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Dear All,

I wanted to spend my holidays here in Dubai but someone sent me a PM like this.I knew someone sometime in the forum would place a question like this.

First let me tell you: ICAI has no bias towards Northindians(many southindians and east Indians think like this).This is all a myth, guys and gals.There are many other myths like ICAI reduces the pass% for market demand,ICAI sets papers like Costing for 5 hours and makes students scribe for 3 hours(tell this to a guy or gal who got more than 90% in Costing final),etc.These are perpetrated by losers,perverted people who failed many times and dont have a clue whats it all about,who cry "conspiracy" at the first drop of the hat,etc.Use your commonsense dont panic, take it cool, take every day as it comes and set targets for the day and finish it...this is the only way to clear this exam.Dont waste your time even if you are on an audit tour.

I too dont have such biases(as mentioned supra).

The email I got was this(infra):

"Hello Shankar Sir.I'm Deepak Gupta from Kolkata. My PCC exams are due next year (May 2010). I have read most of your articles and the suggestions given in there. You are advising Padukas for almost all the subjects. I want to ask one question? This might be irritating for you after asking so many queries of the same kind, but just one final time for me sir. Before buying the books just give me a confirmation nod. Is Padukas ok for all subjects with study material or some other book for other subjects.Please tell me the books subject wise. Kindly accept my request and post an article for all the students like me. This would be a great favour from you for all of us. Thank you. Waiting for your reply......."

  Saravana Prasath(Prasad as is pronounced in Tamizh).He is the brain behind the organization alongwith G.Sekar(under whom saravana did his CA articleship)

Padhukas is very much ok for all subjects.It is not a mere ok Im saying but "the best".Some students who have not worked out from the same book thoroughly and are timid inside to work through all the questions and problems, say things against the book, to their and their co-peers detriment.One girl was syaing the other day on forum that she followed MICS from the book but did not clear.I checked the book again in my friends house.It is more than perfect and apt for exams.Im sure she would not have studied it thoroughly.I accosted her again and this time she changed her stance and said she needed help to memorize the content.So her problem was not with the book but her own inadequacy to memorise the content.This can happen with any book.

Dont go by names.Hey I come from North, "so why buy southies idlies and dosa books, let me buy a robust paratha and chapathi book by XYZ name"

Such attitudes only will work against you.Knowledge is not the domain of any one person or name or caste, it is for all.Even in the case of selecting books Indians have such attitudes, without even seeing the person then guess when will our problems with regards to caste,community,religion,creed end? God alone knows....

Anyways,I would like to emphasize the following here

  • Im not a salesman for Padhukas
  • I dont get paid by the organization
  • Saravana Prasath is not personally known to me
  • Im not saying this because I come from Southindia(Im actually half-southindian(keralite NambudiriBrahmin) and half-Parsee(westindian-gujarathi),which makes me an INDIAN!
  • I have no bias against authors from non-southern state regions.
  • There are excellent books by authors from other states as well


Padhukas, I recommend because of the following features I have seen.Also, many of my friends and relatives have used the book(very recent attempts too) and gained a rank even.

  • Savings in efforts and an aid to rapid revision(Chapter overview,Q&A Format,Fasttrack referencer,etc)
  • Different question types are given to make the student understand how the same question can be asked in various ways.
  • Highly exam oriented approach
  • Step-by-step and easy-to-follow approach.
  • Diagrams(Charts,Flow Charts,Tree Diagrams,Tables,etc)
  • Savings in money--When you buy this book, you need not refer to any other reference book or material.The entire syllabus apt for exams is covered,ICAI study materials are covered,Past exam questions and suggested answers are given,RTPs are covered(this is the beauty), and other relevant materials have been dealt with properly.
  • It forms a single-point referencer text for past exam questions and a rapid revision tool too.So, you dont need to get any chapterwise compiler or other referencer material.
  • Savings in time--Some students who get ranks finish this book 4 to 5 times easily.
  • Accounting standards and Standards on Auditing are given in the books and also is available as seperate books too.
  • The book can be easily procured all over India, unless you are living in states like Mizoram, Nagaland(even here too, you can order it from online or call them over phone and make arrangements.My friends sister who lives in Kohima(Nagaland) as a teacher, solely relied on these books and cleared CA in the 2nd attempt.She failed in the first attempt by a few marks and due to lack of facilities there)

