In India, Chartered Accountants are regulated by the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI). Associate members of the ICAI are entitled to add the prefix CA to their names. Members who are in full-time practice, and have completed five years of practice, can use FCA. As of April 2017, the ICAI had nearly 270,000 registered members.
CA (Chartered Accountant) is considered one of the best career paths and has been pursued by the students who find themselves comfortable with numbers.
The CA Course has four Levels in total –
- Common Proficiency Test (CPT)
- Integrated Professional Competence Course (IPCC/IPCE)
- Three years Articleship/Training under a Practicing CA.
- C.A. Final Exam
The process to become a Chartered Accountant (CA) is as follows:
CPT Route After Class XII
Direct Entry Scheme After Graduation
Let’s talk about the CPT Route first. Below image gives you a fair idea on becoming CA through CPT route
- Step 1 – First step is to register for CPT with the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI) after passing the 10th Standard examination.
- Step 2 – Take CPT examination after you appear in the 12th exam and after completion of the period of 60 days from the date of registration for CPT. CPT Exam is held twice in a year in June and December month. The last Date of submitting the CPT Exam Form is April and October respectively.
(On an average, out of every 100 students appearing in CPT exam, 35 are successful in clearing it)
- Integrated Professional Competence Course (IPCC/IPCE) would be the next stage after passing the CPT and 12th Level. Passing the CPT and the 12thexam is mandatory without which one would not able to register for IPCC. After 9 months of study period after registering for IPCC, a student will be eligible for appearing in IPCC exams. IPCC Exams are held twice a year in the month of May and November. It has two groups which consist of 7 papers together – Group 1 consists of 4 papers and Group 2 consists of 3 papers.
(On an average, out of every 100 students appearing in IPCC exam, 10 are successful in clearing both the groups in the first attempt)
A student needs to pass at least the IPCC group 1 exam to start 3 years Articleship.
- Before Articleship, next step is Information Technology Training (ITT) and Orientation Course. A student needs to complete 100 hours of ITT as well as the orientation of 1 week (35 hours). Both ITT and Orientation course needs to be completed before commencement of the Articleship.
- After completing the ITT and Orientation course, register for Articleship. Candidates need to register as Articled Assistant for a period of 3 years with a practicing CA after passing either Group – 1 or both the Groups of IPCC.
- During Articleship, complete First General Management and Communication Skills (GMCS) course in the first year. Duration of this course is 15 days.
- Second General Management and Communication Skills (GMCS) course is to be completed after 18 months of Articleship but before completion of Articleship.
- A Student has to clear the group 2 exams of IPCC during Articleship if the same has not been cleared before the commencement of Articleship.
- Articleship has to be completed in 3 years timeline.
- Undergo Advanced ITT in last year of Articleship but before final exams.
- Once all IPCC group exams are clear, register for the CA Final Exam in last 6 months of Articleship.
- Pass both groups of CA final exam in the timeline to complete the CA course. CA exams are held twice a year in May and November. The final exams can be given in last 6 months of Articleship or after completing Articleship.
(On an average, out of every 100 students appearing in CA final exam, approx. 5 are successful in clearing both the exams in the first attempt)
- After passing CA final exams, enroll as a member of ICAI and get CA designation.
Now let’s talk about the direct entry scheme after graduation.
A student can avail the exemption of CPT exam in case s/he has followed any of the above routes after 12th. The process after reaching above is same as described for CPT route. One needs to register for IPCC and go for Articleship as described above.
Meanwhile, check out real-life experiences, salaries and work-life balance of CA profession from real CAs
- Gandikota Surya Sundar Kumar (Chartered Accountant & Partner in M/s Rao & Kumar)
- Shailesh Agarwal [Chief Finance Officer (CFO) at Asahi Glass]
- Kailash Badoni (General Manager in Finance at Zim Laboratories)
- Surinder Arora
- Preeti Sharma (Chartered Accountant at DMIC Integrated Industrial Township, Greater Noida Ltd)