Hi folks. I cleared CA Final in Nov 2011 in my Fourth Attempts! So most people will say I have no right to give GYAAN on how to pass ca final in one shot. But hey! Before you write me off let me tell you i am the right person because I know what not to do if you want to clear this exam.
Whatever I am writing is based on my experience and my personality (you may not agree with it) but I hope it can be of some benefit to you.
First of all let me share with you people my story. I did my graduation from ST XAVIERS COLLEGE Kolkata and cleared CA PE 1 and PE 2 one shot (I am not boasting about my self, I am trying to make a point so please continue reading) but I failed for the first time in CA FINAL not once, not twice, but thrice. So what went wrong. I analyzed my situation after failing for the Third time (I wish I had done it earlier). So what are the dont`s if you want to clear this exam (or achieve anything for that matter):
1. Don't get stressed - You might be laughing (well that takes care of your stress!) and thinking. What kind of silly advice is this? if you are a BINDAAS person then I salute you and you can skip this point. However if you are like me (emotional types) and get tensed by situations and people around you then its time to change. I am listing few things which I found made me tense and as a result I couldn't concentrate on my studies:
a. HYPE AROUND CA FINAL - CA final is very tough, Pass Percentage iss BAAR BAHAUT KAM THA!! 20-20 ghanta (hours) padhna (study) padega (Only possible if you are an insomniac). You must have heard these from people around you.Well its true that CA Final syllabus is tough but it can be covered if we study regularly in a planned manner and with a free mind. So never waste your time thinking CA is tough, difficult to clear, low pass percentage etc instead give more time to your study and you will surely pass.
b. LACK OF EMOTIONAL MATURITY - CA course shows no mercy for emotional people. Let me give my own example. I found it very difficult to cope with CA tuitions, college exams and CA articleship all at the same time. I was always unhappy because i found no time /energy left to study/rest at home. I went through the motions. 2.5 months before the exams I got leave from office. Tuitions carried on till 15th April 2010 and I appeared for my first attempt in MAY 2010. I waited for the results and the inevitable happened, I failed. Had I planned my tuitions properly (taking Accounts and SFM in the 2nd year of articleship, and other subjects later on), squeezed in some time daily for study instead of cribbing about lack of time, and by being happy I would have coped with the situation better. Similarly you have to face people`s taunt (specially if you fail), back stabbing friends(back stabbing and still I call them friends because har ek friend zaroori hota hai ) Rude boss (bole toh Your Principal! All practicing CA`s are going to kill me for this), family problems, financial problems etc. So never get affected by these things and always be HAPPY because a worried mind cannot solve any problem.
2. Don't get distracted - Never compare yourself with others. Some of your friends may be partying all the time (and of course posting their pictures on FB to show off!!) others may taunt you KITNA PADHOGE / Tera to rank pakka hai / kitabi kidha hai / pagaal hai! and what not. Some time we fail but our friends pass and get good jobs which makes us wonder MERA NUMBER KAB AAYEGA? The motto is simple today`s pain tommorow`s gain. Don't waste too much of your time on FB, smsing etc and discussing with others how much syllabus you have covered Simply Focus on Studies.
3. Don't blindly follow shortcuts - Lot of people (read coaching teachers) try to outsmart the CA Institute by omitting certain portions of syllabus simply by following some trend and saying yeh toh nai ayega (The way these people make predictions they would have given NOSTRADAMUS A RUN FOR HIS MONEY). Nobody can predict CA Question Paper, so prepare all the topics to be on the safe side.
Enough of gyaan now I shall discuss my strategy for CA final GROUP 1: ( Please note ideally you should study each chapter/topic in detail. However from exam point of view certain topics carrying decent marks can be studied in preference to other topics as they can be covered in less time and fetch you valuable marks)
Paper 1- Financial Reporting - A lot of people argue that Financial Reporting is all about Holding Company Accounts and Amalgamation. I beg to differ. According to me there are lot of small topics which are easier and can be prepared with 100% accuracy in short span of time. Rather than devoting one month on preparing Holding Company Acts (and getting it half correct in exam hall) students can easily cover small topics in a week (and score 40-50 marks with full accuracy). Later on they can prepare for holding and amalgamation. So here is the topic wise in order of preference:
1. Value Added Statements - Economic Value Added, Market Value Added, Shareholders’ Value Added
2. Accounting for Financial Instruments+(AS 30,31,32)-Sums on forex, derivative, call /put options etc.
3. Share Based Payments - Sums on ESOP, ESPS etc (It can be covered From ICAI Study mat)
4. Miscellaneous Topics - Financial Reporting by Mutual funds, Non-banking finance companies, Merchant bankers, Stock and commodity market intermediaries + Human Resource Accounting
5. Valuation of Goodwill, Shares, Business, Brands etc ( V.IMP)
6. Corporate Restructuring - sums on capital reduction, demerger, buyback etc.
8. Consolidated Financial Statements (Holding Company)
Accounting Standards can be prepared on daily basis like 1 AS everyday (Longer time for tough AS Like AS 22,15,19 etc) along with practical case studies on AS. Preparing for AS has double advantage because questions on AS are also asked on AS in Advanced Auditing Paper.
Paper 2- Strategic Financial Management - In SFM also there are few small topics which can be covered before the bulky topics. Ideally one must revise all the topics from Practice Manual after completing his Tutor's Notes or References Books or ICAI Study MAT (as the case may be). So here are the topics in order of preference:
1. Leasing decisions (lease v/s buy), cross border lease, BHW model etc
2. Dividend policy
3. Mergers and Acquisitions
4. Mutual funds, Exchange Traded Funds
6. Security analysis
8. Capital Budgeting
9. Derivatives (Our sir taught this topic in great details, considering it comes of around 8 MARKS and is conceptual topic i studied it in end)
Please do not leave SFM theory for the last minute. Some great teachers in Kolkata advice to leave theory. But my friends it can give you valuable 15-20 marks and in CA Final every mark counts. You can prepare theory from your tutor's notes or from practice manual. Chapters like Indian capital market, fundamental and technical analysis are also important for theory.
Paper 3- Advanced Auditing and Professional Ethics - At cost of being repetitive,I must add for theory papers every topic is equally important. I studied from Surbhi Bansal's Book. By summarizing such a vast syllabus, Surbhi Mam has done a great job. People ask me is this book sufficient? My answer is both yes and no. certain topics like professional ethics have been simplified, there are charts and past questions given but still lot is to be done as far as standards of auditing are concerned. There are no practical example given to help us understand SA and their practical application. at this level SA must be accompanied with case studies otherwise there is no sense in mugging up an SA without clarity. similarly topics like general insurance has basic terms like acquisition cost (meaning cost by an insurance company to "acquire" the premium — for example, commissions paid to a broker or fronting company) which are not explained and students simply mug them up. I personally googled a lot of SA`s and topics because I cannot mug things up without understanding. (but lot of you may not have time to do so). You may refer to some other source apart from this book. (like padhuka`s) among the chapters professional ethics (should be revised from manual/ past papers), CARO, bank audit, CIS audit are important. Accounts, audit, inspection and investigation, dividend are common from corporate law and should be studied from law books.
Paper 4 - Corporate and Allied Laws - I found Munish Bhandari's handbook helpful. His new book has charts which help in quick revision. But this book does not has SEBI ICDR regulations, for which good notes were there on CAclubindia. In allied laws do cover interpretation of statutes (some principles like EJUSDEM Generis lack examples but you can find it on net) FEMA, competition act, SCRA, and SEBI before other chapters.
Thanks and All the very best to all of you.
CA PRATIK JAIN