These and the many advantages made think, this is the best book for a CA student who gets confused with various advices on which book to select.No single publisher can afford all such advantages under one roof, I can bet you this much.Though Saravana Prasath seems to be an orthodox brahmin sporting even a tuft, his books are very professional and uptodate and showcases his genius(He holds the record for CA Final first rank, which has not be beaten till now--1st Rank marks, I mean.Getting in subjects like Accounting 98%,in Auditing 95%,etc)

This being so, since a comment like this has come to me.I have to be unbiased and maybe some students seek a bit of variety.So I recommend here few other books(for CA final alone.You can extrapolate this for IPCC or PCC or whatever) .THIS LIST IS IN NO WAY EXHAUSTIVE AND I DONT HAVE TIME TO ANSWER QUERIES LIKE "CAN I FOLLOW THIS BOOK WHICH IS NOT MENTIONED IN THIS LIST...GIVE ME A BREAK! HAHA!"I CAN ONLY GUIDE YOU ALL TO AN EXTENT BUT NOT LITERALLY SPOON-FEED YOU!YOU GOTTA USE COMMONSENSE WHEN SELECTING YOUR AMMUNITION FOR THE CA WAR. But before that lets look at what ICAI gives as a recommended list:

The ICAI reco-list is thus(I have given my comments in red in brackets next to it and bashed it at appropriate places, ICAI is not a "sacred cow", just put it in place where it deserves,especially when they dont care much for the plight of a real sense):

Paper 1: Advanced Accounting

  • Advanced Accounts, M.C. Shukla, T.S. Grewal & S.C. Gupta, S. Chand & Company, Ltd., New Delhi (NAY!)
  • Advanced Accountancy, H. Chakraborty, Oxford University Press, Calcutta (nope!)
  • Advanced Accounting - Vol. I, II, III, IV, R.L. Gupta and M. Radhaswamy, S. Chand & Sons, New Delhi (ok book)
  • Advanced Financial Accounting (International Edition, Singapore), R.E. Baker, V.C. Lembke and T.E. King, McGraw Hill Book Co. (You gotta be kidding me, who has the time?)
  • Financial Accounting, A.R. Jennings, ELBS, D.P. Publications, London(Mr.Jennings--QUIT INDIA! HAHAHA!--It is a great book but who has the time?)
  • Advanced Accountancy, S.P. Jain & K.L. Narang, Kalyani Publishers (Good one)
  • IAS : Interpretation and Application, Barry J. Epstein and Abbas Ali Mirza, John Wiley & Sons, Inc.(Surely, you must be joking Mr.ICAI, we are not experts mere students)

Books for Reference

  • Students Guide to Accounting Standards, Mr. D.S. Rawat, M/s. Taxman Ltd. (Yeah good one!)
  • Indian Accounting Standards & GAAP, Mr. Dolphy Dsouza, M/s. Snow White Ltd.(Nice book for accounting stds)

Vidhyashankar's list:

Saxena,Taxmann's book,Class notes of some coaching centres like Prime Academy,sreeram Coaching point,etc(provided one attends the coaching,else the going is gonna be tough!),compiler,Rtps.

