Public Accounting is a lucrative and challenging career option for young people. What are some of the things to keep in mind when choosing CA as your career? We’ll see.
As of April 2019, India has 2.91 lakh of registered public accountants, of which only about 50% are practicing full time. It is one of the cheapest professional courses, since the expense is only to join coaching classes and a meager fee to ICAI.
However, the time spent to complete the course is generally more, although there are cases where workers became CA at the age of 21 or even less. Determination and hard work are the key to this endeavor. In this article, we have two goals in mind: Last-minute preparation tips to overcome that first step and long-term issues, including career expectations and challenges you should expect to face while studying for CA and while working as one.
Preparation tips to pass the ICA CA exams:
1) Decide the books that will be used in the study license.
Most students enter a training academy and study with the books provided. Complementing these notes, there will be ICAI-supplied modules along with the ICAI Review Test Articles and Test Articles. They go a long way in improving your presentation along with the variety of types of questions that can be asked in the exams.
2) Go over your flashcards one more time
Flashcards, especially electronic ones based on spaced repetition, are a very efficient way to memorize key facts. Even if you have already learned your flashcards, go over your flashcards one more time. You will better retain the facts, which will help you on the job.
3) Don’t overthink the answers!
There will be questions that you may not have prepared for. And if it’s an MCQ, you may end up choosing the best answer without being completely sure. It can be tempting to guess twice, but in these situations, it’s best to make a logical deduction (based on what you think about the topic) and then stick to your choice.
4) Sleep well and hydrate
You will be under a lot of stress and the best way to deal with that is to reduce external stressors as much as possible. Get an early night to make sure you get enough rest. Before the exam, be sure to hydrate as well. Turn off the television, log out of social media, and disconnect other distractions so your mind is no longer busy.
5) Learn when to stop checking
So is! Stopping your review at the right time can often help more than cramming until the last minute. Our short-term memory retention isn’t always reliable, and last minute cluttered data can be forgotten or confused. During the stress of cramming, you could end up forgetting points, you studied before! If necessary, take a look at your last minute notes before leaving home, but when you are in the exam room, your attention should be on the paper in front of you.
6) Stay cool during these last hours
Your hard work is important, but so are those hours in which you will write the final paper. Some bright students also perform poorly during those hours, succumbing to pressure. Getting a good night’s sleep the night before exams, as well as eating well before the exam, go a long way toward stabilizing the mind. In case you don’t know some questions, go out and come back to them later. Remember, you have 15 minutes to read the questionnaire. So mark in those 15 minutes the questions that you know well and solve them first. Others, you can do it later. Remember, each of the students who has prepared will be able to solve 60 points. The key here is to identify them and do all the working notes before attempting to solve the questions you are least confident about.
Now, let’s take a look at things in the longer term. If you have passed the exam or if you plan to take another time, it is important to have a good understanding of what exactly to expect from your career at CA.
What CAs Do and How You Can Become a
Certified Public Accountants are finance and accounting professionals who handle a variety of functions for both individuals and organizations. They are responsible for the audits in the companies and sign the account book of each company. They also handle other tasks such as filing taxes, providing financial guidance, and more for individuals and organizations.
The Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI) is a statutory body that administers the CA profession in the country. Students must complete 3 stages of study and pass the core course exams, intermediate level exams, and final exams, as well as 3 years of articulation training to qualify as CA.
If you are already a graduate or postgraduate, you can directly enroll in the intermediate course and complete the rest of the course requirements to be a CA.
The search for CA is fraught with challenges. Unlike regular professional courses, Public Accounting follows a unique pattern and generally does not have a college focus. Students follow the course independently or in training institutions (coaching classes) that focus on the CA course. Now let’s dive in and see what are the things you need to keep in mind when opting for CA as your career option.
1 it’s a tough field to break
CA is a pretty tough field to break through. The various stages and exams are challenging to say the least, and passing rates are generally very low. This means that you will probably have to attend the exams more than once to qualify. This takes a lot of time and effort.
2 takes longer than most courses
Even for the brightest students, passing the CA exams and grading takes time. Your colleagues and friends who are taking other courses can finish their courses and move on while you are still in the process of passing the exams.
3.A lot to learn and it never stops too long
The curriculum covered by the CA course is broad and covers a wide range of topics associated with organizations and finance. This requires a lot of effort and hard work to learn and also to put learning into practice. Like most professions, learning is also an ongoing process. You will have to keep constantly updated throughout your career to keep up with the changing laws and regulations in the domain.
4.Focus on more than just accounts and numbers
Building a successful career in CA requires much more than just knowing accounting, finance, and taxes. Many softer skills come into play, and you need to develop these skills to thrive. Communicate effectively, manage time, listen, pay attention to detail – these are some of the necessary skills that you would need to develop to excel in a career at CA.
Choosing CA as a career option is certainly a smart choice. There are abundant opportunities for qualified professionals and it also provides a challenging and exciting career. Like any domain you choose, this one has its own challenges. By planning well, working hard, and having a clear goal in mind, you can overcome these challenges and build your career as a Certified Public Accountant.
(The author is CA Anuj Jalota, founder of AJ Education Next)