Career as Chartered Accountant

Last Updated By Anmol Arora on 11 Apr, 2023

How to Become a Chartered Accountant

About Chartered Accountant

Chartered Accountancy is regarded as the core of all business, small or big. The responsibilities and work of chartered accountants involve financial planning, accounting, taxation and auditing. A career as a chartered accountant is not only challenging but also rewarding. The career prospects for chartered accountants are exciting. In other words, chartered accountancy is the first step to other rewarding careers in fund management, investment consultancy and finance. Institute of Charted Accountants of India (ICAI) is responsible for conducting CA course. Over the last few years, the qualifications required to become a CA has undergone various changes with ICAI upgrading the syllabus and curriculum as per the changing business scenario as the globe.

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Skills & Qualities Required to be a Chartered Accountant

Clearing the CA exams is not just what is required to be a Chartered Accountant. There are certain skills that are expected to be in every charterholder. 

CA is a very difficult course, and along with the huge syllabus, one also needs to complete his/ her articleship, to complete the course and become eligible for good opportunities after completion of the course. 

Given below are some of the basic skills and qualities that are required to become a successful Chartered Accountant. Candidates are expected to inculcate all or some of the skills mandatorily to get good jobs with high packages.

  • Understanding of Financial Reporting Standards
  • Work Ethics
  • Analytical Ability
  • Data Analysis
  • Time Management 
  • Communication and Interpersonal Skills
  • Eye for Details
  • Determination
  • Leadership
  • Discipline
  • Numerical Ability
  • IT Proficiency 
  • General Business Interest and Awareness
  • Integrity
  • Diligence
  • Trustworthiness
  • Confidentiality 
  • Integrity 
  • Objectivity
  • Expert Knowledge of Excel

How to Become a Chartered Accountant

In India, to become a Chartered Accountant, set parameters are crafted by the exam official body. ICAI has made two ways through which aspirants can enroll for Chartered Accountancy course; 

  • Foundation Route
  • Direct Entry Route

Foundation Route:

This route is to be followed by students who are giving the CA exams right after completing their Class XII. The steps provided below give a detailed insight into the CA foundational route.

  • Register for CA Foundation Exams
  • Register & Crack the CA Intermediate Exams
  • Complete the CA Articleship Training for 3 years
  • Crack Both Groups of the CA Final Exams
  • Apply for the ICAI Membership

Direct Entry Route: 

ICAI has the option available for students who have completed their graduation or post-graduation. Just like the foundation route, candidates have to go through all the steps, the only difference is that the candidates can directly start from the intermediate level, and visit the meet the eligibility norms.

  • Crack any one group of CA Intermediate
  • Register for the Practical training after clearing any one group of CA Intermediate
  • Crack both groups of the CA Intermediate Course
  • Complete the CA Articleship Training (3 years)
  • Enroll for the CA Final Course
  • Crack both groups of the CA Final
  • Apply for the ICAI Membership

Eligibility to become Chartered Accountant

The minimum qualification required to pursue ICAI CA course is Class 12. The candidates who have passed Class 12 can take up CPT course. Common Proficiency Test (CPT) is the beginning stage to start a career in Charted Accountancy. The second stage is IPCC (Intermediate) and the last stage is CA Final.

Subjects Combination: Students from Commerce, Science and Arts stream in Class 12 can register for CPT.


  • Students can register for CPT after Class 10. However, they are eligible to take up CPT exam only after clearing Class 12.
  • Students from Arts, Science and Commerce streams in Class 12 are also eligible to register for CPT course.
  • After clearing CPT exam, the candidates can enroll into ICAI.
  • Qualifying CPT is a gateway to register for Accounting Technician Course (ATC).  Candidates who had formerly registered for IPCC can enroll for ATC.
  • Candidates must score at least 100 out of 200 marks in CPT to apply for IPCC (Integrated Professional Competence Course).
  • Candidates must score at least 40 marks in each subject and an aggregate of 50% or above to clear IPCC.
  • Scoring 60 marks and above in any subject will exempt you from reappearing for that particular subject in case you fail the course and plan to give the exams again.
  • Clearing IPCC exam is a gateway for the candidates to do an internship of three years under a certified CA. The Articleship is an opportunity to learn how accountancy is handled by an experienced Chartered Accountant.
  • During the final six months of three-year Articleship, the candidates can appear for CA Final course exams.
  • Finally, the candidates who clear CA Final exam and featured in All-India merit list will be awarded the designation of Chartered Accountant.

