How To Negotiate On Your Stipend As A CA Articleship Trainee

As a CA student who wants to undergo articleship training or already has a bunch of interviews scheduled, you must be reeling over all the daunting stories you’ve heard in the past regarding the stipend most companies tend to pay. If that’s what’s on your mind, it’s time to break the chain of thoughts and come up with a full-proof solution for getting what you deserve. Luckily, the question of stipend is certainly going to arise in your interview because as per The Institute of Chartered Accountants of India, there’s a minimum stipend amount that is mandatory for companies to pay in each year of your training. However, this ‘minimum amount’ can come out to be a bit disappointing.

To avoid this disappointment, it’s best to prepare for the interview by knowing how you can negotiate on your stipend as an articleship trainee.

Let’s talk eligibility

The CA curriculum demands a three-year articleship training to qualify for the CA final exams. For articleship training, the student gets a chance to train under an experienced CA who pays him/her for their services. To qualify for this articleship position, you need to successfully clear Group I of the IPCC. So if you think that getting to train under a CA is an achievement in itself and that the stipend doesn’t matter, know that you worked hard to get here and you will be working hard throughout your articleship, so having a satisfactory stipend does matter.

Why negotiating your stipend becomes so essential

You’ve heard about your seniors complaining, you’re already aware of the unhappiness that a meagre stipend could create. Well, if you don’t speak up when you can, you’ll end up regretting just as they did. Being dissatisfied with your income would later lead to a lack of motivation, disinterest and an overall poor experience. While The Institute of Chartered Accountants of India does ensure that you receive about 1k to 3k a month, let’s face it, this really wouldn’t cut it. So what do you do in that case? Here are some tips and tricks that will help you gain the confidence you need and negotiate fearlessly.

5 ways in which you can negotiate for a better stipend

You know that you need to talk about it, but perhaps don’t know what exactly to say. That’s why we have listed out five ways in which you can express what you bring to the table in a better way.

Take skill-building courses to advance your portfolio

Companies today aren’t just looking for an employee who can do as they are told, they are looking for leaders, solution providers and ideators. If you show your interviewer that you’re not just any trainee and convince them about the same with your certificates from various related courses in your field and the practical experiences you’ve gained, you’ll have their attention. If you’re planning to undergo CA articleship training, taking up related short-term courses can help gain the edge you need over other aspirants.

Hone your communication skills

Now you might think, ‘how does this make any difference to my job profile?’ Well maybe it may not make enough difference to your job profile, but it is important for the task that you’re up for. And let’s not forget, your first impression is the last. The best way you can make first impressions last is by speaking fluently and confidently. Make sure before going for the interview you create a list of points you wish to discuss, however, wait for the correct timing to touch upon those points.

Know what to say, listen before you express

One common mistake that most people make during their interview is saying things that are not asked by their interviewer. This creates a bad impression and breaks the flow of the interview. Try to listen carefully to what your interviewer is asking for and answer only those questions in brief. Once you feel the interviewer is satisfied with all your answers, then subtly raise the topic of your stipend and why you are expecting what you’re expecting. If your interviewer seems like they’re interested in listening to your side of the story, tell them about the skills you bring to the table and how you can add value to your job profile.

Don’t settle on a number, give your employer a pay range

Calculate the expenses that may be incurred for travel, rent or phone bills. Depending on your calculations, draw the basic expectations that you feel you’ll need for your articleship training. While negotiating with your interviewer, don’t give them a set number, as they can immediately refuse it and that will put you in a state of panic. Give them a reasonable pay range and in one line just tell them your reason behind coming up with this range.

Be open to negotiating more than just your stipend

Even after negotiating your stipend, if you feel that what your interviewer is offering is still unsatisfactory, it’s time to discuss the perks that might come in handy during your tenure. Ask them about the provision of an office laptop, work from home flexibility, learning and training opportunities, and additional leaves in case of emergencies. While these are all non-monetary benefits, they will certainly aid you in the long run, making your work experience a seamless one.
We understand that as an articleship trainee, you feel that you need the job more than the job needs you. But don’t forget that you’ll also be providing the company with your services, time and efforts for three years. If you’re not satisfied with your stipend, your interview is the best chance for you to set things straight and express yourself clearly. So don’t be scared to negotiate, follow these helpful tips that will guide you through the process.

The US CPA qualification is recognised worldwide and can open doors to opportunities in Europe, Asia and North America. If you are an accounting professional looking to boost your career or just curious to learn about the course, we suggest you check out our Certified Public Accountant (CPA) course to learn more. To advance your portfolio and build professional skills, try Zell Education’s interactive courses that offer flexible training timings. Get in touch at +91 7208885600 or email us at reachus@zelleducation.com.

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