Career Option for Chartered Accountants
As tough as clearing the Chartered Accountancy exam is, there are equally hard decisions which you might be required to make once the CA final exam has been cleared. Most students will fall victim to the decision of not knowing what job to pick after clearing the Chartered Accountancy exam.
Thanks to globalization, people around the world have learnt of newer and fresher avenues where they can put their specializations to use. Similarly for the field of Chartered Accountancy, globalization has brought with itself fields apart than the commonly associated audit and taxation.
There are different skill sets required to avail such opportunities in the field and one has to maximize his/ her potential in order to continue in the field. There are very few fields which can give you this much versatility as CA. All subjects under the CA final exam can be later taken up as a career choice in itself. Each subject offers you multiple career choices, e.g. under Audit you have Statutory Audit and Internal Audit, under Taxation you have Direct Taxes, Appeals, International Taxation and Transfer Pricing to name a few.
The possibilities are endless.
Let us have a look at some of the upcoming career options available for Chartered Accountants:
Audit and Taxation
The title itself can be divided into numerous sub branches. Someone who takes up Audit can think for applying for Statutory Audit, Internal Audit, Tax Audit, SOX Audit, Information Technology Audit, Certification related work, and many others. On the other hand, Taxation can also be divided into Direct Taxation and Indirect Taxation.
Further to this; Tax filings and Compliances, Appeals and Proceedings, International Taxation, Transfer Pricing, Taxation Advisory with respect to Mergers and Acquisitions, etc. fall under Direct Taxation. Similarly for someone interested in Indirect Tax can explore the excise and customs, service tax, M&A Advisory, valuation for duty purposes, IDT Compliances, Appeals and Proceedings, etc.
Not only this, each branch will further have specializations for those interested. Tax and Audit might be the most conventional of all options under Chartered Accountancy but nonetheless it is still making waves.
Project Finance/ Financial Advisory/ Mergers & Acquisitions
These fields might not be similar in terms of the work that one has to do in them but a lot of things concerning these are the same. All these are highly dependent on the market conditions and people working in these fields will be highly affected by the market and economy fluctuations. The hiring and business will flourish during good market conditions.
These fields, along with Investment Banking, are popularly considered to be the most glamorous of all profiles a CA can have. If anything these fields will offer job satisfaction and high remuneration.
The person working in this field will be required to do a lot of networking in order to generate business. Employers of such fields will mostly be looking for professionals with additional qualifications such as CFA.
Investment Banking might be ‘the job‘ for many Chartered Accountants. The recruiters will mostly look for professionals with high level of proficiency in Financial Management and MS Excel along with an additional qualification like CFA.
Investment Branches also has a lot of sub branches viz. Private Equity, IPO Support, Investment Banking, Portfolio Management, etc.
The remuneration in this field is mostly on one’s performance and is still highest as compared to any other. Then again, this field too is highly affected by the economy and market conditions to the extent of people going bankrupt.
Banking and Financial Services
The Banking and Financial industry can quite possibly be the one of the biggest recruiters for Chartered Accountants. Financial services would include Insurance companies, mutual funds, valuation firms, etc.
One can think of venturing into banking operations, credit management, loan processing, treasury, financial product development and management, market and equity research, valuation, fund management, forex management, compliance, etc.
Careers the banking and financial industry is equally rewarding and challenging. A CFA degree here will add a significant amount of value to you CV as well.
There is something known as Knowledge Process Outsourcing (KPO) through which there are numerous opportunities that a Chartered Accountant can explore. This is another sector which has over the years come up as a major recruiter for CAs.
Not only this, KPO has been known to recruit a lot many students who are still to complete their article-ship and are still awaiting their final exams
Companies of the developed countries are often known to outsource their Accounting, taxation, legal, compliances, research, financial data management, documentation, ERP implementation, etc to the companies in lesser developed or developing countries.
This is a multi-billion dollar industry and firms will have their own outsourcing units.
There is always an option for those who are not interested in taking up a desk job and want to stay in touch with academia. Academics is a very good options and one can easily take up a teaching job in educational institutions for CAs, commerce graduation coaching classes, certain PG institutes or ICAI.
It is not necessary that this is a full time gig; you can practice or work and still be part of this industry. Also there is an option of starting up your own coaching institution at a very low and reasonable investment.
The remuneration in this particular field is not at par with the others, at least not so in the initial stages, but in the long run it is at par or at times even better than any other sector.
If you think in terms of recruitment, then the corporate sector is quite possibly the service sector in terms of recruitments and remuneration for Charted Accountants. Chartered Accountants are mostly the backbone of most corporate and wide variations of roles are undertaken by them in this sector.
Mostly all the Board of Directors of many organizations across all industries will be Chartered Accountants. An experienced CA can also at times take up the role of Production, Marketing, Operations Management, Logistics, etc in a company. Although these might not be as famous as the conventional ones such as Finance & Accounts, Corporate Finance, Internal Audit, Book-Keeping, Treasury, Restructuring, Business Development, etc.
There are other options for Chartered Accountant, both conventional and unconventional ones. It is mostly dependent on the person’s aptitude, skill set and ability to do well. Do not think that a job is good or bad on someone else’s ability at it; always keep your abilities and aptitude in mind.