Saturday, 31 October 2015

How can I start stock trading with little money? What are some key rules that I have to keep in mind while investing?

It's all about your risk profile, your expectations and how well you manage your psychology while trading.

Some of the rules you can look out for, are:-

1. It's not important whether you are right or wrong, more important is, how much you lose when you are wrong and how much you make you are right.

2. Buy a stock when everyone feel it's expensive. Sell when it's extremely expensive & yet everyone finds it attractive.

3. The greatest pain in the financial markets is: "You find something and you could not act on it and it happened as you thought it would."
Take risks, however small they might be. Managing this risk is important.

Tuesday, 20 October 2015

I am a CA Final student who wishes to join IIM Bangalore for an MBA program after CA. Do they give preference to CA's? When should I start preparing for the CAT?

Yes, IIM Bangalore has additional weightage in the selection procedure for commerce professionals (CA, CS, CMA). However, to be considered, you would have to pass the sectional as well as the overall cut offs in the CAT.

For those who pass the cut off, IIM Bangalore is known to invite the top 10 from every criterion. So, if you're among the commerce professionals who have cleared the cut off and also happen to have scored a score among the highest 10 scores from among these applicants, you can expect a call for the interview.

The CAT tests you on math that might require tremendous practice. I would suggest that you first finish your CA Finals, and then take up preparations for the CAT with all your might at once. Both exams require tremendous effort to crack, and I would not suggest compromising your performance in one by simultaneously preparing for the other.

Hope you make it to the best! :)

Monday, 19 October 2015

I am an Engineer who wants to study subjects of accountancy and taxation to help me in my family business. The CA course interests me, but I don't have the time to undergo articleship training. What should I do?

Hi! If it's only accounting and taxation knowledge that you seek, and not the qualification of a CA, you could go in for the CMA (ICWA) program. The course structure as well as the syllabus is very similar to that of CA. There are a number of students who are into their late thirties and forties too, as many working professionals undertake the course. You would not be required to undergo articleship training to complete the course.

However, you must also know that one learns work in the true sense only through the practical training one receives during the articleship program.

But if your objective is to only gain knowledge of the field, and use it in your business, CMA is an excellent course to pursue. You can find more about it here: Cost Accountancy

Thursday, 15 October 2015

Can I undertake my CA articleship training under my father?

Yes, definitely.

There is no restriction on this from the ICAI. I personally trained in my family-firm and had raised this query to a few ICAI officials. They all informed me that I could go ahead.

Wednesday, 14 October 2015

Is it not insulting for a CA degree to not be considered as an equivalent of a graduate degree?

An undergraduate or graduate degree in India can only be awarded by a university set up and registered with the University Grants Commission, a body that has been set up to regulate the working of universities in India.

On the other hand, the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India is not a university, but a statutory body set up by an Act of the parliament to regulate the profession of chartered accountancy in India. It offers not an undergraduate (bachelor's) or a graduate (master's) degree, but a professional certificate that gives you the statutory power to certify certain types of financial documents and certificates.

The CA certification offers you a statutory power to conduct audits of organization and certify financial documents. No such right comes with a graduate or undergraduate degree. So, there is no way in which it is insulting for the CA profession to not be considered an equivalent to graduation. It is, in fact, appreciative of the professional and specialized nature of the course.

I believe that your question is probably from the point of view of how having a CA certification would not considered in the eligibility criteria for certain jobs (government or otherwise), or for application to certain foreign courses, which require mandatory undergraduate or graduate degree for all applicants.

To answer this, I would just say that it would be unreasonable to expect a professional qualification to be exempt from all such eligibility norms for various courses or jobs. The eligibility criteria is defined by the specific organization or university, and it is up to them to decide whether they would want to grant the exemption or not. Moreover, in my humble opinion, a three-year long undergraduate program is necessary for a person's academic and personality development. A person matures and grows over those three years in many ways, and it would again be unreasonable to not give credit to an undergraduate program. The fact that a few commerce students choose to skip a bachelor's degree and enroll themselves directly in CA does not mean it's a wise idea. It is grossly underestimating of the things that a college education can teach you.

A few of the most renowned colleges for management education in India, such as IIM-Ahmedabad and the Indian School of Business (ISB) are not universities. The certifications they offer are not graduate (master's) degrees in the strict sense. The IIM's offer a Post-graduate Diploma in Management, and ISB offers a certification for having completed a Post-graduate Pogram in Management. These are not graduate degrees. However, this in no way is insulting to these institutes. They remain the most sought after and respected colleges for management education in India, and rightly so. You could say that a similar idea applies to the ICAI.

Hope this answers.

Tuesday, 13 October 2015

Am I at an employability disadvantage against someone who has taken the CPT 6 months before me?

Not at all! There are so many more factors that are taken into consideration to determine your employability and success in life. Your marks, number of attempts in the IPCC and Final exams, work experience, responsibilities handled play a more important role. And most importantly, your overall personality and soft skills count to a great extent.

Monday, 12 October 2015

Is it worth doing CPA as a CA Final student?

If you're a CA Final student, CPA would be a good course to pursue if you plan on working on assignments for companies with operations in the USA or any other country for which you wish to take the CPA exams.

The course normally helps you get opportunities to work on international assignments at the Big 4 accounting firms.

