From an Arts Teacher to a CA: Meet Anita Who Dared to Pursue Chartered Accountancy at the Age of 48
- Can a 40-year-old plus do CA or study further?
- Pursuing studies in your 40's can be challenging as it comes with a lot of responsibilities and family obligations.
- In fact: In this article, Anita Kapdi shares with us her journey pursuing Chartered Accountancy at the age of 48 and clearing the CA examinations at the age of 52.
- Anita started her CA journey from ICAI (The Institute of Chartered Accountants of India) at the age of 48.
- Here is her story?
My Journey Pursuing Chartered Accountancy at the age of 48
I am presently living in Gujarat (India) but I was born and raised in Mumbai (India).
To start from the beginning, I was a typical city girl- always on the go.
I completed my graduation in commerce from the most renowned Commerce college in Mumbai NM College and Law from Government Law College.
I got married at the age of 22 and settled in the milk city of India, Anand (Gujarat).
After moving to Gujarat I took up teaching and here started my teaching career.
I started as an Art and Craft teacher in a CBSE school and soon discovered a passion for teaching - especially Mathematics.
When the Commerce stream was started in our school, I got an opportunity to teach Accountancy. Meanwhile, for professional advancement, I completed B.Ed. and M.Com.
I was quite satisfied with my job which had always provided opportunities for growth.
I had already completed 23 years in the teaching profession and saw myself retiring from the same.
But destiny had other plans for me.
Deciding to Pursue CA from ICAI
Two of my brothers are Chartered Accountants and one is an MBA. So my father who himself is a Company Secretary would often say that he had done me a 'DISFAVOUR' by not allowing me to pursue Chartered Accountancy.
Though I was very happy with my present life, I thought what if I could present my Dad with my CA degree on his 75th birthday.
The thought stayed on and as luck would have it - ICAI announced Direct Entry Route for registering for the Chartered Accountancy course.
I took it as a positive sign and immediately registered for the CA course in September 2012 at the age of 48.
To be a Chartered Accountant from ICAI, India, one needs to clear 3 levels of exams:
- CPT: First level. You have to give this exam if you register for the CA course before graduating. Since I was a graduate I directly had to give only the next two levels.
- IPCC: Second level exam. This consists of 2 groups – Group 1 & 2. Each group has 3/4 subjects.
- CA Final: Last level of CA exam and has again 2 groups – Group 1 & 2. Each group has 3/4 subjects
- 3 years of articleship training: This starts after you clear IPCC, either both groups or anyone of them.
CA IPCC Exams
Preparing for IPCC (2nd level CA Exam consisting of 2 groups, Group 1 & Group 2) proved to be more challenging than what I had anticipated.
I did not know where to begin from and whom to ask for guidance. I decided to go for self-study and not join any coaching classes or private tuitions.
The Study material provided by the ICAI proved to be my lifeline.
I appeared for both groups of IPCC in May 2013 and cleared in the first attempt with good marks.
CA Final Exams
My attempt for the CA Final exams was due in May '15 but just 10 days before the exams my Mother In Law passed away. So, I had to forego the attempt for family commitments and even social commitments.
I appeared for both the groups in November 2015 but could clear only the CA Final Group - 1 exam.
I reappeared for CA Final Group - 2 in May 2016 and qualified finally.
I was now a proud Chartered Accountant (CA) at the age of 52.
Challenges That I had to Overcome During my CA Journey
Besides articles and clearing the exams, to qualify as a CA, a candidate is required to undergo several training programs such as ITT, GMCS I, and GMCS II.
I had to travel to bigger cities like Ahmedabad or Vadodara for the same. Though it was stressful, it gave me an opportunity to make new friends almost half my age. It was fun sharing the classrooms with them.
Maintaining a balance between family responsibilities and personal aspirations was a real challenge.
Articleship had its own challenges. I was the oldest student in the firm; had a household to run.
During this period from September 2012 to June 2016, on the personal front too a lot of things were happening in my life like:
- The marriage of our elder daughter - Surbhi (MD Homoeopathy)
- The engagement of our younger daughter - Anshul (Architect) a
- And Class X boards of our son - Paawan were major milestones.
Despite all these challenges, I NEVER HAD A DOUBT about my success.
I NEVER BOTHERED about the low passing percentage or number of attempts normally required to adorn oneself with this qualification.
I enjoyed the learning process and was never overly stressed out.
Contrary to common belief, I enjoyed family outings, movies, etc. during my preparations.
Last but the most important factor in my success is strong family support.
My husband, Shyam, a doctorate in Renewal Energy Sources from IIT Delhi, has SET AN EXAMPLE for other men by encouraging me for an extraordinary endeavor which is quite rare even today.
He firmly believed in my right to fulfill my dream and extended his whole-hearted support.
Real-Life Challenges of Qualifying as a Chartered Accountant at the age of 52
The real problems started after I qualified and decided to join this profession.
Most of the people I approached appreciated my efforts but were skeptical about my ability to work in the field.
It was subtly suggested that I should enjoy the laurels of my achievements and go back to teaching.
I took it as a challenge and persisted in my search for a job as a CA fresher at the age of 52.
Once again luck intervened and out of blue, I got a job in the Management Audit department of KC Mehta & Co, Chartered Accountants in Vadodara (India). I worked here for a few years and realized that I am ready for a new challenge.
My new challenge was to start my own CA Firm. However, it did start to get difficult and challenging.
Presently I am associated with a leading Chartered Accounting firm in India, CNK and Associates LLP.
Each day I am learning new things. EQUIPPED WITH FAITH IN MYSELF, I AM ALL SET TO SUCCEED.
Age is no barrier if you are motivated.
Now It's Your Turn...
Have you ever considered pursuing CA or for that matter studying in your 40's or 50's?
Do you have a Parent, a friend, a colleague who wants to study but feels age is stopping them?
Encourage and tell them that EVERYTHING IS POSSIBLE.
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