Is Chartered Accountancy a tough course to crack?
Does my average academic background from school determine my passing chances in CA?
What about my articleship? and the list goes on!
Are you confused and tired of the endless searching about the solutions to these common yet very critical questions that play an important role in shaping your professional career?
Recently, we interviewed our mentor CA. Prateek Doctor who has shared some very valuable insights about CA related questions and making a career in Forensic Audit.
He carries with himself over six years of experience in the field of forensic advisory.
We have divided the transcript of the interview into two parts:
1. The CA related questions and
2. Choosing Forensics as a career option, for the benefit of our readers.
We hope you find some good pieces of advice to take back with you.
Part 1: The CA related questions
Our mentor believes that CA is not that tough to crack in the first attempt provided the students have the right preparation and practice. The range of concepts that one needs to know is definitely vast but the key is to cover all the concepts as well as master each one.
According to him, the strategy that can be followed for the theory and practical subjects could be as follows:
For theory subjects it would be to cover all concepts included in the study material over a period of time and to make concise notes for quick revision.
For practical subjects, the key is to know the concepts and the ability to solve any practical problem by applying the same.
This can be only achieved through regular practice of various types of practical problems. Overall, the most important part is to understand what you are studying and if you don't understand even a small concept then google it or ask your teachers, friends or seniors but never rote learn a concept.
Also, he says that it is possible to become a CA even if the student has been averaging in studies till the 12th grade. This can happen if one has the passion to clear it in a timely manner and to plan the studies well to cover whatever is included in the syllabus.
Studying on the last day will be of no great help.
We are sure this definitely will motivate many of the students out there to pursue their dream of becoming a Chartered Accountant irrespective of their past grades because all that matters is having the passion and working hard towards the goal..!
Coming to the much-heated topic of which firm to consider for articleship, this is what he had to say - The type of articleship firm (small or mid-sized, Big fours) depends on what the student wants to do after CA.
If you want to start your own practice, then a small or a mid-sized firm is the right choice. But, if you want to do a job in the finance department of a large company, then doing articleship at a large firm in the statutory audit department would be the best option. But in case you don't know which field you like, then it would be great to get exposure in all fields in a mid-sized firm and then decide.
This is probably the most straight forward and precise advice we as CA aspirants could have ever received because unless we have things planned for at least a few years to come and a rough picture of what we would like to do ahead, things will continue to remain blurred and that’s when following what Mr. Prateek has said will shed some light on the situation. Thank you, Sir!
Here’s moving on to part two of our conversation.
Part 2: Choosing Forensics as a career option
Mr. Prateek, who has a substantial amount of experience in this field has shared with us his insights on what it is to be in this field.
Brief information into what this field contains - Forensic services broadly includes forensic audit of financials of a company on behalf of lenders or statutory authorities like SEBI, NSE/ BSE and the like, investigation into suspected occupational frauds on behalf of owners or investors, anti-bribery and corruption advisory, business intelligence services, anti-money laundering and KYC services, dispute advisory services and much more.
According to him, those who aim to get into the field of forensic audit and investigation need to consider pursuing their articleship at a large firm either in forensics or in the risk advisory department. Big 4’s mostly doesn’t offer articleship in this division but firms like BDO and Baker Tilly DHC and other large firms can be looked into for the same. This is definitely a good point to know as a lot of the students can plan their choices accordingly.
This field is definitely a lucrative career option and is growing at a rapid pace. It would be best to have a forensic profile in a large firm which would have the right technology and tools as well as there would be people from diverse backgrounds i.e. CA, CFE, MBA, engineers and lawyers.
Being a Chartered Accountant is a good foundation to get into forensic audit/ investigation sector. After CA, a course like CFE would definitely add value to the CV. Alternatively MBA and CFE is also suitable choice to get into this field.
This information and insight from a forensics professional are definitely going to help a lot of our budding professionals who aim to see themselves in this field. It will also help in streamlining their strategies for the future.
Well that's not all..!
If you need some more help or want to connect with @Prateek Doctor personally for one-to-one session, he is there on our MENTOR BOARD as well..!
Book a session with him now from here..!
Special thanks to @Arushi Kapila for covering the story & helping with the editing..!