How to Become a Chartered Accountant (CA Course Details, Exam, Fee, Jobs)

You can become a CA after 10th, 12th, or graduation. Learn what is CA, course details, qualification, fees, jobs, salary & more
chartered accountant

In my family there are 3 chartered accountants, even I tried to become a CA but couldn’t succeed.

A few years back, I joined a CA course and started preparing for this, I gave my best, and then I decided to quit for some other good reasons.

However, while I was preparing for the exam, I discovered some great things and I would like to share my experience through this post.

In this article, I will start with debating what is CA, how you can become a qualified chartered accountant, and what is the work of CA.

Then I will explain all the small details like Chartered Accountant course details, syllabus, qualification, best institutes, fees, salary, and courses available after 12th and graduation, etc.

Chartered Accountant

So to get a whole idea you need to read the complete article.

What is CA or What is Chartered Accountant?

The first question that you might like to ask me is “how do I become a qualified or certified CA”?

You might be wondering what does it mean “Qualified or Certified Chartered Accountant”.

Chartered accountancy or accountancy basically means the same. The profession of CA involves the managing of finances for an entity like an individual or an organization. This comprises managing financial statements, budgeting, auditing, business strategy, and taxation.

One of the major differences between an accountant and a chartered accountant (CA) is that the CA has taken in-depth training for years and has cleared various exams in diverse aspects of accounting to earn the title of a chartered accountant.

Anybody can’t become a chartered accountant; it is not like getting an MBA or Bachelor’s degree from a renowned college.

You become a certified Chartered accountant only if you are a registered member of a body named ICAI or the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India.

ICAI is the 2nd largest professional accounting body and largest professional accounting body of India under the ownership of MCA.

Later in this article, I will explain to you how you can become a member of ICAI.

What Does a Chartered Accountant do and how they are Different than a Regular Accountant?

Before I tell you what is the job of CA, it is important for you to know what is the difference between a certified CA and a regular accountant.

If you want to be a certified CA then you have to obtain Membership of ICAI otherwise you are just like a regular accountant.

You might be wondering what is your work of CA?

As a CA you have to accomplish various things like managing financial systems and budgets, undertaking financial audits, and also providing financial guidance.

You have to do independent auditing of a company’s financial status.

A Complete Guide to Become a CA

Here we will talk about the CA course details, how you can join the course and when can you join this course.

To become a chartered accountant you need to follow the right steps.

You can join the CA course after the 10th, 12th, or even after graduation.

We will also look at the qualification that you must have before you think of becoming a chartered accountant.

Then I will also talk about course details and exams you need to appear for, course fees, etc.

Finally, I conclude the article by informing you about the salary, income potential in a business, and how difficult it is to be a certified CA in India.

Chartered Accountant Qualification

  1. A candidate who has cleared Common Proficiency Test (CPT) and 12th standard.
  2. A candidate who has completed graduation or post graduation in commerce with an aggregate of 55% by studying 3 papers Accounting, Auditing, Mercantile Laws etc.
  3. Non Commerce Graduates need to have an aggregate of 60% or more.

Chartered Accountant Course

You can join Chartered Accountant Course through the CPT route.

In order to do that first, you have to enroll with ICAI for CPC (Common Proficiency Course) after passing the class 10th exam.

You can also appear in the CPT examination after completing your Senior Secondary Examination or 12th.

Making a Decision

Now you have to make a decision when you want to join for CA course. There are three choices for you

You want to join after 10th or after 12th or after graduation. You have to make a call whether you want to start too early or too late.

We debate this issue in detail in the next paragraphs.

Chartered Accountant Courses after 10th

You can join for a CA course as early as possible. If you are serious then you can start right after passing your 10th.

You can register with the Board of Studies for CPT or Common Proficiency Test. You can also continue with your 12th.

Both can be done simultaneously. There will be a lot of pressure on the person looking for a career in chartered accountancy.

Chartered Accountant Courses after 12th

If you find after passing 10th is too early to join a CA course, then you can join this after passing your 12th.

You have to appear and qualify for CPT or Common Proficiency Test.

Then you can join IPCC (Integrated Professional Competence Course). It is the 2nd level of Chartered Accountancy examinations in India.

