‘CA’ meaning Chartered Accountant, are not merely words, they represent someone who is intelligent, having knowledge of various fields and who serves the society in turn the nation by providing crucial services of finance and taxation and other related services, in turn providing benefits for economy, as money or we can say finance is the backbone of any economy
CA: Chartered Accountant: the best Course or not
If you are a commerce stream student, then you must have heard about CA course and some of you might have taken commerce for pursuing this course but are you all aware about the work a CA can do? In which field you can grow after pursuing CA?
Many of you might answer that it’s the accounting and auditing work, some of you may answer that it is related to taxation, but let me tell you these are all only a fraction of work that a CA can do, there are lots of options to work in after becoming CA.
Also, I believe that you should choose a career only after attaining complete knowledge about that course and check whether you have skills related to that particular course. As choosing a right career is an important decision of life as described in my earlier post.
So, let me help you to DECODE this career, also its quite interesting for me as I am also a CA and have expanded my working horizons into different areas.
CA is one of the best and highest paying career in India and also abroad but you all might have heard that it is also one of the toughest course.
Now, you are confused whether to pursue CA or not.
Let me tell you from my personal experience that you can’t achieve anything without hard work, no matter which field you enter. And for hard work you need motivation, which can come only if you love what you do, that means you should have interest in that field.
The next question is, who can pursue CA as a career? You are a commerce student but its not necessary that you should choose CA. It is also possible that you are not a commerce student but then also it is your cup of tea. Yes, it doesn’t matter you are from which stream, it can be arts, science or commerce, even ICAI has given eligibility to all streams, but as it is a tough course and to keep you motivated, you should check whether you have skills and interest for this or not.
You can check this list to find out whether CA is your cup of tea or not.
SKILLS needed to be a CA
- The basic ability for CA is to be analytical, if you are a problem solver and can analyse things in different aspects, then CA is for you.
- If you get excited looking at figures and want to do calculations on them, then CA is for you.
- If you like dealing in money, like if you always keep a watch on NSE/ BSE index, then CA is your cup of tea.
- If doing business excites you and risks and returns associated with it gives you adrenal rush, the CA is for you.
- If you are good in paperwork and data management, then CA is for you.
- If you are interested in taxation policies of our country,and want to ease the worries of people relating to tax, then CA is for you.
- If you are good in finding odd one out, means finding mistakes and you are a keen observer, the CA is for you.
- If you are interested in Computers, e commerce, cyber security, and don’t want to go into traditional Computer courses, then CA course can provide you good opportunities in these area.
- If you are good in convincing others and making negotiations is your ability, then CA is for you.
If you have any of the above skill or interest with some head for numbers then, you are qualified to pursue CA as a career.
JOB or PRACTICE for a CA
Now, lets understand how the above mentioned skills and interests are involved in various work areas of CA. But before that, one thing you should know is that CA course gives you the flexibility of doing a JOB or opening your own office means PRACTICING CA. It is up to you which way to choose, because both options have their own merits and demerits.
If you want to have a fixed but high income and are ready to work in the corporate culture, then you can opt for job. If you don’t want to be bossed around and can pass some time without high income, then you can opt for practice because practice is like business, which needs time to get established.
It doesn’t matter which option you choose you need to have the specified skills. Also, the interest area and skills will help you to decide what you want to do after becoming a CA, because it is a vast field, and CA course syllabus give you knowledge about various areas relating to accounts, finance, taxation, other laws and Information Technology.
Lets take a look on the various fields in which CA can work.
Work Areas of a CA
- Audit: Audit is basically the checking of accounts and process to find out if there is any discrepancy in them, which might affect the well being of the entity or the appointing authority. There are various types of audit like internal audit, statutory audit governed by specified laws like Income Tax Act, Company Law.
- Accounting: As an expert in this field, it is quite a normal job for a CA. He is the one who has complete knowledge about accounts and accounting standards and laws governing those accounts and entity.
- Tax Consultancy: Honourable Prime Minister, Mr. Narendra Modi has also said that no one can compare to the skills of Cas’ in the field of taxation. The CA course makes you an expert in the field of direct and indirect taxation, which you can use to provide consultancy to clients about various tax issues.
- Filing returns and other forms under Taxation: Everyone whether a salaried employee, or businessman, or a company, all have to file various forms and return under direct and indirect taxation, which in turn occupy a lot of their time. That’s why mostly entities outsource this work to a CA.
- Filing returns and other forms under Company Law and other laws like PF, ESI: CAs’ have knowledge of various laws including Company and labour laws like PF, ESI, so they can easily handle all the legal compliance relating to these.
