Published On : Fri, May 30th, 2014

CA, CS, CMA as a career option



CA. Farooq Haque, Founder of Accounting Academy

The results of 10th and 12th are out .I’m sure you must’ve done well and achieved your desired goal. Now the question that must be troubling your mind is WHAT NEXT? Science or Commerce after 10th and what after 12th  Engg.,medicine, CA,CS etc..etc..etc..

Well, this is one of the toughest crossroads you’ll find yourself at in your life.And whatever you choose today, you’ll have to live with it, as your future is the reflection of choices that you make today.


A successful plan will thus challenge you to look into the future, define your career objectives, identify competency gaps and research the resources you need to move forward. Recognize that reaching your career goal will take time, commitment, money, information, technology and people-learn what you need to effectively succeed.

So, friends in order to make the best and informed decision ,you must do in depth research, analyse all facts, find out the future prospects of all available alternatives and make the meticulous plan to achieve success.

But before doing this whole exercise, pause and ponder, where do you see yourself 20 years from now.

Do you see yourself as a CEO, Director or Senior Manager in a Multinational Company or as an Entrepreneur running your own business or having your own Consultancy or an Audit Firm.

Do you see yourself owning a big house, a luxury car and your children going to the best school.

The answer to these questions will help you decide what exactly you want out of your career.

This article will provide you complete insight into the field of commerce and give you informationon Chartered Accountancy, Company Secretary and Cost and Management Accountancy as a career option. 

What is Commerce?

COMMERCE AS A STREAM OF EDUCATIONcan be defined as a study of trade and business activities such as the exchange of goods and services from producer to final consumer. The main subjects that are taught in the Commerce stream in Class 11 and 12 include Economics, Accountancy and Business Studies / Organization of Commerce / Secretarial Practice.

Why Commerce?

Through Commerce education,

–       a student is exposed to the environment of the business world.

–       It makes them aware of the of social, economic and political problems relating to business concerns.

–       It teaches them how to apply economic principles while making important business decisions

–       It develops in them, entrepreneurial abilities, practice orientation

–       And helps them meet the global competition

For whom? Aptitude?

Students who have an interest in working with numbers, and enjoy reading and analysing numerical data and who aspire to make a career in the financial and business world are ideally suited for commerce.
“Commerce changes the fate and genius of nations.” – Thomas Gray

Role of a Finance professional

No business can run without money and no money can be managed without a Finance Personnel.

A Finance Personnel thus works towards improving profitability of business, evaluation of Credit Worthiness, Wealth management, Strategy Making etc

Every business or Government organization, public or private or even small businessman like a Chaiwala need money to run their business and the person who manages this money is a Finance Professional. Hence we can say that every business house needs a Finance Professional.

A Hotel needs chefs and catering professionals , a car manufacturer needs automobile engineers, an Airline company needs pilots , a Hospital needs doctors. But at the end of the day , for every business to function , the finances have to be managed well.Thus we can conclude that nobody can survive without the services of a Financial Professional especially in today’s time of cut-throat competition.

Why CA/CS/CMA???

We are living in an age of commercial and technical revolution and for the real progress of Commerce and industry, we need efficient and trained hands.

In tune with the needs of business and society, independent professions have emerged in the form of Chartered Accountancy, Cost and Management Accountancy, Company Secretary, CFA, CPA, etc.

Chartered Accountancy

Most people think CAs are number crunchers, or people who deal with audits and taxes. However, the profession has changed.

CA is the most internationally recognized accounting designation.

A chartered accountant’s work involves auditing, taxation, accounting and financial planning. It can be a very challenging and rewarding job.

As well as dominating public accounting practices. CAs are found at the highest level in virtually every sector from healthcare to film industry.

So, if you are considering becoming an accountant, Chartered Accountancy provides you with the ability to choose an exciting career path towards the industry of your choice anywhere in the world.

Career prospects after doing chartered accountancy are exciting. Chartered accountancy can be the first step to other rewarding careers in finance, investment consultancy and fund management.


The unique feature of the chartered accountancy is its curriculum, which is theoretical education with complementary practical training. A student would undergo theoretical education and practical training concurrently from the very beginning.

The Chartered Accountancy course is conducted by the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India, which has its headquarters in New Delhi, 5 regional offices (Calcutta, Kanpur, Chennai, Mumbai and New Delhi) and 81 branches under these regional centres.

  • Common Proficiency Test (CPT)

CPT is an entry level test of four subjects i.e. Accounting, Mercantile Laws, General Economics and Quantitative Aptitude.

  • Integrated Professional Competence Course (IPCC)

This is first stage of CA curriculum wherein only working knowledge of core and allied subjects to accountancy profession is covered. The subjects of IPCC are classified into two groups which a student can study and appear in the examination group-wise or both the groups together. IPCC is designed to improve knowledge of accountancy linked to accounting standards to build strong foundation for developing knowledge of financial reporting at the final stage. The students update their knowledge of business communication, business strategies, taxes, information technology and audit.

  • CA Final 

CA Final covers advanced application knowledge of core subjects like financial reporting, strategic financial management, advanced management accounting, advanced auditing and professional ethics and information systems control and audit. In addition, principles of e-governance, corporate and allied laws, international taxation and VAT are important features of the updated subject contents.

  • Articleship
    The students after passing Group I of IPCC will register for Articleship for a period of 3 years with experienced CAs. An agreement of training needs to be executed before it begins. During the training time, articles learn the technical details of the work and as time passes, they are given larger assignments with less supervision. All articled clerks are paid a stipend depending on their city’s population.

