How to become a CA?

How to become a CA?
If you are in love with numbers and want to live the royal life – Chartered Accountancy is one of the best professions for anyone who have a knack for numbers and a love for finance.

It is the core of all business. Every company has a CA and it is one of the most respected professions in the world as well as the highest paid ones. A chartered accountant can work in various finance fields like taxation, auditing, accounting and financial planning. You choose to work in various profiles like investment, fund management and other various sectors of finance.

In India the course is conducted by the ICAI or the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India. It has the headquarters in New Delhi, along with various regional headquarters in Chennai, Mumbai, Kanpur and Kolkata and various other branches spread all around the country.

The qualification to pursue CA has drastically changed over the years. Before one had be a graduate to consider becoming a CA. Along with that the candidate during their tenure of CA had to pursue a 5 year long articleship training under a CA or a company. With the rules changing over time, a 12th pass out finally became eligible for the foundation course.

In 2006 ICAI scrapped the idea of PE 1 and PE 2 system that was introduced in October 2001 and started the system of CPT, IPCC and Final qualifying examination. The Idea of a CA course is to make the student not other proficient in theory but also learn the practical application of the theory.

Step 1 to become a CA - CPT
You have to give the CPT i.e., Common Proficiency Test. This is an entry level test, and has subjects like Accounting, Mercantile Laws, General Economics and Quantitative Aptitude. This is a gateway to get onto the path to become a CA. To be eligible for CPT one has to register to CPT course with the board of studies and can give the examination in December during or after your 12th Boards. Students who have already completed their Graduation or Post graduation in Commerce with an aggregate of 55% marks or 60% if not from Commerce Background can skip this process. 

Step 2 to become a CA - IPCC
After passing the CPT this is the first stage of CA curriculum. The subjects in IPCC are divided into two categories. A student can give them together or separately. The course is structured in a way that creates a strong foundation in the various aspects of commerce and finance. In the first group you have subjects like Accounting, Business Law, Cost Accountancy and Taxation. In the other group you have Advanced Accounting, Auditing and assurance, Information Technology and Strategic Management.  To be able to give this exam, the student has to be enrolled in the relevant course and also has a certificate showing the completion of the course i.e. not less than 8 months.

Step 2 to become a CA – Final
CA final is one of the toughest steps to clear. It covers the knowledge of various core subjects divided into two main groups. Group one has subjects like Financial Reporting, Strategic Financial Management, Advanced Auditing and Professional Ethics, Corporate and Allied Laws.  The second group has subjects like Advanced Management Accounting, information Systems Control and Audit, Direct Tax Laws and Indirect Tax Laws.  The student should have completed the required articleship training.

Step 2 to become a CA – Articleship
After you IPCC you are required to register under articleship with a company or an individual. A CA with more than 16 years of experience and above can take about 8 articles. Training needs to be provided to these students before the commencement of the articleship. The articles are paid a stipend depending of the norms.

CA is one of the toughest professions to accomplish but once it is completed, a CA is more in demand than any other profession.

Author Bio: Trisha is a professional writer and adviser on education and career. She is an ardent reader, a traveler and a passionate photographer. She wants to explore the world and write about whatever comes across her way.



Recently, during Diwali celebrations I met a friend of mine who lost almost 10 kgs in a span of 6 months and she was looking absolutely fit and much younger.  When I asked her the success formula, she mentioned about a diet plan she took from a dietician that transformed her completely.  She now looks much fitter, younger and energetic.

All of us want to be fit, healthy, look young and get richer and successful.  However, the problem arises when it comes to discipline and making a conscious effort to achieve the above aspirational goals.  We all plan big things, dream big goals but when it comes to execution, majority of us fail miserably and eventually we end up cursing our fate, our society, our family and our destiny.  What we don’t realize is the fact that our will power and determination to achieve success is low, leading to failures and an unsuccessful life.

To achieve success, we need to follow a regime, a plan or if I were to put it simply – have a diet plan for ourselves.  The diet plan can be both physical as well as mental.  All of us have heard about diet plans for loosing weight and getting fit, but have you ever tried a diet plan for your mind to make it lean, fit and healthy.  Yes, there is a plan even for your mind that can help you achieve success in life, in your career and make you rich and powerful. 

I have learnt some techniques that I have followed myself and believe that they truly work.  I have tried to combine all of them and termed it the “Crash Course – 9 week success diet plan”.  Achieving success in education or finances or career is no joke and if you really want to excel and be the best in the world, you have to be regimented in your life and in your behavior and develop a plan that helps you achieve that.

