How to become CA and complete CA course easily?
Chartered Accountancy is one of the most challenging courses in the world, and one of the most rewarding careers of all time. Yet, many of us leave this course in the middle. In this article, we have covered entire journey of becoming a chartered accountant in India-the challenges faced, tips and tricks required to crack exams, fee structure, articleship struggles and ultimately attempting CA final exams.
Chartered Accountancy course duration
Many people ask CA is how many years course. The entire journey of prefixing CA in front of your name takes at least 4.5-5 years in India. There is a common myth that becoming a CA in India is extremely difficult and takes a very long time. It depends upon the number of attempts you take. Students who prepare for the exam with proper strategies are able to clear the exam in the first attempt. Students who even after witnessing the failure in exams do not change their techniques and strategies are stuck in the CA course.
CA Course detail and everything about Chartered Accountant Course
Before commencing CA, develop a mindset that the CA Course requires dedication and strong will power. Consistency is the key to ace the exams in first attempt.
CA foundation registration and beginning of CA course
The first step to become a Chartered Accountant in India is to appear for CA Foundation, earlier it was Common Proficiency Test (CPT) an OMR based exam of 200 marks but now the ICAI has started conducting CA Foundation exam. Students can online register for CA Foundation exam.
The registration for CA foundation course is valid for three years and can be re-validated any number of times for further three years by paying re validation fees of Rs. 300.
Direct entry in CA course
Students who commence Chartered Accountancy Course through direct route are not required to appear for CA foundation exams. They directly appear for CA intermediate exams but some guidelines have been prescribed by ICAI for direct entry students. The guidelines are prescribed below.
Direct Entry Students who register for intermediate course on or after 2nd February, 2013
|Students need to enroll for Orientation(OP) and Information Technology Training(ITT) after submission of registration form for Intermediate Course and need to complete (OP) and ITT before starting practical training.|
|Students need to complete 9 months practical training as on 1st day of the month in which examination is to be held.|
|Students registered for the course on or after 2nd February, 2013 are eligible to appear in the Intermediate (IPC) Examination to be held from May, 2014 or onwards.|
Students who have registered before 2nd February, 2013 can click here.
CA after 12th science?
Yes, a science student can become a Chartered Accountant in India. There are thousands of students who have shifted from science background to commerce background and are successful CA/CS/CMA.
CA foundation subjects
Currently there are four subjects in CA foundation exam which are listed below.
- Principles and Practices of Accounting.
- Mercantile Laws and General English
- Business Mathematics and Logical Reasoning & Statistics
- Business Economics and Business and Commercial knowledge
The core subject of Chartered Accountancy is accountancy and students need to have strong hold over accounting concepts to clear the exams. Science students need to take coaching on Accounting as the syllabus is quite vast.
The second subject is Mercantile Law which is equally new for the Commerce as well as Science students. The subject revolves around general laws like Indian Contract Act, Partnership Act, and Sales of goods act and is one of the easiest subjects, if understood well. While, the syllabus of General English is quite similar to high school English.
The third subject comes is the “Business Mathematics, Logical Reasoning and Statistics”. Science students have upper hand on commerce students in this subject as science students possess deeper knowledge with respect to mathematics and statistics as compared to commerce students.
The fourth and the last subject “Business Economics and Business and Commercial Knowledge”. The subject consist of two sections
Part – 1: Business Economics
Part -2: Business and Commercial Knowledge
The syllabus of Business Economics and Business and Commercial Knowledge is similar to that of Class 11th and 12th. The subject can fetch you more marks, because this is the subject that you will able to comprehend easily and relates to day to day life.
Is math compulsory for CA?
Students who have not taken Maths in Class 11 and 12. They can prepare statistics and appear for the exam. Also, some topics are quite easy in Maths also they can also be prepared within less time. While, in CA Intermediate and CA Final no subject is linked with Maths.
For our detailed article on CA foundation study plan/timetable and subject wise tips you can refer our article.
What to do after clearing CA foundation- first level exams of CA?
Heartiest Congratulations to all the students who cleared the CA Foundation in first attempt and those who didn’t should focus on the next attempt without wasting any time. You can check out our article on How to come back after failure in CA exams?
I welcome all the students in the world of professionalism, after clearing CA foundation my personal advice is to not to become over confident and start planning for CA intermediate/IPCC. Registration must be done for CA intermediate after CA foundation.
CA Intermediate registration process and fees
CA Intermediate registration is to be done by submitting an online form on the Institute of Chartered Accountant website.
Step by Step Guide for Registration Form
Step 1: Fill the required information in the fields mentioned in the form.
Step 2: Payment of fees is to be done after filling the entire form.
Step 3: After the payment has been made, the system will automatically generate the confirmation form, which the student needs to get printed.
Step 4: Within 7 days of the date of online registration, submit the registration confirmation form along with the following documents to the concerned Regional Office in consonance with the address, duly signed by the student.
Documents required for CA Intermediate registration
- Demand Draft/Pay Order towards Intermediate (IPC) Course registration fee. Registration fee is Rs. 9,000 for both groups and Article ship registration fees is Rs. 2,000. (If online payment not made)
- Submit certified copy of mark sheet of Class 12th or its equivalent Central Government acknowledged examination pass marks statement.
