I have read a lot of articles on this subject and think that most of these are very generic motivational talk, now while motivational talk is useful; I think that some practical words might also come handy in taking this decision.
Most people would tell you that yes you can do it and nothing is impossible and the like. My view is different - No, not everyone can do it. Becoming a CA is not for everyone.
If it were for everyone - the pass percentage would not have been as low as, it has been over the history of CA exams. The CA credentials would not have been valued as much as they are valued today by the marketplace and most importantly, you would not have been spending/ thinking of spending these beautiful years of your life burning the midnight oil, just to get these two letters against your name.
I might be sounding too discouraging and ruthless but I rather am realistic than idealistic to be useful. Now coming to the question - Is it for you?
Here are you a few questions that I was asked before I registered for my Foundation course and I feel are very important for anyone to decide if he/she wants to get into this challenge:
The first thing that you must ask yourself is - Do you REALLY want to become a Chartered Accountant or is this just another thing you want to copy from your best friend like that latest cell phone?
Are you willing to dedicate the next few years of your life completely to this course and I mean it. To give you the most simple example the CA exams are conducted in May and November while May is, for the most part, quiet; in November your exams might be clashing with Diwali, while the rest of the world is celebrating the festival; you would be boxed in your study room with that tax law book with which you have spent more time than you have spent with your girlfriend in the last six months. Are you game for this? While your family and friends would be supportive and co-operative, this is a journey you need to travel alone.
Are you willing to study, study, study, study and study? Yes, there is no short cut here. No tips, no notes, no classes. Nothing can reduce the pain.
It is just not a course; it is a way of life. Trust me this sounds like a bit of exaggeration but ask any CA around you and he would tend to agree than disagree. Are you willing to get used to this way of life? ·
Last and perhaps the most important - Can you accept failures? Most of you might be reading this article having come out of your school or college with flying colours and to your credit all because of your hard work and dedication. But CA is different; the pass percentages are very low and even with a lot of hard work you may have to sometimes face a failure. Can you handle this? Are you someone who thinks you can never fail or are you someone who cannot handle failures, and then sorry this is not for you
If you answer all of these in positive then you can and you must pursue this challenge.
After all the preparation talk, I would like to point a few of many incentives to go through this hard time for the next 3-4 years:
It's an exclusive club; there are no donations seats, no NRI quota no minister's recommendations anyone who gets it, is WORTH it.
This is a sought after qualification by employers in the industry.
It is just not an accounting/auditing qualification but a more general finance qualification opening doors for you in various sectors, I personally know CAs working in so many varied sectors from software firms to consulting firms to investment banks and of course the audit profession,
It equips you with expert level knowledge in financial and cost accounting, financial management, tax and corporate laws, the most important elements for anyone who wishes to run his own business;
The articleship training that you undergo for three years makes you a much more mature and fine professional when you come out of the course even if you are just a fresher;
With these two letters against your name, you are taken much more seriously by colleagues, friends and people in general.
To sum up, CA is not impossible but it is challenging and requires a lot of commitment and dedication but it pays to do the hard work, once you are called CA.