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All About Charted Accountancy

Written By Sambasivarao on Friday, July 20, 2012 | Friday, July 20, 2012

Flowchart on how to become a Chartered Accountant by the Examination route

A Chartered accountant is one who is specialised in accounting, auditing and taxation. In India Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI) does the job of regulating the profession of Charted Accountancy which was set up in 1949. 

Eligibility: Appearing for Class 12 exam
Minimum duration: 4-5 years

About CA Course: 
The Programme consists of 3 stages:
  1. Common Proficiency Test (CPT)
  2. Integrated Professional Certificate Course (IPCC)
  3. Final Course
Common Proficiency Test (CPT)
Students can register after Class 10 but are eligible to give the Common Proficiency Test (CPT) only after they appear for their Class 12 exams. Registration for CPT is open throughout the year and exams are conducted in June and December. In AP, ICAI has branches in Hyderabad, Vizag and Vijayawada where students can register for the exam.

Exam Pattern:
is conducted in 2 sessions on 4 subjects with objective type questions with 1/4th negative marking.

Session 1: 
Section A - Fundamentals of accounting (60 marks)
Section B – Mercantile law (40 marks)

Session 2: Section C – General Economics (50 marks)
Section D – Quantitative Aptitude (50 marks)

CPT exmpted from August 2012However, The Institute of Chartered Accountants of India has announced in a notification that it has scrapped the Common Entrance Test (CPT), which used to be held for entry to the Chartered Accountancy course.
The eligibility for exemption from the Common Proficiency Test for graduate and postgraduate are:
  • Graduate or postgraduate in commerce having secured in aggregate a minimum of fifty-five per cent of the total marks or its equivalent grade in the examination conducted by any recognised University (including Open University) by studying any three papers of 100 marks each out of Accounting, Auditing, Mercantile Laws, Corporate Laws, Economics, Management (including Financial Management), Taxation (including Direct Tax Laws and Indirect Tax Laws), Costing, Business Administration or Management Accounting; or
  • Graduate or postgraduate with a minimum of 60% of the total marks or its equivalent grade in the examination conducted by any recognised University (including Open University).
  • Any candidate who has passed the intermediate examination conducted by ICAI set up or by Institute of Company Secretaries.

Integrated Professional Certificate Course (IPCC)
Students qualified in CPT can register for IPCC. It is conduced in May and November. This consists of 2 groups – Group I with 4 subjects and Group II with 3 subjects. Students are eligible to register for final course if qualified in at least one group.

Final Course
One has to take PCC final group I and II exams at the end of 2.5 years programme and has to finish articleship in the remaining 6 months. Final exams are also conduced in May and November. All those who pass the Final exam now have to complete a 15-day course in general management and communication skills. Qualified students in the final exam are eligible to apply for the membership of Institute of Chartered Accountants of India. The Accountant becomes chartered only after acquiring its membership. A Chartered Accountant is a privileged one over the ordinary ones.

Specialisations after completing CA
  • Diploma in Information System Audit (DISA)
  • Certified Information systems Auditor (CISA)
  • Diploma in Insurance and Risk Management (DIRM)
  • Chartered Financial Accountant (CFA)
  • Diploma in Tax Management (DITM)
  • Indian Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS)
  • Chartered Institute of Mgmt Accountants (CIMA)
There are various certification course and post qualification courses offered by ICAI. For details visitwww.icai.org

Aptitude for the job
  • Interest in finance and numbers
  • Attention to detail, focus and dedication
  • Good analysis/interpretation skills
Roles of a Chartered Accountant
The Chartered Accountants are entrusted with substantial responsibility under various legislations such as compulsory audit of the all companies, banks, stock brokers, big income-tax assesses, large bank borrowers, etc. This shows the confidence and trust reposed by the Government and society in the profession. The society has increasingly recognized the services of CAs in the entire gamut of management consultancy services including management accounting, management information and control system, international finance information technology and financial services sector. The types of functions generally performed by the Chartered Accountants are quite varied; some of the important ones amongst them are listed below: 
  1. Accountancy: The writing up of accounts and the preparation of Financial statements from the simplest receipts and payment Accounts of a small club to the complex and detail accounts of large public limited companies.
  2. Auditing: The purpose of auditing is to satisfy the users of financial Statements that the accounts presented to them are drawn up on Correct accounting principles and that they represent a true and fair view of the state of affairs.
  3. Taxation: The assessment of taxes is closely linked to financial Accounts. The Chartered Accountant with his experience in accounts is in an advantageous position to prepare the returns for tax purposes, represent assesses before the income tax authorities and render general advice on taxes to his clients. The services of CA may be requisitioned by the tax department for auditing taxation cases with large revenue potential.
  4. Cost Accountancy: A Chartered Accountant is equipped to provide information on costing for the guidance of management, introduce cost control methods and assist the management in determining appropriate selling prices.
  5. Special Company Work: The services or advice of Chartered Accountants are frequently sought in connection with matters such as the formation, financial structure and liquidation of limited companies.
  6. Investigation: Chartered Accountants are often called upon to carry out investigation to ascertain the financial position of business house for the purpose of issue of new shares, purchase or sale or financing of business, finding out reasons for increase or decrease of profits, reconstruction and amalgamations.
  7. Executors and Trustees: A Chartered Accountant is also often appointed executor under a will or trust in order to carry on the administration of the estate or settlement.
  8. Directorship: Many members of the Institute who hold senior positions in industry and commerce are also directors of their companies.
  9. Companies Secretarial Work: As a Secretary, the Chartered Accountant is an important link in the management chain.
  10. Management Accounting: The Chartered Accountant’s service is utilized in a variety of ways like formulation of policies, control and performance evaluation.
  11. Share Valuation Work: A Chartered Accountant undertakes the valuation of shares of public and private companies at the time of amalgamation or reorganization.
  12. Other Activities: Other duties undertaken by a Chartered Accountant includes those of an Arbitrator for settling disputes specially those connected with insolvency work such as the preparation of statements of affairs and the duties of a trustee in bankruptcy or under a deed of arrangement.
Top Employers where Chartered Accountants are recruited
  • Banking
  • Financial Services
  • Information Technology – Software
  • Mining
  • Oil & Gas Refining
  • Chartered Accountancy Firms
  • Iron & Steel
  • Heavy Engineering
  • Engineering Procurement and Construction

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