finance and accounts have gained tremendous popularity. Chartered Accountancy, the core of all businesses is a dynamic, challenging and rewarding profession and is the core of all businesses.
Some of the areas in which Chartered Accountants specialize are:
- Financial Accounting - Financial accounting is a branch of accounting which deals with maintaining the financial records of a firm. It involves operating accounts, interpreting, supervising, controlling and organising income and expenditure, dealing with wages and salaries, sending out invoices etc.
- Auditing- It is the methodical examination and review of the accounts. Chartered Accounts examine and verify the books of accounts and other necessary documents of their employers or clients. On satisfaction, they issue a certificate about the company's financial state. Auditing can be further classified into statutory audit, internal audit, compulsory tax audit and certification and audit.
- Cost Accounting- Cost accounting deals with working out the cost of a particular operation or job, taking into account relevant overheads. It is quite a complex task usually undertaken for monitoring expenditure, preventing it from over-shooting, minimizing costs, forecasting future needs and providing reports for management accounting. It also helps in drawing comparisons, analyzing costs and explaining financial information.
- Tax Management - Under this, a tax manager's job is to legally ensure minimum incidence of tax. In doing so, they have to cope with national as well as international taxation laws and policies depending on the kind of company they work for.
- Consultancy- Chartered Accountants provide consultancy services in the fields related to finance and accounts. They can efficiently provide services in areas like corporate law advice, project planning and investigations relating to share valuation for takeovers, business advice etc.
The opportunities awaiting a fresh Chartered Accountant are endless. However, a careful selection of the career stream is essential for meeting long-term aspirational and financial goals. The opportunities for fresh Chartered Accountants can be classified into the following segments:
- Consultancy and Auditing A wide range of opportunities are available in the fields of internal and management audits, business and corporate advisory, taxation, project planning and finance, legal regulations etc. One can join the leading audit and professional services firms to gain experience in this field. The merit of working in this field is that it provides a highly intellectual and diverse job profile with continuing learning. Sustained financial growth is also ensured.
- Finance and Account Executives With the increased reporting requirements of companies these days, the need for finance and accounting executives is immense. This field provides a stable career and financial growth and also provides an important role in building an enterprise.
- Investment Banking and Fund Management An investment banker arranges for financing a business by selling its stock to the public, arranging a merger or taking a business public. With the high growth in stock markets, a career in banking, stock broking, business valuations, fund management etc. have unleashed unprecedented opportunities in this field.
- Management Consultancies
- Audit Firms
- Tax Advising Firms
- Government Holdings
The most popular industries for the Chartered Accountants to work in are:
Chartered Accountancy can be pursued after 10+2 or graduation. The whole course can be divided into three stages:
- Integrated Professional Competence Course (IPCC) This is the first stage of the CA curriculum wherein the working knowledge of core and allied subjects related to the accountancy profession is covered. IPCC is designed to build a strong foundation for developing knowledge of financial reporting at the final stage.
- Articleship The students after passing IPCC register for an Articleship for a period of three years with experienced CAs. During this training period, articles learn the technical details of the work and as time passes, they are given larger assignments with less supervision.
- CA Final CA Final covers advanced application knowledge of core subjects like financial reporting, strategic financial management, advanced management accounting, advanced auditing and professional ethics and information systems control. In addition, the principles of e-governance, corporate and allied laws, international taxation and VAT are also covered in this course.
There are many colleges that offer training for the CA examinations. However, one can choose to self-prepare and appear for the examination(s) prescribed by the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI).
- Good numerical ability
- Analytical mindset
- Attention to detail
- Good verbal and written skills
- High level of patience
- Test patternA student interested in this field has to clear the Common Proficiency Test to enter the area of Chartered Accountancy. CPT is a 2 hour objective-type exam and is divided into 2 sessions. The entrance test contains questions from 4 subjects: Accounting, Mercantile Laws, General Economics, Quantitative Aptitude Test.
- Eligibility The aspiring candidate for a CA exam should have cleared the Senior Secondary Examination (10+2).
- Important dates (indicative)The test is conducted 2 times in a year in the months of June and December