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Career in Chartered Accountancy

Since last decade careers in finance and accounts have gained wide popularity and Chartered Accountancy is the most prestigious career option of this field. It is a very challenging and dynamic field. The work involves auditing, taxation, accounting and financial planning in the public, private and non-professional organizations.

Chartered accountancy can be the initial step to other rewarding careers in the field of finance & banking, investment consultancy and fund management Chartered Accountants are trained to examine, interpret and plan all types of financial transactions and provide trustworthy information about financial records.

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Chartered Accountants work in all fields of business and finance weather in public sector or private sector. They deal with auditing, analysing, verifying and interpreting clients’ accounts; advising on taxation, executorship, trusteeship, liquidation; carry out investigations to ascertain the financial position of businesses in connection with matters such as a new issue of share capital; the purchase or sale or financing of a business, reconstruction and amalgamations.

Educational Requirement for a CA

In today’s tough competition student should starts planning for their CA career just right after class 10. While pursuing 10+2 a student can take help of the related coaching institutes to prepare and crack the CA entry level tests. Students of commerce stream definitely have an advantage while pursuing this career. A student would go for the theoretical and practical training from the very beginning. A sequenced educational process is given below :

Common Proficiency Test (CPT) is an entry level test of four subjects i.e. Accounting, Mercantile Laws, General Economics and Quantitative Aptitude.

Integrated Professional Competence Course (IPCC) is the first stage of CA curriculum where the working knowledge about core subjects of accountancy is covered. The subjects are classified into two groups in which a student can opt for group-wise or for both the groups together. During this stage students update their knowledge of business communication, business strategies, taxes, information technology and audit.

CA Final covers advanced application knowledge of core subjects like financial reporting, strategic financial management, advanced management accounting, advanced auditing and professional ethics and information systems control and audit. The students after passing Group I of IPCC will register for Articleship for a period of three years with experienced CAs. During this training time, trainees learn about the technical details of the work.

Different Professional Accountancy Bodies

The Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI)
This is a statutory body that was set up to regulate the profession of chartered accountants. Any person who wants become a member of ICAI and designate himself as a Chartered Accountant in India has to pass the Indian Chartered Accountancy Course. The Institute of Chartered Accountants of India has now become the second largest accounting body in the whole world.

-Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA)
ACCA is the largest international accountancy body. It has over 424,000 students and 147,000 members in 170 countries. The ACCA qualification is recognized and its qualification is treated the same in all other countries also. There are three important elements to qualifying an ACCA accountant; exams, practical experience and an online ethics module. Students will need to complete total 14 papers. Students have to complete three years’ relevant work experience before they can qualify.

-The Institute of Chartered Accountants of Scotland (ICAS)
ICAS is the only UK institute which provides both training and examination to its students and its members and it has the right to give the ‘CA’ recognition to its students. The CA qualification takes three years to complete and involves structured work experience, theoretical study and exams. The exam syllabus contains ten subjects divided into three stages: the test of competence (TC), entailing the initial acquisition of knowledge; the test of professional skills (TPS), in which students develop their practical skills; and the test of professional expertise (TPE), assessing the judgment and application of knowledge.

-The Association of Corporate Treasurers (ACT)
ACT is the leading professional body for international treasury. It provides a qualification for those who are interested to work for treasury, risk and corporate finance. An ACT qualified person is eligible for a variety of roles including treasury, accountancy, risk, financial management, banking, relationship management and consultancy.

-Certified Practising Accountant (CPA) Australia
CPA Australia is one of the world’s largest accounting bodies with a membership of more than 139,000 finance, accounting and business professionals in 114 countries. It provides internationally recognized postgraduate qualification, specialist training and continuing professional development (CPD).

-Chartered Accountants Ireland
This is Ireland’s largest accountancy body with over 20,000 members and 6,000 students. It is recognised internationally as Irish chartered accountants work successfully in Ireland and in other 190 countries. Students must pass professional examinations which cover modules from taxation, finance and law to strategic finance and management accounting. The exams are segmented into three sections and conclude with the final admitting exam (FAE). FAE tests the candidate’s overall competence.

-The Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy (CIPFA)
A CIPFA qualification will give international recognition as an expert in public sector financial management. They are also valued in accountancy and auditing firms and can also choose private sector to work. CIPFA’s students take three years to complete their qualification which consists of two exams per year and practical training.

-The Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW)
It is an internationally recognized professional accountancy body which provides ACA education. The ACA comprises of two stages of professional exams and advanced stage. The professional stage consists of six knowledge modules that are online exams focused on the core concepts underpinning accountancy and six application modules that are paper-based exams demonstrating how to use knowledge in practical life. The advanced stage consists of two technical papers and a case study.

Job Prospects

Field of Chartered Accountancy gives various career options as each subject of CA Final exam can be a career choice in itself. Each subject offers multiple career choices, some of them are listed below:
-Audit and Taxation: Audit and Taxation have numerous sub-branches such as statutory audit, internal audit, tax audit, sox audit, information technology audit, certification related work, etc.
-Banking and Financial Services: This industry is one of the biggest recruiters for CAs. Many opportunities exist in banking operations, credit management, loan processing, treasury, financial product development & management, market & equity research, valuation, fund management, forex management and compliance etc.
-Project Finance/ Financial Advisory/ Mergers & Acquisitions: These fields are most glamorous of all profiles a CA can have. In these fields a lot of networking needs to be done to generate business.
-Academics: CAs can choose teaching jobs in educational institutions for CAs, commerce graduation coaching classes, certain post graduation institutes etc.
-Corporate Sector: CAs has undertaken a wide variety of roles in the corporate sector. Most common profiles for CAs in the corporate sector are Finance & Accounts, Corporate Finance, Internal Audit, Book-Keeping, Treasury, Restructuring, Business Development, etc.

Chartered Accountancy Firms

Some of the well known firms around the world are listed below :

Deloitte
KPMG
Adams & Moore
Ernst and Young
PriceWaterhouseCoopers
Burgess Hodgson
Mazars
Reeves
Chantrey Vellacott DFK

Chartered Accountancy training unbolts the door to a variety of exciting career opportunities, in every division and sub-division of business and finance nationally and internationally. CA is globally recognized and required profession in every industry and so has a vast scope. The above article will give an idea to the students of how they can achieve their goal to become a Chartered Accountant.

Ghosia Tabassum