Chartered Accountant is one of the professionals in India who gets handsome pay with no or less investment. Hence we will discuss the salary of a Chartered Accountant in India. Mostly students with commerce & math background with subjects like Accountancy, Business Studies, Economics, Legal Studies, Business laws, Math choose to pursue their career in Chartered Accountancy. So, one should give a thought if he has even a little bit of interest in trade, commerce, laws, economy, etc.
Before we discuss the salary of a Chartered Accountant in India, let’s understand what does it take to become a Chartered Accountant.
Chartered Accountants are professionals who are specialized in the field of business and finance which include taxation, auditing, general and financial management. The Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI) is an accounting body that regulates the accounting standards, ethics acts, & rules of the Chartered Accountant profession. Some Chartered Accountants are employed by government bodies, others work in the private sector, & on the other hand some practice on their own.
There is no maximum age limit but the minimum age or educational qualification is 10+2. To be a chartered accountant one has to clear some milestones in the form of exams which are mentioned below-
Common Proficiency Test (CPT) – CPT now known as CA Foundation is the first step of the Chartered Accountancy examination in India. One can register for the CA Foundation exam in class 10 but can give the exam after completing class 12. CA Foundation exam is conducted in the months of June and December. This exam is an objective type consists of 200 questions divided into four topics – Accounting, Mercantile Laws, Economics & Quantitative Aptitude.
Integrated Professional Competence Course (IPCC) – IPCC referred to as CA Intermediate can be called the 2nd step of becoming a Chartered Accountant. If one clears the CA Foundation exam, then only he is eligible for the IPCC exam. IPCC exam is held two times every year during the month of May and November. He has to register for the IPCC exam within four years after CA Foundation clearance with an opportunity of 8 attempts. This exam consists of theoretical as well as practical subjects.
Article-ship – Article-ship is 3 years of necessary practical training for becoming a Chartered Accountant as per the ICAI guidelines. The reason behind the article-ship is that CA students will implement theoretical knowledge in the real world & will be prepared to face the corporate world after completing CA Final. ICAI conducts an article-ship test to make the students take it seriously, also the grade will appear in the mark sheet of CA Final.
CA Final – CA Final is the last stage to become a Chartered Accountant. The students who have qualified Intermediate exams and completed 3 years of article-ship are eligible to apply for CA Final exam. After clearing the final exam, one can be certified as a chartered accountant by The Institute of Chartered Accountants of India. The starting average salary of CA fresher is around 7 Lakh per annum but with experience of more years, it keeps on increasing.
A certified CA then looks up for a firm to kick-start his career. One should keep in mind two or three things while choosing the initial firm i.e. the workload he can handle, the zeal to be updated about amendments in various acts & the package. On the basis of these points, under-noted are career options –
The biggest players in the market are four prestigious firms which are Klynveld Peat Marwick Goerdeler( KPMG), Ernst & Young (EY), PricewaterhouseCoopers (PWC), & Deloitte. The major significant part of audits of public as well as private companies are done by The Big 4. These firms dominate the smaller firm & hire the best-chartered accountants for article-ship for full-time placement. People want to do their article-ship from Big 4 firms because of the scale & brand name of these companies.
The Big 4 is the largest accounting firm specifically deals with financial management, auditing, legal services, actuarial, management consulting, &corporate finance. The people who have started their career with one of the firms of Big 4 gets initially package of 6-8 lakh but with experience of 4-5 years, they start earning an average annual package of 24-25 lakh. Here the salary of a Chartered Accountant in India depends upon the knowledge by the experience they gain. The workload of these companies can be so exhausting that only a few can survive under pressure. But everyday passing they learn something new & cultivate their knowledge skills and the salary of CAs is also good So, the scope of growth in Big 4 is ever-growing.
A new Chartered Accountant is full of aspirations and wants to conquer the professional world and earn a hefty amount based on his/her skills and knowledge. Some Charted Accountants want to start their own practice after few years of experience in the field so they opt to join big Chartered Accountant firms and work as an associate to learn the practices and implement their skills while handling clients as well as the income tax officers. Some might think that this experience can be gained throughout the Article-ship period, but it is not true as the scope and the possibilities are limited while one is an article but these possibilities come as real-life business scenarios after an individual becomes a Chartered Accountant. Working while the Article-ship is like preparing for the exam while working on minimal things that introduces an individual with the work that a Chartered Accountant has to do while handling accounts, filing income tax, preparing documents for the finance department of a big or small firm, and also auditing whether there is any fault in the figures to avoid a big loss and prepare strategies for future business needs and investments. Without an Article-ship, one cannot be certified as a Chartered Accountant.
