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Chartered accountants have to deal with accounting, auditing, finance and taxation. Styled as complete business solutions providers, these professionals have to ensure compliance with regulatory requirements

education Updated: Aug 21, 2012 19:24 IST

The lowdown
Chartered accountants have to deal with accounting, auditing, finance and taxation. Styled as complete business solutions providers, these professionals have to ensure compliance with regulatory requirements, capital structure and planning, organisational development, conduct and prepare feasibility studies and project reports, mobilise financial resources, install internal accounting and budgetary controls, give advice on issues such as joint ventures, foreign collaborations, mergers, diversification, product pricing etc. The opportunities available to chartered accountants have increased manifold in the last five to 10 years – what with many international organisations opening offices in India. Recently, one of the top consulting firms offered an annual package of Rs. 14 lakh to fresh CAs for a domestic posting and Rs. 25 lakh for an international posting. CAs have the option of either moving into professional practice, joining an industry or service sector or launching their own companies providing services to diverse sectors

Average day of a CA in a company:
9am: Reach office. Record transactions and payments
Noon: Check on compliances. If it’s the first week of the month, see if company has paid service tax, excise, etc (depending on the industry)
1pm: Lunch
2pm: Prepare budget and monitor it
4pm: Finalise financial statements and documents
7pm: Leave for home

The payoff
The average starting salary of a CA is around Rs. 6.5 lakh per annum. Multinational companies pay even more – sometimes over Rs. 10 lakh per annum to freshers

* Very analytical mind
* Good quantitative aptitude
* Strategic management skills
* Thorough, organised

Getting there
After passing Class 10, one can enroll for the Common Proficiency Test (CPT). Take CPT after Class 12 in June (or December). Register for the Integrated Professional Competence Course (IPCC) and 100-hour Information Technology Training (ITT). After IPCC, you do the CA final course and are mandated to undergo a three-year articleship under a practising CA.

Another short training course on general management and communication skills is required before you apply for a CA membership. Students may start preparing for the CA course in their formative years ie, during the plus-two stage. It is believed that only commerce students should consider a chartered accountancy course, but this is not true as the entrance scheme for the chartered accountancy course is subject-neutral.

Though commerce students at the school level have some knowledge of accounting, it has been observed that a large number of students from the science
background do quite well in this profession.

Students can register for Common Proficiency Course (CPC) after passing Class 10, but can appear in the CPT after appearing for the Class 12 examination or
any examination recognised by the Central government as its equivalent.

Before appearing for CPT, students have to complete the specified period of 60 days from the date of registration for CPT as on the first day of the month in which examination is to be held. Students registered on or before April 1/October 1 will be eligible to appear in June/December CPT

Institutes and URLs
* Institute of Chartered Accountants of India

Pros and cons
* A profession of trust – challenging to live up to
* You are an essential part of a company
* Staying updated on information related to the work you do requires effort
* CAs are financial wizards who are rigorously trained through an all-embracing curriculum
* They are the backbone of every business and industry

This profession has emerged as one of the most vibrant forces of socio-economic growth, while ensuring financial discipline -Jaydeep N Shah, president, Institute of Chartered Accountants of India, New Delhi