CHARTERED ACCOUNTANCY: AN INTRODUCTION
A chartered accountant is a professional who is capable of working in all fields of business and finance. Finance management, accounting, auditing, taxation and general business management are some of the tasks that chartered accountants are capable of performing. In simple terms, they deal with accounting and money matters (management).
CAs have diverse job opportunities and profiles available in front of them. Many CAs opt to do self practice. They can be seen offering services through private Accountancy firms and Consultancy firms. Government bodies are also known to hire CAs. When it comes to private sector, MNCs, Finance Institutes (Banks, Loan firms, VC firms etc), Small/Medium scale Industries, Private CA firms etc are known to hire them.
In India, ICAI (The Institute of Chartered Accountants of India) is the authoritative body governing the quality and standards of CA education and training. CAs practicing in India are registered members of ICAI. Membership has to be renewed to continue practice in India.
Let us check out CA course details now-
CA course consists of 4 main levels. They are-
- CPT (Common Proficiency Test)
- IPCC (Integrated Professional Competence Course)
- Articleship / Practical Training
- CA Final
Let us check out each step involved in this whole process-
BECOME A CA: STEP-BY-STEP GUIDE
1 REGISTER FOR CPT
The first step is to register with the ICAI for CPT. This can be done by students who have passed 10th standard. Thus, it is safe to say that the first step towards becoming a CA can be taken after completing 10th standard.
2 APPEAR FOR CPT EXAM AND CLEAR IT
After completing 12th standard, students who have registered for CPT have to clear the CPT exam. Note: Students are eligible to take CPT test only after completing at least 60 days after initial date of registering with the ICAI.
3 JOIN IPCC
Students who have passed 12th standard and cleared CPT are eligible to join IPCC. Within IPCC course, there exist Orientation Program and ITT (Information Technology Training). Students have to compulsorily complete 35 hours of orientation program and 100 hours of ITT training.
4 APPEAR FOR IPCC GROUP EXAMS
After completion of the 9 months long IPCC course, students have to appear for (and clear) the IPCC Group 1 and Group 2 examinations.
It is mandatory to clear the Group 1 examination to proceed to articleship stage. Group 2 stage can be cleared during articleship stage too (if one can’t clear it before).
5 START ARTICLESHIP
This is 3 years long practical training stage. To enter this level, a student must have cleared IPCC Group 1 exam. Those who haven’t cleared IPCC Group 2 exam may appear for (and clear it) during the articleship period!
6 JOIN CA FINAL COURSE
After passing both the Groups- 1 and 2 of IPCC course, successful students may register for the CA final course.
After 2 years of articleship training, students have to undergo and complete 15 days long courses on general management and communication skills.
While serving the last 6 months of CA final course, students may appear for (and clear) CA final examination (Group 1 and 2).
7 COMPLETE ARTICLESHIP
If everything goes according to the plan, you will be able to complete articleship after clearing CA final examination. Note: One must clear necessary papers in first attempt itself to follow the path mentioned in this article.
8 ACQUIRE MEMBERSHIP
After completing all the necessary courses, exams and articleship training mentioned above, successful candidates may acquire ICAI membership. After registering with the ICAI and obtaining membership, one is eligible to use the title of ‘Chartered Accountant’!