Salary of a Chartered Accountant in India offered by Chartered Accountant firms is about 3 to 8 lacs but after an individual has to gain appropriate experience then he can start his own CA firm and if the firm is able to contact and acquire big business firms accounts and business stakeholders then there is no upper limit of Salary of a Chartered Accountant in India as it is completely based on the work done each day. Many big firms have only one or two Charted Accountants for the sake of the safety of accounts so the CAs play a major role in a company and hence they are paid pretty well.
These companies are a part of dream league companies as each new Chartered Accountant aspires to be a part of them because of the endless benefits and perks provided by these companies. Companies like MARICO, HUL (Hindustan Uniliver), RB (Reckitt Benckiser), and P&G (Procter & Gamble) offer jobs to rank holders who get a rank of 1 to 50 in the final Chartered Accountant exam. These companies are the best in the market and hence they need the top Charted Accountants to handle their finances. These companies offer the CAs with starting packages of 18 to 25 lacs per year which is a hefty amount for a fresher. These companies also take into consideration the criteria of attempt as the CAs with the least attempts and more marks are preferred over those with more number of attempts.
Charted accountants with more attempts can be selected by the Big 4 companies as mentioned earlier for a package of 6-8 lacs in the starting but as they work efficiently and keep growing for 3-4 years then their package also reaches up to 24-25 lacs per annum. Marks and attempts are just the stepping stones, all that matters is how efficient and capable is for an individual to handle the stress arriving with the job. Many aren’t able to cope up with the problems and obstacles and leave work in a year and those who stand strong against all odds and use their knowledge to sway away all the problems in the job and efficiently grow with the organization are able to achieve the salary of their dreams. The salary of a Chartered Accountant relies on how updated an individual is regarding the amendments in the financial laws and handling the accounts of a firm accordingly.
From small to big organizations, everyone needs a CA for accounting the profitable earnings. Thus, Chartered Accountants are in great demand. To be effective, CA also needs to be continuously updated with the knowledge, amendments occurring, its consequences & how to overcome those challenges so that it does not affect profits of the business & position in the market.
There are various IT companies such as Infosys, TCS, Wipro, Reliance Industries where many CA’s can work with good pay & less workload. CA gets paid according to their skills & profiles with an average of 8-10 lakh initially which goes to 40- 60 lakh with many years of experience & high position.
They have multiple works in these companies such as maintaining the accounts & preparing Financial statements of the company, then auditing which ensures accounts are prepared with correct accounting principles as the goodwill of the company is based on this. He is also responsible for filing income tax returns & represents it before income tax authorities. He also ascertains the cost of production at different levels & minimizes it. Therefore, the responsibilities of CA are very crucial. However, many CA doesn’t want to work here for long, as their knowledge & growth lacks.
To earn some extra money while doing a main job of CA or studying one can opt for various part-time jobs, in this digital world there are multiple options and a few are listed below-
1-Subject Matter Experts or Managed Network Experts at Chegg
Chegg provides a golden opportunity to the Charted Accountants who are well versed with theoretical and practical knowledge and a plethora of financial laws and quotations, to be a part of Chegg and SIGN UP as a Subject Matter Expert or Managed Network Expert to share their knowledge and earn a good amount of money. They can resolve the academic subject queries of students studying in foreign universities and colleges and earn money for each resolved query. The money is fixed for each query and as the ratings of the expert increase, the money will also be increased per query.
2- Helping neighborhood firms- A CA aspirant while studying can help neighborhood firms with accounting and tax filing and charging a small amount for all the work.
3- Teaching tuitions- If a CA is able to spare some time then can give tuitions to commerce stream school students in Accounts and other similar subjects and charge an appropriate fee.
There are ample numbers of opportunities for a Chartered Accountant in Government sectors. Public Sector Undertakings like Bharat Heavy Electrical Limited (BHEL), Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC), Steel Authority of India Limited (SAIL), Coal India Limited (CIL), National Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC) generally employs fresher CA through campus placement whose marks are between 55% – 60% in CA final with two or more attempts. The earnings in PSUs can be from 8 lakh to 20 lakh per annum. As the PSUs have finance departments they need qualified CAs to handle finance-related matters. Although CA in PSUs has limited growth & exposure than the Big 4, the work-life in PSUs is smooth and one can enjoy life and have personal time. But in the Big 4, the exposure and growth are more with stress and workload. In the initial years if one has to exceed he has to avoid personal & social life to be more successful but later on, the field is very fruitful for a growing Chartered Accountant.
The initial salary of a Chartered Accountant in India may depend upon factors like a number of attempts or marks or even rank of the candidate but later on, all that matters is the knowledge, skills, passion for learning every day, and the capability to withstand the obstacles and handle the stress that comes with the work. Those with a sheer will and appropriate skills can earn pretty good and there is no upper limit for the earnings of a charted accountant in India when one is working hard and smart daily justifying the profession and coping up with the day to day changing world.