How to become a Chartered Accountant in INDIA: A complete guide and course details

How to become a Chartered Accountant?

The Institute of Chartered Accountant of India was established on 1st July 1949. This establishment was done under the Chartered Accountant Act, 1949. ICAI is the 2nd largest accounting body in the whole world. The governing body is the only regulatory body of accountancy professional and financial audit in India.

The primary responsibility of this institute is to set the accounting standard and financial statement audit in India. They work with Govt. of India, SEBI (Securities and Exchange Board of India), and RBI (Reserve Bank of India) to enforce nationwide standards. You must be wondering why I am stating a detailed description of ICAI. The answer is quite apparent. Before going to the particulars of chartered accountantCA course syllabus, and CA course fees, we need to know the outlines of CA’s regulatory body in India. This article offers a thorough knowledge of CA.

Fact 1# How to become a CA? 

Before pursuing the CA, the first thing will poke you “How to become a certified chartered accountant?”. Another question is, ‘what is a certified or qualified chartered accountant?’. It is not that easy to become a certified CA until ICAI recognized you as CA.

In other words, when you will become a decorated member of ICAI, then only you will become a certified Ca. ICAI is responsible for enforcing and maintaining the standard of financial accounting and auditing.

The first thing to decide is when you will pursue the CA course. You have the option to join after class 10 or class 12. You can even pursue a CA course after graduation. Then you need to clear the entrance examination to take the entry in the CA course.

The job description of a Chartered Accountants 

Chartered accountants work in every economic sector, providing expertise and advice that informs the management of both companies and government bodies.

Practice in public

About 30% of ICAEW members operate within an accounting firm and provide clients with various financial and tax services, including accounting and business advisory, management consulting, and audits. Companies range in size from a single person to one of the Big Four multinational accounting firms.

Corporate finance

Large corporations also have specialist corporate finance cells. These cells’ main work includes managing crossovers, acquisitions, stakeholder buy-ins and buy-outs, and the restoration of the property. A job in business finance requires negotiating skills with financial providers, lawyers, researchers, and others.

Forensic transparency

Investigations into business fraud, injury claims, and civil litigation also require professional accounting witnesses to provide evidence. Large companies often have forensic investigation departments consisting of qualified accountants.

Fact 2# Difference between a CA and an ordinary accountant

You can easily claim yourself as an accountant. But to claim yourself as a certified CA is not so easy. Both are working in the financial field. But their mode of operation is different. After completion of the CA course, the students need to apply for becoming a member of ICAI.

Until you get a membership, you are a simple accountant. The responsibility of a CA is vast and mostly different from an ordinary accountant. The certified CA has to perform a financial audit, budgets, financial system management, and financial advice. They need to undertake an independent audit for the company.

Fact 3# Qualification 

Class 12 qualified students have to pass the Common Proficiency Test (CPT). They need to acquire a good percentage in the class 12th.

The students mostly have a minimum percentage of 55 percent in graduation or post-graduation in commerce. They need to score this percentage, at least in mercantile law, Accounting and Auditing.

The students are from a different educational background other than commerce; they need to have an aggregate of 60 percent.

Fact 4# Chartered Accountant Courses 

You can pursue the CA course via the CPT route.

The second step to do that is to enroll the name with ICAI. The ICAI enrolment is mandatory to appear in CPC. This process is for the students of class 10 to pass out.

After qualifying the class 12th board exam, you can appear for the CPT exam. That is the entry to step in the CA course.

Fact 5# Decision making 

The most important thing is to decide when to step into the course? If you are confident to pursue your career in this track only, the best option will be after class 10. You need to enroll in the name for appearing CPT (Common Proficiency Test). There is a noticeable benefit.

You can continue both the CA and class 12 simultaneously. The students need to carry massive pressure if they pursue both. The second level CA exam is the IPCC (Integrated Professional Competence Course). The students can pursue this course after qualifying in class 12. People commonly join the CA course after graduation.

The graduates can enter into the CA course directly. The commerce graduates need 55 percent, and the other graduates need 60 percent on the aggregate. This requirement is to take direct entry in IPCC.

Fact 6# The syllabus

  1. Common Proficiency Test

This has 2 sessions. They are,

First session:

  • Fundamentals of Accounting (60 marks)
  • Mercantile law (40 marks )

Second session:

  • General economics (50 marks)
  • Quantitative aptitude (50 marks)
  1. Intermediate Integrated Professional Competence Course

Group A:

  • First paper: Accounting (100 marks)
  • Second paper: Business Law, Communication, and ethics (100 marks)
  • Third paper: Financial management and cost accounting (100 marks)
  • Fourth paper: Taxation (100 marks)

Group B:

  • Fifth paper: Advance accounting (100 marks)
  • Sixth paper: Assurance and Auditing (100 marks)
  • Seventh paper: Strategic management and IT (100 marks)
  1. Accounting Technician Course
  • First paper: Accounting (100 marks)
  • Second paper: Business Law, Communication, and ethics (100 marks)
  • Third paper: Financial management and cost accounting (100 marks)
  • Fourth paper: Taxation (100 marks)
  1. Final course
  • First paper: Financial reporting (100 marks)
  • Second paper: Strategic financial management (100 marks)
  • Third paper: Professional ethics and advanced audit (100 marks)
  • Fourth paper: Corporate ethics and allied laws (100 marks)
  • Fifth paper: IT (100 marks); Advanced management accounting (100 marks)
  • Sixth paper: Audit and information control system (100 marks)
  • Seventh paper: Direct tax laws (100 marks)
  • Eight paper: Indirect tax laws (100 marks)

Fact 7# Duration of the course

Currently, the CA course is for 3 and half years. Previously it was for 5 and half years.

Fact 8# Top CA coaching institutes

The best coaching institutions for CA entrance are,

  • ICAI (The Institute of Chartered Accountant of India)
  • Topper’s Institute
  • JK Shah Classes (Mumbai)

Fact 9# Course fee

The course fees vary based on the institutes and the cities. That is why approximate figures are shown in this article.

  • Registration fee: INR 10k to 15k
  • Article registration fee: INR 2k to 3k
  • Orientation course fee: INR 3k to 5k
  • IT training fee: INR 4k to 6k

The fees will around the stated figure in different cities.

Fact 10# Salary

The general annual salary of a CA designation is around 6, 00,000 to 50, 00,000. The CA can start its firms. That will help them to earn huge money. Earning is based on the volume of effort you invest, especially in this field and work experience.


Becoming a CA is not a cup of tea for everyone. You need to give huge effort, time, stamina and concentration to become a certified and qualified CA. There are different options to enter this course. You have to decide ‘when’. Then you need to follow the guidelines to become a successful CA. The career opportunity is wide. This is a good career option to pursue.