Yesterday ICAI had announced the result for Intermediate students of December 2021 batch and it was a very decent result in terms of pass percentage.
Once the students have passed intermediate examination the next step is to start their practical training by joining a CA firm and start getting practical knowledge for next 3 years.
Students who have passed first group or both groups are eligible to start their articleship.
Students face difficulties on how to decide which firm to join or which field to start their articleship with? Especially in a case where the students don’t have any elderly person to guide them and tell them about various fields available.
In this post we shall discuss about various fields, departments or type of firm that are available which they should know before going on for interview for articleship.
The most easy way to start an articleship is to start under any of your known uncle, cousin or brother’s firm but is it a correct choice?
All of this depend on what you wish to do with your articleship, how will relationship be with them and in what areas are they providing their services.
If you are some who is not aware as to which work he/ she needs to do or are confused then you can straight away join them and if they are working professionally on a very good level then it is even better.
However, if you have no such background and want to understand some points on how to decide the articleship then this article could help you and this will majorly help students who are from mid or small towns and who wish to do their articleship in those towns only.
Why is it important to do articleship?
Many people who are in the Chartered Accountant field just for the degree might be wondering why is it important to do articleship and many people are also doing dummy articleship. So let’s understand why is it important to do articleship:
- It explains you the practical application of your learning.
- It teaches you discipline in life and importance of time as you need to balance work and studies, which helps you when you go for interviews of job or even starting your own work.
- Even if you are going to do your own business or join family business doing articleship let’s you meet different people who co-work with you, interact with accountants, business owners understand how they operate, how practical world operates and what is happening in market which you can apply in your own business.
The first thing you need to do for going for articleship is to prepare a very basic resume which contains some basic details about your academic performance because as of now most of you won’t be having any practical exposure of work. So it is very important to highlight what has been your performance academically and if you have gotten any exemptions etc then that should be highlighted.
Next thing which your resume should contain is your personal details which could be your contact details i.e. email and phone number as many people forget to mention their email and phone number, then how could one reach out to you if they wish to select you. Also, you can prepare a more formal or easy e-mail id if you were not having one till now.
One could say that I am sending my resume on mail they can revert on that but you don’t know the firm might be getting 50-100 resume and one person might be receiving your resume and other might be sending call request for interview. So it is very important to make your resume as informative as possible so that they don’t have to go anywhere else.
You can also mention some details about your father, mother their name, profession as it can also help and your hobbies.
You can easily get a good resume format online on various websites.
Try to crisp and not very big, try to keep it as informative as possible and fit it in 1 page. Also, if possible try to attach a photo of yours in resume if possible which makes it easy for interviewer to remember and recognize you.
Which type of CA firm to choose?
In the Chartered Accountancy practice there are normally 3 types of firms: small size, mid size and big firm. Let’s understand some basic characteristics of these 3 types of firm:
1. Small sized firm: This type of firm’s are generally run by a proprietor (single owner) or 2 partners with a small team.
Pros: In a small firm since people are less you can learn all type of work and which includes filing and such other jobs as well, you directly interact with the decision maker or the boss and there is a flexibility in how you do your work as there are no strict systems in place.
Cons: Since you have to do filing also some people consider it as a small work and might count it as a con but we don’t as it makes you understand and experience each and every job and it’s importance, generally you won’t get exposure of big clients unless the firm is working in a niche and in such a case you won’t learn all work.
Who should join a small firm: One who wishes to learn all work, have direct contact with boss or wants to start his own practice in future.
2. Mid sized firm: This type of firm’s are generally run by 3-6 partners with a decent amount of staff and work. Generally in such mid sized firm there are some sort of departmentalization which has been done.
Pros: In a mid sized firm you get some good exposure as the clients are bigger than the one which small firm would have, plus you also get some benefits of small firm and some benefits of big firm as it is a mix of both, such firms are still evolving their structure and work and hence you can contribute in such process.
Cons: You cannot learn all the work but there is still some flexibility if you are performing well and might be able to learn other work as well.
Who should join a mid size firm: One who does not wish to go in a small firm, learn all work but wish to develop some sort of expertise and don’t also want to join the big firm which have already evolved. Also, someone who is dreaming to start their own practice.
3. Big firm: This type of firm’s are generally run by more than 5 partners with a big staff proper departmentalization of work.
Pros: You get to work with a biggest of clients, you can go on to become expert in your field and also get a taste of a how a corporate works as most of this big firms have corporate like structure in work and it also gives a brand to you which could help you in getting job in future.
Cons: Departmentalization is very strict and hence you cannot really learn any work other than the one you are doing. Strict working hours and pressure of work.
Who should join a big firm: One who is sure of him/ her becoming a expert in a field or wishes to get a good job in big CA firms or corporate.
Which field or department to choose in CA Firm?
Now that we have talked about various types of firm let’s now discuss which department to choose if given a choice as many of us don’t even know what type of work is done in a CA firm other than audit and tax and hence many a times feel under confident to say what work we would like to do when asked.
If you have decided to join small firm you need not go through this question as you have already decided to do all work. However, this becomes important when you go for an interview in mid sized or small firm and we shall discuss about various fields where generally articles are hired:
1. Audit: The most common department which anyone associates with a CA is audit and hence we shall discuss it first. So in many mid sized firm there will be only one department of audit which could be doing: Internal audit, statutory audit and tax audit all of them but in many big firms all these departments could be different and hence one should know a brief of about this:
Internal Audit: In internal audit one checks internal systems and controls of a firm or company and works closely with the management.
Statutory Audit: Statutory audit is more like a yearly audit wherein the professional checks the yearly compliance and financials of the company and check if they are in line with the statutory requirement of Companies Act or LLP Act.
Tax audit: Tax audit is in line with statutory Audit wherein the professional checks whether everything is in line with the Income tax provisions or not.
Audit is generally the biggest department of any firm and majority people go in Audit either because they want work closely with businesses or they don’t know about other fields.
2. Taxation: Taxation is again second most common department which one wishes to choose however there could be various department in taxation as well.
One major bifurcation is Direct tax and Indirect tax department and in that also there could be compliance department and litigation department in both of them.
Generally very few article trainee make it to litigation department. Hence, one needs to choose from Direct tax department which generally deals with Income tax or Indirect tax department which deals with GST.
Now, let’s talk about some other new fields which have been emerging:
1. Transfer pricing and FEMA department: In this department one gets to deal with audit and checking compliance on international transaction and compliance while making transaction outside India and this could be a niche now but will be a growing field in future with the number of people from expanding business and investment outside India.
2. Project financing field: In this field one would basically learn about financing of loans for businesses and liaisoning with banks etc.
3. Some of the more emerging field which are coming is giving consultancy and virtual CFO service to clients wherein you work closely with company like a part of company and give such virtual CFO service which is very much required by start-ups.
4. Bank Audits: This could include statutory audit or concurrent audit of banks and it is completely different from normal statutory audit of any private company.
Thus, there are the various fields available for you to explore while doing your articleship and it is important for you to know the basics of these field before going for interview and choosing any one field and we have tried to give you a basic idea of the fields and some jargons that you could use in your interview.
It is very important that before you go for interview do revise your subjects such as Audit and tax if you are going for that department or if you are have excelled in that subject in your academy.
Also, one should create a LinkedIn account if they already don’t have a LinkedIn profile as it helps finding opportunity of articleship and one could also visit local branch to know about opportunities of articleship at various firms.
Students can always visit our Instagram page to ask their questions as we offer free consultation to students.
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