- Formation of Contracts: As CA has a thorough understanding of Contract Act and various laws, also he has knowledge about various business related aspects, he can help in forming various contracts like rent agreement, lease deed, partnership deed etc.
- Formation of Business Entities: Whether you want to form a partnership firm or a Company, or LLP, a CA can easily finish it up for you by completing all paper work or e filings of various forms and taking approvals from various departments under various laws.
These all are the traditional practice of CA, now lets take a look on new work areas for a CA
Unconventional Work Areas of a CA
- Forensic Audit and Investigation: A forensic audit is an examination and evaluation of a firms’s or individual’s financial records to derive evidence that can be used in a court of law or legal proceedings. It is to help find out whether a crime has been committed or help with a legal case, it is to examine any illegal activity. E.g finding frauds in banks
- Information System Audit: IS audit or IT audit is the examination of the controls in place in the IT infrastructure of an enterprise to protect data that is crucial to business.
- Investment Banking: It is special segment of banking operation that helps individuals or organisations raise capital and provide financial consultancy services to them. They act as intermediaries between security issuers and investors and help new firms to go public.
- Merger & Acquisitions: It is a part of Investment Banking but is a high paid job. M&A specialist job is to advise the company on whether it should acquire a new company or have merger with it to grow business quickly and efficiently. M&A are employed on both sides of the transaction and thus, it is a very lucrative business. They help their clients find buyers and sellers for business that are of interest.
- IT Consultancy: As an expert in finding loopholes and plugging them, CA can provide consultancy on implementing controls while setting up the IT infrastructure of an organization, whether its hardware or software or process. A CA can advise clients on compliances under various IT laws, such as data protection, having right paperwork in place for online business and even policy issues at a time.
- Business Management Consultancy: A CA can help in business growth by offering valuable inputs on a range of business related issues covering revenue growth, accounting practices and debt management.
- ERM: It allows firms to identify asses and respond to various economic, social, political risks of doing business. CA can advise about prevailing risks in social, political and economic domain of conducting business by understanding their standpoint and risk tolerance.
- FDI: Foreign Direct Investment refers to an investment or buying equity interest in a company by a foreign entity or investor or acquiring business assets of one country by an entity based in other country. As a CA if you attain extra knowledge about regulations, compliances, documentation, usual negotiation points and restrictions of FDI, then you van assist in finding buyer and sellers.
- Virtual CFO (Retainership Services) : Many small and mis sized business cannot afford whole time CFO to manage their businesses. You can act as virtual CFO in few entities and manage their business.
- Own Business: You can also opt to start a business of you own, iot will be quite easy as you will have knowledge about all aspect of running a business.
- Teacher/Coach: If you like teaching and dealing with students, then you can join as a fully paid teacher or for guest lectures in various colleges and institutes. Even ICAI also needs coaches for its various programs.
After this you might be having a clear understanding of what a CA can do and it will help you decide.
Next, lets look into the course structure of CA by ICAI.
CA COURSE BY ICAI
For fees structure and other details you can visit http://icai.org/post/chartered-accountancy-course
Renowned and Successful CAs’
Kumar Manglam Birla, the billionaire industrialist is the chairman of the Aditya Birla Group. He is the chancellor of the reputed Birla Institute of Technology.
TN Manoharan, also a former President of ICAI, is the chairman of Canara Bank. Best known for restructuring the accounting scandal hit IT company, Satyam Computers. Also awarded Padma Shri Award in 2010.
Naina Lal Kidwai, is the first Indian woman to graduate from Harvard Business School. She was a group general manager and the Country head of HSBC India. She is also former president of the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI)
Rakesh Jhunjhunwala, the Indian Stock market GURU. One of the most successful stock investors in the country and is called the “Warren Buffet of India”. One of the richest person, as per Forbes, his net worth was $3 billion (as on 1st June, 2018).
Vivek Mehra: RD leader in a number of network computing and system companies. Active investor and advisor to start ups in the areas of infrastructure, software, networking, security, storage and wireless. Prior joining August Capital, he co founded Cobalt networks in 1996. As CTO VP of product development, developed the first successful server appliance and grew Cobalt into a worldwide leader in the category, cultivating in a successful IPO and acquisition by SUN Microsystems for $2billion.
S.Gurumurthy, renowned journalist and CA. His articles in the Indian Express created stirs in the corporate world, which exposed the conglomerate and exposed Reliance. His articles were based on extensive study points out of many inappropriate practices of Reliance.
At last, as i am also a CA, i can say that if you want to have a respectful, successful and well paid career than CA is the best option for any intellect. Also there is option of job, practice or work from home so for females it is a good option and you will never have to take a break from your career.
Here, wishing you a very happy career