It gives me immense pleasure to write my first article after getting divine degrees of CA and CWA.
Earlier I wrote about how to secure good marks in Corporate Laws which was to my pleasure very much appreciated by all CCI’tians. Now motivated with that I wish to share my views on the most difficult subject of CA Finals INFORMATION SYSTEM CONTROL AND AUDIT which is Paper Number 6. Just like other theory subjects I am against taking coaching in this subject as it can be handled very well with self study only.
The study material of ISCA says “A paper on ISCA will help students to understand how to evaluate controls and standards for information systems in an organized environment.”
When I started reading this subject I always wondered why ICAI made it a part of CA final syllabus. What the use man? I am much technology savvy and even my seniors in my CA firm used to say that I should had been an engineer instead of opting CA. Still I could not find tiny logic behind merging information technology with practical subjects like Financial reporting and taxations.
But today when I see after clearing this course. Yes it is the right thing done by ICAI as we should think beyond what we are doing and can’t ignore the changes taking place in technology which affects our profession like anything.
ADOPTION OF BOOK
Friends this is the first and utmost step in securing good marks in this subject. Most people do mistake in this step and regret later. As per my knowledge this is the only paper in CA final where questions come directly from syllabus and there is no hidden logic behind. There are lots of reference books available in market like book written by Dinesh Madaan , Manish Vallecha, Padhuka, Snow-white publications etc. I have few of them. Not to name them. All are just prepared with some additional work on module. Some author tried to use find and replace option in MS-Word to replace technological words with kids friendly ones and some tried to make pneumonic (although irrelevant). Some just copy pasted module in Q&A format.
May 2011 the question paper of ISCA was very easier one, but the students were shocked to see their marks on the day ( result day ) as they did it from lighter books and judged there exams were quite well but shocked to see 18-35 marks at caresults.nic. This result shocked me too, but in positive sense. I was expecting 45-50 but secured 69 just due to one thing, My adamant attitude to stay with module only.
As per my view the best way to learn this subject is STUDY MATERIAL ITSELF. If you do learn from this book there is no need to run behind compilers or practice manuals as well. It is the best and the examiner expects examinees to answer the questions to write with reference to module only. And the best thing is you will never be in situation of getting a question out of module.
Guys I do accept this is the worst thing to tell you how to read this subject which has no practice use in our articleship period. For me it was like trying to do something with utmost care and concentration and at the end of very good precious time allotted you get to know that you are still where you start at.
I would like to suggest you all to have an attitude like "KARNA TO HAIN HI ....CHAHE HAS KE KAR YA FIR RO KAR…SYLLABUS MAIN HAIN AUR ISKA 100 MARKS KA PAPER BHI AYEGA….BETTER HAS KE KAR LE.... JITNA HOTA HAIN UTNA KAR … MUJHE MUSHKIL LAG RAHA HAIN TO BAKI SABKO BHI LAG RAHA HOGA … AB AT LEAST UN LOGO SE TO AAGE BADH JO MUSHKIL SAMAJH KE PADHNA BAND KAR CHUKE HAIN YA GIVE UPT KAR CHUKE HAIN".
How to start reading it, guys among the 10 chapters there are few which cannot be opted at the beginning of the preparation as they are presented with very amazing technical term, it includes:
Chapter 8 info system auditing standards (100 bar ek line padh k bhi samajh nahi ti matlab kya hain)
Chapter 9 is security policy (but second half of this chapter is very easy)
Chapter 3 control objectives (I never read this chatper as books shows 130 pages against it)
So better not to start with them, instead choose a easier one and move ahead with some confidence. As per my views the easiest among the most difficult chapters are:
CHAPTER 1 INFO SYSTEM CONCEPTS (easy but 50 pages)
CHAPTER 2 SDLC (although very lengthy)
CHAPTER 4 AUDIT TESTS (updated with audit terms)
CHAPTER 5 RISK ASSESSMENT METHODOLOGIES (EASIEST)
CHAPTER 6 BRP (easy but little technical)
CHAPTER 7 ERP (very easy and bit connected with chapter 1)
CHAPTER 10 IT ACT 2008 (it is very difficult to read it from module so if possible arrange Xerox of padhuka for this chapter)
My suggestion would be to do in order of 1st → 5th →6th →2nd →7th→10th→4th
I suggested such orders as it started with the easiest 2 chapters followed with bit technical chapter 6th and then lengthy chapter 2 and rest.
