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Dear Friends,

I have framed this strategy for CA Final students appearing this November 2011. Did some research about the recent Final exams and framed the strategy. Hence, I hope that this would help you students to prepare smartly for the exams in less time and help you to revise better.

1. Financial Reporting:

This is a subject where ICAI is fond of lifting questions from Study Material, RTPs and Compilers. So the book i would suggest for this subject is Padhuka as it covers all the above three in a single roof. For Accounting Standards, I would suggest DS Rawat’s Accounting Standards. Here goes the strategy:

First finish miscellaneous topics like Accounting for Share Based Payments, Developments in Financial Accounting, Value Added Statement, Economic Value Added, Shareholders Value Added & Market Value Added and Human Resource Accounting. These are very small topics and will take maximum 2 days for you to gain mastery over it and will cover 20 to 25 % of the syllabus.

Second proceed with Accounting Standards. Finish AS 9, 10, 11, 12, 16, 17,18 ,19,20,22,25,26, 30, 31, 32 First and then proceed with the remaining standards. Don’t forget to Work out the solved illustrations at the end of each standard in DS Rawat’s book. You can find a similar sum reflected in the exam. Take 3 to 4 days to finish AS.

Third finish Accounting for Financial Instruments and Guidance Notes using Padhukas. This will consume only one day.

Now finish Valuation of Goodwill first, then Valuation of Shares and then Valuation of Business and Valuation of Assets using Padhukas. Certain sums may be repeated in these chapters time and again. So, you need not work the sum with same logic if it is repeated more than twice. The good thing is that valuation is purely based on common sense and u can easily gain mastery in valuation with the requisite effort.

Lastly, now with nearly 70 percent of the syllabus finished, proceed to the Big Giants - Consolidated Financial Statements and then Corporate Final Accountants and Accounting for Corporate Restructuring. Traditionally, ICAI used to question 16 marks from Accounting for Corporate Restructuring and 16 marks from Consolidated Financial Statements. Accounting for Corporate Restructuring is just a step above from the Amalgamation which you would have studied at PCC level, so there is no reason that you will score less than 8 in this chapter. It is enough if the sums from Compilations are worked out for Accounting for Corporate Restructuring (Amalgamation) and Consolidated Financial Statements. Now ICAI has started allowing choices in exams. If you are hard-pressed for time, i would suggest you to leave Consolidated Financial Statements and focus on other topics which consume less time and effort and cover a majority of the syllabus.

2. Strategic Financial Management:

This is a subject where concept understanding is tested most. For this subject, the books I would suggest is ICAI study material and Reliance Compiler for Strategic Management. ICAI study material may be outdated for some subjects but for this subject which is more theoretical, I have to say ICAI material is good and more than enough for conceptual clarity. First the subject in the following order:

1. Project Planning and Capital Budgeting

2. Indian Capital Market

3. Security Analysis

4. Portfolio Theory

5. FDI, FII and IFM

6. Foreign Exchange exposure and risk management

7. Mergers, Acquisition and Restructuring

First study the concepts of each of this chapters using ICAI study material first. Then work out the problems given in ICAI study material thoroughly and then work out the problems given in the compilers next. Then finish the past exam theory asked in these chapters from the compilers. This will be sufficient to gain good expertise in these chapters.

After these, finish the remaining Chapters. It is enough if you prepare for the remaining Chapters using Compilers alone. I can give you in writing that if you follow what i have mentioned above, you can get a decent 60 in SFM. During the 1.5 day time before your exam, never forget to revise the theory questions asked in the compilers. It will do well for the theory part of SFM.

3. Advanced Auditing & Professional Ethics:

The Books which i would suggest for this subject is Kamal Garg/V.K.Aggarwal/ Surbhi Bansal coupled with Reliance Compilers. First finish off the following chapters extensively using the author’s book I have mentioned:

1. Audit strategy, planning and programming,

2. Special Audit Techniques,

3. The Company Audit,

4. Audit Report,

5. Audit of Banks,

6. Audit of General Insurance Companies

7. Special Audit assignments

8. Audit under fiscal laws

9. Professional Ethics

10. Standards of Audit

11. Analysis of Guidance Notes

12. Peer Review.

Accounting standards gets covered in your preparation for Financial Reporting. So, for this paper you can rely blindly on compilers for accounting standards. For the remaining topics like Audit under Computerized Information System, Statement on the Companies (Auditor’s Report) Order 2003, Audit of NBFC, Cost Audit, etc., you can safely rely on the compilers alone. If you have had a good exposure in audits during your articleship, getting a 50 is going to be a piece of cake. Presentation too matters most for this subject. So kindly do take pains to present well during those 3 hours and avoid scribbling and over writing. Also, during the one and half day time before your audit exam, revise the subject using compiler alone.

4. Corporate & Allied Laws:

Follow Munish Bhandari’s Main book as well as his Hand book. Finish the following Chapters first using Munish Bhandari’s Main book:

1. Directors

2. Board Meetings

3. Inter Corporate Loans and Investments

4. Prevention of Oppression and Mismanagement

5. Miscellaneous Provisions under Companies Act1956

6. Producer Companies

7. Divisible Profits and Dividend

8. Securities Contracts (Regulation) Act, 1956


10. FEMA

11. Interpretation of Statues

The above will cover around 55% of the syllabus. For the remaining chapters, it would be enough if you follow Munish Bhandari’s Handbook for the same. Warning doesn’t rely on compilers alone for this subject. It will cut down your chances of scoring more in the exams. If you are too hard pressed for time, do your preparations for Munish Bhandari’s handbook atleast. Some of my friends have scored 65+ following his handbook alone.

