In order to keep up with the ever-changing financial world and its intricacies, The Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI) is all set to make amendments to the current curriculum of the Chartered Accountants examination. The Chartered Accountancy course, which has been giving India best of the finance executives for 10 years now, is considered to be one of the toughest and rigorous professional courses, both in India and Worldwide with a very low success ratio.
ICAI had earlier approached the Ministry of Corporate Affairs and came out with the new upgraded curriculum, which included addition of new subjects, electives and open book tests. It was announced by the President of The Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI), M Devaraja Reddy that the new curriculum will be hurled in November 2016.
Reddy said, “Globalization has brought to the fore not only the opportunities in the areas of national and international financial reporting, taxation, finance and corporate laws but also challenges to the Chartered Accountancy profession.”
The move of revamping the CA curriculum by the Institute comes amidst the times when the finance and business rules are changing. The introduction of Goods and Services Tax (GST) in the country adds up to the need to master the changing standards of the financial world which are introduced by the International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS). IFRS has been designed as a common global language for business and finance affairs so that company accounts are understandable and comparable across international boundaries.
The ICAI had announced that IFRS will be mandatory in India for financial statements for the periods beginning on or after 1 April 2016.
“The institute has been conscious and proactive towards the ever changing needs. We have proposed the revision of the curriculum after considering the views of various stakeholders. We are awaiting the views of the ministry,” Reddy added.
The Chartered Accountancy examinations are divided into three levels. They are Common Proficiency Test (CPT), Integrated Professional Competence Course (IPCC) and the Final Examination.
According to the proposed changes, the entry level exam i.e CPT will be tougher due to the introduction of the subjective questions in addition to the regular multiple choice questions. This will stop some candidates getting qualified by fluke and allow only serious aspirants.
The Foundation course or CPT will be tacked on with two more subjects, Business Correspondence and Reporting and Business and Commercial Knowledge while a new subject Economics for Finance will be included in the Intermediate level or IPCC.
The CA Final Exam will include electives – Risk Management, International Taxation, Financial Services and Capital markets, Global Financial Reporting Standards, Economic Laws and Multi-Disciplinary Case. This paper will be an open book test and the questions will be based on Case Studies.
Technical training will be provided which includes personality development, soft skills for both basic and advanced courses. Information system control and audit have been renamed as Information system risk management and audit. It will be part of the Advanced integrated course on information technology and soft skills.
Unlike present scenario, where registration for CA course is done after clearing class 10 exam, the registration for CA course will be open to those candidates who have appeared for Class 12 exam. These students can appear for the Foundation exam followed by a four-month learning phase.
Students can register for 3-year practical training only after passing either or both Groups of Intermediate level or IPCC.
As per the new pattern, students appearing in the Foundation course will take 4.5 years to become CAs. However, those qualifying for taking direct admission will take one year less.