Paper 2: Management Accounting and Financial Analysis

  • Financial Management and Policy, Van Horne and C. James, Prentice Hall of India Pvt. Ltd. New Delhi .(You gotta be kiddine--Its a nice book to read after one clears the CA or if one has enormous time or if one wants to be a Hero in MAFA and zero in others.But yes, this book is a good one)
  • Financial Management, S.C. Kuchhal, Chaitanya Publishing House, Allahabad (Good one but not perfect)
  • Management Accounting & Financial Analysis, Dr. S.N. Maheshwari, S. Chand & Sons (Ok book)
  • Principles of Corporate Finance - Steward C. Myers, Richard A. Brealey , McGraw Hill Book Co., (International Edition, Singapore) (Hmm, I would be tempted to support this book because I used it a bit but then time is a factor guys and gals, if you have interest you may keep this book in your shelf and do some reference, dont pose yourself as an expert and advanced than other students and read this book, you will be fooling yourself, even people with minimal resources from Kohima can clear the exam and you will lag behind for the assinine assay!)
  • Financial Management - Theory and Practice, Prasanna Chandra, Tata McGraw Hill Book Co., New Delhi(This one is a cool book)
  • Capital Issues, SEBI & Listing, Dr. K.R. Chandrate, B.S. Acharya, S.D. Israni and K. Seetharaman, Bharat Publishing House, New Delhi (Yeah tell me! I will look it up later after I clear my CA.Whatyasay?)
  • Investment Appraisal and Financial decisions, Steve Lumby, Chapman & Hall (Steve Lumby--Comeone ICAI recommender-Have you read it or you wanna take revenge on students? Be practical!)
  • Lease Financing, Hire Purchase with Consumer credit, Dr. J.C. Verma, Bharat Law House, New Delhi (Im a Lease Financing Hero but zero in the rest Hahaha! Thumbs down for this reco though the book is good)
  • Amalgamations Mergers, Takeovers Acquisitions, L.M. Sharma, Company Law Journal, New Delhi (Well, this one is good but then one good referencer txt would cover it well)
  • International Financial Management, P.G. Apte, Tata McGraw Hill Publishing Co. Ltd., (Ok book for International financal management alone!)
  • Management and CostAccounting, Colin Drury, International Thomson Business Press (Yeah, many students have this but they make use of it like a show-piece decoration or as a pillow.I have used this book both for my CA final and my MBA studies in USA.I would say this book is great though!But remember time-factor for CA)
  • Corporate Financial Management, Douglas R. Emery & John D. Finnerty, Prentice Hall (Never heard of this book.I dont want to hear too hehe!)
  • Financial Management, I.M. Pandey, Vikas Publishing House New Delhi (Yeah, this one is good)
  • Financial Management Text & Problems, M.Y. Khan & R.K. Jain, Tata McGraw Hill Publishing Co. Ltd.(This is the book I used those days when Padhukas was not available.It was not available because I was roughly a contemporary of Saravana Prasath!)
  • Financial Analysis and Financial Management, R.P. Rustagi, Sultan Chand & Sons(Ok book)

Vidhyashankar's recommendation:

ANSridhar(by far the best after Saravana Prasath),His problems and solutions,Pattabhi and Bala(by snowwhite publications, this one is also good),Coaching material of Sreeram Coaching point(the only draw back is he(LMuralidharan) gives unique solutions which cnnot be applied to all cases.Incidentally Saravana Prasath studied under him).

Paper 3: Advanced Auditing

  • Contemporary Auditing, Kamal Gupta, Tata McGraw Hill Book Co., N.D. (Good one but I would say some irrelevant info as far as CA exam is also contained.The book is not completely focussed for CA final)
  • Advanced Auditing and Investigation , Emile Woolf et al, Mcdonald & Evans, U.K. (Mr.ICAI, please read this book yourself.We prefer books for CA exam not to become auditing experts or to develop our langauge skills)
  • Management Auditing: A questionnaire approach , R.J. Thirauf, AMACOM Publication (What the heck was that?Oh you mean to improve our subject IQ? Well, we can do that later after we clear.)
  • Auditing Today , Emile Woolf, Prentice Hall (Nay!)
  • Reference Books, (??)
  • Compendium of Statements and Standards - Accounting and Auditing, , (Hmm, this also frightens the students.Anything which frightens, anyone who frightens too much is your first enemy for clearing CA final,Remember this much.But the book is good, but obviously, just look into the time factor)
  • Compendium of Guidance Notes Vol I, II, III and IV, , (same as above)
  • Modern Internal Auditing , Victor Z. Brink and Herbert Witt, A Ronald Press Publication, John Wiley & Sons USA(I would like to meet these authors and interact with them,have a cup of Indian Chai! But to read this book for my CA exam...Nay! You are kidding me again!)

