Options in chartered accountancy

Gopakumar Karakonam
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For a dream career: Chartered accountancy is one of the best higher study options for Plus Two students in commerce stream; at the ICAI building in Nungambakkam, Chennai. Photo: S. THANTHONI
For a dream career: Chartered accountancy is one of the best higher study options for Plus Two students in commerce stream; at the ICAI building in Nungambakkam, Chennai. Photo: S. THANTHONI

Chartered accountancy is the best suitable higher study option for Plus Two students in commerce stream. It offers students a dream career in the specialised areas of accounting, auditing, corporate finance, corporate laws and taxation.

Chartered accountants can hold top managerial positions in public and private sector companies. They can also work as accountants/ auditors or management consultants. Multinational companies and public sector undertakings offer high salary and incentives for qualified and experienced chartered accountants.

The chartered accountancy programme involves private study. Postal and oral coaching classes are available.


The Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI), New Delhi, has revamped its scheme of education and training. ICAI is a professional statutory body that regulates the chartered accountancy programme and conducts examinations.

ICAI has several branches across the country. There are three stages in CA education and training, namely, CPT, IPCC and final CA course.


To become a chartered accountant under the existing scheme one should enrol with the institute for common proficiency test after passing Class X examination. CPT is an entry-level test for chartered accountancy course.

It comprises four subjects: accounting, mercantile laws, general economics and quantitative aptitude. CPT is an objective type test of 200 marks, and is divided into two sessions of two hours each. Wrong answers will carry negative marks.

The board of studies of the ICAI has prepared a comprehensive study along with model test papers covering all four subjects.

Students are eligible to appear for the test after completion of 60 days from the date of registration for CPT.

Students who have registered for CPT before April 1/ October 1 will be eligible to appear for the test in June/ December every year.


After passing the CPT and Plus Two examination, students can register for the Integrated Professional Competence Course (IPCC). It consists of two groups.

This is first stage of the chartered accountancy curriculum wherein only working knowledge of core and allied subjects is covered.

Group I subjects covers accounting, business laws, ethics and communication, company laws, cost accounting and financial management and taxation. A student can study and appear in the group-wise examination or both the groups together.

The IPCC registrants should successfully complete nine months of course study and one week orientation course covering topics such as personality development, communication skills, office procedure, business environment, general commercial knowledge and should complete 100 hours of information technology training before articled training.

On passing either group I or both the groups of Integrated Professional Competence (IPCC) examination, they can register as Articled Assistant for a period of three years. Group I examination of IPCC is equivalent to the newly-introduced Accounting Technician Certificate (ATC), which is sufficient qualification to be employed as accounting technician or accounts assistant.


After passing the IPCC examination one should register for final course and prepare for final CA examination. Students should compulsorily undergo 15 days general management and communication skills (GMCS) course.

On completion of the three-year practical training or while serving the last six months of articled training, the candidate should appear for final CA examination. The final course has been designed to impart/ expert knowledge in financial reporting, auditing and professional ethics, taxation, corporate laws, systems control, strategic finance and advanced management accountancy.

The final (New) course consists of group I and II, and covers eight papers including financial reporting, strategic financial management, advanced management accounting, advanced auditing and professional ethics and information systems control and audit.

Those who pass the final CA examination and complete GMCS are eligible to be enrolled as a member of ICAI and designated as ‘chartered accountant'.

Students who desire to join CPT have to register their names in the prescribed application form, which is available in any of the branches of ICAI. One can complete CPT, IPCC and final CA course with minimal expenditure within four to five years.

A qualified and experienced CA could find gainful employment in public and private sector companies. Complete details regarding CPT, IPCC and final CA course can be had from the web site or from the nearest ICAI branches.

Gopakumar Karakonam



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