1. Clearing the entrance exam i.e. C.A. is very easy but cracking the final exam is tough. Since the pass percentage is around 7–8% you need to be really focused.
  2. In CA, the most important thing is to hunt clients because as per the ethics C.A.’s cannot advertise themselves. It has to only come from word of mouth.
  3. While pursuing C.A. one thing that is really important is being an apprentice under a CA or a firm. Many people take it lightly but this is where you learn your work.
  4. Remuneration is really good because any business requires a CA. So if one does well, there are a lot of prospects.

Personal Details

Name – Vishal Agarwal

Profession – Chartered Accountant (CA)

Age – 46 years

Gender – Male

City – Kolkata

Industry – Business and Commerce

Where have you been born and raised?

I was born in Kolkata. I was raised along with a younger brother and a sister. We lived in a pretty stable economic condition as my dad had a stable job. Both my brother and I have pursued C.A. as our career choice.

My mother has been a homemaker. But she had her equal and meaningful contribution to the family. Both of our parents had their equal share of influence on us. We have been taught qualities such as patience, endurance, and persistence and above all to be a good human from a very young age.

Who had the most influence on you?

I have been influenced by a lot of personalities all across the society but the one individual who has been the constant source of inspiration and an ideal role model is my father. I believe anything and everything I have achieved in life is because of him. He is one of the many reasons for my success to date.

Please give us a summary of your career.

I have had a very ambitious life right from the beginning. After completing my education, I had been under apprenticeship for a short time after which I started off my own firm.

There started my journey. I wouldn’t say things were anything easy for me because I had my own share of failures and success but I think that is the part and parcel of my life. I had my own fall but every time I got up I had a lesson learned.

What have been your educational qualifications? What are the steps that one needs to follow to pursue their dream of becoming a C.A.?

So, from the very beginning, I had a very firm and destined goal. After my class 10th, I pursued commerce and had taken up B.Com. (honors) as my majors in graduation and was simultaneously been doing the C.A. course. So in order to become a C.A. one has to enroll themselves into The Institute of Chartered Accountant of India.

There are basically 3 levels. First, is entrance followed by intermediate (CPT) and then the final exam.

So, in general cracking the entrance is not at all difficult but soon it gets difficult with the levels. Per year there are two exams. And the pass percentage comes around 7–8%. So entrance is not that difficult but the completion of the degree gets really tougher. The subjects that are taught are Accountancy, Business Law, and Company law. So these are the main subjects and apart from that, the subjects are Account Management, Information technology, taxation etc.

Which institutions are best for the entry-level courses?

There is only one institution to be a C.A. There is only one institute in the country and that is The Institute of Chartered Accountant in India which has been set up by the act of Parliament. So one needs to enroll in this after their class 12th immediately or any time after class 12th. To this, you can either do self-study or you can join coaching centers to prepare yourself for the exam.

What has been the approximate costs involved in pursuing the C.A. profession?

There is no such thing as costs apart from your exam fee and unless you join a coaching center. Today there are numerous coaching centers in the market and have their own charges depending on what tutorials you go for. Exam charges are quite minimal. One can any time check out details of Chartered Accountant on the official website of Chartered Accountant of India.

What is the remuneration one should expect while starting out as C.A.?

Remuneration is pretty good enough but to reach that phase of being a fully-fledged C.A. practitioner, you have to gain a good experience.

For the beginners, I would say working under a C.A. or a firm as an apprenticeship is highly required. But still for the beginners, the statistics are around:

Starting Out — 3 to 4 Lakhs INR per annum

5 years’ experience — 4 to 6 Lakhs INR per annum

10 years’ experience — 8 to 10 Lakhs INR per annum

Please describe your work as C.A.? What do you typically do on a normal day?

My day starts at around 6 am. I reach my office at around 11 am. This is followed by a lot of work. Going through the client files, doing research, meeting new clients, check on my team etc.

I work for around 8 to 9 hours a day for 6 days a week. At times it is even difficult to take a break on Sunday.

What kind of person would be happy as C.A.?

Well, I believe anyone who is interested in accounting and business development and someone who is ready to work hard and meet commitment will be a perfect fit for this profession.

What are some of the positives that would encourage someone to take up career as C.A.?

  1. Ok so the big plus in pursuing CA is that this is the only course that gives you a holistic view on finance and accounting. There could be no better course than this.
  2. In today’s world, anyone who is running a business, or a firm will require a CA for a lot of stuff; be it auditing or account management or anything related to finance. So, obviously, CAs are in big demand.
  3. Remuneration is good enough. You can earn a lot if someone has an ample amount of experience.
  4. Although there is a lot of responsibilities, if you are hard-working, then there is a lot of scope in this field.

What are some of the challenges one is expected to face in this profession?

  1. Being a C.A., the biggest challenge is you cannot advertise yourself. So getting clients at times becomes really difficult. It only comes from reference from your previous clients.
  2. The second big challenge is being in constant research and studies. Since laws keep on changing very often you need to keep yourself very much updated all the time.
  3. There is a lot of hard work involved because you are responsible directly for someone’s account. You, therefore, need to be really patient and concentrate a lot.
  4. Deadlines are also very important. As you are handling a lot of clients at the same time you need to put in efforts to deal with the deadlines.

What are some of the skills/technological advancement one is required to possess in your job profile?

Skills as such, I would say, you need to be good at communication and have a lot of patience. Apart from that your basic knowledge of mathematics has to be strong because it is all about the calculations.

Given a choice, if not a businessman what would you see yourself as?

Honestly speaking this has always been my choice. I love being in this profession absolutely.

What would be your advice to students or professionals who are just starting their journey on a path similar to yours?

Honestly, firstly you need to really be sure of your own goal. Secondly, you need to do an apprenticeship because that is really important. Many of the students take this lightly but I would say that this is very important. I will only say that at a time this may look difficult but do not lose your focus.

All the best to the students who are in their journey on becoming a C.A.!

 If You liked this Interview, you might also want to check out our Interaction with Sundar Kumar, C.A. and Partner in a CA firm.