Wednesday, 25 November 2015

Are Indian CA's dependent on article assistants to a great degree?

I'm assuming that you are talking about dependent in terms of manpower.

Well, I guess they are, and there is absolutely nothing wrong about it. With rising number of CA students in the country, there is a continuously growing number of students looking for articleship training to learn the practical application of the Chartered Accountancy curriculum. The CA's in practice find these students as an inexpensive source of manpower, and the students get an opportunity to learn in return. To me, it looks like a win-win.

But, of course, a CA firm would need permanent employees to grow its business as the articled assistants will leave in three years, after their training period is complete. So, trained administrative staff is important to ensure smooth functioning of operations.

As a young Chartered Accountant in practice, there are a number of assignments that I take only for the learning that will come through performing such tasks. I would suggest that the articled assistants also look at the work opportunity available before them as a tuition-free platform to hone their skills so as to become better and more competent CA's in the future.

Monday, 9 November 2015

How much money do I need to pursue the CA course?

The total fee charged by the ICAI at various levels of the CA program right from Registration for CPT to taking your Final exams and pursuing all your mandatory training programs does not total up to more than Rs. 65,000.

However, a number of students (a good majority now) spend on tuitions and coaching, the expenses for which will depend on the number of subjects you take coaching for. However, one can do it through self-study, as has been my personal experience. You may spend a little more on additional reference material or books from the market, but that again should not go beyond Rs. 15,000 for the whole program.

So, all in all, the course is one of the most inexpensive professional courses to pursue in the country.

I have not taken into account the stipend you may receive during your articleship and the expenses you may incur in travelling to and from office, or living in another city to pursue your articleship training as these vary from person to person to an extent where one person may spend Rs. 10,000 per month on rent, food and travelling while another may spend not more than Rs. 500.

Hope this helps.

Sunday, 8 November 2015

Will my CA degree not help me in becoming a Financial Analyst? Should I study CFA instead?

The papers related to Finance in the CA curriculum are: Financial Management in CA IPCC, and Strategic Financial Management in CA Final. The SFM paper in CA Final is quite exhaustive and will cover most relevant topics of finance in detail.

However, a CFA will be a wonderful addition to your quiver for a finance specialization as the core focus of the course is on finance, whereas CA focuses more on accounting, auditing and taxation.

Eventually, it's the practical aspects on-the-job that teach you all you need to know on how Financial Markets work and run. You could pursue finance through either of the two courses. But if you're really interested, I would suggest trying to get as many finance focused internships as you can, constantly follow all major market trends/news across the world, read as much as you can about these subjects (options, futures, indices, derivatives, trading mechanisms, financial instruments, risk and return, etc.) so that you have a solid theoretical grounding.

Hope this gives some clarity.

Saturday, 7 November 2015

Can I do M.Com along with CA Articleship?

Yes, it is if you're pursuing it through correspondence and not as a regular course. Not a problem. I know a couple of people who have done it.

I'm pursuing my undergrad and wish to be a Cost Accountant. Should I pursue it from IMA and then take the certification from ICAI or otherwise?

The CMA Course from IMA requires you to have completed your bachelor's degree before you enroll for the program. So it's not something you can begin while you're still in college.

The IMA and ICAI have a Memorandum of Understanding as per which a CMA from ICAI can get a membership of IMA without passing any exams of CMA-IMA. You can also enroll for the course from ICAI even before you complete your graduation. This seems like a much better option to me that going in for a IMA certification first and then getting a ICAI certification through the MoU. Another reason to go through ICAI route is that an IMA member who receives an ICAI membership through the MoU is not given statutory right to sign as a practicing cost accountant in India.

You can access details about the MoU here.

Friday, 6 November 2015

My first CA exam went terribly and I am sure to fail. Should I take the remaining papers or quit this session?

My first exams in both levels viz. IPCC as well as Final were attempted poorly, and I had the same thoughts. However, I decided to not worry about the result and just take the remaining exams for the experience. I thought that maybe a few goof-ups in the remaining subjects might also teach me a few things about the mistakes not to make in my following attempt.

When the results came out, I realized I was lucky enough to have passed by a margin of just one mark and cleared the group.

It's easy to give up and probably very hard to detach yourself from the result and just work. I would suggest the latter. You might end up scoring an exemption in a subject even if you don't clear the whole group. Or maybe, you might just end up touching passing marks with a wonderful stroke of luck. Don't give up. Keep at it, my friend. The experience won't take anything away from you. If nothing else, it might just help you acknowledge failure and strike back with better efforts. You wouldn't regret it.

All the best!

Thursday, 5 November 2015

As a CA, should I choose to work as an Oracle/ERP Consultant or a Traditional Accounts Professional?

The best answer to this question would obviously be to choose a field or work profile that interests one more.

In my limited experience, I have observed that technical knowledge of advanced ERP softwares combined with functional knowledge of your field (accounting and finance) is a wonderful combination, especially at this time when a number of companies are rapidly switching over to better technologies in integrated data recording and management in real time.

Having working knowledge of an ERP software like SAP, Oracle, TCS's ERP, etc. is going to be a good additional skill to your already remarkable professional degree. It wouldn't hurt even if you choose the latter option instead of becoming a core ERP consultant.

Wednesday, 4 November 2015

Is it necessary for CA Articleship Stipend to be paid by Cheque?

Yes, the articleship stipend has to be paid by an account payee cheque or through a bank transfer to the articled assistant's account. CA's are not allowed to give stipend in cash as the bank transaction ensures payment of transfer and carrying out of genuine articleship training by the student.

Sunday, 1 November 2015

Are the bid/offer queues of NSE and BSE same or different? Can a bid/offer from one exchange be matched/satisfied with offer/bid from another?

While the bid/offer orders are fundamentally same at both the exchanges, they can't be matched with each other because bid/offer orders at one exchange are executed by offer/bid orders at the same exchange.