Wednesday, 5 August 2015

Which is the most important trait required of a student to become a Chartered Accountant?

Throughout school and college, I would see that there used to be some students who would not study for crazy number of hours in a day, but still end up doing pretty well in the tests and exams. And then there were a few others who had to really slog and put in hours of hard work to place themselves in the top scorers. It was reasonable to see how both types of people did very well academically, where the former were smart and mentally sharp, which helped them stay at the top, and the latter were hard workers who earned their laurels with effort and pride.

I used to think how both kinds of people will do well at academics irrespective of the curriculum they study. However, my stint with the Chartered Accountancy exams made me realize how this is not a course for people who are used to getting by with only being smart and not putting in hours of study.

The CA curriculum, especially of the Final stage, is so vast and exhaustive that it takes one hours of hard work to familiarize oneself with it. Subjects like Direct Taxation, Indirect Taxation, Corporate Laws, Auditing, Financial Reporting, Management Accounting are covered in such depth that just reading all of the study material once does not help. A student has to firstly, put in hours to understand the concepts, and then practice/learn the subjects repeatedly to make himself familiar with the curriculum. There is only a limit to which you can perform in these exams by logic alone. You have to learn the law, the provisions of various statutes and know how to apply them as per Accounting Standards and other Guidelines which may differ from country to country and industry to industry.

I used to (and this may sound extremely cocky) think of myself as someone who used to get by in school and college without studying for subjects too much. But I kid you not, I had to literally give up on everything else and study for over 12 hours a day, day in and day out for at least 4 months to go through my CA Final course just once.

Obviously, qualities like your manner of expression and presentation in the exam paper, your experience and learning during the articleship period and many other things help in the way you perform in the exam, but irrespective of whether you are fit or fat or Punjabi or Tamil or book-smart or street-smart or a boy or a girl or anything in the world that breathes, the primary thing required of you when you enroll into the CA course is to take your curriculum seriously and study it religiously every day. If you work hard enough, there is nothing stopping you from becoming a Chartered Accountant. It takes determination and toil and I'm sure if you love the profession like members of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India do, you will soon find yourself as a member of the ICAI family.

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