Seeking to curb dilution of standards, the Institute of Chartered Accounts of India (ICAI) has decided to get tough with the pattern and valuation of the Chartered Accountancy exams.

The decision is apparent in the recently-released CA final exams, where successful candidates numbered 3.11 per cent of the total, as against 12.1 per cent last year. The decision has been taken to control all and sundry entering the sector due to the growing corporatisation of CA coaching.

“The ICAI president has made the exam stricter and the valuators accountable by scrapping moderation of marks,” says M. Devaraja Reddy, Chief Coordinator of ICAI from Hyderabad.

Stricter norms

“Application and fundamentals are being tested now and answer scripts given to each evaluator are also reduced by 50 per cent, thus ensuring quality,” he adds.

Mushrooming coaching institutes have diluted standards and students with no aptitude for CA are being lured with fancy promotions using film stars, particularly in A.P, Mr. Devaraja Reddy says.

Tarun Ghia, member of the Central Council of ICAI also agrees that fake articleship, over-dependence on material from coaching institutes’ and rote-learning has led to a fall in standards.

Mr. Reddy said ICAI will soon come out with an awareness campaign against the unethical promotions and false propaganda of coaching institutes.

The good news

However, ICAI is thrilled with many CAs being picked up by varied firms from infrastructure, hospitality and IT, offering high salaries.

“CAs are considered all-rounders as they have knowledge not just in accounts but also understand law, taxation and financial implications of new policies better than others,” Mr. Ghia explained.

Last year, the average salary offered to fresh CAs was Rs.7.30 lakh and Rs.7.11 lakh, up from Rs.6.12 lakh and Rs.6.75 lakh, respectively, last year.

About 120 companies comprising FMCG, IT, telecom, auto and financial services recruited 1,600 candidates last year.

More In: Hyderabad