How this CA journeyed from Nepal to India at the age of eighteen and became a chartered accountant from ICAI through determination

  • Meet CA Pradeep Neupane, who is originally from Jhapa, Nepal, and to fulfill his dream he pursued chartered accountancy from the renowned accounting body ICAI (The Institute of Chartered Accountants of India). He is an Assistant Manager in the Financial Advisory team of Deloitte, based in Delhi.
  • Having loved the subject of accounting from an early age, he soon started dreaming about becoming a chartered accountant as it is no doubt that the Chartered Accountancy Course dominates the commerce field.
  • Right after clearing his 12th grade, he traveled to Delhi at the young age of 18, leaving behind the comfort of his home to fulfill his dream of becoming a Chartered Accountant, which was certainly not an easy ride at all. 
  • Here he shares with us his inspiring CA journey coming all the way from Nepal to India. How he successfully cleared all his CA exams and landed a job at a Big 4 company by being confident and determined throughout his life.

Pursuing Chartered Accountancy (CA) after 12th

Right from class 8 when accounting was formally introduced in our course, I used to find it very interesting.  Thus my dream of becoming a Chartered Accountant (CA) started while I was in class 9.

I was a decent student during my school days but used to score the highest marks in Accounts. So I decided to pursue CA, as in the commerce field Chartered Accountancy (CA) surely dominates!

I completed my 10th grade from my hometown Jhapa (Nepal) and then moved to Kathmandu for further studies (Class 11 and 12).

Immediately after appearing for the class 12 examination, I enrolled in a coaching class for CA-CPT in Kathmandu. Then appeared for CA-CPT examination in December 2012 in Nepal itself,

CA from ICAI or ICAN

Generally, the trend of students in Nepal is either to choose Indian Board (ICAI) or Nepal Board (ICAN) for pursuing Chartered Accountancy (CA) courses after appearing for class 12 exams.

Now it was time for me to decide - Whether I should pursue CA from The Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nepal (ICAN) or The Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI).

So usually - If a student is determined/sure to work and practice in Nepal then he/she is suggested to get enrolled in the Nepalese Board (ICAN).

And if one is not sure about living in Nepal and wants to get international exposure then most of them go for the Indian Board (ICAI).

I always wanted to settle in Nepal and contribute to the Nepalese economy, however, at the same time, I also wanted to learn and understand the fast, ever-growing Indian economy.

Hence taking all this into consideration I chose to pursue my CA from ICAI instead of ICAN and explore a new country and culture at the same time.

(Out of around 1200 members of The Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nepal (ICAN), more than 50% have studied from India, so CA from ICAI is big in Nepal).

My CA CPT Journey

 After class 12th exams I started preparing for CA CPT (1st level CA exam). I cleared CPT in my 1st attempt with an All India 5th rank. It was a big achievement for me!

After my CPT I shifted to Delhi. I was only 18 then but I wasn’t scared at all as most of my CPT friends from Nepal were moving to Delhi as well and we all traveled to Delhi together,

(So basically in Nepal, after completing CA CPT all the CA students move to India to complete their CA course).

I also took admission in Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU) (which is exclusively designed for CA students in collaboration with ICAI) and completed my graduation from there in Accounts and Finance.

My CA-IPCC Journey

Now my CA journey started in a new country and a new city - Delhi, India.

From Feb’13, we (my friends and me) started taking coaching classes for CA IPC (2nd level CA exam consisting of 2 groups, Group 1 and Group 2. Earlier it was known as IPCC) from individual teachers.

For coaching, we used to go to ITO, Kashmiri Gate, Shah Auditorium, various coaching institutes of Laxminagar for the classes (all of them are based in Delhi). I am almost smiling now while sharing all this. Such great memories!

Finally, in the 1st week of Oct'13, we completed our coaching and started preparing for the IPC Nov’13 attempt. Since my classes started in Feb'13 I used to study daily and gave my best right from day one. I always stayed focused on my goal – the goal of becoming a CA.

I prepared well for IPC but made one big mistake – I did not go through the Revision Test Papers (RTP) issued by the ICAI. I did not even glance through it and as luck would have it most of the questions during my attempt were from the RTP.

Coming to the exam days, all my papers went well except for Accounts. I guess I was overconfident and took it very lightly! I knew if I pass Accounts in CA IPC Group 1, then I would clear IPC in the 1st attempt and that is what happened!

I cleared in Accounts and passed IPC in my 1st attempt. I clearly remember my results day, how excited I was, as I felt closer to my dream of becoming a CA!

My advice to the CA students:

  • Be confident, not overconfident!
  • Practice from RTP
  • Study daily and give your best from day 1 as the IPC portion is huge
  • Even if one paper goes bad do not skip the next papers. Keep pushing.

