Who's a Chartered Accountant?
Does the world of mathematics always leave you in awe? Do you have a field day whenever you’re doing something that involves number-crunching? Does the idea of understanding new ways to save money and increase profits excite you? If yes, consider a career in Chartered Accountancy (CA)! As a CA, you will offer financial and investment advice to your clients and advise people on how to manage their money well. In an organisation, you would perform audits, handle taxes, help create effective financial plans and solve any finance-related issues.
Does Chartered Accountancy fascinate you? Want to pursue it as a future career option? Explore a day in the life of a Chartered Accountant- Ajay Mehta
What will you do?
Conducting financial audits.
You must conduct an audit to evaluate the organisation’s financial statements and give regulators, investors, directors, and managers a report on the financial state of the company. These audits are mostly carried out by an external accountant.
Example: You would examine the books, accounts, records, and documents of the organisation to check whether they are playing by the rules.
Checking day-to-day accounts.
To help individuals manage their finances effectively, you would keep a record of their expenses to make sure every rupee they spend is accounted for.
Example: You would look at your client’s financial statements on a monthly basis to keep track of their income, their investments, their everyday costs, etc.
Undertaking internal audits.
Internal audits are carried out to keep a check on the company funds. You will have to make sure that the funds are not being misused by certain employees or the management.
Example: You would cross check any and all expenses made against the invoices processed for them to ensure that the money going out of the organisation is accounted for.
Helping in the application for loans.
If a company is looking to apply for a loan from financial authorities like banks for any purpose, like business expansion, you will have to ensure their finances are in place before they move ahead with the application. You could also help individuals when they have to apply for loans.
Example: Financial authorities usually ask for a report on your finances to ascertain whether you are eligible for a loan. You must help create a comprehensive financial report for the company that showcases their turnover and ability to build revenue.
Your clients will look to you for advice when looking to invest or regarding any other financial matters. You must help them make informed investment decisions for better profits.
Example: If a client is looking to invest some money that they won’t be needing for a while, you could suggest some good long-term investments they could make – like SIPs.
Providing taxation services
You will help identify what taxes your clients need to file for and help them make these filings in a timely and efficient manner. Also, as a chartered accountant, you are legally allowed to represent your client in court in case of any issues with their taxes.
Example: You would help your organisation understand how much corporate tax they need to pay and file for returns accordingly.
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Where will you work?
As a CA, you will mostly work from an office, where you will handle balance sheets and account statements. You could either work from your office or that of your client. Also, you will need to keep in touch with people from all of the departments, especially when it’s time for their audits.
If you’re working as a consultant, your workday would be spent meeting with different clients either at their places of work or homes to provide them with financial advice.
Since most of your time is spent working on financial plans and reports, you may have to visit institutions from time to time to file documents, make investments, etc.
How do you get there?
What skills would you need?
You will be constantly working with machines during the day, from testing instruments to ph balancing equipment, a thorough understanding of how these equipment work is essential.build this skill
AdaptabilityAs a marketer, you will deal with different types of customers. You could be working with a manufacturing company that sells paper to businesses, or a company that sells chips to the masses. Your skill will be measured by how you deal with different consumers.
It’s harder than ever to get people’s attention, what with so much information being thrown at them. But, people cannot resist a good story. Every good marketing campaign has a story to tell their customers and relate to them on an emotional level. Marketers who tell great stories through their marketing campaigns are always in great demand.build this skill
The best - and worst - part about marketing is that there is never a dull moment. But this also means that there is NEVER A DULL MOMENT. Be prepared to be working on several tasks at once. That means that there are times when you will have to put certain projects on the backburner. You will have to know how to prioritise so that you don’t lose out on any opportunities.
How do you make it to the top ranks?
Pursuing your career locally VS abroad
There are no colleges or universities that offer courses on Chartered Accountancy in India. After your 10th standard examination, you must choose the commerce stream. You need passing marks in your 12th grade, after which you register with ICAI. There are four levels in this course. First, you must appear for the Common Proficiency Test (CPT), in which you need to score a minimum of 50% marks. After clearing this round, you must appear for the Integrated Professional Competence Course (IPCC) and pass in both groups. After passing these exams, you must pursue three years of articleship and then prepare for the CA finals. Once you clear the finals, you must register with the ICAI to become a member and an official CA! This course can take you four and a half years if pursued pre-graduation, or you can complete your graduation in B.Com or BMS and then pursue this course this way you will be exempted from appearing for CPT and directly take the IPCC exam.
The ICAI is a globally recognised institute so you can pursue the course in India even if you wish to look for job opportunities abroad. However, you will also need to have an Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) qualification to practice in many foreign countries. In order to apply for this course, you can register online. There are two levels in this exam – the Fundamental level that has nine papers and the Professional level that has five papers. The exams are held in centres across the world, including India so you do not need to travel to appear for these exams. ACCA takes about two-three years to complete, after which you can work with multinational corporations, global banks, and financial organisations all over the world.
How much would you get paid?
The exact number will depend on where you’re working, your education, skill-set and internship experience. But we can give you a general idea.
What are your career options?
Audit & Taxation
From statutory audit to internal audit and tax audit, there are various options for you to choose from while planning a specialisation. Taxation is divided into two branches – direct and indirect taxation – that opens up various opportunities for you to explore. You could work as a tax manager where you would look at the tax implications of new plans, changes in company structures, etc. Or, you could work as an internal auditor to keep track of management procedures and internal controls and review corporate policies, financial records etc. to ensure they are following protocol. In order to become an auditor, you would need to be certified by the regulatory authority of accounting and auditing. In India, the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI) regulates accounting and auditing.
Financial Advisory/Mergers & Acquisitions
This is one of the most glamorous fields for a CA, and is apt for you if you have the skills to network and conduct business. Your job would involve providing advice on corporate mergers and acquisitions as well as debt and equity financing. Here, an additional qualification in Chartered Financial Analysis would improve your prospects.
Another dream job for many CA students, investment banking is known for its high remuneration. Investment bankers play a key role in helping companies and government entities obtain capital financing. Here, you would work as a financial advisor to your clients. You would help them price capital, allocate resources, and manage their investments. If you have a high level of proficiency in financial management and MS Excel, explore this field to begin a career as an investment banker. However, you should know that this career comes with challenging working hours.
Banking & Financial Services
From insurance companies to mutual funds, and valuation firms, the finance sector is one of the biggest recruiters of CAs. Here, you could explore opportunities in various sectors like banking operations, credit management, fund management, market and equity research, etc.
CAs have a lot of scope in the corporate sector. At a corporate, you would be responsible for many roles ranging from operations management, logistics, and corporate finance to, internal audit, business development, etc. As you would be working with a corporate, you would have structured working hours and a good remuneration package.
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