A love affair with numbers

  • Mehar Jossan, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
  • Updated: Jul 16, 2014 12:36 IST

Kanika Babbar is fascinated by the magic of numbers. No wonder then that this young lady chose chartered accountancy as a career and today is an assistant manager in the statutory division of Deloitte Haskins and Sell. “I have always loved handling financial matters and chartered accountancy was the field that best suited my interests,” says Kanika.

Chartered accountancy is considered the core of all ­businesses. A chartered ­accountant’s work involves auditing, taxation, accounting and financial planning.

The chartered accountancy course which includes ­various levels such as common ­proficiency test (CPT), integrated ­professional competence course (IPCC) and final course (FC) is conducted by the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India.

According to Babbar, who cleared the final exam in 2010, the last level (of the exam) is the toughest. “The first few exams are relatively easy but as you keep clearing the levels, the difficulty quotient also increases. The vastness of the syllabus makes it tough to crack the exam,” she says.

The pay packages for the newcomers who have just stepped into the accountancy and financial sector are very good, starting somewhere around ` 6 lakh per annum. “Performance based increments also encourage the freshers,”shares Babbar.

A chartered accountant needs be prepared for long working hours and should have the thirst for more work. Talking about the downside of the profession, Babbar says,“Every working day is hectic as the work comes with stringent deadlines. Hence, good time management and planning skills are must haves for a successful career.”

A Delhi University graduate, Babbar believes that every chartered accountancy aspirant should continuously monitor his/her weaknesses and strengths to ace the series of tests. “Students usually start paying more attention to the chartered accountancy exam and thereby compromise on their graduation exams. However, one should give attention to both. College exams, too, are very important as they clear the basics and form a strong foundation” she says. In order to excel, a chartered accountant needs to be updated with the latest developments in the field. Teamwork is the hallmark of a good chartered accountant. In the words of Babbar, “In the audit profession, we generally work in teams and take decisions collectively. The inability to work in a team can mar your prospects.”As a chartered accountant one can work as an investment consultant, fund manager or get into consultancy services.

It is a myth that only commerce students can embark on a career in chartered accountancy. “Students with a background in science or arts, too, can do well in this field. They just need to put some extra effort to understand the basic concepts of various management topics,”says Babbar. According to her the best part about this field is that it offers considerable scope to interact with a variety of people from diverse backgrounds. “This is a people-centric job and compliments from clients can be very motivating,” she says.

All you need to know about a career as a chartered accountant

Chartered accountancy is primarily about accounting, auditing, finance and taxation. As complete business solutions providers, these professionals have to ensure compliance with regulatory requirements, organisational development, conducting and preparing ­feasibility study and project reports, mobilising financial resources etc

The Institute of Chartered Accountants of India has its headquarters in New Delhi, with regional offices in Calcutta, Kanpur, Chennai, Mumbai and 81 branches under these regional centres. The course includes CPT, an entry level test, followed by IPCC. This is followed by the finals and articleship with experienced chartered accountants

Enrol for the CPT after Class 10. Take CPT after Class 12 in June (or December). Register for the IPCC and 100-hour information technology training. Then, you do the final course and are mandated to undergo a three-year articleship under a practising CA. Short training called general management and communication skills course is required before you apply for a membership

Skills and traits
* A profession of trust and it’s challenging to live up to it
* You are an essential part of a company
* Updating yourself is challenging and requires effort
* Strong communication skills
* Ability to work effectively in a team

Money wise
CAs have to ensure compliance with regulatory requirements

Rs. I take home
Rs. 6 lakh- Rs. 20 lakh per annum

I love my job because...
Every day is a new challenge

Expert gyan
This profession pays you well but one has to be prepared for long working hours. As a chartered accountant, one can work as an auditor, fund manager or get into consultancy services. You can also start your own business

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