Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI)

by V.A.Ponmelil (All rights reserved by the author)

The Institute of Chartered Accountants of India was established in 1949 as an Apex Body to regularize the profession of Chartered Accountancy in India.

It promotes education, professional development, and maintenance of high accounting, auditing and ethical standards. With the Headquarters located in New Delhi, the Institute has 5 Regional Centers at Chennai, Kanpur, Kolkata, New Delhi and Mumbai with 98 branches all over the country and 11 chapters in overseas. It has more than 115,000 members and 250,000 students to its credit and 70% of the total members in practice.

The ICAI council consists of 30 members out of which 24 members are elected and 6 are nominated by the Central Government to represent the Comptroller and Auditor General of India, Central Board of Direct Taxes, Department of Company Affairs and other stakeholders.

The Council functions through three Standing Committees and 16 Non Standing Committees for carrying out the provisions of the Chartered Accountancy Act.

The organizations like the Central Direct Tax Advisory Committee of Government of India (GOI), the Reserve Bank of India Sub-Committee (Audit) of the Board for Financial Supervision, the SEBI Primary Market Advisory Committee, the SEBI Committee on Substantial Acquisition of Shares & Takeover Regulations, the RBI's Informal Advisory Group on NBFC's, the RBI's Group for Evaluating Internal Audit System in Banks and many other recruit ICAI nominees and avail their services.

The Institute prescribes qualification for membership, conducts examination and makes the arrangement for practical training of candidates, helps in publication and maintenance of register of members qualified to practice the profession, carries out the activities for the development of the chartered accountancy as a profession and regulates and maintains the status of standard and standard of professional qualification of the members. The institute also offers postal coaching, oral training and arranges for practical training of the candidates all over the country. The monthly journal, The Chartered Accountant is published by the institute.

The ICAI also issues the Auditing & Assurance Standards (AAS) which encodes the audit practices followed by the members of the institute whenever audit is carried out by the institute member. There are 30 AAS issued by ICAI till date to meet the International standard. The institute provides the technical advice to the following authorities.

  • Comptroller and Auditor General of India
  • Department of Company Affairs
  • Reserve Bank of India
  • The Securities and Exchange Board of India
  • Central Board of Direct Taxes
  • Insurance Regulatory Authorities
  • Insurance Regulatory Authorities

In order to inculcate new skills in CAs, the institute includes the newest methodologies in the course and the course of Chartered Accountancy is available at three levels.

  • Entry Level Test - Common Proficiency Test
  • First Stage of Theoretical Examination - Professional Competence Course
  • Final Stage of Theoretical Education - Final Course

Common Proficiency Test (CPT)

This test conducted by Institute of Chartered Accountants of India is meant for students who are already registered with the institute for the course fulfilling the eligibility criteria prescribed by the institute. It is a qualifying examination and any student who wishes to join ICAI for Chartered Accountancy (CA) programme requires being successful in this test. A student who has passed class 10th examination from any recognized board can register for Common Proficiency Test and a student can appear for CPT examination only after clearing his 10+2 examination.

Professional Competence Course (PCC)

The Professional Competency Course is the first stage of Chartered Accountancy programme and a student can take up this programme after passing CPT examination or after graduating from a recognized university. This programme gives theoretical knowledge as well as practical training simultaneously. For admission into PCC programme, a pass in 10+2 examination is necessary along with qualification in Common Proficiency Test (CPT).

Final Course

The final course being the vital part of Chartered Accountancy course requires the students to work in the office of a Chartered Accountant or in a Chartered Accountancy firm towards completion of CA Practical training. Students can also complete their training in business / industrial enterprises. There are two types of training facilities are available for students.

  • Articled Clerk
  • Audit Clerk

Articled Training / Audit Training

The purpose of Articled / Audit training programme is to inculcate the sense of professionalism in students. The training provides on the job work experience of professional nature. It imbibes a disciplined attitude for hard work and develops the necessary skills in applying theoretical knowledge to practical situations. Also, it provides exposure to overall socio-economic environment in which organizations operate and develops the ethical values. The period of training is 3½ years and the practical training is mandatory for Articled training.

Information Technology Training (IT Training)

The training in Information Technology is imparted for 20 days and a student must devote 5 hours every day for the completion. The students are considered as on duty for 100 Hours of Information Technology training for which 3 hours examination is also held to check their understanding of the relevance of IT to CA course. 

 

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