Growing Demand and Scope for Chartered Accountants
A Chartered Accountant is someone who can carve a niche of his/her own. They are seen as the key strategists and advisors when it comes to a company’s finances. The importance and demand for Chartered Accountants have been growing over the years and today CAs are recognized as professionals with a robust knowledge of finance who have the ability to take decisions that can impact the future of the company. A Chartered Accountant’s role is becoming more relevant in this dynamic, global environment with an increasing need to manage risk. The course is much in demand, owing to its increasing relevance to the current business environment.
Finance is the backbone of any organization. This means a Chartered Accountant is in a strategic position with his/her in depth knowledge of costing, funding, financing, accounting, structuring and compliance and also an understanding of the taxation regime and accounting methods.
Exponential Growth :
There has been an exponential growth in demand for Chartered Accountants in the country which opens up a wide variety of job opportunities. With the growth of corporates and globalization, Chartered Accountants are becoming indispensable assets to companies. The placement figures according to ICAI this year are proof enough for this. At the ICAI Campus Placement for August and September 2015, the highest salary offered for domestic posting in the Campus Placement Programme was Rs. 21 lakhs per annum (TCTC). Average CTC offered is Rs. 7.61 lakhs per annum
Top Hiring Sectors for Chartered Accountants :
Top hiring sectors includes banking, financial services, IT, software mining, oil & gas refining, chartered accountancy firms, iron & steel, heavy engineering, engineering procurement and construction. Software companies and KPOs also hire CAs as finance managers, financial controllers and financial advisors. They can also be placed in government sector in roles such as Director (finance), Chief Executive and Head of the Department of the accounts.
In the past years there is a growing trend of CAs assuming advisory roles conducting due diligence of companies involved during mergers and acquisition (M&A) deals. CAs can become specialists in Transfer Pricing, Service Tax, Audit, Fraud detection (insolvency, bankruptcy), International Taxation, Information Systems Risk Management, ERP, US GAAP, IFRS, WTO representations, investment banking, property-related matters, transaction advisory etc. CAs also play a key role in budget planning, working capital management, markets research, policy planning, inventory control and securities consultancy.
CAs also act as arbitrators who settle disputes and as executors under a will or trust in order to carry out the administration of an estate or settlements. CA’s can choose to set up their own independent practice and develop their clients on merit.
Top Recruiters of Chartered Accountants :
Top recruiters include Genpact, SBI, ICICI bank, Deloitte, Infosys Technologies Limited and Coal India Ltd. So much is the demand that consulting and accounting firms including Ernest & Young, PricewaterhouseCoopers, KPMG and Deloitte hire students directly from training institutes in smaller cities such as Jaipur, Indore, Chandigarh and Ahmedabad.
Institute of CA of India is also well recognized abroad like in England, Wales and Australia so one can even practice in these countries as well.
Steps to Becoming a Chartered Accountant :
Persistence is the key to becoming a Chartered Accountant. The CA programme is intensive and involves a lot of self-study which means you need rigorous discipline and focus.
You can start by registering and appearing for the Common Proficiency Test (CPT). You can take the test after your class 12 exams. This is followed by Integrated Professional Certificate Course (IPCC) followed by the Final Course. Registration for CPT is open throughout the year and exams are conducted in June and December. However, exams for IPCC and Final are conducted in May and November.
Once you’ve passed the final exam, you will have to complete a 15-day course in general management and communication skills. After completing IPCC, you need to do a three-year articleship (on-the-job apprenticeship) to get hands-on experience and practical application of concepts for daily situations.
A great thing about preparing for Chartered Accountancy is that there is no constraint on study hours for a Chartered Accountancy aspirant. You do not have to attend classes, everything is self-study. This means, you have the freedom and flexibility to simultaneously pursue courses like MBA, CFA etc. We recommend that you take a course that will complement and be an add-on to your Chartered Accountancy preparation. Doing your higher studies in cities like Bangalore, Mangalore, Coimbatore or Chennai enables you to study in good colleges and meet other Charter Accountant aspirants. Also, you have more access to good sources that will help you prepare.
You will have to register for placements organized by ICAI every March at campuses across the country. Most CAs opt for jobs but some choose to practice either on their own or with smaller CA firms.
Maintaining continuity in career is easier for a Chartered Accountant, as they can afford to take breaks and sabbaticals and make a comeback after little brushing up of knowledge.