A career in Finance can take you into a diverse range of industries. Chartered Accountancy is the most popular career path in finance as a CA is deemed as an essential part of a corporate organisation. This specialised field of Finance is challenging rewarding as it offers you with international career opportunities with a potentially high salary scale along with extensive growth opportunities. Becoming a Chartered Accountant, you can discover an array of prospects like working as a financial consultant or setting your own independent practice. There is a wide range of opportunities available in the financial sector as well as business firms. But the journey of becoming a successful chartered accountant is filled with rigorous professional training. Thus, if you are someone who is looking to pursue a career in Chartered Accountancy, here is an article which will walk you through the major aspects on how to become a chartered accountant.
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What is Chartered Accountancy?
Chartered Accountancy is a professional field which can be simply termed as the management of finances, accounting and taxation for an organisation or any business entity. Chartered Accountant is a globally professional designation granted to certified accounting professionals across the globe. CAs handle various responsibilities in an organisation such as management accounting, financial accounting and reporting, applied taxation or finance, audit and assurance, amongst others. To become a Chartered Accountant in India, you need to complete the CA course by the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI).
CA Course in India
To gain the prestigious certification of a Chartered Accountant, you are required to accomplish the CA course in India which takes around 5 years and aims to help you gain a stronghold in the finance and accounting industry. It is constituted of 4 main levels, i.e. CA Foundation or CPT, CA IPCC, Articleship Training and CA Final.
Eligibility Criteria for CA
There are two main routes to become a Chartered Accountant in India by accomplishing the CA course by ICAI. These two pathways are:
Foundation Route (After 12th)
The minimum qualification you need to register for the CA course is that you must have completed 12th and then you can enter the program at the first level, i.e. CA Foundation which can be completed with a minimum of 4 months of rigorous preparation and can vary as per the individual. After accomplishing CA Foundation, you need to opt for CA IPCC and once you have cleared this level, you have to take a 3-year articleship training and then you can move towards the final phase of CA Final exam.
Direct Entry Route (After Graduation)
For those who are wondering about how to pursue CA after Graduation? or post-graduation, you can directly opt for the CA Intermediate level if you have 55% marks in a bachelor’s degree in Commerce or 60% in a bachelor’s degree in any other field. After completing the CA Intermediate level, the rest of the pathway towards 3-year articleship followed by CA Final remains the same.
How to Become a Chartered Accountant?
Now that you are familiarised with the eligibility of CA course, we have detailed a complete guide on how to become a Chartered Accountant in the following sections:
Choose a Career Path
There are different paths available for those aspiring for a career in Chartered Accountancy. This field constitutes of various job roles such as a Chartered Accountant, Chartered Management Accountant, Chartered Accountant (Audit), Chartered Certified Accountant, Public Accountant, Business Accountant, Finance Manager, etc. These career paths vary according to the professional training and knowledge an individual has gained. To explore these opportunities, you can choose from numerous quality education programs offered around the world in the field of Finance and Accountancy.
Register for CPT
A Common Proficiency Test authorized by the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India is the primary level exam of Chartered Accountancy. Clearing this test, you will become eligible to appear for the second-level entrance exam which is integral for becoming a CA.
Register for IPCC
Candidates who have successfully passed the CPT exam can apply for the next level Integrated Professional Competence Course. IPCC comprises of a total of 7 exams in the form of groups (Group 1+ Group 2). Candidates are required to qualify for a minimum of one group in order to proceed to the following level.
ITT and Orientation
Information Technology Training and Orientation program is compulsory for candidates aspiring to become a CA. The program introduces you to the essential skills and knowledge of the Accounting industry. The only major concern regarding the ITT and orientation is their registration process. Hence, it becomes important to apply for the ITT and orientation program prior to registering for the Articleship.
Registering for Articleship
Articleship is a critical part of the procedure of how to become a Chartered Accountant because it equips students with a vital exposure into the Accounting industry. For those aspiring to work as CA are required to register for an article assistance for a period of 3 years with any practising chartered accountant. To begin with, individuals can start working in financial and accounting firms which will provide them with a real-time experience of handling clients and executing financial programs. Gaining a proper professional experience, you will be deemed qualified for the final CA exam.
Qualify CA Final Course
Candidates are required to appear for the CA final examination during the last six months of their article training period. This is the last step of the process of becoming a CA after which you can step into the industry to gain further experience.
Get Additional Professional Experience
Completing just a CA course or graduation degree is not enough. Today, top recruiters and business firms look for professionals with specialised knowledge and skills. You need to take a specialisation to discover career prospects in your chosen field of interest. You can choose from a wide range of Finance courses offered around the globe and opt for a specialisation that fits your preferences and interests.
How to Become a Chartered Accountant: Top Colleges & Degree Programs in Finance
If you want to know more about the procedure of how to become a Chartered Accountant, one of the most efficient ways is to explore degree courses in Finance and Commerce. There are various undergraduate, postgraduate programs that can help you build a strong career in Chartered Accountancy.
Here is a list of popular bachelor and postgraduate degrees that can be pursued to build a foundation in Chartered Accountancy:
- Bachelors of Finance
- Bachelor in Finance Management
- Bachelor in Commerce (BCom)
- B Com Accounting and Finance
- Bachelors in Business Management
- Masters in Finance
- Masters in Finance Management
- Masters in Commerce (MCom)
- Masters in Business Management
- MBA in Finance
- MBA in Business Management
- MBA in Financial Modeling
- MBA in Investment Banking
- MBA in International Finance
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Here is a list of some of the best colleges offering quality programs in Finance and related disciplines:
- EU Business School
- University of Alberta
- Sydney Business School
- University of Oxford
- University of Toronto
- University of Waterloo
- New York University
- Concordia University
- King’s College London
- Harvard Business School
- London School of Economics and Political Science
Now you know the major details of the process of how to become a Chartered Accountant. Leverage Edu mentors can help you in cracking the various levels of CA exams along with choosing the right university for studying a suitable program in Chartered Accountancy.