Education in India, Career in India: Accountancy
Looking for a Career Option in the Field of Accountancy ? This section features Accountancy as a career option, elaborated with reference to the job profile, personality traits required, the courses and training involved, premier institutions and future prospects.
Accountancy tends to be a very stable profession, as financial reports must be generated whether the buisness situation is good or bad. As demand for financial information increases with the emergence of a global economy, the field grows larger. Accountants plan, budget for, analyse, verify and interpret financial transactions. They are also responsible for ensuring that the records of these transactions are kept so that the information can at any time be extracted from them.
Chartered Accountants generally work either as employees in a firm or they indulge in their private practice. Some of the areas suited to the services of Chartered Accounts are as follows
Financial Accounting: Maintaining financial records of an organization is of atmost importance. Financial accounting is a branch of accounting which deals maintaining the financial records. It involves operating accounts, interpreting, supervising, controlling and organizing income and expenditure, doing internal audits, dealing with wages and salaries, paying accounts and sending out invoices, and coping with taxes etc.
Auditing: One of the important tasks performed by Chartered Accountants is auditing. It is the methodical examination and review of the accounts. Chartered Accountants examine and verify the books of accounts and other necessary documents of their employers or clients. On satisfaction, they issue a certificate about the company's financial state. Auditing can be further classified into sub-categories.
- Statutory audit
- Internal audit
- Compulsory tax audit
- Certification and audit
Cost Accounting: Cost accounting deals with working out the cost of a particular operation or job, taking into account relevant overheads. It is quite a complex task usually undertaken for monitoring expenditure, preventing it from over-shooting, minimizing costs, forecasting future needs and providing reports for management accounting etc. It also helps in drawing comparisons, analyzing costs and explaining financial information.
Tax Management: Sometimes Chartered Accountants specialize in tax management. Their job is to legally ensure minimum incidence of tax. In doing so they have to cope with taxation laws and policies on national as well as international scale depending on the kind of company they work for. Tax management relates not only to direct taxes e.g. income tax but to indirect taxes like sales tax, excise tax, agricultural income tax etc.
Consultancy: The changing scenario in the business world has opened promising and challenging career opportunities for the aspiring young. Consulting services is one such opportunity which has drawn a lot of attention these days. Chartered Accounts often indulge in providing these services in the fields related to finance and accounts. They can efficiently provide services in areas like corporate law advice, project planning and finance, investigations relating to share valuation for takeovers, amalgamation, business advice, secretarial work etc.
Accountants should have academic and numerical ability, imagination, willingness to take decisions, powers of logical reasoning, an analytical mind, good judgement, tact in dealing with clients and employers, the ability to write and speak concisely, resourcefulness and a confident manner.
The two major streams in Accountancy are : Chartered Accountancy and Cost And Works Accountancy (Management Accountancy). Those interested can register for the Professional Education (I) or Foundation course with the Institute Of Chartered Accountancy Of India (ICAI) or Institute of Costs And Works Accountancy (ICWAI) respectively. After clearing the PE-I of ICAI or Foundation examination of ICWAI, he/she can start off with the PE-II of ICAI or Intermediate Course of Cost And Works accountancy.
CA programme is of two years apart from the training period. It has three sections,
- Final examination
- Foundation: The Institute of Chartered Accountants of India offers CA foundation course to students passing 10+2 in any subject. The duration of the course is one year. On registration with the institute, students are provided with the study material by the Board of Studies. Students have to complete their study and clear the test papers under the postal tuition scheme. They also have an option to attend contact classes organised by accredited institutions. Students opting for these classes are exempted from taking the test papers under the postal tuition scheme.
After 12 months of registration and satisfactory compliance with the requirement of the Board of Studies, the Foundation examination can be taken up. The examination is conducted twice every year i.e. in the months of May and November. The course has four papers in the following subjects.
Fundamentals of Accounting, Mathematics and Statistics, Economics Mercantile Law
After clearing the papers of the foundation course, candidates can register for articleship (apprenticeship) under the practicing CAs or CA firms. Articleship has to be done for a period of over 3 years. The training begins under close supervision and later on, articles can manage bigger assignments. The purpose of articleship is to impart practical training and exposure of the profession. During the articleship, after 12 months, the articles can take up intermediate examination. Articleship also includes a year of industrial training which can be done in the last year after clearing Intermediate examination. After completing articleship, seeking membership of the Institute is essential for practicing as a Chartered Accountant. After 5 years of membership fellowship of the Institute can be taken.
Many students prefer to pursue Chartered Accountancy professional training and course after graduating. These students have to take entrance test in 4 subjects (Elements of Accounting, English, Mathematics and General commercial knowledge and Economics). Graduates who have secured 50% marks in subjects (Accounting, Auditing and Commercial or Mercantile Law) are exempted from taking the entrance test. Other graduates with 55% marks are also exempted from the entrance test. Rest all is same as those who have taken the Foundation Course.
- Intermediate Examination: Registered students who have completed 9 months of training as articled or audit clerks and have completed the oral/postal tuition scheme imparted by the Board of Studies, are eligible to take the Intermediate Examination. The Examination has the following subjects.
- Group I:
Accounting, Law, and Auditing
- Group II:
Cost accounting, Income-Tax & Central Sales Tax, and Oganisation&Management and Fundamentals Of Electronic Data Processing.
- Final Examination: Students who successfully clear both the groups of Intermediate Examination of the Institute and complete the prescribed period of practical training (3years) or have yet to serve a period not more than 9 months of such services can take the Final Examination. The Examination has the following groups.
- Group I:
This group consist of the following subjects; Advance Accounting, Management Accounting, Auditing and Company Law
- Group II:
This group consist of the following subjects;
Direct Tax Laws, Corporate Management, Secretarial Practice, Managerial Economics and National Accounting
Operational Research and Statistical Analysis, System Analysis and Data Processing, Costs Systems and Cost Control
Management Information and Control Systems, Tax Planning and Tax Management, Management and Operational Audit.
- ICAI The Institute of Chartered Accountants of India, PO 7100, Indraprastha Marg, New Delhi - 110002
The Institute of Chartered Accountants of India is the only institute in the country conducting the chartered accountancy course through its Regional Councils located at Mumbai (Western), New Delhi (Northern), Kanpur (Central), Kolkata (Eastern), and Chennai (Southern).
- ICWAI The Institute of Cost And Works Accountants of India, 12, Sudder Street, Kolkata - 700016
The Institute of Cost And Works Accountants of India is the only recognised statutory professional organisation and licensing body in India specialising exclusively in Cost and Management Accountancy. The (ICWAI) has its headquarters at Kolkata and operates through four regional councils at Calcutta, Chenai, Delhi and Mumbai.
Please click here for the list of the Accountacy Institutes in India.
Chartered accountants and Cost And Works accountants find work in government service, industry and private consultancy. The government, industry and buisness are increasingly drawing upon these professionals for planning and executing their financial programmes.
The present day complex tax systems, improved methods of computing costs and controlling budgets, the new fields of management accounting and the innovations in accounting methodology have increased the importance of the accountancy profession. The field is competitive, challenging and remunerations are approx. above Rs. 10000 to start with (although this varies with location and employing organisation and invidual capability).
The fast moving world of finance requires more and more accountancy professionals with the increasing numbers of financial institutions both Indian and Mutinational.