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This article is particularly meant for students who have just passed the CA final examination recently and either applied /going to apply for membership or just got membership from ICAI. KUDOS to all those Successful candidates who qualified as Chartered accountants. Putting the prefix CA just before your name is one of the happiest moments for converting dreams to reality.

My best wishes to all recently qualified Chartered Accountants have a very successful professional career ahead. As it is just the beginning of a professional career it is time to evaluate whether to go for practice/industry or whether to do higher studies and then start a professional career. The learning cannot stop on the ground that exams are no longer there, but continuous updation of knowledge and up-gradation of professional skills has to be started from the very beginning of the professional career with a view to render services to clients or satisfy management needs. It must be used as an edge for an increase in pay, getting respect at a higher level, attaining great heights in career from the very early start. Which would be the right  career domain to start can be evaluated on the basis of strength, area of interest, type of work interested in but not evaluating higher monetary benefit among choices.

Now some thoughts may arise in your mind that after completing CA there will be no more challenges as if the world has been conquered but is not so. Even after Completing CA there are challenges, cut-throat competitions in industry/practice. 

Being members of the profession whether in practice or in service you can update yourself as follows:

  • Read a very good financial newspaper on a daily basis.
  • Read Members journal of ICAI (providing global information) or even writing an article to members journal henceforth CPE credits can be availed.
  • Attending CPE ( Continuing professional education ) although mandatory for members in practice even members in the industry can attend it or even act as a speaker
  • Buy reference books from ICAI(members related) or well-published authors for members like Taxmann.

These, in turn, will help to achieve great heights in a professional career.

More than above the challenge in a professional career at the start is competing with well-established members of the profession.

One must be very keen and clear on what career to choose whether industry or practice then if practice which line of services to focus or take up unique services else if industry what nature of the industry to venture or whether to become an entrepreneur. Here are options available

1) Practice CA

This is one of the most challenging aspects which a newly qualified Chartered accountant faces. In today's competitive world one cannot practice as sole proprietor due to intense competition, pressure from client, corporate services opportunity of rendering cannot be performed. Sole proprietorship concept is totally outdated concept. Starting own practice alone as sole proprietor involves huge costs to set up an office and not at all worthy. The next alternative can be starting a partnership firm with a minimum of 4 chartered accountants where the scope of services can be widened. The next option can be starting LLP firm in accordance with the LLP act 2008 read with rules 2009. Here the chartered accountant can enter into practice with

  • Chartered Accountant in practice
  • Cost Accountant in Practice
  • Company Secretary in practice
  • Advocate as defined by Bar Council of India
  • Actuary professional
  • Architect professional
  • Engineer (chartered)

This is considered as the best form of practice whereby the client (individual, firm, trust, corporate) get all services under one roof.

Another option can also be considered as joining an existing firm (mid-size) as a partner to do something unique to the firm.

Another major challenge exists today with respect to big 6 (global firms ) only after 15 years of working there /equivalent firm only can become a partner. This practice is becoming common even in big firms in cities that CA can become a partner only after 5 to 6 years of working as an audit manager.

Considering the above situation a practicing CA can join an existing firm that is in operation for less than 10 years. The firm should have good clients also the partner should be keen on taking firms to great heights. But the control and management lie in hands of the founder.

A Chartered Accountant who is so interested in practice should explore the following areas and each partner in the firm should have specialization in one area. A certificate of practice is mandatory.

1) Taxation

  • International taxation (along with direct tax) consultancy like for companies involving foreign party (associate, joint venture, subsidiary)
  • GST/customs consultancy.

These involve doing consultancy, help in tax planning, appeals

2) Management consultancy services

  • Project Financing
  • Mergers acquisition
  •  Valuation
  • Preparing consolidated financial statements for companies. (doing IND AS consultancy)

3) Auditing

  • Statutory audit of Companies (governed by rotation )
  • Internal /management audit of companies
  • Cooperative audits
  • Forensic audit

In a very competitive environment one can mostly do services for reputed corporate clients (substantially corporates) and last resort as Trust, individuals, Firms. The traditional areas like doing individual return filing , bank audit, tax audit of Individual, firms, Organisation involving political leaders are so traditional and mostly CA are already engaged in those areas hence newly qualified chartered accountants should think of some unique areas.

2) Becoming a partner of big audit/consultancy firms

Global audit/tax /consultancy firms are mostly the interest of the current generation. But to become a partner of global firms one should work in that organization with consistency and attain various positions from manager to senior manager to associate director and thereafter become a partner. This journey is very long also considered as a great challenge much difficult than clearing CA examinations.

The current generation leaves their job after few years unable to cope up the pressure and thereby shifting elsewhere. But if they pursue a journey with interest, commitment, zeal then they can become a partner.

Only while admitted as a partner in audit division need to obtain a certificate of practice from institute if in other divisions need not require a certificate of practice as they are registered as a company. In other firms, while doing any service whether Auditing, taxation, consultancy certificate of practice is mandatory as registered as a firm/limited liability partnership.

3) Pursue Government /civil services

This is the most flexible suited job for people interested in government-related jobs.They can aim for doing Civil services courses and then attain positions like the president of the ITAT tribunal (income tax appellate tribunal), SEBI (securities exchange board of India) chairman. This position can be achieved only by working in a government organization for a longer number of years.

4) Be an entrepreneur

Becoming a successful entrepreneur is certainly the dream of every individual. An entrepreneur has to be focused dedicated to take his business to great heights. Being an entrepreneur one needs to have innovative ideas and skills, creativity, analytical mind, broad mind business tactics. In order to start a business in one industry, one needs to initially built a work experience.

The mind of an entrepreneur should be unique and think about expansion diversification and should aim for growth of business and not merely survival. A successful entrepreneur should be a well-established industrialist.

5) Career in industry

This is probably the most common choice that the current generation prefers at the initial stage of a career. There are a diverse range of industries namely manufacturing, Information technology, automobile, steel, and so on. Here the key challenges are to satisfy employer needs and objectives of management. You have to be aware of “Corporate challenges What the employer expects”. But satisfying management needs, investors needs they can attain top positions like a chief financial officer. But only consistency in performance can help in attaining such positions.

6) Investment Banker

This is certainly one of the prominent choices among the newly qualified chartered accountants. Those having an interest in the stock market, forex, derivatives the choice would be to work for banks and NBFCs (non-banking finance companies). With respect to banks, one should aim big, instead of going for public and private sector banks, the aim should be to go for foreign banks. Foreign banks offer wide exposure, global clients, and growth. More than that an international level working will be gained in the areas with respect to the portfolio, credit rating etc.

7) A career in the Insurance sector

This is certainly the most welcome option for those interested in the field of risk management, the policy of insurance, and other insurance-related matters. Here the finance knowledge is very vital and essential.

Conclusion

In today's world, both industry and practice have good opportunities. They have their own pros and cons. Switching from industry to practice or vice versa would not be idle as both are different ball game altogether. Those interested in a career in practice or those interested to do government jobs can also act as part-time faculty for the institute either for:

  • Orientation course organized by ICAI.
  • ITT (information technology training course organized by ICAI )

Above doing is a pride for the profession and a knowledge-sharing to the students.

Lastly, a very important tip, what should be the right field to built a career should not be influenced by a friend 's decision. It should come by way of one's own interest and choice and not chance.

Also Read:

  1. What Nobody told you about Investment Banking & Private Equity - Exploring the career option for CA, CS and CMAs
  2. What is CPA and how to prepare for CPA?
  3. Is ACCA a good choice after CA Exams?

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Category Career, Other Articles by - Venkat Raj 



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