If you ever want to be rock star in your field and have deep passion for accounting then you should be moving toward a career path that will give you honour, prestige and at the same time a lot of value to create fortune for yourself and for whom you will work. Yes, it is about chartered accountancy. Students from all over India and even in outside India are aiming for this lucrative course where only your dedication matters.
The only variable part if how much you invest yourself in the course. People may call it tough, very hard rock to crack, but if you are committed and know that this is the one thing you would like to do with all your heart, there is nothing better than CA in the world of recognized professional courses. If you are the one, the committed one, here’s a guide for you where you will get direction, information and the clear paths which will help you choose your own career goal and career aspiration.
In this career guide for chartered accountants, you will find the brief perspective of what chartered accountancy is all about; where you should begin the process of preparation; how you would get placed after completion of the course; which company you should aim for to be able to ensure a glorious career; top companies which hire chartered accountants; the specific skill sets required for chartered accountants; the salary structure; and lastly what could be the further course of higher education (if any or not).
How do we define Chartered Accountancy?
First of all if you are aiming for chartered accountancy, you need to be clear about one thing. It is not for faint hearted person. This course needs all of yourself. Because according to the statistics only 2 per cent of all students can get to pass the exam at the end of the day! So, it’s not easy. But at the same time, if you are sure that you are passionate about accounting and would like to make your mark in the industry, can sit with the books, course materials on daily basis and are ready to put in gruelling hours of hard work day in and day out, you are welcome.
Chartered accountancy is a three stage process course. The first part is you need to clear the foundational exam which is easier than its other counter parts. But it’s often not required if you apply after graduation (Bachelor of Commerce or a graduation degree from any recognized university). The next stage is CA (Intermediate) which is tougher than the foundation exam and needs thorough preparation for clearing it.
After that, if you clear you need to sit for CA (Final) which is the toughest part of the whole course. During the course, you also need to complete a 3 year article-ship from a company which deals with accounting and can offer you a stipend for your apprenticeship. Without the certificate of article-ship, you are not eligible for getting the recognition as Chartered Accountant.
If you can become a chartered accountant, your future is glorious without any doubt. But that depends on few things – how good you are in accountancy; can you give a suggestion on the basis of the recent tax structure to a person who doesn’t know anything about tax; your ability to apply whatever you have learned during your course; and lastly your ability to present yourself as a person of worth in the market.
Don’t sell yourself too short as being a chartered accountant is not the cup of tea for everyone. By completing the course you have already proven that you are above average and thus your value in the market is more than any ordinary graduate in accountancy.
Where to start?
If you would like to pursue or pursue a career as a chartered accountant, the first thing you need to remember that you need to have a mind-set of an extra-ordinary person. Don’t get worried about the word ‘extra-ordinary’. You need to have any extra brilliance or intelligence to crack CA. Only thing you need is perseverance. If you have perseverance, you will conquer CA exam with ease. To develop perseverance, you need to have a daily commitment of study and practice.
You need to think that if you need to be a person of value, you need to pay a price of 4-5 hours every day till you become a CA. This is the beginning point. It is a point of realization that to succeed, you need to pay the price. And if you pay it, the whole world will belong to you.
How to get recruited after the course?
There are two paths to become a chartered accountant. One is to apply after 10+2 from any stream; in this path you need to appear for foundation exam (that is now CPT – Common Proficiency Test), after that PCC (Professional Competency Course) [CA Inter.] and finally, the final exam. Another path is applying for CA after graduation in commerce or economics. You would get waiver on CPT and you can directly sit for PCC and finally final exam.
Getting recruited is not a big deal once you clear the final exam. The more advantage is that you also have 3 years of practical experience by virtue of doing the article-ship in an accounting firm. That means once you complete the course, you are job ready already. You don’t need to anything extra other than brushing off your learning and foundational knowledge.
Choosing the perfect company for a bright career
Now once you are through in the final exam of CA, the first thing you should do is to choose a company which have the similar goals you have. To find a company like that you don’t need to search for top-notch companies. Only thing you need to make sure that whatever you choose, it should be worthy of your stay and further development.
Thus, it is better that you don’t choose any mid-level accounting firm to pursue your career after completion of the course. Rather choose a big/mid-level consulting firm or corporate so that you can be more responsible for actively participating in company affairs.
You can also work in Chartered Accounting Firms (Big ones which are having reputation), Capital Market Services Company, Large organizations and firms, Business houses and industry, Financial Institutions.
Top Companies which offer jobs for Chartered Accountancy
There are a series of top-notch accounting companies which offer jobs for Chartered Accountants. The most eminent are as follows.
- Price Waterhouse Cooper
- Ernst & Young
- Grant Thornton
- Baker Tilly
- Smith & Williamson
- More Stephens
- Kingston Smith
- Francis Clark
- Armstrong Watson
- Price Bailey
- Hillier Hopkins
- Barnes Roffe
Skill sets required for getting jobs in Chartered Accountancy
There are several skills required for doing your job as a chartered accountant exceedingly well. Following is the list of skill sets you need to hone for an incredible career in chartered accountancy.
- The most important is to have a disciple to do hard work. Hard work should be persistent, otherwise it is quite difficult to crack CA.
- Great business acumen, understanding PESTEL, i.e. political, economic, social, technological, ethical and legal environment of a business
- Excellent numerical ability and logical reasoning
- A knack to apply theoretical knowledge into application
- Being very much meticulous
- Attention to details is a must
- To be able to go along well with different walks of people
- Excellent spoken and written communication skill
If you can hone the above skills, then you don’t need to worry about getting placed. The series of jobs will run after you.
As expected the median salary for CA professionals are quite high. It ranges from US $10,000 to US $50,000. As your experience increases, your value and honorarium increases.
Higher education opportunities
As chartered accountancy is treated as quite a gruelling course, very few opt for further studies after the course. But if you are passionate, you can do course in finance. The best are CFA course from US and FRM cerfication.