I have, in my earlier article ‘Why I joined the 5AM Club’ mentioned the advantages of getting up early morning and following a schedule. In this article I want to share with you a Crash course you should follow daily and if followed for a period of 66 days would become your habit, a habit that you would love your entire life.   I say 66 days because as per a research, for any behavior to become a habit, it takes 66 days.

Here is the diet plan that I would want each and every one of you to follow on a daily basis without any compromise.  I can assure you of astonishing results if these tips are followed in true spirit:

1.         Join the 5AM club

You know about it.  Get up every morning at 5AM and spend one hour daily with yourself and on yourself.   Under the Hindu mythology, early morning hours, i.e., a period of 1.5 hours before the sunrise is known as ‘brahma muhurta’ that is considered highly auspicious for doing all good things, including meditation, yoga etc.   This is the time when you should start your day.

2.         Invest in yourself physically and mentally

Start your morning with some light stretching exercises that will allow your body to regain its posture and start afresh for the new day.  Drinking a glass of water is considered very good.   Some people also recommend doing a quick 15-20 minutes exercise such as jogging (either outside or on-the-spot) or cycling or any other physical activity to re-charge your body.

3.         Read something motivational and inspirational

The first few minutes (around 15-20) should always be reading or listening to something motivational or inspirational.  Don’t pick up newspaper and don’t switch on the TV early morning. This is very important because by doing this you actually charge yourself for the rest of the day.  Listening to inspirational videos help you get fast paced for the rest of the day and you feel highly energetic to feel as if you can take the world head-on.

There are thousands of videos on You tube which can be useful for you early morning.

4.         Write down your goals

A very powerful method to achieve success.  Take a piece of paper and write down your goals in life.  Write them down in the present tense as if you have already achieved them.  For example if you are preparing for your CA IPCC exams then write down – “I am a CA IPCC qualified student” or before preparing for CA Finals you can write - “I am a chartered accountant”.  Whatever your goals are, write them down daily.  And keep re-writing them again and again every morning unless you achieve them.

The reason behind writing your goals on a daily basis is getting clarity for yourself.  When you start to write down your goals and read them every day, your subconscious mind starts to work in that direction.  Remember, our subconscious mind drives almost more than 90% of our behavior and only 10% is driven by our conscious mind.   By writing your goals and reading them daily allows your subconscious mind to achieve those goals. 

5.         Plan your day in advance

A very crucial and important way to manage your day and perhaps, one of the most taught lessons on time management.   In your diary (maintain a diary/journal if you haven’t till now) write down the activities that you need to finish today and them prioritize them in order of urgency.

Follow the 80/20 Rule.  As per this rule, 20% of all activities or jobs or work done by humans constitute 80% of the business or revenue or important and vice versa.  And this is a proven fact.  If you list down 10 items in your things-to-do list, you will realize that out of them not more than 2 items would be the most critical or useful items that should be done on high priority and remaining 8 items are of less importance. 

For achieving success, it is important that you are able to identify the 20% activities (‘the vital few’) and sift them from the remaining 80% (‘the trivial many’).

6.         Use your commuting time wisely

In today’s life, all of us commute daily and on an average would spend at least 2 hours commuting.   We commute to our office or to our coaching classes or to our clients place or to our friends place.  There are two ways to use this commuting time – either waste it by listening to radio or chatting or gossiping or else, use this time wisely by listening to educational audio podcasts.  The choice is yours, because the time that has gone will never come back.

Make efforts to continuously feed your mind with high quality mental nutrients that inspires you and motivates you to achieve, achieve and achieve.  You can listen to TED talks, or join free online courses conducted by online portals like Coursera or EdX.  These online portals offer some world-class educational programmes from some of the top Universities of the world and majority of them are free of cost J

7.         Begin with the most important task

When you start your day in office or work or when you sit down for studies, take up the most difficult task you want to finish.  By taking up the most difficult or challenging task first, you send positive signals to your mind and upon its completion the energy levels in your body and mind would be unmatched. 

By finishing difficult tasks, your body releases endorphins and a chemical called dopamine that makes you feel happy, positive and ready to take more challenges.  And that’s exactly a high performer like you would want to feel.  Isn’t it?

Stop procrastinating on the difficult things, rather take it up, plan it and complete it fully before you pick up any other job or activity.