However, I would suggest doing it only after passing your CA Final exams. The reason I ask you to wait for your exams to get over is because I think it would take you about 6 months to prepare for the CPA papers if you put in around 3 hours of serious study everyday during your articleship. I would suggest that you put that time in polishing on your concepts and practicing CA Final questions.

You will have to take the CPA exam (assuming of the Institute in USA) in the US, for which you will have to plan your travel and accommodation, etc. too. Best to keep it after the finals.

You can find out more information about the course here: CPA

Saturday, 10 October 2015

Can a CA be a Partner in an LLP? Will he allowed to be an auditor for the same LLP?

Yes, Chartered Accountants in practice can come together to form an LLP. However, the LLP of Chartered Accountant professionals registered with the MCA and the ICAI would then have only CA Partners holding Certificates of Practice.

As "independence of the auditor" is a pre-requisite for appointment of an auditor, a person cannot be the auditor of an entity he is interested in (in this case, as a Partner of the LLP)

Friday, 9 October 2015

What is the Pass Percentage of CA exams?

The pass percentage for the May 2015 attempt was:

CA Final:
a) Both Groups 8.26%
b) Group I 11.41%
c) Group II 16.54%

CA IPCC:
a) Both Groups 8.47%
b) Group I 13.63%
c) Group II 13.79%

The pass percentages of the previous few attempts are as under.

Monday, 5 October 2015

Is the CA and B.Com syllabus the same?

The subjects that you study in both the courses are similar, however, the depth of study differs to a great extent.

In the Bachelor's degree, you will study core commerce subjects of Financial Accounting, Direct Taxation, Cost Accounting, Financial Management, Mercantile and Company Law as well as a few others like IT, Mathematics, Economics, Statistics, Management Theories, etc.

On the other hand, in the CA curriculum, you will primarily study the core commerce subjects of Financial Accounting, Direct Taxation, Cost Accounting, Financial Management, Indirect Taxation, Auditing, Indirect Taxation, Corporate Laws, Information System Auditing, etc.

There is a huge overlap in the subjects studied, but the CA curriculum goes much in depth in comparison to the B. Com syllabus. The difficulty level of the questions tested in the IPCC Level exams of CA will be slightly higher than that of the questions in your bachelor's degree. However, the difficulty level in the CA Final exams is tremendously higher in comparison. The CA syllabus is quite vast and exhaustive too. Being a professional course, it aims at providing expertise in its subjects to the students. The bachelor's degree provides only basic operational knowledge.

Hope this answers your question.

Sunday, 4 October 2015

In which order should I take coaching for these subjects of CA Final: SFM, Financial Reporting, Cost Accounting?

As all subjects are practical application based, there is no defined answer for which would be the best order to take coaching for them. I hope you have tried studying these subjects on your own first from the Institute's material as well as some other reference book. If you haven't, please try to go through the content on your own first. You might find a subject that you may not even need external help for, and self-study may be sufficient.

However, if you may still feel the need to take coaching for all three of these papers, pick the subject the coaching for which is available first. This will ensure that you won't waste time waiting for the batch of any particular subject to start.

Also, ensure that while you may be taking coaching for a particular subject, do not depend completely on the study you do in the classroom. Come back home to revise concepts and practice additional questions. It is also important to not put other subjects on the backburner while you take coaching for one. Try to study at least three subjects from the total of eight papers during a period of preparation. It would not be wise to keep your preparation imbalanced by preparing for a subject for months before moving on to the other.

Hope this helps.

Saturday, 3 October 2015

Can a CA in Practice have his app on the PlayStore?

In my opinion, considering the Code of Ethics for professional firms as give by the ICAI, an application on the PlayStore would be allowed as long as there is no advertisement for the application anywhere, and no marketing asking people to download the app.

A better way to go about it would be to develop a knowledge sharing app that shares news related to tax, accounts, audit or allied fields of work. And then list the name of your firm as the developer/administrator for the app. It's the same logic that works for professional blogs of CA firms.

Friday, 2 October 2015

Will my CA Firm give me leaves to take CS exams during Articleship period?

Whether your firm permits it or not will depend on your firm's policies for Articled Assistants. However, I would want you to know the following two things:

1. I hope you have filled Form 112, wherein your Principal gives you the permission to pursue one other course in addition to CA during your articleship period. This form is also a way of intimating the Institute about your registration with the ICSI.

2. If your Principal allows you to take leaves, the same will be deducted from your leaves eligible during the articleship period.

A lot depends on your rapport with your Principal. If you can give adequate number of days' notice and not leave any of your assignments mid-way, I don't think there should be too much of a problem in getting a few days off for you to prepare for and take the exams.

Thursday, 1 October 2015

What difficulties will I face in pursuing the CA course as a Non-Math student in the 12th standard?

The CA curriculum tests you on a paper of Mathematics only in the CPT, which is the first stage of the whole curriculum. The Math that students study in the 11th and 12th grade in India is very similar to the topics tested on in the Math section of the CPT.

At later stages of the course, viz. in IPCC and Final, the only math skills you need are in basic arithmetic (addition, subtraction, multiplication, division).

So, even though you have not studied Math in the 11th and 12th grade, I don't think you would face any difficulty because of that in your CA exams. If you do other subjects of the CPT (Accounts, Law, Economics) well enough and study the CPT Math syllabus diligently for a month and a half or two months after your 12th Board exams, you would be in a good position to tackle the subjects.

Hope this helps. All the best!