How this versatile Chartered Accountant developed good Communication and networking skills and why they are essential for any aspiring CA
- Hello, my name is Anurag Gupta. I am a qualified chartered accountant and a research enthusiast, pursuing CIA from IIA, US.
- By the virtue of being an introvert in my school days, I may have performed well on the academic front but my social and personality front were underdeveloped. And as I progressed in my life I realized more and more that how important it is to have good communication skills.
- Going for the Chartered accountancy course was an obvious choice as for me this degree was a tool for earning reputation and money. Straight up.
- As I was pretty occupied with my online business, event management, etc. I cleared CA final exams after numerous attempts. But ultimately became a CA and that’s all that matters.
Pursuing Chartered Accountancy (CA) to earn reputation
Starting from my school days, I was always a very shy but honest and innocent guy. Teachers were kind of fond of me as I was quite disciplined.
Coming from Delhi, India I finished my school well on the academic front but not much on the social and personality front. At that time, I only knew about two degrees B.Com and Chartered Accountancy (CA) and I chose CA. Of course, as everyone does, I too saw this degree as a tool for earning reputation and money and nothing else.
I passed CPT (1st level CA exam) with good results but then came the life turner. The first failure of my life - IPCC Group 1 (IPCC is a 2nd level CA exam consisting of 2 groups, Group 1 & Group 2). I was a little heartbroken but yet looking at CA only.
Anyhow, I cleared my CA - IPCC exams with good marks. But life was seemingly dull and I was still that boring guy. Then I started working as a paid assistant with a Delhi-based CA Firm majorly in the area of Auditing and Assurance.
Learning to Network: Developing speaking/ Interpersonal skills
During the same time, a turning point in life came and I got to attend an event as a volunteer. That was the day of Sept 13 of 2014 and from that day my life has become a 'Journey'. The event was none other than The National Achievers Conference - An International event organized jointly by a Singaporean and an Indian team.
Having an audience presence of more than 2.5k made it a one-of-a-kind event and with this came its own kind of challenges. I was selected in the CRM department and in the logistics one too (CRM was quite interesting as I was the only guy in that department).
Working and connecting with people from different backgrounds and being guided by people of high caliber made it such a significant point in my life. Every day became a path for Self Enlightenment. I got to find my interests apart from academics, making me more confident, social, and maybe emotional too.
Whether it was event management, online marketing, doing research work, or connecting with people, I was overwhelmed with this new meaning given to my life.
Articleship and challenges clearing CA Final Exams
My mentors and seniors like the ones I got during my articleship, carved a guiding path for me in life, professionally and personally. And it's rightly said - Friends can make or break you. I always suggest choosing the right set of friends. In my case friends have been my strength.
It was not even close to easy. I never studied more than 10 hours and 30 days in a stretch for CA Final. Here’s how it went:
- 1st Attempt (2nd Group): Did not study well but marks were okay. ISCA failed me. Started an online business this time.
- 2nd Attempt (2nd Group): Again ISCA failed me. Online business was still running. I was busy with event management too.
- 3rd Attempt (2nd Group): Got an exemption in ISCA and cleared Group 2. Still running online business and event management.
- 4th Attempt (1st Group): Audit failed me. Suffered a loss, closed online business during this attempt. But love for event management continued.
- 5th Attempt (1st Group): Again audit failed me. I was busy with an investor helping him set up his business as well.
- 6th Attempt (1st Group): I focused solely on my CA exams and cleared Group 1. Finally, I became a Qualified CA.
How did I motivate myself through all the failures?
During the low phases, I motivated myself by chatting with friends & my younger brother (He is pursuing PGDM from IIM Jammu and likes discussing business ideas).
I kept learning something new like digital marketing / online selling. Currently, I do this by learning the German language or reading articles on internal audit, or researching an idea (Research is my favorite part).
I too had bad days like bad health issues of my father, financial crisis due to business loss but I just remained calm thanks to my mom who toiled hard to let me study. I realized this much later that I was studying in ignorance. I did not know what was exactly happening in my family. Maybe I was foolish but luckily all turned out well.
Have faith and patience. Don't ever compare yourself with others and you will be alright every single time.
Also, you need to be honest with your work and respect your boss/mentor. Quality will follow automatically. Dedication is all that it takes.
Also by joining different communities and making time to be volunteers one can develop great self-confidence and skills to grow as a human. Do not restrict yourself only to CA Studies.