How to Become a Chartered Accountant In India

Chartered Accountant course: CA is a Highly Respected Profession

Chartered Accountant course: Chartered Accountant in India (CA), like in any other country is a coveted professional designation given to accounting professionals. In India, a CA is a professional who is engaged in areas such as financial accounting & reporting, auditing expertise, taxation, insurance advisory, etc. This is almost the same in many other countries with changes to suit the local practice, rules, and regulations.

Irrespective of the differences, being a Chartered Accountant is a highly respected profession in any country. It is one of the toughest professions in India that gained respectability, perhaps considering the difficulties to become a Chartered Accountant.

Many of us are unaware of the challenges you may face pursuing the career path of becoming a chartered accountant in India and the role of the body which confers you the designation, Chartered Accountant.

Chartered Accountant course

How to become a chartered accountant: Chartered Accountant course

Foundation Route & Direct Route

There are 02 ways to become a chartered accountant in India. The first path is by joining the Foundation route after completing the 12th class. The second path is by joining the Direct route after graduation.

So let us examine these two paths separately

I. The Foundation Route

To pursue the Foundation path, you have to pass 03 levels of examinations viz CA Foundation, then CA Intermediate, and CA final.

Chartered Accountant course; this is the order of events on the Foundation route:

  1. CA Foundation
  2. CA Intermediate
  3. Articleship Training for 03 years
  4. CA Final.

These exams are administrated by the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI) which is the governing body of Chartered Accountants in the country.

The Institute is the body for regulating the profession of Chartered Accountancy in India. In fact, ICAI is a statutory body formed by an Act in Parliament in 1949. The Institute functions under the Ministry of Corporate Affairs, Government of India, and is governed by a 40-member Council of 32 ICAI members and 08 government nominees.

1.Chartered Accountant course: CA Foundation

CA Foundation is the entry-level course of the CA Course that makes you a chartered accountant in India. It replaced the earlier entry-level Common Proficiency Test (CA CPT) w.e.f 01-07-2017. The Common Proficiency Test was discontinued reportedly as part of revamping the entire curriculum

So, the first step to becoming a chartered accountant in India through the Foundation route is to enrol yourself for the Foundation Course after passing the 10th class or Matriculation. You know that ICAI conducts Foundation exams twice a year, in May/June and November /December. After appearing for the 12th exam, you should appear in the Foundation Examination. You need to register for the exam on or before 1st January and 1st July as the case may be.

Papers for CA Foundation Course

Paper -1Principles & Practice of Accounting
Paper -2Business Laws & Business Correspondence and Reporting
Section A: Business Laws
Section B: Business Correspondence & Reporting
Paper-3Business Mathematics and Logical Reasoning & Statistics
Part I: Business Mathematics
Part II: Statistics
Paper-4Business Economics & Business and Commercial Knowledge
Part I: Business Mathematics
Part II: Business and Commercial Knowledge

2.Chartered Accountant course: CA Intermediate

After passing the 12th Class and the Foundation Exam, join the Intermediate Course. Here, it is mandatory to undergo a training course, i.e., Integrated Course on Information Technology and Soft skills (ICITSS). This is a 04-week course covering Information Technology and Orientation Course. You have to complete the course before the commencement of your Articleship.

After completing the 08 months of the study course, you can appear in the Intermediate examination. You have to clear papers in 02 Groups in the exam. Now you can start thinking about the next step; i.e., joining the Articleship. But before that you must cross the following 02 barriers:

  1. Pass the intermediate exam
  2. Successfully complete ICITSS course

 Before joining the CA Final course, you are required to complete a total of 03 years of Articleship training under a Chartered Accountant  This is somewhat equivalent to the internship.

Once you succeed in your efforts, you can Register for the Final Course

Papers for CA Intermediate Course

Group I

Paper -1Accounting
Paper -2Corporate & Other laws
Part I- Company law
Part II- Other laws
Paper -3Cost & Management Accounting
Paper-4Taxation
Section A: Income Tax law
Section B: Indirect taxes

Group II

Paper -5Advanced Accounting
Paper -6Auditing & Assurance
Paper-7Enterprise Information Systems & Strategic Management
Section A: Enterprise Information Systems
Section B: Strategic Management
Paper-8Taxation
Section A: Income Tax law
Section B: Indirect taxes

3.Chartered Accountant course: CA Final

In the CA Final, you have to take the Advanced Integrated Course on Information Technology and Soft skills (AICITSS). This is also a 04-week training program consisting of Courses on Advanced Information Technology and Management Communication Skills. You have to complete this course during the last 02 years of practical training.

Once you complete the course and the Article training, you are eligible to appear in the CA Final exam. Appear in the exam, clear both the groups of papers and enrol as a member of ICAI, you have achieved your dream of becoming a Chartered Accountant in India

Papers for CA Intermediate Course

Group I

Paper -1Financial Reporting
Paper -2Strategic Financial Management
Paper -3Advanced Auditing and Professional Ethics
Paper-4Corporate and Economic Laws
Paper I: Corporate Laws
Paper II: Economic Law

Group II

Paper -5Strategic Cost Management & Performance Evaluation
Paper -6Effective Paper (One of the following to be chosen)
6A- Risk management
6B- Financial Services & Capital Markets
6C- International Taxation
6D- Economic Laws
6E- Global Financial Reporting Standard
6F- Multidisciplinary Case Study
Paper-7
Direct Tax Laws & International Taxation
Part I: Direct Tax Laws
Part II International Taxation
Paper-8Indirect Tax Laws
Part I: Goods & Services Tax
Part II Customs & FTP

II. Chartered Accountant course: Direct Route

To become a Chartered Accountant in India, you can take the Direct route, provided you are a Commerce Graduates/ Post Graduates with a minimum of 55% Marks. Also, Graduates or Postgraduates in other subjects with a minimum of 60% Marks can also join the Intermediate level directly.

Thereafter you will be following the similar steps and events of the Foundation route in regard to the ICITSS course as well as the 03-year Articleship training.

After completing 8 months of study, you can appear and clear the two groups in the Final exam. Once you pass the exam, you can become a member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India, and eventually, you are a qualified Chartered Accountant in India.

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