From the very first decade of my life, I’ve been dotty about highly venerated and sophisticated society. Esteemed professions like that of doctors, engineers and writers etcetera always enthralled me since my childhood. But surprisingly I never even heard about the field of chartered accountancy until I qualified grade 10. It’s all owing to a TV show, “Career Online” from where I came to know for the very first time that there’s something giant qualification called, CA.
Giant in a sense as CA is supposed to be the most difficult but extremely rewarding professional qualification not only in Pakistan but overseas as well.
A Chartered Accountant, the man of professional knowledge and competency, unquestionably is the backbone of every economy. From sole proprietorship to multi-national, every organization is highly dependent on CAs. Whether it’s a profit earning institution or non-trading concern, Chartered Accountant makes assure the flawless functionality of every sort of establishment all over the globe. For that reason this particular profession is not only socially venerating but outstandingly rewarding in terms remuneration as well.
Impossible! Is it?
Despite being one of the most worthwhile professions, inauspiciously, chartered accountancy has not been able yet to attract a wide range of students. The sole reason behind this fix is a heap of misconceptions that entirely mislead the students. Usually student class considers chartered accountancy something “impossible”. Nevertheless, the reality is somewhat different. Unlike other disciplines one doesn’t need to carry on a variety of subjects simultaneously in this particular field. The only thing that is supposed to be taken good care of is nothing but punctuality. If you own a little multidimensional mind and are dutiful towards the daily assignments, it’s in the bag; a splendid career in accountancy is looking your way.
“Students, who don’t occur to merit list of good medical or engineering college, finally switch on towards the field of Chartered Accountancy. And that is the real culprit! These, already “psychologically beaten”, souls find it intricate to adjust in professional field of accountancy. When there’s even a minor problem, they get pressurized soon. And when they don’t remain successful in managing their studies, they curse the field; from where discouraging rumors get roots and student think that CA is a hard nut to crack”, says Muhammad Ali Durani, senior manager at ICAP Lahore. He further adds, “Nonetheless, students who choose this field as their first preference and remain dedicated towards their studies, unquestionably they remain victorious.”
Chartered Accountancy-the road way
To get through the challenge of chartered accountancy, you’ll have to combat with following stages.
Pre-entry Proficiency Test (PPT)
PPT is mandatory for every student who’s willing to join the stream of Chartered Accountancy. A student must have secured at least 45% marks in HSC examination / A-levels with at least two passes (A to E grades) / graduation with 2nd division for being eligible for PPT. However, HSC students with 60% marks/ A-levels with minimum 2 Cs/ Graduates with 1st division from recognized universities or post graduates can claim exemption from PPT and can directly join Foundation (Modular Foundation Course), the next stage of CA.
Foundation and Intermediate Stage:
Foundation (Module A, B) and intermediate (Module C, D) stage comprises of 4 modules i.e. Module A (two papers), Module B (three papers), Module C (three papers) and Module D (four papers) of 6 months each. Modular exams are held twice in a year (March and September). A candidate may join two consecutive modules or may appear in one (depending on his/her capabilities). Foundation and Intermediate stages accomplish after the successful attempt of Module B and Module D respectively.
A candidate may also claim exemption in Functional English (Module A), Quantitative Methods (Module A) and Economics (Module B), if his/her aggregate marks (in HSC/Graduation) are at least 70%, 75% in the subject for which the exemption is to be claimed and 60% in other (relevant) subjects. In case of A-level, minimum 2 Bs overall, B in the subject in which exemption is to be claimed and minimum C in other relevant subjects. A special committee at ICAP reviews the syllabus of the exemption-claimed-subject and grants the exemption, only if it tallies up to 70% of that of ICAP.
Articles & Final Examination:
To gain professional competency and experience, a student after qualifying Ca-intermediate, has to do 3.5 years article-ship with any recognized firm of Chartered Accountancy. During this particular duration a student works as a staff member of the firm and audits an assortment of organizations all over the country (and sometimes overseas as well). Besides practical knowledge and experience, the student is also awarded with per month stipend as pocket money (varies in between Rs. 10,000). During article-ship, final examination of Module E and F (four subjects each module) are held. A favor in form of study leaves (vary from 150-180 days) is also given to the student during article-ship so that s/he could prepare for the examination with thorough concentration. And once you get successfully accomplished with 3.5 years practical experience and Module E, F examination; finally, you are done with it! You have become a certified Chartered Accountant.
Following suggestions would be quite advantageous for the students who are interested to join the stream of Chartered Accountancy.
- If you are about to commence with your A-levels and are interested in joining CA later on, choose Accounting, Economics, Mathematics and Statistics as your majors. It not only will give you handful knowledge for your future studies but you may also get exemption (depending upon the grades obtained and significantly 70% syllabus-content resemblance with that of ICAP. Syllabus content of different subjects is available at ICAP site www.icap.org.pk ).
- Those who just have qualified matriculation examination are suggested to join I.com (intermediate in commerce) for their intermediate studies. It would give you handful introduction about major subjects of chartered accountancy and you may get exempted from Economics and Functional English (depending upon the marks obtained and significantly 70% syllabus-content resemblance with that of ICAP. Syllabus content of different subjects is available at ICAP site www.icap.org.pk).
- Those who after matriculation want to pursue with FSc./ICS/FA are advised to opt for Mathematics and Economics (in case of FA). Besides handsome introduction to these CA relevant subjects, they may also get exempted if fulfill the aforementioned criterion.
- At present a large number of student step in the field of chartered accountancy soon after qualifying intermediate (to save their time). Nonetheless, it’s preferable to join the filed after 2 year graduation with commerce subjects (i.e. B.com). As it gives a profound know-how about the subjects that are taught in CA and one continues with the studies without any intricacy.
Chartered Accountancy is, undoubtedly, one of the best studies all over the globe which promises a brilliant financial and deferential future. Friends! Life is just like an opportunity and it’s all in your hands how “handsomely” you avail it. Challenge your abilities, go ahead with confidence and secure a bright future for you and your family. Best of Luck!
(Smash Magazine, Jan 2009)