After completion of the 12th class, either you can apply for government jobs for 12th pass commerce students or you can make a career as a CA. Even you can go for Company Secretary.
If you are good at figures and have the analytical skills, then a career as CA (Chartered Accountant) is one good career option you can opt for.
As far as CA is concerned one should clear out CA then apply for membership with the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India. At that time you just become a member of the ICAI. Thereafter, you have two opportunities either you have your own practice or you can join somewhere as a professional.
#1. How to make a career as a CA by doing private practice?
- If you want to know about how to make a career as a CA and form your own firm, then you have to apply for a Certificate of Practice (CoP).
- Initially, you need a basic Setup. Also, You can operate from your home. You need a basic IT structure, library, software that can help you in doing all your tax docility.
- Afterwards, as you grow, you need to have your free setup. You need to have an office and a conference hall.
#2. Best Practices to Grow
- Once you start practice, if you are alone you should look for synergies. You need to have synergies with good firms and with like-minded professionals so that you can increase your practice to another level.
- If you are in a partnership firm, try to have verticals. Try to specialize in those verticals. So specializing certainly gives you comfort in terms of that area. The clients also have comfort that you have a piece of complete knowledge in that special area.
- You can specialize in the valuation, International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS), GST, etc.
- There are a lot of courses that you can do. There are some post-qualification courses given by ICAI as well. Also, there are some certification courses offered by ICAI which will help you to have a good practice.
- But with the specializations, your area is again limited. So, you should opt for broad-based audit activities to get the clients in, and then once you have specialized verticals, you are value-adding to them.
- The clients are also happy that one partner is dealing in a particular area. There is no change of partners and there is one point of contact in a firm for a particular set of activities.
#3. How useful are CFA and CS courses in the practice?
- Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) is a good course. With a CFA course, you have a better option in the industries because as an analyst you can better go to industry. As an analyst, you can do it from a practice view also but again your scope is very limited for a client.
- You can jointly do a Company Secretary course with CA. A CA and CS is always a good combination. You can practice either CA or CS, you cannot practice both. But with the CS knowledge, you can have a complete set from a company start to the financial auditing services to the company closure. So you can give a complete set of activities for your clients. You can start a business. With the CS you can have complete knowledge of FEMA and other regulations. So, a career as a CA and CS is a good option.
#4. Can a practising CA be engaged in any other business activity?
- As far as the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India’s code of ethics, they have defined certain activities. You can be a lecturer more or less related to the CA field.
- You can be on a directorship for some private companies or public companies, as an independent director.
- In terms of any other work or business, no you cannot do. You cannot be associated as a CA in practice as well as work somewhere. That is not allowed.
#5. Is it feasible to set up own practise for candidates who are already in the industry?
- Yes, it is possible but it is highly challenging. The first reason is as you are in the industry so you have acquainted with huge salaries. Coming into practice there is always an initial struggle in terms of the fees that you get.
- Secondly, when you are in the industry, you focus on a particular area. If you are in the finance activities which a practising CA does, then it is fine. But if you are in some other activities which are nowhere related to the practice it really becomes difficult. Because you are never into the normal stream of reading the regular laws, the changes, the amendments but again you need to practice a lot. So, it is really difficult to cope up with that.
- The third aspect is that as a service person we are bound to have a 9-5 office hour. Nowadays it is not like that but usually, there is a mindset that Saturday and Sunday off. But practically, it is very different so 24X7 you are busy. You can have a call anywhere, at any time, have a discussion, there might be no Saturday and Sundays. If you want to make your career as a CA, your personal life will definitely get affected.
- The benefit for an industry switch over to practice is that you can use that industry experience in practice, with your connections you can really do wonders, you can have a value add of what you have learned over a period of time.
- The other aspect may be the nature of the support you get. In an organization, you have a lot of support to do your administrative activities whereas in practice you have to get all the work done yourself.
- The best way would be to get a partnership type of arrangement then it would be a great way to transition. For an existing partnership firm, it would be a good value add that somebody from the industry with such type of experience is coming back.
#6. What are the biggest challenges of having a CA practice?
- You have challenges at all points of time. It’s not that you have challenges in the initial stages or the later stages.
- The initial challenge is in terms of the setup. It is very difficult to set up a big office which is certainly required.
- The next struggle is in terms of your finances. You have to give your time for the practice to settle. If you are not giving your time, if you are looking for a small horizon of one or two years, then it is not going to work. You should look for a minimum of five-six years for your practice to settle.
- During the course you have already set up your practice, the struggle is in terms of getting updates with the law. Everything is changing, the GST has come recently, and your entire study has been overruled. Possibly the income tax is going to change, the Companies Act is going to change, so with that, you should daily update yourself.
- Your performance is of most importance and hence the institute gives Continuing Professional Education (CPE) learning. A CPE is mandatory for those who are in practice. But that is not enough; you have to have your own learning. You have to take out your time.
- Once you grow, the main challenges come in terms of, people perceive your opinion from a different perspective. People consider your knowledge and secondly, the compliances and the fines have increased so much that you and the client also cannot afford it. Any loose advice might lead to huge fines for the company. So that is one more aspect which you have to focus on your own practice.
- Another thing which is difficult is to manage people. It is very difficult to get the right people, retaining them. The type of learning we are giving him, the structure we are making, the organizational structure, the partners, the managers, the accountants, the articles, how you structure it, how you place it for a client, how you give them training, you manage the entire thing, you see to it that you do it within the due dates.
#7. Positives about setting up the practice
- There are certainly positive points of setting up your own practice. One thing is that you can pursue your dreams. You can focus on a particular area. You can develop your own set of a model and you can present it to your client.
- But from an industry perspective, you have a very limited scope. You have only one sector or one aspect of a sector you are looking into.
- From the monetary aspect, it is not that there is no money in the practice. Initially, there is a struggle but finally, it comes out to be a better way than a practice. You manage your practice in such a way that it is in an auto mode.
- Once you settle down personal practice is good. In the long run, you can have a big picture to look at. You can go into consultancy. Consultancy as far as the current scenario is concerned is a very good sector.
- Another positive aspect is that you can connect to many people within the fraternity, within the business community with that there is a lot of sharing of knowledge. Your canvas really rises. Every time you meet new people, you come to know about the needs of the industry; you can develop your own model out of it.
- In practice, there is no retirement mode. In the end, you should be in a consultancy mode, and run your practice on auto mode. You are more of a mentor for your firm. So you should have a clear vision for the firm.
CA is one of the top and highly demanding career options. You won’t regret getting into this field.
All the Best!
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