A Chartered Accountant (CA) is the most renowned Finance professional in India. Every student who takes up studying commerce, dreams to become a CA. This phenomenon is the result due to a combination of various factors. It is not just because of the profundity of the course, but also the lack of awareness about other options has played a major role in the tremendous number of students taking up CA.
Most of the students who take up CA hardly complete it. It is believed that out of every 100 students that enroll for the course only 1 reaches the shore. As William Perry once said, “A scene is never completed, but simply abandoned when the search for perfection is no longer producing positive results”. The dropouts happen commonly due to the strenuous & exhausting curriculum of the course which draws a lot of strength out of the students. The passing criterion is also soothing which generally encourages students to give up half way. Besides, the harsh reality is that the caliber required to clear all the papers is not something that everyone possesses. Sometimes, students are also forced to take this up by parental / peer pressure, which is the sad reality even today of many Indian households.
I feel it is very easy to take up something but it is also very important to remember that nothing worth having has ever come easy. So if you think this is where your mission lies, then you mustn’t give in to failures or criticisms or be scared of the tremendous amount of labour you need to put in or the social life that you may be missing out on. You must grit your teeth for 5 years (or may be more) & follow the road you have chosen.
The two areas which only a CA can pierce are statutory audit & taxation. Beside these there are various dimensions to finance where the competition is quite neck to neck. One such lucrative domain is Investments. An investment professional does not need to be a CA, but often makes more than a CA, if he/she plays the right cards. There work typically revolves around diversifying portfolios, managing assets, analyzing market trends and reducing the financial risk for both individuals & companies. A Financial analyst is another similar profile, which requires one to analyze bonds, stocks and other investments and provide advice to businesses and individuals who want to invest. Also there are Traders who generally work in the stock market, buying and selling stocks and bonds. Anyone with a Bachelors degree in commerce or management & an MBA from a reputed institution can reach you to this goal. However, the reputation of the institution is only elementary in getting one placed faster, it is not a mandate thou.
Then there are foreign competitors like ACCA UK (Association of Chartered certified accountants), CPA USA (Certified Public Accountant), CPA Australia (Certified Practising Accountant) and CFA (Certified Financial Analyst). These courses are far easier than any Indian course because of the sufficiency of the curriculum material & step by step approach used to explain each concept. The practical approach heightened in these courses adds to the flavour of employability & contributes to making a better professional.
CA, in my understanding is one of the highest standing professional but there are options available to achieve much higher growth that what it promises. One should choose after evaluating the pros & cons of each course & most importantly keeping in mind the ultimate goal that one wants to achieve. It is further important to finish what one has started; because a half-cooked meal may be edible but not truly satisfactory. When you take up something & wish to abandon it due to failure or hardship or because you lack the strength to carry on any further; remember what the famous Alexander, the great, had said, “There is nothing impossible to him who will try”.
Choices are many, just reach your hands & it will become your reality. Do not hesitate to commit mistakes, coz you’ll need a story to tell while signing your autograph.
Hope this was of some help. Happy Educating!
Ms. Agrata Mukherjee
CS, LLB, PGDBCL, B.Com
Business Development - Head
Arivu Educational Consultants Pvt Ltd.