Chartered Accountant (CA)

This is a professional course which is being offered by the Institute of Chartered Accountant of India (ICAI), a statutory body set up by an act of parliament of India in 1949. This professional qualification is highly respected and most rewarding in the field of Commerce, Finance and Accounts. A person can become CA by passing prescribed core subject examinations along with Advanced Information Technology and Management & Communication Skills courses and by undergoing three years of practical training. Chartered Accountants always hold key and managerial positions in medium to large scale organisations in India and Overseas. You have various options, either be a highly paid employee or be an independent consultant or be an independent auditor.

CA is a very good option for students who challenge their abilities towards excellence and for those who are looking for top positions wherever they are. Also it is best suited for those who don’t like to work under bosses.


Route plan for the Chartered Accountant (CA) course

Register with the Board of Studies (BoS) for the Foundation Route: If the student is planning to pursue the Chartered Accountant (CA) course after 12th then he needs to register for the Foundation stream with the institute. The Foundation is an examination in November or May. Once the candidate has qualified the foundation exam they can register for the Intermediate course. If a candidate has completed graduation, they can directly register for the Intermediate exam, which means they do not need to appear for the Foundation course.

Register for Intermediate course: The Intermediate Course is 8 months of study course and the student can appear for the exam in May or November. The institute provides the option to appear for only one group of subjects or both the group of subjects in the given month. A direct entry student can appear for the Intermediate exam only after completing nine months of practical training.
The student is eligible to enroll and complete the Integrated Course on Information Technology and Soft Skills (ICITSS) once they register for the Intermediate course. This is a four-week course and is compulsory to initiate articleship or practical training.
If a student has taken the foundation route then they need to pass at least one of the two groups of Intermediate exam before commencing the practical training. The Direct Entry students can commence the practical training immediately after completing the Integrated Course on Information Technology and Soft Skills (ICITSS).
The student needs to register for the three-year practical training and join a Chartered Accountant firm or work under the supervision of a Chartered Accountant who is authorized to provide training to the articles.
Register for the Final Exam: On clearing both the groups of the Intermediate exam and completing 2.5 years of practical training, the student can appear for the final exams. The student also needs to complete the four months Advanced Integrated Course on Information Technology and Soft Skills (AICITSS) course after completing one year of practical training and before appearing for the final exams. Once the student has completed 3 years of practical training and cleared both the groups of the final exams, they are granted the Chartered Accountant designation by the institute.

Required Skills and Aptitude

Business acumen, Analytical skills, Interpersonal skills, Statistical and Mathematical ability are the basics. Must have interest in managing the business. Keen to know and involve more into it. Interest in playing with numbers and having a habit of updating what is happening around including the changing Laws, rules and regulation affecting business. Dedication and focus on particular areas for a longer time. Ability to undertake duties and responsibilities under pressure.

Eligibility Criteria

Eligibility for Direct Entry system

  1. Graduates and Post  Graduates can apply through the Direct Entry system, if their score is at least 55% aggregate or equivalent. This criterion is for students who have studied Accounting, Auditing, Mercantile Laws, Corporate Laws, Economics, Management (including Financial Management), Taxation (including Direct Tax Laws and Indirect Tax Laws), Costing, Business Administration or Management Accounting, or subjects that are similar. Graduates or Postgraduates from a non-commerce background need at least 60% score in aggregate or equivalent.
  2. ICMAI / ICSI (CMA / CS) Intermediate Pass.

Entrance Examination

There is entrance examination conducted by ICAI, which is called Foundation:

  • For those who want to study CA immediately after passing +2
  • For those who pass degree but with less % of mark than that needed for CA admission

Job Profiles

In Private sector, you may find the following top positions in India and Overseas:

  • Accounts / Audit Manager
  • Chief Financial Officer
  • Director Finance / Audit / Accounts
  • Financial analyst 
  • Group Finance Controller
  • Internal Auditor, Internal Controls Manager, Concurrent Auditor 
  • Portfolio Manager
  • President / VP Finance
  • Taxation Dept Manager

In Government Sector: No CAs prefers to work in Government sector, since there is no promising direct entry. Again you have to go through the competitive exams like PSC and UPSC, for which Degree or PG is the qualification. But semi government and autonomous bodies offer good positions and pay for CAs via direct entry. Recently government departments started offering good positions and pay to CAs on a long term contract basis.

You may open your own office and start practicing as an independent auditor. Your opinion and signature will have high value as per various laws of the Government of India. If you are an expert, major business units will appoint you as an independent consultant or advisor.

Top Recruiters

According to the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India’s Feb-March 2019 placement data, CAs have been offered an average salary package of approximately Rs 8.40 lakhs per annum in 2019. At the ICAI’s placement drive for 2019, the highest package offered was Rs 22.30 lakhs per annum. The institute had conducted two campus drives for newly qualified CAs. All related information is given below:

ICAI Campus Placement Feb- March 2019

Number of Companies Participated: 130

Total number of fresher CAs attended the interview: 6,029

Highest salary offered: Rs 22.30 lakhs p.a.