5. Advanced Management Accounting:

This is a subject which is a nightmare for many people and many find it tough to complete more than 65 % in the exam. However, with some smart strategy and adequate efforts, this too can be easily overcome. The books i will suggest for this subject is ICAI study material with Reliance Compilers. Finish off the syllabus in the following order:

1. Assignment

2. Transportation

3. Linear Programming – Simplex


5. Simulation

These will cover around 25 % of the syllabus.

First finish off the concepts given in the study material for these chapters and then work out the illustrations in study material and then work out the sums asked in compilers. The advantage is that there are fewer problems in study material and many of them are repeated in compilers. Also, QT is more mechanical. Hence, your chances are gaining expertise in these chapters in QT is not going to be tough.

Then proceed off to costing. Finish the chapters in the following order:

1. Activity Based Costing

2. Budgetary Control

3. Marginal Costing – CVP Analysis, decision making

4. Relevant Cost Concepts

5. Transfer Pricing

6. Standard Costing

For these chapters also, proceed in the same manner as i have mentioned for QT part. It will be enough. For the remaining chapters which i have not mentioned, you can rely on the compilers alone for the same. Alert don’t spend too much time on Standard Costing. Finish all the other chapters in the order i have mentioned and then proceed of with Standard Costing. Don’t forget to revise the theory part from compilers during the 1.5 day gap before your exam.

6. Information Systems Control Audit:

This is said to be the most frustrating part of the subjects in CA final. This subject involves less analytical skills and more on remembering. I would recommend you to use Padhukas for this subject as ICAI tests majority from study material portion for this subject. ICAI’s study material may be a bit time consuming if you are preparing for both groups or tightly pressed for time and with less amount of leaves. Padhukas covers ICAI material portions in it and presentation is done in a manner friendly for both the reader as well as the examiner. So, you can use Padhukas as a bible for this subject.

Finish the subjects in the following order:

1. IT (Amendment) Act 2008

2. Risk Management Methodologies

3. BCP and DRP

4. ERP

5. Information Systems Security and IS Audit

6. Information Systems Audit Standards and Guidelines

7. Information Systems Controls

8. SDLC Controls

Finish the above mentioned chapters thoroughly using Padhukas. For the remaining chapters which i have not mentioned, you can rely on the compilers alone. If you have a good memory, this will help you in this subject very well. Warning the only red alert for this subject is never rely on compilers alone or practice manual for this subject.

7.Direct Tax Laws:

This is said to be the bread and butter for Chartered Accountants and will continue to be. I recommend T.N.Manoharan’s book for Direct Taxes for the following reasons:

a. Recent Amendments and Recent case laws are the exit route for tax papers as far as CA exams are concerned and they cover nearly 30 to 40% in exams. In Manoharan Sir’s book, recent amendments and case laws are given separately. SO , no need for you to search them separately.

b. At the end of each chapter, Past exam questions are solved considering recent amendments which will be useful for revision in the 11th hour.

Finish off the topics in DT in the following order:

1. Recent Amendments and Recent Case laws in TN Manoharan Sir’s book. ( Refer selected cases and supplementary material if u use other author’s book)

2. Wealth Tax (10 marks sure)

3. Double Taxation Relief

4. Special Provisions relating to Avoidance of Tax, Certain incomes of Non- Residents, Special provisions applicable to companies

5. Income Tax Authorities

6. Procedure for Assessment

7. Special Provisions applicable to firms

8. Collection, Recovery of Tax and Refunds

9. Appeals and Revisions

10. Penalties imposable

After finishing the above topics, proceed to heads of income and finish it. If you have worked in taxation matters most in your articleship, heads of income is going to be a child’s play for you. Then, finish Rebates and Relief, Liability in Special Cases, Settlement of Cases, Advance Rulings, Requirement as to acceptance, Payment or Repayment in certain cases, Offences and prosecutions , Tax Management in the remaining least possible time. The 10 topics which i have mentioned above will cover 65 to70 % and the balance will be covered by others.

8.Indirect Tax Laws:

This subject is a savior. Yes, with a smart strategy and good efforts towards the same, getting 60+ in this subject will not be a tough task. I will recommend Ajay Jain’s book for this subject for the following reasons:

a. Same reason which i gave for DT above

b. Presentation is good and is done in a point wise manner which will help you in revising. Also, for persons who are appearing in English medium will find this book more convenient as it doesn’t make use of bombastic words as used in Bangar’s or Padhuka’s

c. Last but not the least, If a student is hard-pressed for time or is appearing for both groups and wants to put only the effort as much as if required to pass this paper with good marks in a short span of time, this book can be relied.

Finish off the chapters in IDT in the following manner:

1. Recent Amendments and Recent Case Laws

2. Start with Customs and finish Valuation, Warehousing, Duty Drawback, Import by Post & Baggage first.

3. Then proceed to Service Tax. It will take only a few hours to master Service Tax. So u can master it in a short time. Then finish the common topics for customs and ST given in the book.

4. Proceed to VAT next and finish Basic Concepts, Valuation, Central Excise Rules, SSI and Penalties.

5. After all the above, proceed to Excise and finish Valuation, Central Excise Rules 2002 & 2004, SSI and Penalties.

If you follow the above, you will finish nearly more than 65 % of Indirect Taxes portion in a lesser time, after which you can finish the remaining parts. Work out the Conceptual and Self Assessment Questions in the book as and when u finishes a chapter in IDT. During the 1.5 day gap before exams, revise recent cases and amendments and for the rest topics revise using the solved question bank at the end of the book.

I think i have comprehensively devised a strategy for you preparations friends. This is devised to help all those souls who are finding time constraint or are studying along with a job or who are finding it difficult where to start and where to finish. I can guarantee you a decent 450 out of 800 if you follow this strategy. All the best to you all. God Bless You all. Wishing you all good success in your examinations.

With Regards,

The Invisible CEO

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