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Chartered Accountancy

Course: Chartered Accountancy (CA)
Eligibility: Appearing for Class 12 exam
Council: Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI)
Minimum duration: 4-5 years
Exams: May, June, November and December
Fees: Rs. 45,000- 50,000
Website: www.icai.org
Our advice: Be ready for a rigorous course. Take coaching only when necessary, since it is expensive

A well-paid profession
A fresh CA passout can earn a minimum salary of Rs. 30,000- 50,000 per month, depending on the company and the sector he is hired into, in sharp contrast to the meagre stipend (Rs. 1,000-5,000) earned during an articleship. The lucrative salaries offered by international audit and consulting majors such as PWC, Ernst & Young, KPMG and Deloitte, also attract many aspirants.

“Salary offered depends on whether the candidate cleared CA in the first, second or third attempt or is a rankholder. Past educational qualifications and communication skills are also selection criteria for recruiters,” says Sunil Goel, Director, GlobalHunt India, an executive search firm.

Most CAs register for placements organized by ICAI in March at campuses across the country. This year the average salary offered to freshers was 6.58 lakhs. One-third of the candidates accepted jobs in the banking sector, making it the topmost recruiter.

Most CAs opt for jobs but some choose to practice either on their own or with smaller CA firms. “In a job you get good packages along with a brand name. With a practice, one has to struggle initially. However, it does offer good exposure and returns after some years,” echoes Parul Gupta, who works as a partner with a CA firm in Delhi.

Working for a smaller firm could fetch you between Rs. 25,000- 40,000 per month. Be prepared to battle it out if you plan to start your own practice from scratch. It may fetch you a salary ranging from Rs. 5,000 to 25,000 per month. The caveat though is not to be led by the pay package. Instead focus on the learning during your tenure in either a CA firm or a job of your choice.

Future of CA
ICAI is in the process of finalising accounting standards in convergence with IFRS (International Financial Reporting Standards) expected to be ready by June 2010. As a part of the move, all companies will be required to follow the IFRS converged Indian Accounting Standards from April 1, 2011. The institute has started a massive exercise to train its members in industry as well as in practice. “As the Indian economy prepares itself for a phase of explosive growth and becomes an aggressive player in foreign, it will be the Indian CAs who will lead from the front,” concludes Kalyansundaram.

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