How to become a chartered accountant

In today’s world, when the commerce field is in high demand, chartered accountancy is one of the best career options. The CA program includes the necessary education in business, taxation, accounting, and auditing to succeed.

In this article, you’ll learn about the Chartered Accountancy job and, more importantly, how to get there.

What is Chartered Accountancy?

A Chartered Accountant is simply an accounting professional. Once receiving certification from a statutory body, they demonstrate that they are qualified to handle business accounting and taxation matters. 

Filing tax returns, auditing financial statements, keeping investment records, and reviewing and presenting financial statements are just a few examples. 

A Chartered Accountant is also qualified to provide clients with advisory services.

Why to become a CA?

Here’s why you need to consider the fact of becoming a Chartered Accountant: 

  • Chartered Accountancy provides numerous career paths and opportunities.

Qualifying as a CA unlocks a variety of career opportunities and paths for candidates. 

You can start your independent CA practice and explore areas such as taxation, auditing, management consultancy services, and so on. 

You, as a  CA can also work as partners in audit, tax, or consulting firms. You can also work in the finance/accounts/audit departments of large organizations/institutions or global firms, or even in the banking industry.

  • Chartered Accountants are among the highest-paid professionals.

Another reason to pursue a career as a Chartered Accountant is that they are among the highest-paid professionals in the country.

Starting salaries for CAs are typically higher than those for fresh graduates in other fields. 

Fresher CAs can expect to earn around Rs. 6 lakh per year. Experienced Chartered Accountants earn significantly more.

  • The CA program prepares students in a variety of areas.

The curriculum to become a Chartered Accountant supports applicants in gaining a good grasp of business, superior knowledge of courses connected to finance, and technical abilities.

CAs’ that receive training of this kind will have an easier time adjusting to new industries and finding jobs in such industries. The CA program offers a strong base for people with an entrepreneurial spirit who want to start their own company and equips them with the tools necessary to do so.

  • Chartered Accountancy is a well-paid and secure profession.

Chartered Accountancy has always been in high demand in the country.

Regardless of size, almost all businesses require CAs to handle accounting, finance, and auditing tasks. 

There is always a high demand for a CA’s skills and knowledge. As a result, chartered accounting is one of the most stable and secure professions.

  • Pursue additional professional certifications and qualifications, and relocate abroad.

After completing CA, candidates interested in settling abroad can pursue internationally recognized certifications and professional qualifications to build an exciting and rewarding global career.

Some popular globally recognized professional certifications/qualifications include Chartered Financial Analysis, ACCA Chartered Certified Accountant program, IIA Certified Internal Auditor (CIA) course, Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA) qualification, and so on.

Types of CA

There are broadly two types of CAs: 

  • Public Chartered Accountants: 

These are companies that issue certificates to other organizations. Ideally, certificates issued by public CAs are validated more and carry higher levels of trust. 

The company starts off by carrying out some basic inspections, such as validating the domain. The Public CA will then give a certificate to the requester, using their private key, and will also attach a public key for the requester to utilize.

When a connection is established, the certificate is verified with the Public CA by establishing whether the requester is the valid holder of the certificate. This is done by comparing the requester’s information to the Public CA’s database of legitimate certificate holders.

A connection using asymmetric encryption is formed when the public key has been proven to be legitimate.

  • Private Chartered Accountants: 

A private CA is a local CA created by an organization for internal use only. 

The Private Root Certificate Authority of the organization’s private key is used to sign the certificates. In order to set up a private internal PKI network for the purpose of issuing certificates within the business, private certification authorities (CAs) are utilized.

Users can use them for virtual private networks (VPNs) and secure email, and servers can use them to encrypt data stored in databases. They can also be used to run devices and appliances within the business.

