Chartered Accountancy opens up a world of opportunities. Not only is it a professional course, but also economical. The career is multi-dimensional and profitable. No wonder, it has become one of the most coveted courses in India. The profession of accountancy came into strength with the launch of The Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI) in 1949, bringing accountancy under a unified control.
Jaydeep Narendra Shah, president, ICAI says, “Chartered Accountants offer complete business solutions as information and decision specialists.” With an attractive salary package and a growing demand in India and abroad, chartered accountancy has it all, says Mr. Jaydeep adding, “The expertise of CAs is now being utilised in areas such as Insurance Sector, IT, Public Finance, Risk and Assurance Services etc.” The average starting salary of a CA is around Rs 6.5 lakh per annum. Recently, an annual package of Rs 14 lakh was offered to fresh Chartered Accountants for domestic posting and Rs 25 lakh for international posting, Mr. Jaydeep adds.
Elucidating the admission requirement, K.N. Ramasamy, Director, R.R. Academy, Chennai, says that anybody can take up the course irrespective of marks scored in qualifying exams. There is no restriction on age and number of attempts. “It is not restricted only to commerce students. Science and humanities students are equally doing well.”
To become a Chartered Accountant, one has to clear three-levels of exams conducted by the ICAI. They include an entrance exam — Common Proficiency Test (CPT), Integrated Professional Competence Course (IPCC) & CA Final. The course also includes articleship and training in communication skills and management.
ICAI has introduced a new scheme from August 2012, allowing certain categories of students for direct admission to the IPCC. K. Jalapathi, Chairman of the Coimbatore branch, ICAI, explains, “Graduates or Post Graduates in Commerce with a minimum of 55 per cent of marks or non-commerce stream students with a minimum of 60 per cent and candidates who have passed the Intermediate level examination conducted by The Institute of Cost Accountants of India or by The Institute of Company Secretaries of India are exempted from qualifying Common Proficiency Test (CPT).”
According to ICAI, as many as 1,49,348 candidates appeared for the Common Proficiency Test (CPT) held in June 2012. Out of this, 56,091 cleared the exams. In the CA Finals held in May 2012, 30,976 appeared for the exams and 5075 passed it. Besides indicating the huge enrolment for the course, the figures also signify the high standard of the exams.
Mr. Jaydeep says that the examination system seeks to test the multifaceted knowledge that a chartered accountant is expected to have. Allaying fears about the difficulty-level, he says that the aspirants can easily clear the exams if they read the study material thoroughly. Working hard, staying focussed, attempting model test papers and managing time efficiently will help, he points out.
ICAI also conducts campus placement, where leading corporate sectors, banks, multi-national CA firms participate. According to Mr. Jalapathi, 1,148 candidates were recruited across the country in the placement programme held during Aug-Sep 2011. He points out that CA also has the benefit of being one’s own boss and the freedom to choose client and working hours.