When we think of Chartered Accountants, the first picture that comes to mind is books, papers, excel sheets and numbers everywhere. But the life of a Chartered Accountant isn’t just limited to this picture, the duties of a Chartered Accountant extend way beyond what meets the eye. As a CA, practicing individually or working for a corporate firm, this prestigious title opens doors to several accounting-related opportunities. Whether you wish to continue with your practice as a CA or expand your base and venture into new possibilities, the choice is entirely yours. After acing the most difficult examinations, you can surely think about studying further and achieving global accreditations by taking up an Association of Certified Chartered Accountants, Chartered Public Accountant or Chartered Financial Analyst course.
However, if the position of Chartered Accountant interests you, and you wish to know more about this profession and the work it involves, you’re about to get the clarity you require.
Key Responsibilities of a Chartered Accountant
A Chartered Accountant, as the name suggests, handles all things related to accounting. They could be working at a corporate firm, an SME or probably practicing individually, but their job roles are almost synonymous everywhere. Here are some of the key responsibilities that CAs, across the spectrum handle.
- Chartered Accountants work closely with the tax authorities and assist with tax filing
- Collaborating with the internal teams to prepare and plan for income tax
- Review complex taxing forms and simplify them for the individuals or company employees
- Creating monthly/annual budgets and keeping track of the company’s/individual’s income and expenses
- Undertaking financial audits and providing financial advice to the management
- Research on the finance and accounting related issues affecting the company, and provide them with relevant solutions
- Negotiating terms and conditions with the suppliers and sharing invoices
How Chartered Accountants go about spending their usual workday
After speaking with CAs, we managed to get a glimpse of how CAs in India usually spend their working day, what are the tasks involved and how do they fight monotony.
1. Kick-starting the day with a cup of tea or coffee
Chartered Accountants aren’t any different from the rest of us. Just like everyone else, they also prefer starting their day with a warm cup of tea/coffee, to fight the early morning blues and get ready for some serious calculations.
2. Going through the email to check for any new client requirements
To make the most of their time, CAs often tend to go through their email while sipping on their morning beverage. After checking their email with requests of client calls, feedback, they prepare their to-do list and accept or deny requests based on their schedule.
3. Work begins with a client meeting
For a CA professional with their own practice, it’s essential to build their own client base and have constant communication with them in case of any doubts or queries. CA professionals often arrange meetings with their clients in their office or they go visit their clients on-site to discuss financial matters.
4. Creating MOMs and analysing the financial risk
While discussing financial matters, CAs work in sync with the senior analysts and auditors to understand the risk factors involved in new ventures as well as existing markets. They provide businesses and individuals with relevant information and a helpful solution.
5. Going through excel sheets and reviewing accounting issues
The main job of CA is to ensure that the accounts-related details tally with one another and there are no mistakes or discrepancies in any of them. This is essential for tax filing, bank loans and further investments. A CA also ensures that your money is safe and secure.
6. Maintaining financial records and training aspiring accountants
To keep a better track of their client’s finances, a CA constantly updates their financial records to make sure that they and their clients are up to date with income as well as the expenditure. Another part of an independent CA’s job profile includes training aspiring accountants and CAs who join their firm for articleship or perhaps internship.
How can a CA earn additional income?
The income of Chartered Accountants isn’t limited to just guiding their clients in the right direction and maintaining their financial records, there are many other ways in which a CA can earn additional income by doing what they love.
- Tutoring: Most Chartered Accountants who also possess teaching and mentoring skills can earn additional income by tutoring students or creating informational YouTube videos. CA being a challenging field always requires professional coaches who can guide students through difficult financial concepts.
- Investing in the stock market: While this is a field almost everyone can try their luck in, unfortunately, not everyone is blessed with an analytical mind and sound financial knowledge as a Chartered Accountant. If investing in the stock market excites you, it’s time to start researching and making your bets.
- Tax return preparation: One of the easiest ways for a CA to make extra income is through tax filing. Through this service, they can make more income and gather several clients. If a CA has tied up with a company or an individual, they can undertake tax filing internal employees or even family members.
From a CA to an Investment Banker, should you make the switch?
While there’s no direct connection between a CA curriculum and Investment Banking, there’s a possibility that CAs can become good Investment Bankers due to the vast amount of knowledge they possess in the field of finance, equity, debt market, mergers and acquisitions, IPO and securitization.
According to research conducted by LinkedIn, the average salary of a Chartered Accountant ranges from 6 to 7 lpa. However, the salary of an Investment Banker could go up to 11.9 lpa. Since investment banking is an exciting field with several possibilities, most finance and accounting professionals feel the need to take up some additional courses to expand their knowledge base and switch to this field.
There are many presumptions regarding the career of a Chartered Accountant, and mainly because it’s a popular profession. But rest assured, if you love the finance and accounting concepts it equips you with, you’ll be able to clear all your levels and live your dream profession.
To advance your CA career, and become a global Chartered Accountant, why not choose ACCA? The ACCA qualification is recognized in over 180 countries including Canada, Singapore, and Australia. If you’ve made the decision to become a global CA and are contemplating your next move, we can help you take a step forward. Check out our Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) course to learn more.
What is the duration of a CA course?
A Chartered Accountancy course takes about 5 years for completion and consists of three levels.
Is the CA exam format MCQ type?
As per the information given on ICAI, papers of the CA final level are divided into 30% objectives (MCQ) and 70% descriptive.
At what age can you become a CA?
There is no age limit or specifics to becoming a Chartered Accountant. The CA course is structured in such a way that students who’ve completed their class 12th to a professional, anyone can pursue it.