Chartered Accountant roles and responsibilities

The specifics of your role as a chartered accountant will vary depending on your area of specialization and the industry in which you work. Day-to-day responsibilities, on the other hand, should generally include

  1. Budget management
  2. Conducting financial audits
  3. Offering financial advice
  4. Contacting clients, individuals, and businesses
  5. Risk assessment and tax planning
  6. Keeping accounting records and preparing financial reports
  7. advising clients on areas for financial growth
  8. Managing junior employees
  9. Communication with auditors (internal or external)
  10. Following the audits, producing reports and recommendations
  11. Creating financial statements as well as monthly and annual reports
  12. Contract negotiations with suppliers
  13. Invoicing

What qualifications do you need to be a CA

The CA course is divided into three levels. To become a certified CA, you must complete all three levels. The following are the eligibility criteria for the various levels:

Level 1: Foundation

The CA foundation course, also known as the common proficiency test, is the first level. The course lasts four months, and the minimum eligibility requirement is 10+2 in any stream. After finishing the course, you must pass the CA foundation exam.

Level 2: Intermediate

The intermediate course lasts three years and is the second level. This course requires graduation with 55% aggregate marks in commerce or 60% aggregate marks in non-commerce subjects or qualifications at the first level. There are two groups of CA intermediate exams, and you must pass both.

Level 3: Final

The third level is the CA final course, which lasts two years. To be eligible for this course, you must have passed level 2 and completed two and a half years of articleship. To become a CA, you must pass the CA final exam after completing the course and articleship. In India, chartered accountants are regulated by the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI). After completing the three-level course, the ICAI administers CA exams and certifies the candidate as a qualified chartered accountant.

Eligibility Criteria to become a Chartered Account

  1. To register for the CA program, you must pass the Senior Secondary Examination (10+2) or be waiting for the results of the 10+2 exam.
  2. The minimum eligibility criteria for enrolling in the CA course is 10+, but you can enroll after graduation as well.
  3. Everyone who is waiting for their 10+2 results can apply for the Chartered Accountant Exam.
  4. There are no age or mark requirements for appearing in the CA Entrance Exam Papers.

Students must demonstrate their eligibility to the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI). In general, there are two ways for students to enroll in CA programs in India.

  • Foundation Route: The Foundation Course is the prerequisite for the Chartered Accountancy Course. 

Students who have passed the class Xth examination conducted by an examining body established by law in India or an examination recognized by the Central Government as equivalent can enroll in the Foundation Course.

  • Direct Entry Route: The Direct Entry Route allows students to enter the Chartered Accountancy program without having to take the CA Foundation entrance exam. 

Since August 1, 2012, the ICAI has used the CA Direct Entry Scheme, which allows students to enroll directly in the CA Intermediate Course.

Skills required to become a Chartered Accountant

Here are the skills required to become a Chartered Accountant: 

  • Discipline, Diligence, and Perseverance

The syllabus is extensive and at times overwhelming. There will be a lot of midnight oil to burn, and social life may come to a halt. The exams are said to be difficult, with very low passing rates. 

Furthermore, article ships are notorious for being 12-14 hour jobs with pitiful pay. This means you’ll need patience and perseverance to get through the coursework, exams, and articleship work. Hard work will be the norm for the day.

In short, the candidate must be willing to make sacrifices, maintain focus, and manage his or her work and studies effectively.

  • Communication Skills 

A CA candidate will be dealing with clients from various industries and providing specialized services based on their specific needs. So, CA students must develop strong communication skills.

  • Understanding of Concepts

Many students attempt to try to fit in, in order to become CAs. However, only the conceptually sound will truly advance in the industry. You must understand the concepts rather than simply memorize methodologies for this.

  • Analytical Skills

Analytical skill sets are required for CA students. They gain professional qualifications and develop analytical skills while working on practical examples during their articleship.

  • Acceptance of Failure

Despite your best efforts, there is a chance that you will fail the exams due to a variety of factors. So, you must be willing to accept failure as a part of the course and to prepare for the next attempt.

Step-by-Step Process to become a Chartered Account in India

After the 12th grade: Foundation course route

Following the completion of your 12th grade, you will be required to pass a series of tests. Check the following exams in the order listed below.

  1. CA Foundation course was previously known as Common Proficiency Test (CPT)
  2. Integrated Course on Information Technology and Soft skills (ICITSS)
  3. CA Intermediate (previously known as IPCC or Integrated Professional Competence Course)
  4. Articleship (3-year training)
  5. Advanced Integrated Course on Information Technology and Soft Skills (AICITSS)
  6. FC (Final course)

You must go through all of the above-mentioned courses and exams in order.