8.         My favorite – Don’t waste time

Develop a sense of urgency in your life.  Be quick in whatever you do, whatever you think and whatever you want to achieve.  Stop procrastinating and start doing.  Take quick actions and stop worrying about trivial things.  Learn fast and execute faster. 

I am sure if you follow this ‘Crash course for Success’ diligently and without cheating you would surely start to feel tremendous changes in yourself, in your confidence, in your studies, in your career and in your finances. 

I hope I have been of service to you.  Wishing you green lights…

Authored by Nimish Goel (, a qualified chartered accountant who’s passion is to coach young chartered accountants and aspiring students achieve the best in their life.  Nimish used to work with EY and PwC in India and has also worked with KPMG in Europe.  He now runs his own consulting company and runs a blog  He can be reached for any queries and issues on his blog.

ICAI invites suggestions on Income-tax Returns (ITRs) and other forms notified under Income-tax Rules, 1962. - (21-10-2014)

The Direct Taxes Committee of the ICAI is in the process of compiling suggestions on Income tax Return forms (ITRs) and other forms to be made applicable for Assessment year 2015-16. With regard to the same, suggestions are invited from the members. The suggestions so received would be complied and forwarded to Central Board of Direct Taxes for appropriate action at their end.

Members are requested to submit their suggestions latest by 27th October, 2014.

Click here to submit your suggestions

No more download of conso files without correcting unmatched challans in TDS statements

By C.A Pratik Anand, ACA

In an important communication on its website, the CPC (TDS) is flashing an important message relating to download of conso files for correction of TDS statements.

The communication reads as under:

Attention Deductors: Your request for download of Conso File will not be accepted in case there are unmatched challans in the selected statement. Please match all challans through Online Correction before submitting request for Conso File”.

This means that if there are any unmatched challans in the TDS statement filed by the deductor, the correction statement for that TDS statement cannot be filed for such regular statement for errors such as PAN Error, Short deduction due to incorrect reporting of certificates, Interest and late fee payments etc. The correction statement will be filed only when all the challans in the statement are matched.

The question is how will the unmatched challans be matched in absence of download of conso files for correction of statements.

The answer lies in the new utility introduced by the CPC (TDS) called online challan correction.

Ques: What is online challan correction?
Ans:   Online challan correction is a utility introduced by the CPC(TDS) wherein any mismatch in the challans in the statements filed by the deductors can be corrected through the online mechanism on the CPC (TDS) Website itself.

Ques: Why this provision has been introduced?
Ans: This facility is in continuation of the CPC (TDS) advisory communication on 9th August’2014 wherein it proposed to introduce a facility to the deductors to close short payment defaults due to unmatched challans before allowing request for conso files.

The relevant extract of the advisory communication is as follows:

·         CPC(TDS) mandates to close the above default by tagging unconsumed challans, if available in CPC(TDS) system, through online correction (without digital signature).
·         In case there is no available challan for consumption, the deductor is required to first deposit the due tax in the bank and then the same challan will be available for tagging in CPC(TDS) system after around 3-4 days of deposit.
·         The Online Correction facility of TRACES needs to be used for closure of the Short Payment default.
·         The user will not be able to download Conso file for the relevant TDS statement on closure of the above default.
·         Once the challan is suitably tagged, CPC(TDS) shall suo moto reprocess the cases thereby reducing the Short Payment default by equivalent amount.

What Actions to be taken: 
·         During submission of request for Conso File, a message will be displayed, if there are Short Payment defaults in the TDS statement and instructions will be provided to submit Online Correction.
·         Details of defaults will be provided during Online Correction process.
·         In case of insufficient challans, please use Challan ITNS 281 to pay the demand or use any other Challan, which has adequate balance available.
·         Submit an Online Correction using the functionality on TRACES to tag the challans with deductee rows. Login to TRACES and navigate to"Defaults" tab to locate "Request for Correction" from the drop-down list. You can refer to our e-tutorial for necessary help.
Online Challan Corrections:

·         A list of all Matched and Unmatched challans can be viewed by clicking the appropriate tab.
·         Unmatched challans can be corrected and tagged to Deductee rows in the statement.
·         The corrections in TDS statements can be raised even without Digital Signature.
·         Correct KYC information needs to be submitted for the purpose of validation.
·         All previous corrections pertaining to the statement should have been processed and the processing status can be verified from the Dashboard.

