CA Articleship in a medium-sized CA firm

The blog is all about what I learned in CA Articleship in a medium-sized firm. When I embarked on my journey of Articleship in a medium-sized firm. I used to ponder often what I am learning is up to the industry practices as there was no standard to measure the quality of work. Then, I, later on, realized the quality of work cannot be judged, as Big 4 firms work in a completely different way while medium-sized firms have different objectives.

Without wasting any time, I would list down most of the areas to which one can get exposure in medium-sized firms. In case you are about to start your practical training, you can read about “Qualities to learn before starting CA Articleship”

This blog is an addition to our article on “Areas to learn in CA Articleship”

How to utilize CA Articleship duration time?

Before jumping upon the topics to be learned, let’s just first bifurcate the three years long period into three-part. The first stage where you must lay emphasis on learning and making mistakes should be for at least 13 months. Make mistakes, take initiatives to apply your knowledge, and try to gain immense exposure.

The second phase after 13 months when you should start CA finals coaching along with gaining practical experience. The third phase when you will be burdened with responsibilities along with pressure to appear in exams. So, plan your time wisely.

Topics to be learned in CA Articleship in the Audit department

Statutory Audit

Almost all medium-sized firms have a number of statutory audits. Any company incorporated by a medium-sized firm will surely have its statutory audit in the beginning. Now, the scope of work is not limited to checking the items reflecting in financial statements. Rather, most medium-sized firms aid the companies in preparing financials. Articles can learn how to prepare balance sheets while working along with the management.

See I am not going to teach you statutory audit in this blog post but will surely highlight what can be learned.

How to audit the items reflecting in financials? What audit procedures and techniques must be levied? How to maintain Audit documentation? You can learn plenty in statutory audit – even 3 years are not sufficient since statutory audits are not happening every time.

Tax Audit

Statutory Audit and Tax Audit are somewhat interconnected not completely. Most of the big companies fall under the conditions prescribed in Section 44AB. So, tax audit becomes compulsory for them. I would like to tell you guys, a tax audit is not that easy. Every item you reflect in the Tax Audit form (3CD) can become one of the reasons for which demand can be raised by the income tax department.

All the PGBP tax provisions you read while preparing for exams are practically implemented in tax audits. What is allowed and what is disallowed?

Bank Audit

Most of the medium-sized firms have bank audits. The firm will be assigned audits of different branches all over India. How do you do a bank audit? In this area, you can gain plenty of knowledge about the functioning of banks. See most of the auditor’s focuses on finding NPA’s (Non-performing Assets) in banks. And there are different criteria on how NPA’s are discovered by auditors.

Also, you can find a lot of checklists available, ICAI guidelines on Bank audit. Read them learn from them. Also, bank audits are meant to be enjoyed.

Internal Audit

If your firm has a good internal audit client and has an audit of different departments, then there is a wide scope of learning. The internal audit focuses on how the company’s internal controls are functioning. Finding deficiencies in the internal controls or estimated losses happening to the company due to weak internal controls becomes observations.

To demonstrate, you can conduct an internal audit of

  • Purchase department
  • Vendor Development
  • HR and Payroll
  • Marketing
  • Logistics
  • Export
  • Accounts and Finance

And a lot more areas depending upon the client to client. You are going to learn about the company’s processes and its operations. And an investigating mind of an auditor will dive deeper into this area in search of more significant observations.

Let’s shift to other areas now. I know there are more types of audits but I have taken the major ones which are available with medium-sized firms.

Since students now have to appear for the CA Artcleship test also. “Internal Audit” has been given as an optional topic for which questions can be asked.

Read more at

How to audit a purchase process of the company?

Topics to be learned in CA Articleship in the Tax department

Direct tax

A normal person requires CA for helping in preparing his Income tax returns. You will be generally asked by people how I should plan my taxes. What type of schemes are there to claim deduction under Section 80C.

What I have learned in this area is clients want instant answers to their questions. If you are unable to answer these queries, people will judge you, that this CA lacks knowledge. So, the direct tax must be on your fingers. Clients ask about TDS, Salary Income, any Income arising from Mutual funds, capital gains. So, always be ready to answer these questions.

The scope of exposure in Direct tax is so vast ranging from all the types of ITR to replying to notices/or received. You must learn how to reply to notices and eliminate the reasons for notices or faulty returns.

Also, learn to write articles on Direct tax. If you are able to understand a Direct tax provision and express it in your own words or through a presentation. That’s great. The more you write and learn about practical direct tax implications, the more learned you become.

Indirect tax

Since, most of the indirect taxes like Excise, VAT and Service tax are subsumed under GST now. So we are going to discuss Goods and Service tax. GST being new with different provisions plus plenty of notifications and circulars made it a little complex. And a Chartered Accountant must be able to solve complex issues.

In a medium-sized CA firm, one can get good exposure to GST. Altogether, you can

  • Learn about filing GST returns- GSTR 1, GST 3B
  • Prepare an annual return of a big company – GSTR 9 and GSTR 9C
  • Conduct GST audit
  • Learn about Input tax provisions and other Rules
  • Check out the documents that need to prepared for GST compliance
  • Frame replies to notices received in GST

Incorporating companies, LLP’s, Partnership

Last but not the least, a CA article must incorporate a company or an LLP during his tenure. This is a must, one should always learn how names are approved, what documents are filed or the issues encountered in the incorporation of entities.

A CA Article must learn how to incorporate the following entities.

  • Proprietorship
  • Partnership
  • One Person Company
  • Limited Liability Partnership
  • Private Limited Company
  • Public Limited Company

Learning Microsoft Excel & ERP systems in Articleship

I developed a good hand over excel during my Articleship period only. Just dive deep into Excel, learn about Pivot tables, Index and Match, Lookups, Conditional formatting, shortcuts, and other functions.

The other functions and formulas which I use normally are as follows.

  • Text Join or Concatenate
  • Text to Columns
  • Charts
  • Removing duplicates & blanks
  • ALT H+M+C (Merge and Center)
  • =LEFT/RIGHT
  • ALT H+B+T (Border)
  • ALT O+F+C+A (Expand Cells)
  • Tables
  • ALT H+H+Arrow (Fill)

Moreover, try your hand on ERP systems like Oracle, Microsoft NAV. Learn to extract reports from ERP, posting documents in ERP. Since most multinationals use ERP systems.  A good hand over ERP systems can help you get Industrial training plus becomes an additional feature in your resume.

In addition, too, there are a lot more things which can be learned like preparing certificates and their annexes. However, the scope is not limited. It depends upon person to person and their learning abilities.  Let’s move on to minor but important aspects of the CA Training experience.

How maintaining the CA Articleship work diary helps in the long run?

First and foremost one should always maintain a work diary in CA Articleship. This is a must rather keep two diaries for different areas helps. We are in the learning stage and we need to document our learning in one place. What if you completed your two years of Articleship and you don’t even remember what we did in the first month. We tend to forget so it’s better to maintain a working dairy.

It should be noted, ICAI also asks for a work diary if in the future some issues arise in CA Articleship registration. Using different color pens, making short notes, and highlighting the important aspects of learning will definitely help you in the future.

Let’s take an instance: Your boss or a senior manager called you in his room to assign some work to you. Will you go without a work diary? Are you going to write on a piece of paper or on your hand? That would look weird. Isn’t it?

CA Articleship experience

I have written about my CA Articleship experiences and lessons that I learned during my CA Articleship. Undoubtedly, that would not have been possible if I would have not maintained a work diary.

Read more: How to prepare resume for CA articleship

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