This is how you must proceed.

  1. After finishing your 12th grade, enroll in the CA foundation course.
  2. Complete the four-month study period and take the CA Foundation Exam.
  3. Enroll in the CA Intermediate Course after passing the CA Foundation Exam.
  4. Complete a 4-week Integrated Course on Information Technology and Soft Skills prior to your articleship (ICITSS).
  5. Complete the CA Intermediate 8-month study course and sit for the exam. There will be two sets of exams, and you must pass at least one of them before continuing.
  6. After passing any group of CA Intermediate exams and completing ICITSS, you can begin your three-year articleship.
  7. Complete the remaining CA Intermediate Exam groups (if any).
  8. Register for the CA final course.
  9. In the last two years of your articleship and before taking the final exam, complete a 4-week Advanced Integrated Course on Information Technology and Soft Skills (AICITSS).
  10. Attend the final examination after completing your articleship or within the last 6 months of it.
  11. If you decide to take the final exam during your articleship, finish your article training.
  12. Pass the CA Final Exam.
  13. After passing the exam, join the ICAI to be designated as a “Chartered Accountant.”

After Graduation or Post-Graduation: Direct Entry Route

You can only pursue this route if you have a minimum aggregate of 55% in your commerce graduation/post-graduation or a minimum of 60% if you are not a commerce graduate/postgraduate.

If you are eligible to pursue this path, the procedure that you must follow is outlined below.

  1. Enroll in the CA Intermediate Program.
  2. Complete 4 weeks of integrated information technology and soft skills courses prior to your articleship (ICITSS).
  3. Apply for a three-year articleship or practical training.
  4. Attend the CA Intermediate Examination after 9 months of practical training.
  5. CA Intermediate Examination is divided into two groups; pass both.
  6. Sign up for the CA Final Course.
  7. Complete 4 weeks of Advanced Integrated Course on Information Technology and Soft Skills in the last two years of your articleship prior to taking the final exam (AICITSS).
  8. Attend the final exam after completing your articleship or within the last six months of it.
  9. Finish your three-year training.
  10. Pass the CA Final Exam.
  11. After passing the exam, join the ICAI to be designated as a “Chartered Accountant.”

Steps to become a CA in India: 

Step 1: Register for the CA Foundation Course. —> Complete the CA Foundation Course.

Step 2: Sign up for The Intermediate Course 2022.

Step 3: Apply for Articleship

Step 4: Register for the CA Final 2022.

STEP 1:  CA Foundation Course

To register for the CA Foundation course, you must first determine your eligibility, which is defined as a 12th-standard qualification in any stream with a minimum aggregate of 33%.

If you qualify, you can fill out an online form on the ICAI’s official website to obtain a registration number, user id, and password.

After registering, you have four months to prepare for the foundation exam, which is held twice a year—once in May and once in November—for which CA Foundation exam forms are filled out in December and June, respectively, to obtain an admit card, which is required for appearing in the exam or entering the examination center.

The applicant must pay a total fee of INR 11300, which includes registration fees, online form fees, examination fees, and journals for members and students.

STEP 2: The Intermediate Level

The intermediate level can be obtained directly after graduation or post-graduation, as well as bypassing the CA Foundation level if you began your journey to become a Chartered Accountant after the 12th grade.

You can register for the Intermediate exam in March and September and take the exam in November and May, giving you 9 months to prepare. You can register for the CA Intermediate exam form online by filling out an application form and downloading the Admit card.

STEP 3: Articleship And Finals

This is the final phase, which includes both practical experience and theoretical exams.

Articleship: Any aspirant who has passed either of the two intermediate groups is eligible to be registered for Articleship, and practical training can begin as soon as both groups are passed.

You begin earning a stipend during your three years of mandatory training or Articleship and can register for the Final level in the last six months of practical training by filling out the CA Final exam form online.

Although there is no deadline for registering for the CA final course, registration is required in order to sit for the final exams, which are held in May and November.

The total fee for both groups of CA final is INR 32300 (22000+3300+7000), which includes registration fees, examination fees, and GMCS fees.