However you can follow any other order as well. But the end result should be coverage of at least 80% syllabus before your examinations, it must be sounding bit crazy to cover only 80%? Guys it is enough. I can assure you that if could do 80% very well you can even do the rest of 20% over viewing it.
Just a suggestion which can be very helpful is carry a small notebook and write small points on it, just for example if you are reading chapter 2 SDLC then in notebook just write key words and main main points, the same can be done on module but there is not enough space there, I call this as index reading habit which is readily useful while revising.
My personal advise is to study this subject daily for at least 2 hours which will make you feel connected to this subject and due to terror of technicality you will also don’t waste time as well which you had done otherwise.
Just like other subjects this subject is of 100 marks as well with one extra question of 16 marks, so you have a chance to attempt 100 marks out of total 116 marks.
First compulsory question is of Case Study which not to be studied at all., this is mere a compilation of four direct question from four different chapters which is made to trap students who do selective study. I saw some student in examination hall underlining the case study like it is an unseen passage of class 10th with hidden answers within, ha ha, don’t do that as you can pick out any question paper and check the case study, all question below case study are direct ones from separate chapters.
Rest of the questions are having 2-3 parts in it and are directly related to text of study material. Do the chapter thoroughly and surely you going to have an edge.
Just I mentioned above again wish to quote it again that while reading have an attitude of “KARNA TO HAIN HI, CHAHE HAS KE KAR YA FIR RO KAR...SYLLABUS MAIN HAIN AUR ISKA 100 MARKS KA PAPER BHI AYEGA... BETTER HAS KE KAR LE... JITNA HOTA HAIN UTNA KAR … MUJHE MUSHKIL LAG RAHA HAIN TO BAKI SABKO BHI LAG RAHA HOGA … AB AT LEAST UN LOGO SE TO AAGE BADH JO MUSHKIL SAMAJH KE PADHNA BAND KAR CHUKE HAIN YA GIVE UPT KAR CHUKE HAIN “.
At examination time the day before the examinations it becomes very tedious task to read this subject. I have seen people leaving group because of this subject because they complain that they now don’t remember what ever they have read earlier. The best suggestion at this time from me would be “ FIGHT …… FIGHT AND FIGHT “
Was it just for surrendering the group that you are reading this subject?
Remember those moments at office when you all have suffered a lot, remember all pain you have come across, remember what your parents expect from you, remember what a soldier do on war front? Does he get his foot back when he knows that his death is certain? Or he fights? Guys done ever give up, LISTEN TO THAT SONG EK JUNOON THA. Thanks a lot Anmol for composing that wonderful song.
Come on mates, you can do it, uthao book ko aur padhte raho .. nahi yaad arha ..? Kyu nahi ayega yaad? Iski aisi ki taisi.. lag jao full dedication se.
Now those 3 hours. Wow, I am getting that feeling man.
Dekho yaar attempt full 100 marks in each paper, struggle hard, the things which you know, present it in best manner and the things which you don’t know, present in better than best manner, in theory papers presentation and handwriting impacts the examiner a lot and this is visible with my marks in theory subjects, if I can with mere 50-60% preparation score 50-69 marks, you can do better than me.
I have never been a good student, although I have always tried to be smart one. I have scored 69 in ITSM and 69 again in ISCA in finals, by just covering 65-70% syllabus. Even this brought good result as I have the habit of attending full 100 marks question paper even I don’t know anything.
If done in good manner it is the subject which can fetch you amazing marks, Prince Jain AIR 1st rank secured 83 in ISCA and when I was a PCC student he mentioned on stage about his presentation on this subject, this is the best paper to score good marks,even now I do agree.
Study well, underline it well and most important part REVISE REVISE AND REVISE.
Thanks for reading it with so much patience and I would appreciate any sort of comments/suggestions/criticisms over it.
CA RAVI KHANAL CWA, BCOM
Please See : The above mentioned views about the books and the way of learning are entirely of my own and my experiences with my group of friends. Different people have different perceptions so it is not intended to represent the mindset of majority. Please suggest anything if you have for me.