What is articleship in chartered accountancy?
CA students have to complete the Integrated Professional Competence Course (IPCC) followed by articleship. Every CA student must undergo three years of articleship in a chartered accountancy firm. But students face the challenge of choosing the right firm. The firm they choose should fit the purpose of articleship.
It is challenging for a CA student to look for the right firm. In the same way, it is difficult for a firm to attract the right talent. The firm also has to take care of the expectations of an article working with them. CA firms are now spending more to hire competent talent and meet their rising expectations. You can manage this expense with business loans for chartered accountants.
Eligibility for CA articleship
Below are the CA articleship eligibility criteria and steps to enrol:
For Common Proficiency Test (CPT) students
- Pass Group I of IPCC or both groups of IPCC
- Complete orientation programme and 100 hours of ITT before commencement of your articleship
For direct entrants
Graduates with a major in Commercial Studies and a minimum score of 55% can enrol in a CA articleship. For enrolment, other graduates need a minimum score of 60%. To enrol, graduates can follow these steps:
- Register for both groups of IPCC on the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI) website.
- Complete 35 hours of the orientation programme and 100 hours of ITT at any ICAI branch. You need to do it before commencement of articleship.
Post registering for a CA articleship, follow these steps:
- Complete General Management & Communication Skills (GMCS) during the first year of articleship.
- Complete the GMCS course after completing 18 months of your article training. Alternatively, attend 4 weeks of the residential programme on Professional Skills and Development.
- Complete Advance ITT course during the third year of practical training but before appearing in the final examination.
- Clear Group II of IPCC if not done earlier.
Expectations of a CA student from articleship
1. Tax assignments vs. audit assignments
Articles may or may not have a choice to decide the type of work initially. But with time and experience, you can involve them in your firm’s strategic aspects. Exposure to both audit and taxation would help the articles for a career in practice.
2. Big Four vs. medium CA firms vs. small CA firms
Articles have a choice between top CA firms and average CA firms. Usually, big cities are home to top CA firms. So, if the articles belong to smaller towns, they may have to relocate from their native place. Take care to make them feel comfortable in their surroundings. Articles usually choose smaller firms to get more exposure, while the bigger firms attract those looking for industry-best practices, higher stipends, and exposure to bigger clients.
3. Stipend as a parameter for decision
A high stipend is always appealing to the articles. It helps attract top talent. The stipend will determine if you will end up redoing work or getting it done effectively through the articles. Moreover, in the minds of articles, a higher stipend also improves their self-worth and their contribution to the organisation.
4. Adequate leave for exam preparation
This is the most critical call for most students. One must not forget that students require leave for exam preparations. Allowing articles hassle-free leave will boost their morale and give you intangible value as an employer.
5. Value addition to resume
Articles who want substantial value addition to their resume usually choose to join big audit firms. However, everything comes with its pros and cons. One aspect to be kept in mind is that an article would probably be working in the same department for the entire tenure. If possible, consider mixing it up for the articles. The articles would find their articleship to be more meaningful if they gain exposure to multiple facets of a chartered accountancy firm.
Articleship is the learning period of a CA student’s career. The experience which articles get during their training period is invaluable. Students often opt to register for articleship under a friend/ relative who is a practising CA. They do so to avoid undergoing training because of issues like getting leave approvals and relevant exposure. Hence, for firms to attract talented articles, they must first proceed with effective hiring practices. The hiring practices that help these budding professionals lay solid foundations for their careers.
Additional Read: How to use a Chartered Accountant Loan to strengthen your practice
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