Ques: How to use the online challan correction facility?
Ans: For details on how to use the online correction facility, please refer to our E-Tutorial under Quick-Links for "Online Challan Correction".
         Following is the link to use the tutorial:

Ques: Please give a brief on the online correction facility works.
Ans: In the online challan correction facility, the deductor can request for online coorection of default due due unmatched challan in the TDS statement filed.
The online correction facility is available by the logging into the CPC Website:

1)      After log-in go to the ‘Defaults’ tab, under the defaults tab on option will read as ‘Request for correction’. The user has to click on the request for correction option to start the correction process.
2)      After choosing the request for correction facility, the user has to provide details of the statement for which the request for correction is to be made such as:
·         Financial Year
·         Quarter
·         Form Type
·         Correction category-Challan correction
·         Latest token Number of the statement to be corrected
User will get an error if :
• Entered data is not pertaining to Financial Year , Quarter, Form Type and Latest Token Number Or
• Statement is cancelled / Rejected for the selected search criteria.

·         If the data entered is O.K then, the request for filing correction will be submitted.

Points to be noted:
·         Request can be submitted only if there is a regular / correction statement filled and processed.
·         All previous corrections for this statement have been processed.

Once correction request is made the user can track the correction request by entering:
·         Request Number Or
·         Request Date

3)      On entering the above, the status of request for correction can be seen. Once the correction request is accepted and is available for correction the user can use it to start work for correction. Before you can start working on the online correction, the user will have to validate the statement by entering details relating to the statement.
Notes for Validation Screen
Authentication code is generated when you clear validation details for a statement for certain functionalities such as Download Form 16 / 16A, Download NSDL Conso File, Download Justification Report, etc. Authentication code generated for a particular statement will be valid for the calendar day (i.e., an authentication code generated on 10-Dec-2012 can be used only on 10-Dec-2012 to clear validation details for the same statement. It will not be valid the next day).
• Validation will be bypassed for the same statement within the same session

• Token Number must be of the statement of the FY, Quarter and Form Type displayed
on the screen
• CIN details must be entered for the challan which is deposited and mentioned in the
statement corresponding to the FY, Quarter and Form Type mentioned above
• Transfer Voucher details to be entered for government deductors
• Amount should be entered in two decimal places (e.g., 1234.56)
• Maximum of 3 distinct PANs and corresponding amount must be entered
• If there are more than three such combinations in the challan, user can enter any 3
• If there less than three such combinations in the challan, user must enter all (either
   one or two)
• PAN mentioned must be that for which payment has been done using the challan /
Transfer Voucher mentioned on this screen

4)      After the validation, you can start the correction process by choosing ‘Challan correction’ from the drop-down list of type of corrections.
5)      After choosing this option, you will be shown a list of all the matched, Unmatched and Newly added challans in the statement.
6)      From the list of unmatched challans, the user has to select each row and click on ‘edit unmatched challan detail’ to edit the unmatched challan. Here the user can edit the challan details to correct the unmatched challans.

Important Notes:
·         BSR Code should be of the challan which has available balance.
·         Date on which challan with available balance was deposited in bank .
·         Surcharge amount of challan / BIN from the statement filed by deductor with regards to the statement selected for filing correction .Amount   should not be editable for BINs.
·         Education Cess amount of challan / BIN from the statement filed by deductor with regards to the statement selected for filing correction. Amount should not be editable for BINs.
·         Interest amount in the challan / BIN from the statement filed by deductor with regards to the statement selected for filing correction. Amount should not be editable for BINs.
·         Other amount in the challan / BIN from the statement filed by deductor with regards to the statement selected for filing correction. Amount should not be editable for BINs.
·         Section code under which tax was deducted for the PAN. From FY 2013-14 onwards, this field will not be there.
·         Amount of interest to be claimed from this challan / BIN. User cannot edit this field by tagging a challan. User must directly change value in the field. Amount should not be editable for BINs.
·         Amount to be claimed as 'Others' from this challan/BIN. User cannot edit this field by tagging a challan. User must directly change value in the field. Amount should not be editable for BINs.
7)      Save the edited detail.
8)      The Edited row will be highlighted. Select the edited row and Click on ‘submit correction statement’ to submit the change made in the default and navigate to ‘Action Summary’
9)      After that correction will be submitted to the admin user for correction.
10)   After that the user can view the correction statement and confirm the correction and then submit it for processing by attaching his digital signature.
11)   Once this is done, the correction statement is submitted successfully.
12)   The user can check the status of the correction statement under the ‘Statements/Payments’

Hope you find the above information relevant and useful in your daily practice.

The author is a CA in practice at Delhi and can be contacted at:
Mobile: +91-9953199493



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