Hello friends and respected seniors. This is my very first Article on any CA related website. As the title of the Article suggest, this article is all about does Indian Chartered Accountancy Course can really change the people? This Article explores the socio-economic value of a qualified CA.
The Institute (ICAI) and requirements to become member of the Institute
Being 2nd largest Accounting body in world after American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA), ICAI is now a globally recognised Accounting body having wings in many countries and branches in several part of the World. Founded in 1949, ICAI if the fastest growing and recognised body having members across the World. Considered as one of the most rigorous 3 level examination supported by 3 years of practical training requirement under a qualified member of the Institute, one has to undergo several other requirements like 100 hours ITT, Orientation Program, GMCS among all other. I am pretty sure that after implementing IFRS, International Auditing Standards and other internationally tested and accepted standards, ICAI would be the No. 1 in all spheres of business.
Examination Pattern of CA Course
Indian Chartered Accountancy Course is a two level examination course and an entrance test called CPT (Common Proficiency Test). An objective type paper which tests the basic accounting, business, Mathematical, Economics and statistical knowledge of the candidate. If a candidate clears the entrance test then he secures admission in CA course. The 1st level is IPC (Intermediate) level consisting 7 papers covering good practical knowledge about Accounting, Costing, Finance, Taxation (Direct & Indirect), Auditing etc. The course is covered under two groups and if student clears with it then he can start off his Articleship training under a practicing member of the Institute. The Final level consists of 8 papers and each one is like Mahabarat covering everything about the subject and that too in very deep. 8 Papers are divided into two groups with 4 papers each. You have the choice to appear for a single group at one time and the other group at subsequent time.
Indian CA Vs other Accounting Professional Courses like CPA (USA), ACCA (UK), CMA (USA) etc.
These days, a very large no. of students is attracted to many foreign Accounting courses like CPA (USA), ACCA (UK), and CMA (USA) etc. Here we go to explore these courses as against our very own Indian CA.
If we take CPA (USA), it is a 4 parts examination course offered by AICPA. You can pass the course by sitting and clearing each part one by one. No requirement to sit for all parts at one time unlike that happens in CA i.e. you have to appear for 4 papers at one sitting (one group). Moreover exams are objective type/MCQ where you know one of the options is your gateway with no Negative marking for wrong answers. But in CA course, you have to solve the question with pen and paper, you have to show all your calculations with clear working notes, reasoning, and presentation in CA-final is given more importance.
If we take ACCA (UK), there are 14 papers in all (9 papers at foundation level and 5 papers at professional level) with a minor requirement of Ethics Module. Foundation level papers are similar to that of IPC papers of our CA course as far as level and knowledge is concerned. But in professional level examination, student has the choice not to take Advanced taxation, Financial Management, Advanced Auditing and Assurance papers etc. if he/she doesn’t want to study these subjects. But all of us are aware that in Indian CA course, student has no other option except to study all the stuff whether relevant or not. We have all the subjects as compulsory to become CA and the depth of subjects like Direct Tax laws in CA-final can blast the mind of anyone.
Now take CMA (USA), this is a 2 part examination course and one can take them in any order. Exams are computer based MCQ in both parts and the syllabus too covers only 60% of entire CA Syllabus. Most of the topics that we study in CA course are not there in CMA syllabus.
Pass Ratio of CA and other Accounting Courses
CA CPT Around- 26% - 30%
CA IPC level Around- 10% - 13 but can vary slightly
CA Final level Around- 3.5% - 8.5% but can vary slightly
CPA (USA) globally not less than 40% (All parts)
ACCA (UK) globally between 35%-45% and even more (professional level)
CMA (USA) globally always more than 42% and even crossed 50% at times
I would like to draw some more interesting facts about our very own Institute. I was there on 1st July 2011 for CA day Celebration being celebrated at Siri Fort Auditorium and the Chief Guest was President of institute of chartered accountants of England and Wales (ICAEW) who acknowledged and addressed the students with his great speech that included that “YOUR INSTITUTE (ICAI) is the 2nd largest Accounting body all over the World and over more than 80% listed companies in Europe have Indian Chartered Accountants in key & Managerial roles.” Believe me friends, if we do our CA course with honesty (no dummy articleship at all and eagerness to learn more and more) then we can beat anyone because the course we study goes to an extreme level and can blast anyone’s mind. Remember CPA will provide you with a “Certified” title and so does the CMA. CA course will provide you with a “Chartered” title which is a Royal title. Moreover These Institutes will eat up your money if you are not cleared up considering the fees they charge and annual Membership fees, heavy cost of books etc. I have gone through with many readings that also suggest that big4 firms too prefer Chartered holder to a Certified one. I owe my respect to this profession and this fraternity.
Coupling your education
I would rather suggest to Indian Students that they should concentrate on CA first then after becoming the member of ICAI; they can couple their educational qualification with these courses like CPA, CMA, and ACCA etc as second option to open up more options in this global village, to prove your competencies all over the World and to create leverage. Do not just run after the Advertisements shown by private Institute but to take a wise decision because you also can do better after becoming a CA only.