Why I Quit CA to Pursue CPA USA and Why I Have No Regrets!
Today we are sharing the journey of Ahsan Khan from Hyderabad, India.
Ahsan is a qualified CPA from AICPA and a semi-qualified Chartered Accountant from The Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI).
Ahsan got really depressed when he failed to clear CA Final exams. Luckily his cousin who is a CPA and working at Deloitte enlightened him about the scope of CPA in India and encouraged him to pursue CPA instead of taking a career break.
Presently Ahsan is an Analyst with Invesco Asset Management Company, Hyderabad and credits his CPA degree for this job opportunity.
He encourages students to consider Alternate Career Options instead of struggling with Chartered Accountancy.
He further adds that - Chartered Accountancy is amazing but if things are not working out then maybe considering CPA or any other alternate career option would be worth it!
I was basically an average student in school as I was more into sports and did not focus much on my studies.
However, your school marks and performance doesn’t really matter when it comes to appearing for professional courses like CA, CPA, CFA etc.
What matters the most is your = Dedication + Smart Work + Hard Work.
After appearing for class 12 exams in March 2010, I started researching various courses with good opportunities in India as well as abroad.
After a whole lot of research and discussion with my dad, I decided to become a Chartered Accountant from ICAI and made that my career goal.
MY CHARTERED ACCOUNTANCY JOURNEY
My Chartered Accountancy journey started in 2010 right after giving my class 12 exam.
Also, I forgot to mention, that in class 11 and 12 I took my Science as my stream and not commerce. So all the Accounting terms were new to me!
CPT - 1st level CA Exam:
When I started preparing for CA CPT (1st level CA exam from ICAI) I had a tough time understanding all the Accounting terms from scratch. Luckily I am good at Mathematics so that saved me.
I somehow managed to clear CA CPT (1st level CA exam from ICAI) with 2 months of preparation. I was excited.
However, to become a qualified Chartered Accountant from The Institute of Chartered Accountants of India I still had to clear 2 more exams – CA IPCC and CA Final. I also had to complete 3 years of mandatory internship.
After clearing CPT, I started preparing for CA IPCC (2nd level CA Exam from ICAI. This consists of 2 groups – Group 1 & Group 2).
IPCC Journey - 2nd level CA Exam:
Clearing IPCC did not seem to be very easy, so I decided of appearing for only CA IPCC Group 1 and after clearing this I would give Group 2.
Daily, I used to study for almost 6-7 hours effectively. I did give my best.
I gave my first IPCC attempt in November 2011 and unfortunately, I could not clear the exam.
But I was not discouraged by that failure.
I started preparing for my next attempt and this time I studied with more focus and dedication.
I had experienced failure earlier (which made me stronger) and I did not want to go through it again. So that fear of failing kept pushing me to study more and give my best.
I stayed focused and cleared IPCC Group 1 in my 2nd attempt.
As per the ICAI rules back then, I could start with my internship either after clearing both IPCC groups or after clearing just IPCC Group 1.
Since I cleared IPCC Group 1, I started my articleship/ internship training in 2012 with VDNR and Associates, Chartered Accountants.
While doing my internship I prepared for IPCC Group 2 and cleared the same.
CA Final Journey:
Now comes the most difficult and challenging part of the Course - CA Final (last level CA Exam from ICAI which again has 2 groups – Group 1 & Group 2).
I knew I had to prepare well and give my best. However, even with a lot of hard work and dedication, I was not able to clear CA Final. I appeared again and the same story.
I literally cried when I saw my results and was very depressed. It felt like all my hard work went in vain.
I wanted to take a break from studying (and give my CA Final exams later) but then I realised that it would be a waste of time. I was really lost.
Now those who have been through this know how annoying or hard it can get if you have to study 8 subjects again. It is not easy.
MY CPA JOURNEY
Honestly, I was under the impression that giving CA Final Exam is the only option I have until I spoke to my cousin.
Luckily my cousin, who is a CPA working in Deloitte counselled and guided me to various alternative courses like CPA, CFA, ACCA, CMA etc.
He motivated me to move forward with my career instead of taking a break from studies and getting depressed.
I too realised that the longer I wait the more upset I will get, I had to decide and move on so I could do well for myself.
Considering my career goals, the opportunities available, the time period and the cost to complete the course - I chose to take the CPA course from AICPA.
I was able to complete all 4 parts of CPA exams in just 10 months with my hard work and dedication.
SCOPE OF CPA (USA) IN INDIA
- We all know that CPA from AICPA has great scope out of India but we are unaware of the fact that CPA from AICPA has great career opportunities even in India.
- India presents itself as a land of growing business opportunity for US Companies and requires candidates with in-depth knowledge and skills of US legal laws and accounting framework.
- I feel it’s the right time for people to pursue CPA from AICPA and meet those companies’ expectations.
JOB OPPORTUNITY AT INVESCO
In fact, after completing my CPA I had an opportunity to work at Deloitte (Sripal from Simandhar helped me with the placement). However, I could not attend the interview as my sister was getting married and I was responsible for all the wedding arrangements.
Invesco Asset Management Company needed people with US GAAP knowledge and Audit/Accounting skills which is what we learn in CPA.
- There are many students who struggle with Chartered Accountancy just because of SOCIETY PRESSURE.
- Considering or pursuing a course just to prove to others will take you NOWHERE.
- Instead one should understand WHY Chartered Accountancy (or for that matter any other course) is so important to you. If it is important to achieve a career goal then keep pursuing it but if it is not and there are other options which can help you achieve that goal, then choose those options.
- If you don't see any improvement in your results after multiple attempts, consider for some alternative courses.
- Try to UPGRADE YOUR SKILLSET along with pursuing a qualification, that always adds up to your career. Work on your communication skills. interpersonal skills instead of just focusing on studies. Even if you are a ranker with ZERO COMMUNICATION SKILLS you will just get your first job after that first job you will struggle. So FOCUS on important things.
- Be aware of the job market requirements and adapt to it. OVERCOME THE HERD MENTALITY.
- Build up a GOOD NETWORK that'll always help you fetch a good job.
- Be OPTIMISTIC about the future and keep trying harder every time - he concluded.
You can reach out to him at Ahsansamkhan@gmail.com. Also if you are looking for job opportunities as a CPA / CMA
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