The Foundation Course
The objectives of the foundation course are:
(1) To enable young students with an aptitude for accounting to make an entry to the profession.
(2) To provide basic conceptual knowledge in subjects directly relevant to the profession.
The four main subjects studied during the foundation exam are:
· Mathematics and statistics
· Mercantile Law
The Foundation Exam
The student has to undertake a course involving theoretical and practical training. Practical training comprises working under a chartered accountant as an articled clerk or an audit clerk, according to choice, the difference between the two lying primarily in the execution of an agreement of training,
called the Deed of Articles, in the case of articled clerks.
However, since deserving students may find it difficult to bide the long period of waiting involved in gaining entry to the profession, the system of audit clerkship has been evolved which gives them a chance to work their way up in the profession. The chartered accountant or the firms of chartered accountants, which engage the audit clerk, have to pay him depending on the location of the firm.
(a) Cities with a population of one million and above: Rs 750/-
(b) Cities/towns with a population of less than one million: Rs 500/-
On the other hand, the stipend for an articled clerk is as follows:
A. If the place of work of the articled clerk is in a city with a population of twenty lakhs and above the rates of stipend payable by the chartered accountant are:
1. In the first year of training: Rs 225/- p.m.
2. In the second year of training: Rs 350/- p.m.
3. In the remaining period of training: Rs 450/- p.m.
B. If the place of work of the articled clerk is situated in cities/towns with a population of three lakhs and above but less than twenty lakhs:
1. In the first year of training: Rs 150/- p.m.
2. In the second year of training: Rs 225/- p.m.
3. In the remaining period of training: Rs 350/- p.m.
C. If the place of work of the articled clerk is situated in cities/towns with a population of less than three lakhs:
1. In the first year of training: Rs 125/- p.m.
2. In the second year of training: Rs 175/- p.m.
3. In the remaining period of training: Rs 250/- p.m.
Relevance of Practical Training
The ability to develop solutions to practical problems is acquired by CA students in the course of practical training. Practical training also helps students develop professional competence and related skills as also to acquire certain ethical values and norms expected of professional accountants.
Students should pass the intermediate exam within ten years of the commencement of their practical training. However a student is given a fresh lease to take the intermediate exams after he has served under article for a further period of one year and has undergone postal tuition.
Answering test papers in different subjects forms an integral part of the postal tuition scheme. Compliance with the requirements of the test paper scheme is compulsory for the intermediate students. These tests have to be cleared before the inter exam can be taken.
Besides these, students are also required to enroll into the Sunday test scheme and answer their test papers at various centers under the supervision of the institute. This scheme is valid for students enrolled within the city jurisdiction of Ahmedabad, Bangalore, Bombay, Calcutta, Coimbatore, Delhi, Hyderabad, Jaipur, Kanpur, Madras, Poona and Salem.
For cities and towns other than these, the students are required to submit papers under the postal tuition scheme and qualify in at least sixteen papers.
At the intermediate level, there are two groups of exams:
· Accounting and elements of income tax
· Cost accounting
· Mercantile law, Company and Industrial law;
· Business Mathematics
· Organization and Management Economics.
After the intermediate exam, a student is permitted to serve a part of the practical training in a financial, commercial or industrial undertaking approved by the institute. This industrial training enables an articled/audit clerk to gain experience in operating systems of financial control, in internal audit and auditing procedures, in merchandised accounting and other fields. The period of industrial training may range between.9-12 months during the last of the three years of the prescribed period of practical training.
A candidate who has cleared the intermediate exam can take the final exam within the last six months of the period of practical training, provided there is a time interval of one final exam between clearing the intermediate and the first attempt in the final exam. In case the candidate is taking the final exam after completing the practical training there is no need for the time interval. The final examination includes two groups:
Group I includes subjects such as advanced accounting, management accounting, auditing and company law.
Group II deals with direct tax laws. Candidates can choose any one of the following combinations:
Corporate management, managerial economics and national accounting, secretarial practice
Operational research and statistical analyses, systems analyses and data processing, cost systems
and cost control
Management information and control systems, tax planning and tax management, managements and operational audit. After successful completion of the final exam, the aspiring CA can apply for membership of the ICAI.
CLASSIFICATION AND DESIGNATION:
There are two classes of members-Associates and Fellows. Every person whose name is entered in the Register of Members is deemed an Associate Member of the institute. A member who has been
an Associate and has been in continuous practice for a period of not less than five years and possesses the experience prescribed by the council for this purpose is entitled to apply for Fellowship. A member has the right to use the letters FCA, or ACA, signifying Fellow and Associate respectively.
CERTIFICATE OF PRACTICE:
A member of the institute who wants to practice as a CA in India or abroad is required to obtain a Certificate of Practice from the institute. The fee for the certificate is Rs 400/- per year.
ENGAGEMENT IN OTHER OCCUPATIONS:
A practicing member is not allowed to engage in any other business or occupation without the prior permission of the council. However a member may engage in those pursuits as are permitted under
the CA regulations.