- A copy of CPT/CA Foundation Pass marks statement, if applicable (Students are advised not to wait for CPT/CA Foundation marks statement from Examination division for registration to Intermediate (IPC) Course but proceed for Intermediate (IPC) Course registration with a copy of downloaded CPT mark statement).
- Candidates who have opted via Direct Entry Scheme have to submit certified copy of Graduation/ Post Graduation mark statements/mark sheet of Intermediate level examination of the Institute of Company Secretaries of India or the Institute of Cost Accountants of India.
- Recent color photograph should be attached on the printed online successful registration confirmation form.
- In case of foreign students, a copy of their nationality proof has to be sent along with other documents.
- An attested copy of proof of special category certificate of SC/ST, OBC, and differently able students.
Intermediate registration is valid for 4 years and can be re-validated any number of times for further 4 years period by paying re validation fee of Rs.400/- or as decided by the Council from time to time.
CA Intermediate Syllabus and Subjects
New Syllabus students
The subjects covered in Group 1 are as follows.
- Paper-1: Accounting (100 Marks)
- Paper-2: Corporate Laws & Other Laws (100 Marks)
Part I: Company Law (60 Marks)
Part II: Other Laws (40 Marks)
- Paper-3: Cost and Management Accounting (100 Marks)
- Paper-4: Taxation (100 Marks)
Section A: Income-Tax Law (60 Marks)
Section B: Indirect Taxes (40 Marks)
The subjects covered in Group 2 are as follows
- Paper-5: Advanced Accounting (100 Marks)
- Paper-6: Auditing and Assurance (100 Marks)
- Paper-7: Enterprise Information Systems & Strategic Management (100 Marks)
Section A: Enterprise Information Systems (50 Marks)
Section B: Strategic Management (50 Marks)
- Paper-8: Financial Management & Economics for Finance (100 Marks)
Section A: Financial Management (60 Marks)
Section B: Economics for Finance (40 Marks)
Old syllabus students
The total subjects covered in Old syllabus are seven which are listed below.
The Group 1 subjects are as follows.
Part – I: Business Laws (60 marks) comprising Business Laws (30 marks), Company Law (30 marks)
Part – II: Ethics (20 marks)
Part III: Communication (20 marks)
- Paper 3: Cost Accounting and Financial Management (100 marks)
Part – I: Cost accounting (50 marks)
Part – II: Financial Management (50 marks)
- Paper 4: Taxation (100 marks)
Part – I: Income-tax (50 marks)
Part – II: Indirect taxes (50 marks)
The Group II subjects are as follows.
Paper 5: Advanced Accounting (100marks)
Paper 6: Auditing and Assurance (100marks)
Paper 7: Information Technology and Strategic Management (100 marks)
Section – A: Information Technology (50 marks)
Section – B: Strategic Management (50 marks)
The level of knowledge expected of students in the above subjects is ‘working knowledge’.
How to clear CA Intermediate in first attempt?
The most important thing to understand about CA exams are not B.Com exams. They require a lot of dedication and planning and execution. Without planning and consistency you will not be able to clear the exams.
List of areas that needs to be focused upon to clear CA Intermediate exams.
#1 Be a first mover: Start off early and prepare a plan. Give yourself the full 9 months to read through, understand and embed all the key concepts in your head. This will save you a lot of time for revision and try to complete your coaching’s as early as possible.
#2 Build concepts and develop understanding of the subjects: ICAI is not looking to pass everyone. They are only looking to pass those who absolutely deserve it.
To prove that you do, in fact, deserve the title of CA, you’ll have to demonstrate that your concepts and foundations are rock solid.
Don’t be ashamed to go back to your CA foundation Mercantile Law book to brush up your concepts or even your first PU/11th accounts books to relearn fundamentals that you feel you’re not quite up to the mark.
#3 Consistency: I repeat and repeat consistency is the key to ace CA examination whether final or Intermediate.
You will not be able to remember taxation subject if you do not read it daily basis. Consistent person always wins. Remember this.
#4 Make a timetable: Allocation of time is very important as students try to make the best use of time but are unable to allocate time in long term. So a timetable is necessary.
#5 Difficult but not impossible: Societal expectations, parent’s pressure build tremendous pressure on students and students sometimes lose all the hopes. This is the biggest mistake done by students.
Remember one thing, all the chartered accountants were once students and were no smarter than you.
#6 Motivation: Is CA something you really want to do? Then you’ll be adequately motivated. Is CA something you’re doing just so you’ll be better off when pursuing other goals in life? Use the other goals to motivate yourself to complete CA.
#7 Execution: The most important thing is execution, if you are just planning and planning and not executing than you are committing a blunder by fooling yourself.
Maintain your health, because your health is going to play an important role in clearing the exam. Those exam days require continues efforts and good health will help you to execute the laid plans.
All you need to know about CA Articleship
Congratulations to the students who have cleared CA Intermediate exams whether both groups and single group. The efforts must be applauded.