The final course is divided into two groups of four subjects each, with 100 points assigned to each subject. To qualify for the exams, you must have a total of 50% or 40% in all subjects.

CA Course Details

Foundation Course

  1. Principles and Practices of Accounting
  2. Business Laws
  3. Business Correspondence and Reporting
  4. Business Mathematics Logical Reasoning and Statistics
  5. Business Economics
  6. Business and Commercial Knowledge

Intermediate Course

  1. Accounting
  2. Part I: Company Law
  3. Part II: Other laws
  4. Cost and Management Accounting
  5. Income tax law
  6. Indirect taxes
  7. Advanced Accounting
  8. Auditing and Assurance
  9. Enterprise Information Systems
  10. Strategic Management
  11. Financial Management
  12. Economics for Finance

Final Course

  1. Financial Reporting
  2. Strategic Financial Management
  3. Advanced Auditing and Professional Ethics
  4. Corporate & Economics Law

Part I: Corporate Laws     Part II: Economic Laws

  1. Strategic Cost Management and Performance Evaluation
  2. Direct Tax Laws and International Taxation

Part I: Direct Tax Laws   Part II: International Taxation

  1. Indirect Tax Laws

Part I: Goods and Services Tax    Part II: Customs and FTP

Entrance Exam for CA

The CPT (Common Proficiency Test) is the entrance exam that a candidate must take as an entry-level route to the Chartered Accountancy stream, and it is required of every intending candidate before enrolling in the professional state.

The CPT examination is held twice a year, in June and December.

It consists of four subjects: Accounting, Commercial Law, General Economics, and Quantitative aptitude. This exam is worth 200 points. It is divided into two two-hour sessions. 

CPT is a type of objective test with negative markings.

List of CA Entrance Exams 2022

  1. CA CPT 2023 – Chartered Accountant Common Proficiency Test
  1. CS Foundation Exam 2023 – Company Secretary Foundation Exam

Top Colleges to become a CA

The top colleges to become a CA are listed below: 

  1. The Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI), Noida
  2. Indian Institute of Finance and Accounts, Pune
  3. Pearn Accountants, International Accountants, and Business Consultants, Kochi
  4. Zell Education Mumbai
  5. Vista Academy, Dehradun
  6. ETEN CA, Guwahati
  7. PIRON School of Business and Finance, Mumbai
  8. Siddhartha Academy, Thane
  9. Navkar Institute, Ahmedabad
  10. CMS For CA, Hyderabad
  11. PIRON School of Business and Finance, Bangalore
  12. International School of Financial Studies, Secunderabad

Salary of a CA in India

Salaries for Freshers 

CA Final Passed In Several AttemptsPassed in Single AttemptCA Final Toppers
INR 6-9 Lakhs11-15 Lakhs INRINR 16 – 25 Lakhs

Salaries based on CA Skills

CA SkillsAvg.Salary p.a.
Budget management10 Lakhs
Strategic accounts9 Lakhs
Evaluation and management auditing8.5 Lakhs
Financial analysis8.5 Lakhs
Financial Advisor8.5 Lakhs
SAP financial accounting and controlling8.5 Lakhs
Financial reporting8-.5 Lakhs
Auditing7.5 Lakhs
Account management7.5 Lakhs
Internal audit7 Lakhs
Accounting7 Lakhs
Tax consulting7 Lakhs
Tax compliance7 Lakhs

Salaries based on Years of Experience

Years of experienceAvg. CA Salary per annum
0-5 years6-9 lakhs
5-10 years12-15 lakhs
10-20 years20-22 lakhs
Above 20 years60-70 lakhs

Highest Paying Companies to CA in India

Highest Paying Companies to CAAverage Salary of CA ( Per Annum )
Reliance IndustriesRs. 25 Lakhs
DeloitteRs. 15-36 Lakhs
Hindustan Unilever LtdRs. 16-30 Lakhs
KPMGRs. 13-32 Lakhs
Aditya Birla Sun LifeRs. 13-25 Lakhs
ICICI BankRs. 12-27 Lakhs
ITCRs. 14-25 Lakhs
TATA CompanyRs. 14-22 Lakhs
Bharti AirtelRs. 11-22 Lakhs
SBI BankRs. 7-17 Lakhs

