How to Become a Chartered Accountant?

9 minute read
How to Become a Chartered Accountant

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.

Must Read: Accounting Courses

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.

CA Exam Important Dates 2021

The CA exam dates have been postponed due to Covid – 19. Some dates have been notified, here are all the important dates of the CA Exam

Events Dates
Applications Form 20 April 2021
Application Form Deadline 4 May 2021
Foundation New Scheme Paper 1 – 4  24 June 2021 – 30 June 2021

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.

Credits : Business Section

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.

Credits : Business Section

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:

To know more, check out: Accountant Courses

Here is a list of some of the best colleges offering quality programs in Finance and related disciplines:

Here is a list of some of the best colleges offering quality programs in Finance and related disciplines in India:

  • IIM Ahmedabad
  • IIM Bangalore
  • XLRI Jamshedpur
  • IIM Calcutta
  • Jamna Lal Bajaj Institute of Management Studies Mumbai
  • K J Somaiya Institute of Management Studies & Research Mumbai
  • International Management Institute New Delhi
  • IIM Kozhikode

CA Syllabus

Before applying for any exam, it is important that applicants are aware of the exam syllabus. Here is the CA syllabus for all the papers

CA Level Subjects
CA Foundation 1. Principles and Practices of Accounting
2. Business Law & Business Correspondence and Reporting
3. Business Mathematics and Logical Reasoning & Statistics
4. Business Economics & Business and Commercial Knowledge
CA IPCC 1.Accounting
2. Business Laws, Ethics and Communication
3. Cost Accounting and Financial Management
4. Taxation
5. Advanced Accounting
6. Auditing and Assurance
7. Enterprise Information System & Strategic Management
CA Final 1. Financial Reporting
2. Strategic Financial Management
3. Advanced Auditing and Professional Ethics
4. Corporate Laws and Economic Laws
5. Strategic Cost Management and Performance Evaluation
6. Electives7. Direct Tax Laws and International Taxation
8. Indirect Tax Laws

Skills Required

Just like you need to know coding to become a product manager. There are some skills that are added advantage in your dedication and hard work. CA is one of the toughest exams in India and not that easy to crack, Here are some skills required to become a CA:

  • Conceptual Clarity
  • Accuracy
  • Attention to detail
  • Ethical
  • Algebra
  • Analytical Skills.
  • Communication Skills.
  • Deliver Professionalism 

CA Top Recruiters

Wondering where you can work after clearing your CA exams? CA has a wider scope in India. CA is required in every organization from legal firms to banks. CA jobs will be increased by 31% in the next two years. Here are top CA  firms to work in India:

  • Deloitte
  • PricewaterhouseCoopers
  • Ernst and Young
  • Ernst and Young
  • RSM International
  • Landmark Group
  • Morgan Stanley
  • JP Morgan Chase
  • Citi Bank

CA Job Profile & Salary

CA is the toughest but still, the most sought-after profession in India.CA’s are required in legal firms, banks, auditing firms, and much more. CA can manage the accounts and finance of an individual or an organization. Applicants can work as Adutiors, Accounts clerks, Cost Accountants, Business Services Accountants, etc. Here are some popular job profiles with salary structures:

Job Profiles Salary per annum (In INR)
Accounts Clerk Rs. 4,00,000
Business Services Accountant Rs. 5,50,000
Chief Finance Officer Rs. 8,00,000
Cost Accountants Rs. 7,50,000
Auditors Rs. 485816

CA Salary Based on Skills

Being a highly lucrative career option, Chartered accountants are also paid according to their skills. Industry skills like budget management, strategic accounting, management auditing, financial analysis, etc. are essential and influence the salary package of an individual. The following table is the average salary of a CA, based on their skills.

Skills Avg. Salary p.a (INR)
Budget management 9.5-11 lakhs
Strategic accounts 8.9- 9 lakhs
Evaluation and management auditing 8.5-9 lakhs
Financial analysis 8.5- 8.8 lakhs
Financial advisor 8.5-8.75 lakhs
SAP financial accounting and controlling 8.10-8.25 lakhs
Financial reporting 8-8.2 lakhs
Auditing 7- 7.5 lakhs
Account management 7-7.25 lakhs
Internal audit 7.25-7.35 lakhs
Accounting 7.25-7.35 lakhs
Tax consulting 7.10-7.25 lakhs
Tax compliance 7-7.1 lakhs

CA Salary Based on Experience

The salary of a CA also depends on the number of experience. Tabulated below is the average salary of a CA, based on the years of experience.

Year of experience CA Salary p.a
0-5 7 lakhs
5-10 12 lakhs
10-20 20 lakhs
Above 20 50-70 lakhs

CA Salary According to Various Employers

The salary of a chartered accountant is also highly based on various employers. Currently, the highest salary for a CA is given by reliance Industries. Given below is the average salary for a CA by different employers. 

Employer CA Salary p.a
Reliance Industries ₹ 25-45 Lakhs (Highest)
Hindustan Unilever Ltd ₹ 10-36 Lakhs
Deloitte ₹ 14-35 Lakhs
KPMG ₹ 14-32 Lakhs
Aditya Birla Sun Life ₹ 13-28 Lakhs
ICICI Bank ₹ 11-27 Lakhs
ITC ₹ 10-25 Lakhs
TATA company ₹ 10-22 Lakhs
Bharti Airtel ₹ 12-22 Lakhs
SBI Bank ₹ 6-17 Lakhs


How many years does it take to become a CA?

It takes around 5 years with pure dedication and hard work to become a CA

How much an auditor earns in India?

An auditor earns between Rs.5,00,000 – 8,00,000 per annum in India

Can CA become an auditor?

Yes, a CA can become an auditor in an organization

What is the salary of CA?

The average salary of CA is Rs. 6,00,000 – 10,00,000 per annum

Is becoming CA difficult?

CA is one of the toughest exams in India but with good preparation and focus anyone can clear CA.

Which country pays the highest salary to CA?

USA, Canada, Japan are the countries that pay the highest salary to CA

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.

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