After clearing CA intermediate exams, students are left perplexed by Orientation faculties and several questions pops up in our minds like what I am doing with my life? How can I become a learned CA with secured future? I don’t want to struggle more. What should I prefer Generalization or Specialization? How should I find a firm which considers employees as assets not just machines? What if I joined a midsize firm and I learned nothing or the boss exploited me? I want to give time to my family, friends and have some time for myself also.
Guys, I will clear all your doubts one by one and see everything will be in lime light.
Q) Whether to prefer generalization or specialization in CA Articleship?
A1)It is advisable for the students who want to do job in future must go for Specialization and students who want to start Practice in future should opt for Generalization. This thing is also impacted by the firm you choose, some firms can make your expert in most of the fields, if you give your heart and soul in learning things.
Q2) Whether to choose big 4’s or medium sized firm in CA Articleship?
A2) Big 4’s and other Big 20’s CA firms offers specialization in respective departments like Internal audit, Statutory Audit, IDT, DT while Medium sized firms offers touch of everything that a CA in practice should be aware of. There are some pros and cons of both types of firms. This is completely a choice of yours and should always be.
Q3) Whether you will able to maintain work life balance in Big 4’s?
A3) The answer is a big ‘NO’ because I have worked in one of the Big 4’s and there are long working hours. If you are in Audit department, you will be sent somewhere far away from your place and that really disturbs work life balance in long term. You will not be able to meet your family and friends. But the work you do brings a sense of pride in you and that’s happiness.
Q4) On what factors I should select a CA firm for Articleship?
I have listed down factors and the firms that must be considered upon while selecting CA firms or Big 20’s.
- Workplace environment
- Working hours
- Exam leaves
- B.Com leaves or other professional course leaves.
- Exposure areas
Q5) Whether to opt for dummy CA articleship?
A5) No, I am completely against dummy articleship as students focus only on clearing exams rather than gaining practical knowledge. This brings a lot of disrepute to those inefficient Chartered Accountants and the Institute as well.
Q6) Whether to start CA articleship after clearing Group 1 or both the groups?
A6) If you think you are enough capable to clear the remaining group after commencing practical training, than you must go on otherwise it is advisable to start articleship after clearing both the groups. You boss will get irritated if you ask him for Group 2 leaves again and again. This decision can bring a lot of stress and pressure, as you will granted only a month leave before the exams.
Q7) When will i be eligible for CA Articleship exam?
A7) After first and second year of articleship, students are eligible to appear for CA articleship exam. You can read more about it here.
These things must be discussed prior commencing articleship in any firms as these factors will have a big impact on next three years.
Remember, you articleship plays a big role and builds your professional character for your life.
For detailed analysis about how to apply in Big 4 companies, you can click here.
How to clear CA final exams in first attempt?
People have done it before and determined people will do it in the future also. After intense research and experiences of qualified Chartered Accountants, this post has been written and all the guidelines to clear CA Final Exams in first attempt have been shared.
#1 Motivation: You will have to be really determined and ready to sacrifice a lot. A daily motivation dose will be necessary.
It is difficult for the students to get time for studies during articleship but sheer hard work and motivation will bring positive results.
#2 Planning: Make a realistic plan and stick to it. No need to underestimate the mammoth syllabus of CA final.
Dividing the subjects and allocating time after taking into your account, your capabilities and office working hours, the plan should be made. Planning is easy but executing it without deviating from it is a difficult task.
#3 Distractions: Avoid social media and other things that are the source of distraction, you better know,5 months before exam. This will help you to save a lot of time and develop your ability to stay focused. Or you possess thunderous ability to divert your focus from other things to studies instantaneously.
ICAI libraries can be joined during this time. A study partner, a person who challenges you and tries to bring the best in you, that person can ease the path for you.
#4 Cover whole syllabus: Don’t be one who depends upon the luck to clear the exams. Complete the whole syllabus and do not skip important topics.
ICAI doesn’t follow any trends in examinations and you can see unexpected questions in the exam.
#5 Study Material and Practice Manuals: Students are often misguided by the coaching teachers to read their reference material before the exam. Reading ICAI material is necessary, there is no substitute to it.
Practice mock test but do not become the victim of mock test, they do not reflect the real story.
#6 Presentation and Keywords: Charts and Headings are necessary in ISCA, Standards on Auditing(SA’s) are necessary in Audit.
Your hand writing matters a lot in CA examination.
#7 Handwritten Notes: Prepare your own notes that will be a revision material for you to prepare just before the exams.
When you are going to read them, you will feel that you have read it before and memorize the keywords automatically.
#8 Day before the examination day: One day leave is granted before the exam day, efficient utilization of time and resources and proper planning of that day is required.
Allocate the time as per the size of the topic and try to revise the whole syllabus.
#9 During the exam: Students get terrified after looking at a difficult exam. Many qualifies Chartered Accountants share their experience as the difficult the exam is, easier is the checking is and vice versa.
ICAI is testing your mental capabilities, that whether you are able to face the aftermath of difficult exams. Be patient and don’t leave the next exam.