My Articleship Journey

Then started my articleship (after completing CA IPC one has a mandatory CA internship for 3 years). I did my articleship from 2 CA firms.

1st year of my articleship: I was engaged in Risk Advisory Services i.e. basically Internal audits.

The next 2 years of articleship: I was involved in conducting statutory audits, tax audits, payroll & accounting outsourcing, and tax-related matters.

Though my area of interest was basically Bank audits, I did not get the chance of performing bank audits during my articleship tenure (luckily after qualifying as a CA I got an opportunity in Bank Audits).

My advice to the CA students:

  • I strongly suggest learning and gaining experience in all the areas during your articleship training. Remember, this is the training phase and not the specialization phase, so explore as much as you can.
  • After qualifying as a CA all the exposure you get will help you decide which area you want to specialize in.
  • One could also opt for Industrial Training (IT) in the last year of articleship.

CA-Final

My CA Final (last level CA exam consisting of 2 groups, Group 1 and Group 2) journey along with articleship training was very hectic mainly because of outstation audits as I used to get very little time to study while on outstation audits (even though I love traveling).

Luckily I took coaching for only 4 subjects in CA Final - SFM, Law, Direct Tax, and Indirect Tax. The other 4 subjects chose to Self Study. So there was not much pressure of missing out on the coaching class because of articleship.

Somehow I managed and gave my best. I mainly concentrated on study materials issued by ICAI for my CA Final preparations. Luckily I cleared CA Final in my 1st attempt.

My advice to the CA students:

  • Try self-studying and take coaching only for the Practical ones!
  • I never felt like giving up CA – I always reminded myself that I am here to become a CA and to get practical exposure to one of the economic powerhouses of the world, this kept me on track!
  • At times I would miss my family especially at festivals like Dusherra, Deepawali, and other occasions like Weddings and other ceremonies, but I would motivate myself.

Life after qualifying as a CA

So after qualifying as a CA, I completed my remaining articleship training (as articleship is for 3 years but CA Final exams can be given after completing 2.5 years of articleship) and then did advanced ITT and GMCS conducted by the  ICAI which was mandatory.

Post that I joined Bansal & co on April 1, 2017.  I was eager to get some exposure in Bank Audits as mentioned above, so I joined Bansal &co as it was one of the central statutory auditors of SBI. 

I did an annual statutory audit for 2016-17 and a limited review for June 2017 quarter.

Then on 8th August 2017, I joined Deloitte in the Financial Advisory team as an Assistant Manager.

So my plan, for now, is to gain a little more experience, then study further maybe and eventually return to Nepal and serve the Government of Nepal.

We asked him a few more questions for students in Nepal

1. Can a CA from ICAI set up his own practice in Nepal?

  • No, we can’t set our own practice solely based on the Indian degree from ICAI.
  • But in order to be eligible to set up our own CA Firm in Nepal, we need to appear for 2 exams in Nepal - Law, and Taxation. We also need to undergo one year of internship in a CA firm in Nepal or any ICAN approved company.
  • Basically, he/she cannot act as an auditor and sign financial statements in Nepal unless he/she fulfills the above-mentioned conditions.
  • But there is no restriction on getting employed in a CA firm or any company of Nepal as a CA from ICAI.

2. Are CAs from ICAI doing well in Nepal?

  • Many CAs who have graduated from ICAI are doing great in Nepal.
  • As mentioned above, in order to be eligible to be a member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nepal (ICAN), one needs to appear for the exam of Law and Taxation and must undergo one year of internship in a CA firm/ICAN approved company. After that one can be eligible to sign the audit report of Nepalese companies also.

3. Is there coaching for CA IPC (2nd level CA exam from ICAI) in Nepal.

  • After my batch, it has become a trend for Nepalese CA students to take IPC classes from Nepal itself, give the exam in Nepal and then move to India for articleship.
  • Previously the passing percentage of students studying from IPC, Nepal center used to be very low and sometimes nil also.
  • But after our batch, the pass percentage has considerably increased and students started studying - CPT and IPC from Nepal itself and then moving to Delhi (or any other Indian city) for their articleship training.
  • The change has happened mainly because many students take online classes to study IPC and there is no need for them to shift physically to Delhi for coaching.

4. Can one give CA CPT/IPC/CA Final exams from Nepal?

  • Yes, one can give all the CA, ICAI exams from Nepal itself. The exam center is DAV school of Kathmandu.
  • However, for articleship, one has to come to India. That means articleship can be done only in India.

5. Can a student studying CA under ICAI do their articleship from Nepal?

  • As mentioned above, articleship has to be done in India only.
  • Since we study Tax, Laws, and other subject matters in the context of India, it is mandatory to have a practical experience of the context we studied theoretically.

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