A Chartered Accountant, or CA, is indeed a highly respected professional in India. Obviously, becoming a CA is not easy and requires at least three years to five years of grueling studies.
This involves working as an apprentice under a qualified CA and studying late night to wee hours to get the Chartered Accountant degree from the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI)
As you would be aware, people seek a CA’s help for almost everything related to money. Their main aim is to save taxes and, sometimes, find ways and means of investing their money in a manner that would help reduce their income tax burdens.
While becoming a Chartered Accountant is not easy, working as one, with own practice or at any accountancy firm, is also not a cakewalk. A good Chartered Accountant spends hours at their office, going through the income and expense statements of companies and individuals.
Often, they work late nights, too, for companies and individuals to be able to file their tax returns on time.
Given this scenario, there’re some essential chartered accountant skills to become successful. These skills make a CA not only successful but also highly respected by the whole society.
Essential Skills For CA's to be Successful
If you’re a student of Chartered Accountancy, surely, you would wish to be successful in every area of your life- personal, professional, financial and social. Therefore, here’s a list of essential skills to become a successful Chartered Accountant in India and elsewhere in the world.
Teamplay is the most important and essential skill to becoming a successful Chartered Accountant. Actually, this is a kind of paradox: while accountancy requires them to work solo and often as introverts, a good Chartered Accountant should also be capable of efficient team play.
That’s because compiling and reconciling complex income and expense sheets and their computations is a tough task for anyone. Most people would run away if they had to do such complicated accounting. However, a CA does just that and works with a good team of juniors and peers to deliver the best accounting service to their clients. A superb service means they get more clients to be successful.
2. Eye for Detail
An eye for detail ranks as the second most essential skill to become a successful Chartered Accountant. That’s because a single error, regardless of how small, could make their client lose a lot of money or land in serious problems with the law. And in return, the Chartered Accountant could lose the client and earn a bad reputation in the market.
Therefore, a CA has to be precise right up to the minutest details while doing their work. After all, the job of a Chartered Accountant is all about money. It deals with people’s money.
That’s why a CA spends long hours on their desk or computers to check and reconcile every single account up to the last penny and every single detail of income and outgoes.
A Chartered Accountant has to be on alert all the while, especially when it comes to news and matters that concern money. That’s because the government always makes various amends to its banking and finance-related laws and rules.
Additionally, borrowing rates also go up and down, and newer kinds of insurance policies are also launched frequently. Then we also have various kinds of investment options that allow people to save money.
In almost every case, a CA in India also doubles up as the financial advisor. Their clients for the best advice on where to invest money to save taxes or what would provide the best returns with the lowest risks. They also need to be alert about banking and finance rules and regulations.
Also read: How To Become a Chartered Financial Analyst?
4. Emotional Intelligence
A Chartered Accountant deals with money. And this money belongs to clients or human beings. Therefore, to deal with people, regardless of whether they’re business owners or salaried persons, officials of a top corporation or even a taxman, a Chartered Accountant needs superb Emotional Intelligence or EI.
Basically, EI is the skill that helps us to sense the mood or emotions of people we’re dealing with and respond accordingly. Generally, people that have a high EI are able to solve various problems at the workplace, at home or in society.
It helps them become leaders. And such a skill is very vital for anyone that wishes to become a successful CA over a period.
Also read: How To Deal with Difficult People at Work
5. Presentation Skills
Basically, a Chartered Accountant not only keeps accounts or reconciles them while keeping tabs on income and expense, but they also have to present their accounts and findings.
They simply can’t hand over mere computations to a client, regardless of whether it’s a salaried person, a high-net-worth individual, a small business or a large corporation.
A good and successful CA needs to present the entire state of finances to their client while explaining reasons and suggesting solutions where needed. Therefore, to become a successful Chartered Accountant, you will also need superb presentation skills.
6. Leadership Skills
According to the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI), every Chartered Accountant must lead a team and take charge as its leader.
This could be a team of junior CAs and peers or a team of officials from some organization and juniors. They have to hand out specific tasks to various persons in order to ensure that all accounting and tax filing work is done seamlessly and on time.
A successful CA is one that can take charge of such a team as its leader and motivate team members to exert their best efforts to achieve a specific objective within a deadline.
Leadership also involves time management and the ability to supervise and help others where necessary. Effectively, a good and successful Chartered Accountant is also a superb leader.
With proper use of these skills, you could become a very successful Chartered Accountant. Obviously, most CAs would have these skills, or some might have fewer than these skills. We’re humans and hence, imperfect. If you wish to be successful as a Chartered Accountant, you could start acquiring these skills if you’re lagging somewhere.