This article is not to demotivate any of the CA Aspirants but to make each one of you aware of the reality. In India, it’s a trend, if you are going for commerce then you’ll be pushed to go for CA. Not knowing about the profession and being persuaded by teachers and relatives also made me go for the same. And I don’t want anyone else to face what I have suffered. This article is a reality check and an eye-opener for everyone. Is CA worth the hype? Is it losing its charm? Why every year numbers of enrollment are dropping? Etc. are the questions that you might have in your mind. Here, are a few things that you should know before going for the course.
What’s the worth of the CA Foundation?
You might have enough guts to pursue a Chartered Accountancy ourse but are you prepared for how long this journey is going to take? CA has a very high dropout rate as compared to engineering, medical, or arts domains and even if you pass your CA Foundation, it doesn’t guarantee a degree. Several students struggle to clear both groups of IPCC level though if they have cleared CPT. In July 2021, the overall pass percentage of both groups was 11.97% (new course) and 1.57% (old course). The results of CA Final 2021 are yet to be declared. This data reflects the harsh truth. The duration of the course could be roughly 4.5 years but students usually take much longer to complete and this could be the reason why many drop the course mid-way. To all the aspirants who are going to appear for the June attempt, you must have studied the CPT syllabus. But let me tell you it’s just a trailer and the CA course is a complete web series to be covered thereon. With every episode, the story becomes more intense and complicated.
Also, the structure of the course is too theoretical, it does not teach you how to think and solve problems but few things to be remembered, that you feel why I am mugging all these things as these are available on the internet with just a single click. You are hardly left with any time to focus on your hobbies or personal life. Most of the CA students lack communication skills and personalities as they do not have any time to focus on it.
Articleship is not everyone’s cup of tea.
Students pursuing Chartered Accountancy course are required to complete an articleship under CA or CA firm for 3 years. The motive behind this is to accustom students to the industrial working environment and provide some practical experience. But as told earlier since this is the last stage difficulty level of the game is the highest. Students face many challenges during this period. The first obstacle is applying to and being accepted by a good firm. You must be linked with a good firm if you want to gain quality experience and make the most of these two years. These companies have their own set of requirements, such as the number of attempts. Their selection process is rigorous. The second difficulty is the modest stipend. Even well-known companies do not contribute enough funds. Students who make several tries wind up applying for jobs outside of the system, where they frequently receive a poor stipend. Most firms pay a lesser stipend than the Big4 or huge firms. This may irritate some people. However, unless the stipend is less than the Institute's specified amount(s), the firm does not cover out-of-pocket work expenditures, this is not causing concern because articleships are only for a limited time. If leave is not supplied under ICAI norms, or you have run out of leaves (which is not attributable to your firm!) If the CA principal requests that you perform some work while on leave, it is not a problem. Your principal has the right to anticipate that. In a huge Big4, the article only encountered his principal three times in as many years, and just for a few minutes each time. The majority of the time spent during articles is vouching, documenting, and preparing PPTs, as well as submitting internal records under the supervision of a manager. While the Big4 provided a high stipend, amenities, and interesting/big-name clientele, the student got little expertise from training other than learning the internal procedures of this Big4 organization.
There is a typical disciplinary case involving a CA who requested his article to be involved in agricultural activities. After three years, the "article" wanted a certificate of completion, which the principal rejected, claiming that the article had not done what the articles required him to accomplish! Articles must follow the procedures outlined in the training program. Many articles want to have it simple and make an arrangement with a rogue CA who will accept individuals as articles under him/her, pay them a stipend, but take back the compensation in cash. But the wickedness does not end there. There are occasions of collecting a premium for giving the completion certificate or requesting additional favor, that’s immoral or unethical practice.
In certain companies, boys and girls are not assigned the same type of job throughout training. Many companies do not send girls on field excursions or to do outside employment. There have been reports of principals requesting that female employees notify him/her of their monthly cycle and then remain away from the workplace on certain days. This may appear strange, yet it is true. Many accounting companies have clients who solely work in one industry or one town. There was this CA who was from a specific community, and all of his clients were all from the same neighborhood. At the point when he took on an article from different faith, he experienced issues putting him with any of his customers and the article was consigned to some ordinary administrative center work.
The Average placement of the ICAI institute even today lies between 7-9 LPA. Just think about it, even a person with an MBA from Tier 3 can earn that much package. HRs are going to judge you based on your attempts, your articleship branding and your undergraduate college. Even if you get a rank in CA but failed to convert Big MNCs interviews, then your life is lost as you have to work in non-exotic profiles like an audit for just 10-12 LPA. Giants like BCG, Bain hesitate to hire CAs as they prefer MBAs from Tier 1 colleges. There are no 100% placements in CA campus placements. It’s very difficult for us to enter into any new fields as HRs think we are only made for audit and tax.
At least we have a better working environment. Really?
While there are firms that can brag about having spacious modern offices, sophisticated conference halls and meeting rooms, and large auditoriums, there are firms that have the 70’s architectural structure with the plywood furniture, the large sack of files around and on the tables, and no air conditioning. Recently I read an interview where a reputed CA talks about how his office of 10-member capacity contains a staff of 80 . Although he is a reputed and huge practicing CA, he has an old-fashioned office. And how he manages is quite clever as well, because most of his staff visit the client at their premises. I don’t find this a dark parameter in this respect. In most places, the employees are provided with electronic equipment as laptops, mobile, software, broadband, etc. Firms with higher market shares provide better assets. But knowing the distinction between work resources and personal property is what is relevant. It does not matter what resources you are using until the work being done is effective. Most firms only expect you to be properly dressed and there is no formal dress code whilst the higher profit-making firms do have a proper dress code with their logos or their marks on them. This again is not a dark mark. It is just their policy. But to be honest, this does not matter as well, in the larger scheme of things. A few of the staff might need to overtime of work at odd hours due to deadlines and some firms might see their food requirements of the cost during the overtime. There could also be a conveyance facility introduced by the firm if the resident is residing in remote areas. In case, this is not available, then this could be a possible dark side.
Well, to conclude this is my personal opinion based on my experience. My intent was never to demotivate the students or disrespect the esteemed profession. I just want every one of you to be aware of the other side of the profession. CA is still one of the most respected careers across the world. The message I want to convey to the CA aspirants is to take this article as a positive note to know about this side of CA. Also, everyone knows their worth and strengths and no one can guide them other than their inner self. As a CA, you can make a difference to the larger economy and in turn touch millions of lives.
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