Pursuing any course seems tough at first, but hard work and determination make anything possible. Chartered Accountancy is considered to be too difficult a course to study. But every several students come out with flying colours clearing the examinations conducted by the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI), the statutory body regulating the profession of Chartered Accountancy.
Yes, it is obvious that CA cannot be done in a day. You cannot just wake up one day and decide to pursue CA without understanding the basics of it. CA is a three-level examination conducted by the ICAI including the CA Foundation, CA intermediate, CA final as well as three years of training formally known as Articleship.
There are various institutes providing CA coaching in Kerala as well as some of the country's best CA coaching centres in Kochi to help you prepare for CA examinations.
So, let's begin with the eligibility criteria for becoming a CA in India.
If you have completed your higher secondary with any stream, you are eligible to appear in CA examinations. The pattern of the examination resembles the commerce papers.
CA Foundation examination
CA Foundation requires you to have in-depth knowledge of four subjects. They are Principles and Practices of Accounting, Mercantile Law and General English, Business Mathematics, Logical Reasoning, and Statistics and Business Economics & Business and Commercial Knowledge.
The paper is 50% objective and 50% subjective in nature. You will not face difficulty in clearing the above-mentioned papers if you had commerce in your 12th board examination.
Mercantile Law is added recently and it requires a clear perception of the subject. You need not delve into the details of each and every section to pass the paper. Logical Reasoning would be a scoring factor for you. But mathematics would require special attention. Economics can be again of help. It can enable you to score marks as it is paper which is very easy to handle, unlike mathematics or statistics. Try to find out your weak points and allot time to subjects accordingly.
You will be considered to have cleared this stage when you obtain 40% marks in each of the individual papers and an aggregate of 50% marks in total.
CA Intermediate examination
The next step in the series is the CA Intermediate examination. You need to realize that things will get tougher with every forward step. But panicking is never the solution. A gap of 9 months is provided between the CA Foundation and CA Intermediate examination. Plan well, and you will achieve your goal.
You are allowed to appear in this examination if you have already passed the CA Foundation examination. Also, anyone who is a graduate or post-graduate from any stream with a minimum of 55% marks (for commerce graduates) or 60% marks (for other graduates) can register for the CA Intermediate examination directly.
Interestingly, candidates who have cleared the CS Executive examination or CMA Intermediate examination are also allowed to appear for this examination without having to first clear the CA Foundation examination.
Remember going through the study materials given by the ICAI is always helpful. So, start with that. There are two groups of papers at this level.
The first set comprises Accounting, Cost and Management Accounting, Corporate and other laws and taxation. The first two sections are entirely subjective while the other two have 70% subjective questions and 30% objective questions.
The second set consists of Advanced Accounting, Financial Management and Economics for Finance, Enterprise information systems and strategic management and Auditing and Assurance. Similar to the first set of papers, the first two papers mentioned here are subjective in nature while the other two have a distribution of 70:30 for subjective and objective questions respectively.
You can choose to appear for one group or both the groups simultaneously. If you take the first route, the minimum marks essential to clear that group's examination is 40% in each paper. On the other hand, if you have applied for both sets together, along with the 40% criteria, you will have to achieve a score of 50% in all the papers of both groups to move forward with the CA Intermediate examination.
It might so happen that you managed to get 60% marks in one or more papers of a group but failed to achieve the overall 40% limit. What can you do? You can opt for exemption in such papers and go on to clear only the remaining papers of the group for the next three attempts. Quite helpful, isn't it?
It is recommended for candidates to register and clear the CA Foundation examination first as that will help you understand the basic concepts of every subject. Plus you will have more time to analyse and talk to people providing CA institute in Kerala or finding the one best coaching centre in Kochi which would be able to guide you in the right direction.
An additional benefit of studying stage-wise is that you will realize your weak and strong papers, the time required for you to complete certain chapters and many other related things.
CA Final examination
This being the last step of all, tests you in both the theoretical and practical aspects of the subjects. You need to tie up your shoelaces and proceed with the preparations as soon as the CA Intermediate results are out.
3 years of articleship is needed to be completed before registering for this examination. Candidates who have only 6 months left of the articleship program can also enrol for the CA Final examination. Just like the CA Intermediate examination, CA Final is also divided into 2 groups for which you can either register individually or together.
The first group of papers are Financial Reporting, Strategic Financial Management, Advanced Auditing and Professional Ethics and Corporate and Economic Laws. The second group includes Strategic Cost Management and Performance Evaluation, Direct Tax Laws and International Taxation and Indirect Tax Laws. Both papers involve objective and subjective questions.
There's an elective paper too. Select wisely. Opt for the paper you feel you are strongest at. If you are still confused, determine your interest. It will help you go for the right alternative and help you score good marks. But just because it is an open book examination, do not make the mistake of not studying it properly. You can gain or lose marks due to the elective paper. Don't take a risk.
The minimum passing marks are the same as that of the CA Intermediate examination. You are allowed to sit for the examinations of both the groups' endless times. So, don't worry, you will perform well.
Nothing comes easy. This is not only an age-old saying but also the harsh reality. But if you are determined and have set your target before entering into a field, you will never fail. So, follow the above tips and become a Chartered Accountant. All the best!
A good article and the author has meticulously mentioned about the detailed path of becoming a CA. It is a long course and so requires patience and concentration. Today for a certified CA person there are many opportunities in the financial and business world as they know the intricacies of finance, commerce and business. No business can thrive without financial and commercial considerations and it is evident that persons having their CA completed stand better chances for employment.
The syllabus of CA is quite exhaustive and requires focus, hard work and concentration, so only those who have the will to execute such dedication should think of it.
Chartered Accountancy is a Professional Course which attracted top scholars earlier equal to if not more than Engineering and Medicine. It was considered an elite job and profession above mark. The awe and admiration to CAs was more because of the low success rate in examination as the threshold marks were more than the other examinations. CAs usually gained some work experience during their course period itself due to their on-the-job training inbuilt into the course. So even if one did not pass the CA exams in initial attempts he can have a career. This helped them to proceed with attempting further and ultimately pass the exams.
A good CA will never be unemployed. Most CAs are self employed. It is one of a high paying professions.
If this note inspires anyone to take up Chartered Accountancy as a career and profession, then this article gives all the required details about the foundation examination and Final examination. One can also visit the web site ICAI.org of Institute of Chartered Accountants of India.