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Chartered Accountancy is one of the most sought after courses in the country today. But now the students who are desiring a qualification in chartered accountancy from the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI) would soon have to brace the changes being made in the CA curriculum. At present the different levels of the CA course are Common Proficiency Test (CPT), Intermediate (Integrated Professional Competence) Course (IIPCC) and the final course.
CPT is the entry level test and at present is designed in the pattern of entry-level tests for engineering, medical as well as other professional courses. Those students who are in the final year of their graduation can also register for the IIPCC on provisional basis. The final course is the last leg of the CA course and is designed in such a manner so as to impart expert knowledge in financial reporting, auditing and professional ethics, taxation, corporate laws, system control, strategic finance and advanced management accountancy.
In the new system the three levels would be called foundation, intermediate and final. The weightage given to some of the level 1 subjects would also be changed. Also the paper on fundamentals of accounting that is already there at the CPT level and carries 60 marks would be renamed as principles and practices of accounting and would carry a weightage of 100 marks as it is the core subject of the CA profession.
Considering the importance of subjects such as General English, business and commercial knowledge in the modern business world they would also be added at the first level as the new subjects.
According to M Devaraja Reddy, president, ICAI,” This is to ensure that entry level becomes somewhat difficult. Also, the foundation examination will be partly descriptive and partly objective. The present MCQ-based system encourages students to do a lot of guesswork. As a result, even undeserving students reach the next level. It affects the quality of the profession. The foundation exam being partly descriptive in nature, it is proposed that the pass percentage be 50% aggregate and 40% subject-wise quite akin to the other courses of intermediate and final. It is likely that the foundation exam would be conducted in May and November along with intermediate and final.
Under the new scheme there is another change in the pipeline in which the students would have to appear for eight papers in level 2(intermediate). Currently the second stage is the IIPCC that requires a student to clear seven papers. The papers on business laws (60 marks), communication (20 marks) and ethics in level 2 maybe changed to corporate laws and other laws (100 marks). Cost accounting would carry 100 marks instead of 50 and a new paper on business economic environment (40 marks) would be added.
Reddy further added,” A new subject called financial capital market services has been proposed in the final level to make professionals more competitive in finance-related areas. International taxation for 30 marks may also be added in view of increasing importance of the subject in the present globalized world.”