Vidhyashankar's recommendation:

Kamal Garg,Compiler,Any good class notes-Murali,Bhansals,etc coupled with study material and compiler(like Reliance) and Standards on auditing,Aruna Jhas series of books(Taxmann)

Paper 4: Corporate Laws and Secretarial Practice

  • Company Law and Practice , A.K. Majumdar and G.K. Kapoor, Taxman Publications (Good one, I followed this along with study material and 10 years past exams suggested answers and RTPs)
  • Bare Acts as amended upto date (Yes, ofcourse but dont become an expert, just use it for reference)
  • Companies Act, 1956 (ICAI means bareact I guess here...yes)
  • Competition Act(Yes)

Foreign Exchange Management Act, 1999, H. Chakraborty, Oxford University Press, Calcutta (yes)

  • Reference Books
  • A guide to Companies Act,


Wadhwa & Co., Nagpur
(Surely, you must be joking, Mr.ICAI! Who has the time to read Rammaiyya's book?I request the recommender to recommend all these books for his son or daughter studying CA final and make them read it.Come on I challenge the man or woman who recommeded it! 99.9999/100 cases he would make them buy Padhukas or the like!)

  • Guide to Company Law Procedures, M.C. Bhandari, Wadhwa & Co., Nagpur (Nope, same comment as above.I know these are for reference but even for reference I wont use such big tomes!)
  • Company Law (Vol. I & II, A.M. Chakraborty, Taxmann, New Delhi (Good one but deals only with company law)

    Vidhyashankar's recommendation:
  • Bestwords Corporate Laws And Secretarial Practice For CA Final

Taxaman's book,Munish Bhandari, other competent class notes.

Paper 5: Cost Management

  • Cost Accounting - A Managerial Emphasis , Charles T. Horngren and George Foster, Prentice Hall of India, New Delhi
  • Management & Cost Accounting, Colin Drury, International Thomson Business Press
  • Principles & Practices of Cost Accounting, Ashish K. Bhattacharya, A..H. Wheller Publisher
  • Advanced Management Accounting, Robert S. Kaplan Anthony A. Alkinson, Prentice Hall of India Pvt. Ltd.
  • Quantitative Techniques in Management, N.D. Vohra, Tata McGraw Hill Book Co, New Delhi

Vidhyashankar's take:All books mentioned above for costing are good.But look into the time factor and see whether you can spend inordinate time foreign authors(concept is not something foreign or Indian!) and for subjects like Operations research whether they require a seperate text)

 Ravi M Kishore(my reco after Padhukas)

  • Vidhyashankar's recommendation:Vashisht and Saxena, Ravi M Kishore,Costing notes by coaching centres,etc

Paper 6: Management Information and Control system

  • Management Information System , George M. Scott, Tata McGraw Hill Publishing Co. Ltd.
  • Accounting Information Systems, James A Hall, South-Western College Publishing
  • Management Information System Strategy and Action, Charles Parkel & Thomas , McGrawll Hill - International edition
  • Management Information & Control System, L.M. Prasad & Ms. Usha Prasad, Sultan Chand & Sons

There is no need to buy any of these except the last one(Prasad).Study material is more than enough just that it seems dry.But better a dry book than something which sucks time and is irrelevant whatever be the merit of the book  or the author

My nonpadhuka reco: Dinesh Madhan

Paper 7: Direct Taxes

  • Direct Taxes Law and Practice , V.K. Singhania, Taxmann Publication, New Delhi
    (Wow! a Classic book, provided you are either attuned to it or able to complete it)
  • Direct Tax Laws, T.N. Manoharan, Snowwhite Publications (P) Ltd., (I have sung enough hossanas about this book.This book is even better than Padhukas, is what I personally feel)
  • Professional Approach to Direct Taxes, Girish Ahuja & Ravi Gupta, Bharat Law House Pvt. Ltd., New Delhi.(Good one too)


My reco? You all know what it is and it  is given below:

(Buy the latest one relevant for your exam...)