Types of Job Roles Chartered Accountant

Auditor: Auditors are external professionals who are invited or sent to companies to examine their finances to make sure that the accounts of the companies are accurate. Most companies appoint internal auditors.

Accounts Clerk: Accounts clerk is responsible for recording certain types of financial transactions. The major focus of accounts clerk could be on accounts payable, accounts receivable, billing or payroll.

Business Services Accountant: The responsibility of business services accountant is to provide business and tax services to clients. Some of the other duties of these accountants include keeping track of depreciation of assets, generating financial statements, preparing tax returns and advice & guidance on financial strategies.

Chief Financial Officer (CFO): CFO is a senior-level executive who is responsible for enterprise’s financial well-being and success.

Cost Accountants: The responsibility of cost accountants is to monitor and analyse the company’s cost of materials, processes and products. They also provide advice to the management of the company on the most effective options to streamline and manage costs.

Financial Controller: The major responsibility of the financial controller is to work closely with executive management teams, and play a vital role in the running of businesses.

Tax Accountant: Tax accountants specialise in taxation. The responsibility of the tax accountants is to handle audits, tax returns and final audits for corporations or individuals.  

Employment Opportunities for Chartered Accountant:

Chartered accountants are the most sought-after professionals in India. There is more reputation for CAs in India is due to the rigorous training imparted to them. The demand for qualified and skilled CAs in India has been constantly increasing, and the profession did not witness any downward trend in the recent years. Over the last three to four years, the demand for CAs has been increasing by 10%-15%.

Chartered Accountants can find employment in the following areas after attaining the necessary skills and qualifications: -

  • Public and Private Sector Banks
  • Public Limited Companies
  • Auditing Firms
  • Stock Broking Firms
  • Finance Companies
  • Investment Houses
  • Legal Firms
  • Patent Firms
  • Portfolio Management Companies

The qualification of CA is globally recognised, and the industry outlook for Chartered Accountants is indeed bright.

Top Recruiting Agencies for Chartered Accountant:

The following are some of the top companies that recruit Chartered Accountants in India: -

  • KPMG
  • Indian Oil
  • Deloitte
  • EY
  • Sri Guru Kripa
  • SS Kothari Mehta & Co.
  • Bhatia and Bhatia Chartered Accountants
  • Real-time Taxsutra Services

Planning to choose Chartered Accountant as your career?

Pay Scale/Salary of Chartered Accountant

A Chartered Accountant in diverse sectors earns a very good salary. Most companies pay more for highly skilled and experienced Chartered Accountant. The average salary structure of Chartered Accountant is detailed below.

Job Profile

Starting Salary per annum (in INR)

Mid Level Salary per annum (in INR)

Senior Level Salary per annum (In INR)

Chartered Accountant

Rs. 3,50,000

Rs. 7,00,000

Rs. 12,00,000 – 24 lakh

Accounts Clerk

Rs. 1,50,000

Rs. 2,07,000

Rs. 3,50,000

Business Services Accountant

Rs. 1,50,000

Rs. 2,08,000

Rs. 3,50,000

Chief Finance Officer (CFO)

Rs. 2,00,000

Rs. 4,00,000

Rs. 6,00,000

Cost Accountants

Rs. 1,50,000

Rs. 2,34,000

Rs. 4,00,000

Note: The above figures are an estimate and may vary from individual to individual and company to company.

Books & Study Material to Become Chartered Accountant

Here is the list of top books that students can refer to prepare for CA CPT, IPCC and Final exams.

  • Mercantile Laws by PPS Gogna or PC Tulsian
  • Fundamentals of Accounting – CPT by MP Gupta and BM Agarwal
  • Quantitative Aptitude by PN Arora
  • General Economics by SK Agarwal or Deepashree
  • Taxation by Singhania
  • Costing and FM by Padhuka
  • Accounting by PC Tulsian
  • Auditing by VK Agarwal

Pros of becoming a Chartered Accountant

  • Chartered Accountants are paid higher salaries.
  • CAs enjoy tremendous respect in organisations and society.

Cons of becoming a Chartered Accountant

  • Stressful job as responsibilities are enormous.
  • Regular update of knowledge is must without which the career may lead to stagnation.

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