The training combines innovative education with mentored work experience, to produce accountants who possess a greater ability to analyse and interpret business problems and develop dynamic solutions. Perhaps that’s why Chartered Accountants have the edge over their counterparts

Start Early

In today’s cut throat competitive world, it is advisable that a student starts planning right after class 10. For chartered accountancy, a student can register with the Board of Studies and prepare for entry level test while pursuing 10+2. It is better to take mathematics at this level. Students of commerce stream definitely have an advantage while pursuing this career. The latest scheme of CA is designed to encourage young talented students having aptitude for accounting education to make an early entry into the profession.

Is it the Right Career for Me?

Students who have an interest in working with numbers, and enjoy reading and analysing numerical data and who aspire to make a career in the financial and business world are ideally suited for commerce.

Cost to Students

Unlike other professional courses, the fee for becoming a CA is very less, which is inclusive of the cost of study material. For registering with IPPC you have to shell out Rs 9000 while the fee for CPT is Rs 6700.The net fee is approximately Rs. 49,500.

Job Prospects

A CA can start career with auditing activities, which is the basic work area of a CA. From here a more fulfilling career in finance can be pursed after getting enough exposure of intricacies of finance. As an investment consultant and as a fund manager a CA can play the role of a top decision maker. CAs also work in project management and consultancy services. They are also hired by Banking & Financial Institutions. They may be offered to serve as Director of Finance or CEO of a Company. CAs find an opportunity in other areas like:

  • Banks (Both private and public)
  • Public Limited Companies (mandatory for the purpose of law)
  • Auditing Firms (such as KPMG, Price Waterhouse, etc.)
  • Finance Companies, Mutual Funds, Portfolio Management Companies, Investment Houses, Stock Broking Firms
  • Legal firms, Legal houses, Patent Firms, attorneys, Trade Mark and Copyright Registers

Pay Package

For CA Inter: Generally candidates holding CA inter-qualification are paid somewhere between Rs 7,500 and 15,000 depending on the type of firm. Payments can be higher for candidates possessing other qualifications such as M.Com or an MBA.

For CA Final (FCA): Starting salaries range between Rs 12,000 to 30,000 depending on the type of firm and nature of the economy.
A full-fledged CA can expect a salary between Rs 30,000 to 75,000 per month

It can be easily concluded that the country needs about 7,500 to 10,000 fresh CAs every year seeing the growth of Indian economy in the last 5 years.

Market Watch

Chartered Accountants have been one of the most sought after professionals in India. Much of the reputation of CAs is due to the fact that their rigorous training (both theoretical and practical) makes them practically jack of all trades as far as the domain of finance is concerned. In spite of the sea change in global trade systems and practices, the requirement of CAs has remained steady.

The demand for CAs has been growing between 10% to 15% over the past 3 – 4 years. The demand however depends on the state of the economy and there is direct bearing on the demand of CAs when the economy is in downtrend. But the statutory clause for mandatory appointment of CAs provides substantial cushion support to the CA fraternity as compared to other comparable peers.

International Focus

The qualification of CA is globally recognized hence industry outlook for CAs is bright indeed. Much recognition for CA degree is due to the fact that the CA course has been able to keep pace with changes in industry scenario. Several new modules and topics have not only been incorporated into the CA course but have been very effectively implemented to give increasing more power to the CA degree. In spite of the fact that several top-notch B-schools (including IIMs) have produced some of the most brilliant B-school grads, it is noteworthy that CAs has been able to retain their prominence in present world order. 

Company Secretary

Over a million companies in the country are custodians of huge resources of the society and public. They drive the growth of the economy .It is therefore, imperative that their operations should be so carried out that they exist forever to contribute to prosperity of the society and the economy even as they balance the interests of various stakeholders. This requires care

for and adherence to law and justice,ethics,compliance, governance,risk management, conflict resolution, etc .A company Secretary, who is a regulated professional, ensures just that.

A CS looks after the Legal and Secretarial work and also deals with matters relating to Company Laws,Securities Laws, FOREX Laws Labour Laws and Secretarial Audit

The examinations are conducted by ICSI (Institute of Company Secretary of India)

Duration of Course

  • 3 years after XII
  • 2 years after Graduation 


  • Any 12th passed students (Science, Commerce) 

Objective exam pattern

  • Every year in June & Dec 

Passing percentage

  • 50% aggregate and
  • 40% individual. 

Job Prospects

Owing to his knowledge and field of expertise being Corporate Law, he can work as a Corporate Planner

He can play an important role as the Chief Advisor to Board.

Also he can be an Arbitrator & Conciliator for issues requiring his intervention. 

Pay Package

On an average Rs. 7,00,000p.a 

Cost to Students

ApproxRs. 1,50,000

For more information students can visit Institutes website 

CMA (Cost and Works Accountancy) 

A CMA is a person who performs services involving costing, pricing of goods and services, verification or certification of cost records and taxation, especially indirect taxation. 

Role of CMA

  • Improving cost competitiveness
  • Resource and Performance management
  • Financial Reporting and Strategy
  • Cost Audit and Assurance
  • Direct and Indirect Taxation
  • Internal Audit and Management Audit 

Professional Opportunities

  • Cost Audit – Corporate Sector
  • Matters Relating toVAT Audit under various State Value Added Tax/ Rules
  • Stock Audit for Banks
  • Central Excise Audit
  • Indian Cost Accounts Service (ICoAS) 

Cost of Education

ApproxRs. 1,50,000

Pay Package

Avg.: Rs. 6,00,000p.a

The examinations are conducted by ICAI (Institute of Cost Accountantof India) 


3 ½ years after XII

2 Years after Graduation 


—  Any 12th passed students (Science, Commerce)

—  Graduate(any stream) 

Objective exam pattern

—  Every year in June & Dec 

Passing percentage

—  50% aggregate and

—  40% individual.

For more information students can visit Institutes website 

So make the most of the resources available to you and lay the foundation of a great career and a promising future.