Average salary offered: Rs 8.40 lakhs  p.a.

Average Salaries Offered to CAs Clearing Exam in First Attempt: CAs who have cleared the examination in their first attempt have been offered jobs by multinational companies (MNCs), private banks and national banks. Here is the average that they have been offered in the past three years:

  • CA final Rank holders: Rs 15-25 lakhs p.a.
  • Cleared CA Final in a single attempt: Rs 11-15 lakhs p.a.
  • CA freshers (Others): Rs 6-9 lakhs p.a.

Aspiring students must note that each year, the ICAI conducts placement drives twice, mostly in February, March, August, and September, and so interested students can acquire the latest placement information from their official website.

Major recruiters:

  • Aditya Birla Sun Life
  • Bharti Airtel
  • Deloitte
  • Hindustan Unilever Ltd
  • ICICI Bank
  • ITC
  • KPMG
  • Offered in Singapore Company
  • Reliance Industries
  • SBI Bank
  • Tata Company


Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI) is the only body authorised to grant and regulate this professional degree in India. Each country has its own accounting and auditing body who regulate this profession.

ICAI has branches in all major cities in Kerala and all over India, who will give all the support to get you registered for this course and to train you for examination and to achieve other mandatory skill sets. You may also find private coaching centres in all cities.

There are examination centers in all the cities in India and in many cities in foreign countries. Below are the overseas examination centres:

  • Abu Dhabi
  • Doha
  • Dubai
  • Kampala (Uganda)
  • Kathmandu
  • Muscat

Questions & Answers​

Q) I heard that CA is very tough? Can I pass it?

A) Yes, it is tough. But it is achievable. I am the best example. A village boy from malayalam medium background is a CA now, and writing this for you. So can you?

Q) Can we join CA after studying streams other than commerce in +2 ?

A) Sure, you can study CA after taking any stream in +2. But there is an entrance (Foundation) test for all who want to study CA immediately after +2. If you pass any degree with a 60% mark (For B.Com or other commerce degree 55% is enough), then you can register to study CA directly.

Q) Are there any universities offering CA?

A) only the ICAI can offer this. You may find branches of ICAI in all cities in India and private tuition centers in every town. Regional offices in Metro cities.

Q) Is there campus placement by the Institute for CA holders?

A) Yes, Yearly 6,000 to 7,000 graduates are getting placement via campus interview of ICAI

Q) How many Years is this CA course?

A) If you join after +2, it will take 4 years. If you join after Degree, it will take 3 years.

Q) Please give the subjects to be studied in CA course?

A) Below are the subjected to be studied at each stage:

Foundation Course

  • Paper 1   :Principles and Practices of Accounting
  • Paper 2A :Business Laws
  • Paper 2B :Business Correspondence and Reporting
  • Paper 3   :Business Mathematics and Logical Reasoning & Statistics
  • Paper 4(i):Business Economics
  • Paper 4(ii):Business and Commercial Knowledge

Intermediate Course

  • Paper 1   :Accounting
  • Paper 2(i):Company Law
  • Paper 2(ii):Other Laws
  • Paper 3    :Cost and Management Accounting
  • Paper 4A  :Income Tax Law
  • Paper 4B  :Indirect Taxes
  • Paper 5    :Advanced Accounting
  • Paper 6    :Auditing and Assurance
  • Paper 7A  :Enterprise Information System
  • Paper 7B  :Strategic Management
  • Paper 8A  :Financial Management
  • Paper 8B  :Economics for Finance

Final Course

  • Paper 1    :Financial Reporting
  • Paper 2    :Strategic Financial Management
  • Paper 3    :Advanced Auditing and Professional Ethics
  • Paper 4(i) :Corporate Laws
  • Paper 4(ii):Economic Laws
  • Paper 5    :Strategic Cost Management and Performance Evaluation
  • Paper 6    :This is elective paper, to choose one out of below given 6 options:
  1. Economic Laws
  2. Financial Services and Capital Markets
  3. Global Financial Reporting Standards
  4. International Taxation
  5. Multidisciplinary Case Study
  6. Risk Management
  • Paper 7(i) : Direct Tax Laws
  • Paper 7(ii): International Taxation
  • Paper 8(i) : Goods and Services Tax
  • Paper 8(ii): Customs and FTP

Q) Can I know the course Structure?

A) If you go through the below given chart, you will get an idea about it.


Q) What is so inspiring about this course? I am wondering after seeing the complicated structure and difficult subjects to be studied!!!

A) This is the only course (or one among very few), you will not find a person sitting jobless after passing it. Even after passing CA Intermediate you will find a very good job easily. You cannot sit idle at home after passing it, be it male or female.

This page is supported by: Mujeeb Moosakunju Howlath (FCA)