Chartered Accountancy is a professional practice of accounting, auditing, taxation and financial assessment for an individual or organisation. Chartered Accountant is a designation given to an accounting professional who has received certification from a statutory body that he/she is qualified to take care of the matters related to accounting and taxation of a business. It includes filing tax returns, auditing financial statements and business practices, maintaining records of investments, preparing and reviewing financial reports and documents, etc. A professionally trained Chartered Accountant is also qualified to offer advisory services to clients which include companies and individuals.

The certification of Chartered Accountancy is the prerequisite to professionally practice as a CA in India. Becoming a certified Chartered Accountant requires completing three levels of training designed by the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI). The ICAI is a statutory body which regulates and maintains the profession of chartered accountancy in India. Under the Scheme of Education and Training, a candidate can pursue Chartered Accountancy course either through Foundation Course Route or Direct Entry Route. Foundation course is the entry point into the course after Class 12, while Direct Entry route is for those who have completed Graduation.

Chartered Accountancy (CA) Eligibility Criteria

To become a Chartered Accountant, the candidate has to go through a process of training and clear exams at various levels, conducted by the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI).

Eligibility Criteria for CA Foundation Route:
• The candidate must have passed Class 12 and completed four months of study period after CA registration to be able to appear for the Foundation examination.
• The candidate needs to register with the Board of Studies and complete four months of the study period.

Eligibility Criteria for CA Direct Entry Route:

For direct entry to CA Intermediate course, the candidate must fulfill the following eligibility criteria:
• In this entry route, graduates/postgraduates from Commerce stream with at least 55 per cent aggregate or equivalent score can apply. However, they must have studied Accounting, Auditing, Mercantile Laws, Corporate Laws, Economics, Management (including Financial Management), Taxation (including Direct Tax Laws and Indirect Tax Laws), Costing, Business Administration or Management Accounting or similar to the title of these papers with different nomenclatures.
• Graduates/postgraduates from non-commerce must have secured a minimum of 60 per cent aggregate or its equivalent grade in the examination conducted by any recognised University (including Open University).
Direct Route entry is also open to candidates who have passed Intermediate level examination conducted by The Institute of Cost Accountants of India or by The Institute of Company Secretaries of India. Such candidates are exempted from qualifying Foundation and can register directly to Intermediate course.
• Candidates in their final year of graduation can also register for the Intermediate course on a provisional basis. Registration of such candidates would be regularised only on submission of final year mark-sheet or passing certificate within six months from the date of appearance in the final year graduation examination and on successful completion of ICITSS (Orientation Course and Information Technology). During the provisional registration period, a candidate can undergo and complete ICITSS (Orientation Course and Information Technology).

About ICAI CA Exam

In India, the ICAI conducts CA exams and certify a candidate as a qualified Chartered Accountant on successful completion of the three-level course. Examinations that are conducted during the Chartered Accountancy course are:

• CA Foundation Examination (earlier known as Common Proficiency Test or CPT)
• CA Intermediate (Integrated Professional Competence or IPC) Examination
• CA Final Examination

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