Everything you need to know about CA Articleship.

Everything you need to know about CA Articleship from ICAI.

Did you know that if you are pursuing CA from ICAI (The Institute of Chartered Accountants of India), then pursuing a CA articleship is mandatory for you?

You need to go to the office, you have to gain practical knowledge during your articleship in the fields of taxation, audit, finance, etc., that too along with your CA final studies.

So, if you are wondering,

  • Why is it important to do an articleship?
  • What are the eligibility criteria for applying for an articleship?
  • How should I choose a firm for my CA articleship?
  • How much stipend will I get?
  • In which areas will I get exposure?
  • How long will it take for me to complete my CA articleship?
  • What are the proposed changes by ICAI in articleship?

Then here are the details about all these questions.

Do read this article to know everything about CA Articleship.

Eligibility Criteria for CA Articleship.

Once you clear any one of the two groups of CA intermediate, you are eligible to register yourself as a CA article.

Even if you are just a graduate and want to enroll yourself for the CA course, then first you have to serve a 9-month articleship, only then will you be eligible to appear for CA Inter Exams.

In such a case, you don’t have to take the CA foundation exam, which is why it is also known as Direct Entry Route.

Why is it important to do an articleship?

Remember, doing an articleship under a qualified CA is mandatory if you want to appear for the CA final exams.

You have to complete 2.5 years of articleship. If you are unable to fulfil this criterion, you’ll not be eligible to give CA final exams.

The same applies in the case of the Direct Entry Route; if you want to give CA inter exams, then you must complete 9 months of articleship under a qualified CA.

How Should You Choose a CA Firm for articleship?

A big question really, and an important one.

Choosing the right firm where you are going to work and learn for the next three years, is an important task. Many students get confused as to whether they should choose one of the Big 4s or a small/mid-sized firm.

Well, that’s really a subjective decision and has to be taken after considering many factors such as, whether you are mentally ready to face the pressure of the Big 4, whether you are ready to relocate to a tier 1 city as these Big 4s such as Deloitte, E&Y, PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) and KPMG are mostly situated in tier 1 cities.

The next factor to consider is whether both groups of your CA Intermediate are cleared or not, as Big 4s generally prefer candidates who have passed both groups.

Then you also need to check what your future goals are, such as whether you want to join the industry, work in one of the Big 4s after qualifying as a CA or start your practice or do business.

Considering all these factors, you have to decide where you want to apply for your articleship.

Ranjeeta Kaur cleared her CA intermediate in both groups in the first attempt and started applying for an articleship in a Big Sized firm.

Unfortunately, due to Covid and the immediate lockdown, there were no vacancies for articleship. She started losing hope, and her friends also suggested that she does it from a small-sized firm instead.

“But I kept patience. 7 months after applying the moment finally came and I got a call from BDO.” says Ranjeeta.

How to Manage CA Final Studies with Articleship?

We asked Rakhi Aggarwal, why she chose Deloitte for her articleship, as it’s a well-known fact that the work pressure is quite high in the Big 4s.

She answered that from the day she got into the CA course, it’s always been her dream to pursue her articleship at one of the top firms.

She put her best efforts into clearing both groups on the first attempt, so that she could get into one of the Big 4s.

She gave interviews at Deloitte and PwC and both interview results were in her favor. However, she chose Deloitte for her articleship.

From the first year of starting her CA course, she was clear that the journey is not going to be easy and made herself mentally strong to manage her studies with work.

When asked about her experience so far in Deloitte, she said, “Of course, the work pressure is tremendous.”

But she has a great team there and all the other articles show her support and help her often by sharing notes and solving her doubts about CA finals.

She further added that it’s definitely a little bit tough to manage your studies while working with the Big 4, but you have to make a goal that you will complete your all classes along with articleship, so that in that six months study leave, you can just revise your whole syllabus 3-4 times.

If you are disciplined enough, you’ll be able to sail through.