Reference Books

  • Bare Acts (Income-tax Act, 1961 and Wealth Tax Act, 1957) , ,
  • Income-tax Law, K. Chathurvedi and S.M. Pithisaria, Wadhwa & Co., Nagpur

Paper 8: Indirect Taxes

  • Indirect Taxes Law and Practice, V.S. Datey, Taxmann Publications, New Delhi
    (The best book...but a bit too much)
  • Central Excise Law Manual (2 Vols) (Yeah, we wanaa become all indrect tax experts and fail in the rest!Come on give me a break!!)
  • Customs Manual, R.K. Jain, Centax Publications P. Ltd. New Delhi. (Ok book)
  • Cen-Cus Publications, New Delhi (what the heck does ICAI mean? Oh, it means Some book published by Cen-Cus--never heard of it)
  • Indirect Taxes Made Easy, Prof. N.S. Govindan, C. Sitaraman & Co. Pvt. Ltd.(Nope thumbs down, unless you attend his classes.I saw him teach once in the insitute.The old man is really good at teaching but his book has a long way to go.So, if you are taking coaching classes with him, you are on safe ground following this book and couple it with study material,bare act and past questions,compiler,rtps and stuff)


Reference Books

  • The Law of Central Excise (Vol I & II), V.J. Taraporevala and S.N. Parikh, Orient Law House, New Delhi
    (Not for students)
  • Guide to Central Excise and Modvat Procedures , Arvind P. Datar, (Wadhwa & Co., Nagpur)
    (Not for students)
  • Commentaries on Customs Act, T.P. Mukherjee, Law Publishers Pvt. Ltd., Allahabad

(Commentaries and Bhashyams! Haha! we are not going to be pundits and scholars!)

  • Modvat Manual, T. Gunashekaran, Snow White Publication Ltd. Mumbai

Ok but too much time on Modvat alone

Whats my take?

Bangar is the best non-padhukas book in this subject

Before I log-off for one more time I want to convey certain things

  • I have seen all your PMs and will reply at a later date.I just gave one final article for the sake of students as I dont want to appear like one Padhukas salesman or freak!
  • I have come on holidays here to Dubai and wont be able to access the internet from tommorow as I would be moving and seeing places here in Gulf (Bahrain included) which means I would be able to reply to your posts in approx ten days time.
  • I have other work to attend too and thus, though I appreciate your kind comments on me, please excuse me.Read all my posts and comments in this forum.Dont leave anything, as everywhere I have mentioned something important and helpful(except maybe a couple of distracting comments on Navarathna Thail! haha!)
  • Have faith in yourself.Dont panic just because a book which you bought does not come in my list .If you find it good continue else buy a book I recommended and shelf the older one.
  • Dont waste time comparing books.Just take the fruit of my advice and eat it.Dont compare with other fruits, analyse(analysis is paralysis) and dissect what I said and become critical(you are not gonna get a rank or passmark for this!).I have finished the course and I have some time to type these to you.But for you every second is precious my dear friends.Make best use of time.Thats all I can say.Every distraction can be handled later.
  • Dont consider internet or computer to be an ultimate guide for you in CA(Or for that matter even me!).Use your god-given commonsense.

Bye.....May all weal be with you. May all Good beset you from all sides!

Said one Folks of a surly Master tell,
And daub his Visage with the Smoke of Hell;

They talk of some sharp Trial of us Pish!
He's a Good Fellow, and twill all be well.

CA is not a surly master, neither are our trials sharp and painful.

All will be well dont worry!


See below an example of a mindmap

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