- The Institute of Chartered Accountants of India aims to revamp its Chartered Accountancy curriculum.
- The highlight of this redesign is the integration of technologies such as blockchain, artificial intelligence, and data science.
- The new curriculum will be shorter and more skill-based. Here’s an overview of the same.
ICAI to revamp the CA curriculum
The global adoption of Artificial Intelligence and Blockchain in finance functions is inevitable, hence it is essential to embrace these changes and adapt accordingly.
Chartered Accountancy from the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI) is one of the most sought-after qualifications for commerce students or anyone who wants to build a promising career in finance.
And to prepare its members to thrive globally, recently ICAI proposed a new education and training plan.
The revamped educational program aims to update all three levels of the CA Course, including the integration of technologies such as blockchain, artificial intelligence, and data science.
ICAI is expected to unveil the New Scheme 2023 for CA Foundation, CA Intermediate, and CA Final levels in July 2023. It is scheduled to be implemented from the May 2024 attempt.
Let’s dive in and learn what changes will likely take place.
Changes in the CA Syllabus
- The CA Foundation syllabus currently comprises 6 subjects and 4 papers.
- But in the new scheme, ICAI will remove 2 subjects: Business Correspondence & Reporting and Business & Commercial Knowledge.
- Now, there will be only 6 papers in the CA Intermediate course instead of 8 papers.
- Papers 1 and 5 will be merged into one, and the 1st paper will be – Advanced Accounting.
- In the CA new scheme 2023, ICAI has reduced the CA Final papers from 8 to 6.
CA Articleship is a compulsory practical training program that one needs to complete, to become a chartered accountant.
According to the proposed plan of the ICAI,
- The articleship duration will be reduced from 3 years to 2 years.
- CA aspirants will be allowed only 12 days of leave per year.
- Students will have the option to undergo industrial training for a period of 9 months to 1 year during the final year of their articleship.
- Students must successfully clear both groups of CA Intermediate and complete the Integrated Course on Information Technology and Soft Skills (ICITSS) training in order to commence their articleship.
- The ICAI has decided to double the stipend amount, after considering the request of many students regarding low CA articleship stipends.
ICAI collaboration with IITs and IIMs
The ICAI has established partnerships with seven Indian Institutes of Management (IIM) and two Indian Institutes of Technology (IIT) to acknowledge the CA qualification, for admission to their PhD programs.
Moreover, the ICAI has further intentions to broaden the range of business and accounting courses that will be incorporated into the school curriculum.
“Moving forward we will extend this in the Class 11 and 12 school curriculum. Accounting, taxation, and other commerce-related subjects are under consideration,” said CA Aniket Sunil Talati, President of ICAI.
Addition of Blockchain and AI in the CA curriculum
CA Aniket Sunil Talati told the media that the institute has started training registered members on disruptive technologies like artificial intelligence, blockchain, and data science.
He further mentioned that the proposed curriculum places a greater emphasis on skill-based learning.
This approach aims to equip commerce graduates with the appropriate skills and knowledge.
Why CAs need to up-skill in AI & Blockchain
Previously in one of our articles, we discussed how the audit function will be automated by AI.
AI can assist finance professionals in making quicker decisions for their companies, allowing them to save time that would otherwise be spent on creating reports.
Finance heads of Wipro Enterprises and the World Food Programme also believe that AI and Blockchain will fundamentally change the way finance professionals operate.
“Use of Artificial Intelligence in finance functions is imminent, changes in technology are constant and one only has to embrace the change. AI will make financial professionals make strategic decisions faster” says Gareth Meaker, Finance Officer at the World Food Programme.
CA Aanchal Thakur, founder of Spherium Finance elaborates,
“In blockchain, there is this concept called the triple entry system. It is important for a finance professional to be interested in this system because it automatically manages all transactions and AI can crunch large amounts of data, making the auditing process automatic”
Even if a CA wants to get into forensics, he will have to get a hang of these new-age technologies.
Harshavardhan Godugula, partner for Forensic & Integrity services at E&Y says,
“When it comes to forensics you need to understand various aspects, such as what is happening in blockchain, because investigation might contain cryptocurrency. You need to understand AI, and the ethical aspect of it, how a company is using AI, and if that has transpired to some wrongdoing.”
CA Aniket Talati announced during a press conference that the curriculum is awaiting approval from the Centre.
Once approved, it will be introduced in July, coinciding with the institute’s 75th anniversary month.
CA Talati further mentioned that the curriculum has been aligned with the National Education Policy 2020, which emphasizes multidisciplinary education and credit accumulation and transfer, based on mutual recognition agreements (MCRA) with educational institutions.
This means that students will have the flexibility to appear for one or two papers to earn credits and qualify.
“We have sent the new course curriculum for approval before the ministry and once it is approved more students will take interest in chartered accountancy,” CA Talati elaborated.