Chartered accountants ensure that an organisation functions within the the law and industry specific regulations to achieve its business objectives. They primarily focus on the fiscal decisions made by the organisation in order to maximise profits and minimise losses. They work in all fields of business and finance including audit, taxation and general management. Depending on the work setting, they could provide services to individuals or manage the financial dealings of an entire organisation. In large organisations, it is common to find a team of chartered accountants working towards preparing financial reports and documents, maintaining records of investments, filing taxes, auditing financial transactions, reviewing potential financial risks and providing inputs in regard to the fiscal decisions made by the organisations. In India, an individual needs to be certified by the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI) to practice as a CA. For a business to run successfully, it needs to have a system in place which keeps a track of all its financial dealings and ensures that rules are being followed for the same.
Some of the prospective jobs under this field are:
- Government Organisation: Chartered accountants in the government sector have the important duty of ensuring that governmental bodies are transparent, efficient, ethical and responsible in their use of funds. They investigate frauds, money laundering, perform audits for government agencies and conduct research on emerging accounting issues.
- Private Practice: Chartered accountants can run their own private practice and work with individual customers or become associated with business firms. They address financial issues ranging from accountancy, management consultancy, business advice to audit and taxation.
- Business Enterprise: Businesses hire chartered accountants to manage and oversee their financial dealings. They also rely on them to provide guidance in setting business objectives and meeting their goals.
- Civil Services: Chartered accountants have the option of clearing civil services exam and work with Indian Audit and Accounts Services, Indian Defence Accounts Services, Indian P & T Accounts and Finance Service, Indian Civil Accounts Service and Indian Railway accounts Service.
- Non–Profit Organisation: Chartered accountants employed by NGOs work towards providing financial management, treasury management, fund procurement, preparing financial reports and making recommendations based on public-sector audits or internal audits.
- Banking & Insurance Sector: All activities associated with financial transactions between banks or insurance companies with customers such as loans and insurance claims are overseen by team of chartered accountants.
- Corporate Finance: Large firms often have specialised departments in corporate finance. Professionals work towards securing finance for company mergers, acquisitions, management buy-ins and buy-outs and capital reconstruction.
- Law Firms: Chartered accountants working for law firms handle the legal accounts and projects for multiple clients.
Roles & Responsibilities
Certain duties attached to this field are:
- Maintain accounting records and financial statements for businesses or companies.
- Assess the financial documents of an organisations to ensure that rules and regulations are being followed.
- Collect and review all financial statements dealing with transfer of funds within an organisation as well as with external parties.
- Complete all documents pertaining to filing of taxes.
- Conduct regular audits as per the company policy.
- Prepare reports and make recommendations based on internal and external audits.
- Oversee the financial workings of a firm and ensure it meets the set budget.
- Prepare reports detailing the fiscal structure and functioning of an organisation.
- Make recommendations to the management for financial planning and risk prevention.
Given below are desired qualities for professionals in this field:
- Strong theoretical knowledge of the field.
- Good communication skills.
- Work well in a team setup.
- Excellent time management skills.
- Ability to lead and manage a project/team.
- Good observational skills.
- Detail oriented approach to work.
- High business acumen.
- Strong sense of integrity and ethics.
- High compliance towards rules and protocols.
How to get there
- Pass 12th standard in commerce stream
- Bachelors of Commerce (full time) and continue with CA :
Step 1 – Clear the Competency Professional Test (CPT)
Step 2 – Clear Integrated Professional Competence (IPCC) Examination
Step 3 – Pursue Articleship for 3 years
Step 4 – Clear the CA final exam
- Pass 12th standard with commerce stream
- Bachelors of Commerce in any financial field – 3 years.
- Clear Integrated Professional Competence (IPC) Exam.
- Post graduation in any financial field – 2 years.
- Masters in Commerce or Masters in Business Management and continue with CA:
Step 1 – Clear Integrated Professional Competence (IPCC) Examination.
Step 2 – Pursue Articleship for 3 years.
Step 3 – Clear the CA final exam