What is Chartered Accountancy

Chartered Accountancy is a term used to mean a profession as well as the course (field of study).

Chartered Accountancy - a Profession

Lawyers are engaged in the legal profession, doctors in the medical profession. Similarly chartered accountants are engaged in the chartered accountancy profession.

Accounting, Auditing (verification of accounts), Taxation are the core areas dealt with by chartered accountants. They area also capable of expert level services in the areas of General Management, Personnel Management, Financial Management, Operations Management, Human Resources Management.

Chartered Accountancy - a course

Law is a course that candidates pursue to become lawyers. Medicine is a course that aspirants to the medical profession pursue. Similarly, prospective chartered accountants pursue the chartered accountancy course.

The Chartered Accountancy course is designed and conducted by the body that regulates the profession. The course generally consists of a mix of theoretical study and practical training.

 

Who is a Chartered Accountant

A Chartered Accountant (CA) is a professional accountant by virtue of his/her being a member of the professional body of accountants conducting the chartered accountancy course.

Chartered Accountants carry on professional practice as Chartered Accountants either individually or as a firm (in partnership with other chartered accountants). They may also be found working as employees/consultant in organisations. Some carry on professional practice and work as employees/consultants in organisations part time.

 

Prospects and Scope for Chartered Accountant

Employment

Chartered Accountants, on account of their having completed the chartered accountancy course are considered to be candidates with knowledge, ability and intelligence. For this reason, they are the preferred lot for a lot of accounting and managerial jobs.
Financial Manager, Finance Director, Financial Controller, Chief Accountant, Cost Controller, Marketing Manager, Chief Internal Auditor, Managing Director etc., are some such jobs where people with professional accounting knowledge are sought after.
With the growing trend of back office operations, many multi national organisations having their back offices in india employ professional accountants.

Private Practice

A qualified professional can set up his/her own private practice as a practicing chartered accountant. Apart from the statutory opportunities that would be available to a chartered accountant, one can play the role of a consultant for any organisation relating to the functions of accounting, taxation, auditing, cost management etc.
All companies registered under the companies act have to appoint a practicing chartered accountant as their statutory auditor who would verify their accounts and certify them before being submitted to the registrar.

Statutory Opportunities

law places certain conditions on the performance of certain functions. Where the law requires that a particular function be performed only by certain kind of professionals, it should be so. By law, the following functions can only be performed by chartered accountants.

  1. Under Sec 44 of the Income -Tax law every assessee with a gross receipts of Rs. 10 lakhs in the case of professionals and Rs. 40 Lakhs in the case of business concerns is compulsorily required to maintain accounts and get them audited by a Chartered Accountant (CA).
  2. Chartered Accountant's (CA's) services are employed by the tax department for auditing complicated cases, having large revenue potential.
  3. Chartered Accountant's (CA's) services are employed by the Reserve Bank of India and the Comptroller and auditor general of India for conducting Statutory Audit of Banks every year.

Special Government Services

Chartered Accountancy is recognized as an equivalent of post graduate qualification in commerce by a number of universities and government bodies. Therefore, Chartered Accountants would be eligible for all the government services where a post graduation qualification in commerce is necessary.

 

Other Functions of Chartered Accountant

Accounting [Book keeping]

Writing up of accounts and the preparation of financial statements ranging from simple Book keeping to making complex financial analysis.

Audit [review, check, inspection, examination, appraisal etc.]

Satisfying the users of financial statements that the statements which represent the accounts of organisations present a true and fair view of the state of affairs and are based on appropriate accounting principles.

Cost Accounting

Ascertaining the cost of production/processes at different levels of operations in the manufacture of a product or rendering a service. Providing costing information for the guidance of management, introducing cost control methods and assisting managements in establishing appropriate sale prices.

Taxation

Since the tax laws are varied and complicated for a lay man to understand every one needs the services of a professional accountant for current and continuing tax information and getting general advice on taxes. Tax assessment is very closely linked with financial accounts. Therefore a professional accountant performs the functions of preparing returns for tax purposes, representing assessee's before Income-Tax authorities.

Special Company Work

Matters such as the formation of companies (registration work), designing the financial structure, liquidation etc the services of a professional accountant would be needed.

Shareholders representative - Company Directors

Working as a representative of the shareholders i.e. in the position of a director in the "Board of Directors" of the company. The professionals who hold senior positions in industry and commerce are best suited to this task. On account of their professional knowledge in one of the core functions i.e. accounting, they are capable of giving appropriate advices.

Secretarial Work

A secretary in addition to his regular secretarial work is an important link in the management chain. Small companies which may not need or are unable to afford the services of a full time secretary take the help of professional accountants for these. The growth of company as a form of business organisation creates a large scope in this area.

Almost every kind of organisation whose affairs are controlled by boards, councils and other corporate structures be it a co-operative , trust, society, association, federation, statutory authority, commission, board or the like finds it useful to utilize the services of the professional accountant for secretarial work.

Trustees - Executors

Professional accountants often are appointed as executors under a will or trust in order to carry on the administration of the estate or settlements. In such cases they work in tandem with legal practitioners. Solicitors or lawyers carrying out works of this kind usually take the help of professional accountants.

Management Accounting and consultancy

Professional accountants perform functions relating to management which have a direct accounting implication like formulation of policies, day to day control, performance evaluation, etc. They can assist business organisations in making the best use of the available resources in achieving their goals effectively.

Investigation - Share Valuation Work

Investigation is carried out to ascertain the financial position of business in connection with matters such as a new issue of share capital, the purchase or sale or financing of a business, reconstruction and amalgamations. Valuation of shares of public and private companies at the time of amalgamation or re-organisation and for the purpose of takeover bids and other acquisitions is being done by professional accountants.

Teaching/Training

The qualifications of the respective institutions are recognized at par with post graduate qualifications in commerce by many universities which enable them to take up a post as a lecturer in respective subjects where post graduation qualification is needed to be so appointed in the post.

Financial Market Services

A Professional accountant is well equipped with knowledge to provide expert level services with regard to Public Issue, Listing and Securities Management, Takeover Code, Insider Trading, Mergers, Acquisitions, and Joint Ventures Securities Compliance and Certification Services, Finance and Accounting Services, Taxation Services, International Trade and WTD Services.

Emerging areas

Other miscellaneous services and emerging new areas of work like (a) Work related to e - commerce in assessing the adequacy of the system (b) Risk management (c) Services as an arbitrator for the settling of disputes (d) Work connected with insolvency (e) measuring intellectual capital (f) Measurement of performance and system quality (g) Continuous assurance etc.