In this current world of Doctors, Engineers and Lawyers as everyone's first choice to be, some students who aren't interested in these fields are often left out with tons of difficulties and confusion in choosing their career. Well, there are lots of opportunities awaiting you. Chartered Accountant, Cost accountant and Company Secretary are one of the best career options in current scenarios of continuous development. As everyone is starting their own businesses and startups, they are in constant need of someone to manage their accounts, totally the company's profits and are also accountable to The Auditors for the last supervision. Now if you are wondering how to dive into these careers, read the entire article till the very end.
It is a professional course usually pursued after class 12th along with graduation.
A CA is an expert in auditing financial statements and businesses, taxation and offers advisory services to clients.
Certifying account Books by a CA and filing tax returns is compulsory by law, which makes a CA indispensable.
Where can you become a CA from?
There's no college for CA. In India, the CA course can only be pursued through the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI).
One must clear his 12th from any government approved board of education to be eligible for CA. One should score a minimum of 50% if from commerce and a minimum of 60% if from any other stream. Graduates can also register for CA. ICSI and ICWAI intermediate level passes can directly enrol for IPCC.
This is the first level in pursuing CA. The interested students have to register for this exam. The students have to complete a study period of about 4 months before appearing for the exam. The exam paper comprises some subjects in which the student has to score a minimum of 40% in each and 50% as an aggregate to clear the CA foundation. The paper is held twice a year. The test comprises a theory paper on subjects like Accounting, Mathematics, Law, Statistics and Economics.
Students generally enrol for coaching in order to prepare thoroughly for this exam.
After clearing the CA foundation, the applicants need to register for the second level exam or CA intermediate and prepare in a study period of at least 8 months. Also, they need to complete a 4 weeks of Training in ICITSS (ITT & OP), which is hands-on training in information and technology. The exam paper format and cut off is the same as that of the CA foundation.
After clearing CA intermediate, the students have to register for a practical training commonly known as articleship (an internship of a span of 3 years under an experienced CA), During the near completion of the training or once it's completed the students can register for the CA final exams and begin their 4 weeks Training in advanced ICITSS (adv. IT & MCS). After the completion of the training, students have to appear for the exam with the same format of the paper and the exact same criteria of clearing it as the pre- levels. Once the CA final is cleared, the student becomes a CA.
The CPT ( Common Proficiency Test) comprises Accounting, Auditing, Law, Economics, Quantitative Aptitude.
The IPCC ( Integrated Professional Competitive Course) consists of 6 subjects, 7 papers - Cost accounting, Financial Management, Business and Company Law, Taxation, IT
The Final :
Group I has 4 papers - Advanced Accounting, Management Accounting, Advanced Auditing, Law
Group II has 4 papers - Cost Management, MIS and Control Systems, Direct Taxes, Indirect Taxes.
Accounting firms, Finance Department
Financially the course fee is 47000 rupees, excluding the coaching expenses. The Salary of a CA increases with experience but is quite good even as a starter.
Company Secretary (CS)
Now don't think of this secretary as the person you see in movies, carrying a to-do list of its Boss. Company Secretary or Corporate Secretary is a highly professional course that offers a senior position in a private or public sector organisation. A certified Company Secretary is generally hired by a firm for handling their legal aspects, such as the company's tax returns, act as a vital link between the Company and Board of directors, shareholders, preparing financial reports, developing corporate strategies and many other kinds of stuff.
How to do CS?
Institute of Company Secretaries in India (ICSI) offers the examinations for CS. The Certificate course is basically divided into 3 levels. The duration of the course is three years.
Same as CA. Anyone who has completed its 12th is eligible for CS, whatsoever its stream may be.
CS FOUNDATION - This is the first level exam. There are four papers in this:
1. Business Environment and Law
2. Business Management, Ethics and entrepreneurship
3. Business Economics
4. Fundamentals of Accounting and Auditing
In order to clear the exam, one must score 40% on each paper and 50% as an aggregate.
CS EXECUTIVE- This is the second level programme consisting of 8 papers divided into two modules.
1. Jurisprudence, Interpretation and General Laws
2. Company Law
3. Setting up of business entities and closure
4. Tax Laws
1. Corporate and Management Accounting
2. Securities laws and Capital Markets
3. Economic, Business and Commercial Laws
4. Financial and Strategic Management
To clear the examination the cut off is the same as that for CS foundation.
CS PROFESSIONAL- This is the last or third level programme in CS. There are nine papers divided into three modules.
1. Governance, Risk management and ethics
2. Advanced Tax Laws
3. Drafting, Pleadings and appearances
1. Secretarial Audit
2. Corporate Restructuring
3. Resolution of Corporate Disputes
1. Corporate fundings and listings in stock exchanges
2. Multidisciplinary case studies
3. Electives 1 out of below 8 subjects (the examination for this paper is an open book examination)
● Banking law and practice
● Insurance law and practice
● Intellectual property rights- law and practices
● Forensic Audit
● Direct tax law and practice
● Labour laws and practice
● Valuations and business modelling
● Insolvency - law and practice
Note - the above syllabus is the revised one as dated back in 2018.
To clear the exam, the cut off is the same as the above two programmes.
Further in the course, the applicant has to do Long term Internships with specified entities.
Company Registrar, Legal advisor, Chief administrative officer, Corporate planner, Principal Secretary, Corporate Policymaker, Member of Board of directors, etc.
A CS earns approx 3 lakhs per annum as a starter and the salary increases as per experience.
Cost accountants are responsible for the collection, adjustment, auditing and scrutinizing of all financial information. They collate the numbers which include data about planning systems, wages, bonuses and operating policies into financial reports. They require strong technical skills as cost accountants spend a lot of time analyzing data so they need to have some experience with the latest software.
How to become a cost accountant?
The aspirants need to complete a course named Cost and Accountancy (CWA) course from the Institute of Cost and Works Accountants of India (ICWAI). There are three stages of this course namely Foundation, Intermediate and Final.
ICWAI Foundation Course
● Paper 1 - Fundamentals of Economics and Management
● Paper 2 - Fundamentals of Accounting
● Paper 3 - Fundamentals of Law and Ethics
● Paper 4 - Fundamentals of business mathematics and statistics
ICWAI Intermediate Course
● Paper 5 - Financial Accounting
● Paper 6 - Law and Ethics
● Paper 7 - Direct Taxation
● Paper 8 - Cost Accounting
● Paper 9 - Operations Management and Strategic Management
● Paper 10 - Cost and Management Accounting and Financial Management
● Paper 11 - Indirect Taxation
● Paper 12 - Company Accounts and Audit
ICWAI Final Course
● Paper 13: Corporate laws & Compliance
● Paper 14: Strategic Financial Management
● Paper 15: Strategic Cost Management - decision making
● Paper 16: Direct Tax Laws and International Taxation
● Paper 17: Corporate Financial Reporting
● Paper 18: Indirect Tax Laws and Practice
● Paper 19: Cost and Management Audit
● Paper 20: Strategic performance management and business evaluation
Those who have completed their 10+2 and are above 17 years can apply for the foundation course which has a duration of 8 months.
Upon completion of the foundation, one can apply for the second or the Intermediate level. One must have completed 10+2+3 to be eligible for this course and should not be less than 18 years old. The duration of this course is 10 months.
Those who are able to clear all the eight papers can register for the Final level Duration of which is 18 months. After completion, one is said to be a certified cost accountant.
Cost controller, Chief Auditor, Chief Internal Auditor, Financial Consultant, Chief Accountant, Financial Counsellor etc.
One can roughly earn about 4 lakhs per annum in starting, the salary increases as per the experience.