Chartered Accountant Courses after Graduation

If you are late then you can decide to join after you have completed your graduation. Most of the candidates prefer to join after their graduation.

If you have a commerce degree then you can join CA course. There is a direct entry for graduate students.

If you are a commerce graduate then you require 55% total for direct entry to IPCC or Integrated Professional Competence Course, for other graduates, it is 60% total.

Chartered Accountant Course Syllabus

Well, you can split the Chartered Accountant Course Syllabus into 4 steps.

Step 1: CPT or Common Proficiency Test

It has one paper with two sessions.

Session 1:

  • Section A: Fundamentals of Accounting for 60 Marks
  • Section B: Mercantile Laws for 40 Marks

Session 2:

  • Section C: General Economics for 50 Marks
  • Section D: Quantitative Aptitude for 50 Marks

Step 2: IPCC or Intermediate Integrated Professional Competence Course

Group 1

  • Paper 1: Accounting (100 marks)
  • Paper 2: Business Laws, Ethics and Communication (100 marks)
  • Paper 3: Cost Accounting and Financial management (100 marks)
  • Paper 4: Taxation (100 marks)

Group 2

  • Paper 5: Advanced accounting (100 marks)
  • Paper 6: Auditing and Assurance (100 marks)
  • Paper 7: IT and Strategic Management (100 marks)

Step 3: ATC or Accounting Technician Course

  • Paper 1: Accounting (100 marks)
  • Paper 2: Business Laws, Ethics and Communication (100 marks)
  • Paper 3: Cost Accounting and Financial management (100 marks)
  • Paper 4: Taxation (100 marks)

Step 4: Final Course

  • Paper 1: Financial Reporting (100 marks)
  • Paper 2: Strategic Financial Management (100 marks)
  • Paper 3: Advanced Auditing and Professional Ethics (100 marks)
  • Paper 4: Corporate Allied Laws and Ethics (100 marks)
  • Paper 5: Advanced Management Accounting (100 marks)IT (100 marks)
  • Paper 6: Information Systems Control and Audit (100 marks)
  • Paper 7: Direct Tax Laws (100 marks)
  • Paper 8: Indirect Tax laws (100 marks)

Chartered Accountant Course Duration

If you join the CA course after the 12th then the course duration will be 5 years and if you join the course after completing your graduation then the duration will be 4.5 years.

But if you plan to do a CA course after passing the 10th standard, the course duration will be almost 7 years.

But let me tell you one important thing here. Most of the candidates take more than the standard course duration because it increases with the number of attempts.

Chartered Accountant Institutes

There are some great Chartered Accountant Institutes in the country. Here we mean coaching institutes.

Although there are good coaching institutes in every city, here I am going to give you a few good names.

You need to find a reputed CA institute in your city. You need to check the reviews and ask people in your city for the feedback before you join any institute.

Chartered Accountant Courses Fees

The course fee depends upon the city to city and institute to institute. So we can’t give you a fixed amount but we can help you out with an approximate figure.

  • Registration fee is about Rs 10,000 to Rs 15,000
  • Article Registration Fee = Rs 2000 to Rs 3000
  • Orientation Course Fee = Rs 3000 to Rs 5000
  • IT Training Course Fee = Rs 4000 to Rs 6000

You need to enquire about rates in your city.

Chartered Accountant Salary

You would like to know CA’s salary.

It depends upon the kind of CA you want to become. In India, CA's salary could start from Rs 6 lacs per annum and it can go up to Rs 50 lacs per annum.

Moreover, top CA’s can also start their consultancy business and earn more money.

So money is good but you have to work hard.

How Difficult is it to become a Chartered Accountant?

Well! It depends upon the candidate. If you are really serious about CA then you would love to be a CA. However, if there is no interest inside you then it is really hard to become a CA.

Only 1 out of 10 prospects are able to become a CA. It is very tough because if you are short of getting even 1 mark then you might not clear the exam.

So it is really tough.

Final Thoughts

I would say if you are really interested to become a CA then go for CA. If you like accounting and auditing, chartered accountancy is for you. Otherwise, you can leave it and choose another profession.

You also need to take a final decision when you want to take a plunge. The right timing is very important.

Whether you want to start the course right after the 10th or 12th you must be sure. But if you are serious about CA then don’t wait for your graduation, join the CA course right after the 12th.

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