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CA in a new avatar

Major changes have taken place in the Chartered Accountancy syllabus. To enrol into the prestigious course, one must compulsorily clear the entrance test. Besides, the course duration has been reduced by a year and three months.

The Central government on September 13 gave its approval to the new syllabus containing several student-friendly changes and the admission process has already begun. According to the old syllabus, a student had to complete the course in three stages. Upon completion of the Pre-University course, he/she had to take up the Professional Education -1 (PE - 1) examination which was of 10-months duration. After clearing the exam or upon completing graduation, the student could take up PE-2 of the same duration.

Only after clearing this exam, can the student undergo Articleship Training and later the final exam. The student had to obtain training under a certified chartered accountant for two and a half years and then take up the final examinations. In all, the student would require five years and three months to complete the course.

However, a significant feature of the new syllabus is that a student can now complete the course in just four years! Accordingly, those interested in enrolling must write the Common Proficiency Test. Those who have completed SSLC can register for this exam and write it after writing the II PU exams.

The entrance test comprises accountancy, commerce/business law, general aptitude and quantitative techniques as subjects, containing objective-type questions for 200 marks. The test will be conducted across India once every three months. Only those who clear their II PUC examination as well as the entrance test are admitted to the course.

The three-and-a-half year course gives practical training at the end of which the student has to write the Professional Competency Exam (PCE) or he can take up the exam after 18 months of practical training too. Computer education of at least 100 hours is compulsory during the period.

The new syllabus also allows those studying under the old syllabus to change to the new one. Those studying PE -1 module can clear the entrance test and register for articleship training. And those in PE -2 can directly register for articleship.

Benefits

According to the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India Chairman T N Manoharan, the new syllabus contains more benefits than the old one. “After completing PUC, one can complete this course in just four years. Besides, we conduct entrance tests once in three months. The proportion between theory and practicals is suitably balanced. We have reduced the hours of computer education from 250 hours to just 100 now. All these factors are bound to benefit the students,” Manoharan elaborates.

India presently has 1.32 lakh chartered accountants and the number is expected to increase to at least two lakhs by 2010.

Many companies are recruiting fresh graduates by paying annual salaries ranging from Rs 2.5 lakh to Rs 12 lakh per year. Right now, the demand for the CAs far outweighs the supply and it is but natural for those who complete this course to reap a windfall in terms of attractive job opportunities and salaries.

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