In the draft CA course change proposal, the most striking headline for all of us, especially CA students, is that the articleship period has been reduced from three to two years. It opens our eyes to the possibility that one can earn a significant CA income/salary a year earlier than senior group. However, this may not be the case. We will discuss this and all the changes as well as the good and the bad of the new change.
First, the implementation and applicability of the process is a bit far-fetched. The notification is live on the ICAI website and is open to comments and suggestions from students, members and faculty for the next 30 days. The Board then reviews the proposals, approves the notification, and forwards it to MCA, which in turn may return it with its proposals. All in all, it looks like the changes might not be implemented until 2023!
We discuss the most important changes at each board level
PHASE 1: FOUNDATION
You can enroll in the Foundation CA immediately after passing your 10th standard. Registration is valid for 4 years, so you must pass the Foundation exam within 4 years of registration. To pass the exam you need to score at least 50% each, currently it was 40% per game and 50% overall.
The increase in the passing percentage requirement means that the council is tightening the barrier to entry.
STAGE 2: INTERMEDIATE
1.Intermediate CA registration is valid for 5 years. If you haven’t been able to appear for the exam or haven’t been able to clear the exam in 5 years then you are allowed a 1 time revalidation which will give you another 5 years. So you get 10 years to complete and clear the intermediate exam.
2. If you have completed the intermediate CS or CMA course, you can apply for the intermediate CA
3. Here is an interesting provision: Starting now, students can show up for Group 1, Group 2, or both together. Now the notification allows students to appear in a unit of papers that comprise a few papers from group 1 and a few from group 2. So basically, it seems like you can mix up the subjects from the 2 groups and appear for them.
4. Those who have passed the intermediate CA exams, and completed the articleship but cannot pass the final CA, can be called Business Accounting
5. Those who have cleared both Inter CA levels will now have to appear online exams
Step 3: Articleship
Lots of changes here and very important ones.
1. The training period was reduced from 3 years to 2 years.For industrial training the period has been cut from 18 months to 12 months.
2. The minimum stipend has been Increased to Rs. 4,000, 3,000 and 2,000 for 1st year depending on population of the city you’re training in. Currently, the first year stipend for a city with a population of more than 20 lk is Rs. 2,000. For industrial training the minimum stipend has been hiked to Rs. 15,000
3. The provisions allow 12 days of vacation for every 24 days in total.
4. This new price does not apply if it is already registered as an item.
Theoretically, the length of service is reduced from three years to two, but the two-year limit does not allow for training or academic leave. In 3 years from article time, I was able to study 5 months for Intermediate CA Group 2 or Final CA. Currently, this is not possible and you can take a learning course in just 5-6 months after completing a two-year essay. The minimum amount is still very small. In 2008 I received a rupee salary. 3,000 rupees in my first year. 4000 and rupees in my second year. My third year is 5,000 people in Mumbai. CA practice seems to continue to acquire cheap labor. The difference is more pronounced when compared to industrial training where salaries are kept at a minimum of Rs. 15,000. Huge difference
STEP 4: FINAL CA
Registration valid for 10 years. If you haven’t been able to appear for the exam or haven’t been able to clear the exam in 10 years then you are allowed a 1 time revalidation which will give you another 10 years. So you get 20 years to complete and clear the Final exam.
STEP 4: Obtaining a Certificate of Practice
1. OBJECTIVE OF PRACTICE All certified auditors are required to actually work for the FCA for one year after completing the CA.
2. If you are currently employed but wish to begin an apprenticeship, you must have at least 1 year of coaching practice experience within the last 5 years. If not, apply for it and then register for it.
3. Those who do not wish to practice can begin their careers in the field of their choice immediately after clearing CA.
APPEARING FOR THE INTER AND FINAL EXAMS Interesting change in the exemption Currently, if you get more than 60 in a paper, you’re allowed to carry forward that exemption for 3 years. In the new course, you’re allowed to avail this exemption beyond the 3rd attempt, BUT you have to score at least 50 marks in the other papers of that group. This carry forward is an option, not compulsory. So if you don’t feel confident of scoring a minimum of 50 in the other papers, you can opt to reappear for the paper you got an exemption in. The council has also made a mention of negative marking and included MCQs at each level.
STEP 5: GETTING A CERTIFICATE OF PRACTICE
1. All CAs aspiring to practice must work for 1 year with a FCA in practice, after completing the CA.
2. If you are currently in a job but want to start practice, then you must have at least 1 year experience doing practice, in the last 5 years. If you don’t, then apply for the same and then enroll for
3. Those who don’t want to practice can start their job in their field of choice immediately after clearing CA.
The notification mentions minimum stipend for 1st year and 2nd year, as mentioned above but also a ‘3rd year’ of training. If articleship has been cut down to 2 years, this 3rd year could only imply the 1 year post qualification experience that has to be taken with a FCA if one wants to get a COP, as mentioned here. If it is so, then to pay a qualified Chartered Accountant a measly Rs. 6,000 (that too if its a firm in a big city, smaller cities is Rs. 5,000 and Rs. 4,000) is pitiful.