Yashgopal Vaishnav who did his articles at a Big 4 firm says, "Generally, an article at EY will get around 5 months of leave, i.e. from the month of December, if the attempt is due in May next year. There will be hardly any issues that an article will face with respect to study leaves."

How many years of articleship is required for a CA student?

Students need to undergo three years of articleship training which is a mandatory part of the CA Curriculum.

ICAI has made it compulsory for every CA student to complete the first 2 years of Articleship Training under a practising Chartered Accountant.

In the last year of the CA articleship it is optional to serve under a Chartered Accountant in practice as you could also opt for Industrial Training. If CA students go for industrial training they  can gain practical knowledge of working in the industries.

In which areas will you get exposure during the articleship?

If you are serving your articleship in a CA firm, you’ll get exposure to areas like auditing, taxation, finance, accounting, etc. Although not all firms have work available involving all of these.  

So if you need expertise in a specific field then you have to ensure whether the firm has that particular area as part of their practice or not.

However, it is suggested that you do not limit yourself to one particular area during your articleship and try to explore every type of work.

For example, suppose you are very much interested in the internal audit domain, but it’s not necessary that you should only work in the internal audit domain for three years of your articleship.

You should also gain knowledge in other domains during this period.

In a conversation with The Finance Story, Lakshya Gera shares that for his articleship he joined a Large Sized firm, TR Chadha & Co LLP  in their statutory audit department back in February 2020.

After realizing that he had already gained all the experience that he wanted in this field, he shifted to a much smaller firm to learn something new. “Here I got to experience a variety of areas such as tax, accounting, etc.” Lakshya said.

He further adds, “Do not be afraid to take bold steps.”

How much stipend will you get during your articleship?

There are some rules made by the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI) with regard to stipends, and every CA firm has to pay their articles at least that minimum amount of stipend.

  • As per the ICAI regulations with respect to the Payment of stipend, for the cities/towns having a population of 20 lakhs and above, the stipend per month during the first year, second year and during the remaining period of training shall be Rs. 2000, Rs. 2500, and Rs. 3000 respectively.
  • For cities/towns having a population of 4 lakhs and above but less than 20 lakhs, the stipend per month during the first year, second year and during the remaining period of training shall be Rs. 1500, Rs. 2000, and Rs. 2500 respectively.
  • For cities/towns having a population of fewer than 4 lakhs, the stipend per month during the first year, second year and during the remaining period of training shall be Rs. 1000, Rs. 1500, and Rs. 2000 respectively.

These are the minimum stipend rates set by the ICAI, and firms are free to decide on the maximum rates.

Apart from this, Big 10 firms pay between INR 8K - INR 15K per month.

Abhishek Garg who did his articles at Grant Thornton and later at BDO says that an articled assistant gets paid well in BDO but that would also mean working late hours, doing monotonous  activities for months, etc.

But on the bright side, “The icing on the cake is the fancy off-sites, the various infrastructure facilities, the grooming, and learning that one experiences at such a young age." says Abhishek.

What are the proposed changes by ICAI in articleship?

Here’s some good news for the CA students. ICAI proposed a scheme to reduce the articleship period from three years to two years (yet to become effective).

Not only this, but ICAI has decided to increase the stipend rate also for CA articles. ICAI has decided to double the stipend rate from what is fixed currently.

Here are the details of the proposed stipend:

  • For cities/towns having a population of 20 lakhs and above, the stipend per month during the first year, second year and the remaining period of training would be Rs. 4000, Rs. 5000, and Rs. 6000 respectively.
  • For cities/towns having a population of 4 lakhs and above but less than 20 lakhs, the stipend per month during the first year, second year and during the remaining period of training would be Rs. 3000, Rs. 4000, and Rs. 5000 respectively.
  • For cities/towns having a population of fewer than 4 lakhs, the stipend per month during the first year, second year and during the remaining period of training would be Rs. 2000, Rs. 3000, and Rs. 4000 respectively.

All the relevant details related to CA Articleship have been included in this article.

We hope that reading this article has helped you in understanding the basics regarding the articleship.

 

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