Salaries based on Job Profile

Jobs profileCA Salary per annum (Avg)
Account executive20 Lakhs
Finance controller14-16 Lakhs
Accountant14 Lakhs
Finance Manager10-12 Lakhs
Financial analyst06-07 Lakhs
Assistant Account Manager05 Lakhs
Senior Account Executive04 Lakhs
Business Analyst4-7 Lakhs
Account Assistant3-5 Lakhs

Salaries based on  Locations 

CA Salary in India based on CityAverage Package of CA in India (Per Annum)
Gurgaon10-12 Lakhs
Chennai10 Lakhs
CA Salary in Mumbai12 Lakhs
Delhi08 Lakhs
Punjab6-7 Lakhs
Guwahati06 Lakhs
Pune7-8 Lakhs
Jaipur06 lakh
Ahmedabad5-6 Lakhs

Pros and cons 

Pros 

  1. Chartered Accountancy does not require any special qualifications or educational background. Students from any group can apply for this course. 
  1.  The minimum qualification is a 10th pass or, at most, a 12th pass with any group. 
  1. It has no age restrictions.
  2. CA not only improves your educational knowledge but also your patience, perseverance, and dedication.
  1. When you are a chartered accountant, you are your own boss, which gives you immense confidence.
  1.  CA provides you with the best job and salary packages.

Cons

  1. Exhaustive course curriculum.
  1. Little time to develop other skills.
  1. There is a lot of competition.
  1. It is not easy to build a client base.
  1. Long monotonous working hours
  1. Difficulty in building recognition in the Market. 

Summary

  1. The meaning of Chartered Accountancy
  2. The reason why you should become a chartered accountant
  3. The types of CA
  4. Chartered Accountant roles and responsibility
  5. The qualifications you need to be a CA
  6. The eligibility criteria to become a Chartered Account
  7. The skills required to become a Chartered Accountant
  8. Step-by-Step Process to become a Chartered Account in India
  9. CA Course Details
  10. Entrance Exam for CA
  11. Top Colleges to become a CA
  12. Salary of a CA in India
  13. Pros and Cons 

FAQs

How long does it take to become a Chartered Accountant?

To become an ICAEW Chartered Accountant, you must first complete the ACA, a highly regarded professional qualification of at least three years of on-the-job training as well as passing a series of exams. 

Can I become CA in 2 years?

The minimum time required to pursue CA after graduation is three years, as you can take IPCC exams after nine months of registration, after which you must complete 2.5-3 years of Articleship to become a Chartered Accountant.

What is a CA salary?

Chartered Accountant salaries in India range from 2.5 Lakhs to 15.0 Lakhs per year, with an average annual salary of 7.0 Lakhs.

Can I do CA after the 12th?

You must have a minimum of a 12th grade and 4.5 to 5 years of experience to complete your CA course.

Is becoming a CA difficult?

From CA Foundation to CA Final, every step is a challenge. The CA course is difficult because of its extensive syllabus, in-depth knowledge of each subject, duration, and, of course, some facepalm moments that every CA student must endure while completing this course.

What should I study for CA?

Accounts, Law, Finance, and Economics are the subjects that you have to learn to study CA. 

Is there any age limit for CA?

There is no age limit to apply for the CA foundation.

What is the main subject for CA?

Accountancy is the main subject for CA.

Is CA a government job?

 It is neither a government job nor a private job.

Who earns more doctors or CA?

When compared to a doctor, a skilled CA will earn more money at a younger age with less effort. This is because the majority of CA’s work revolves around money.

Which job has the highest salary?

The top 10 highest-salary jobs are: 

  • Software Architect
  • Solutions Architect
  • Commercial Pilot
  • Management Consultant
  • General Surgeon
  • Data Scientist
  • Data Engineer
  • Chartered Accountant
  • Investment Analyst
  • Corporate Lawyer

How much does CA earn after 5 years?

A Chartered Accountant in their mid-career with 4-9 years of experience earns an annual salary of 9 lakhs.

Is math compulsory for CA?

No, CA is one of the most popular career options in Commerce without Math. 

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