What is Articleship in CA?

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Articleship in Chartered Accountancy is a period of training required to become a Chartered Accountant. The articleship period is usually completed after graduation but before becoming a CA. The length of the Articleship is 3 years.

Articleship is a mandatory training program for all CA students. The term is derived from the word “articles”, which means a written document governs a contract between two parties. Articleship is a training program that exposes students to the real world of accounting and finance. The training provides candidates with practical exposure to various areas of accounting and finance, including auditing and taxation. Students get hands-on experience, meet different people, gain knowledge and develop skills required to become chartered accountants. During this period, the trainee is an articled clerk or Articleship trainee and works under supervision.

The article-ship program’s primary objective is to provide candidates with practical experience in various areas of accounting, audit and tax – the core domain knowledge required for becoming a Chartered Accountant (CA).

Articleship programs are offered by firms that have been granted membership by the Institutes of Chartered Accountants in India (ICAI). These firms are known as Approved Firms (AF), and they also offer internship programs which allow students to gain valuable insight into their chosen field before joining their respective AFs as articled clerks.

Is articleship mandatory to be a CA?

Articleship is mandatory for becoming a Chartered Accountant (CA). It is the first step of CA’s career. You will learn how to deal, with clients, make income, and what you should not do to clients. The first two years of Articleship must be done under a CA.

What kind of work is done during the CA Articleship?

The work of the articled trainee is under the supervision of a CA and can vary from financial audit to accounting, taxation and corporate law. Articled accountants have to assist their mentors in preparing reports, attending meetings with clients and auditing accounts. They may also be required to make presentations to clients or attend court cases.

So, what does a CA trainee do? Here are some things you should know about:

  • Weekly meetings with other trainees and seniors
  • Attending lectures on various topics related to accounting, auditing and taxation
  • Preparing financial statements and performing audits of companies.
  • Conducting research and analysis of data
  • Working on tax returns for individuals and companies

In addition, an articled apprentice will have to carry out any other duties assigned by their mentor, including bookkeeping and accounting related tasks. The following list gives you a brief idea about what kind of work is done by articled trainees in a CA Articleship:

Audit of accounts: The aspiring accountant gets an opportunity to audit the financial records and reports of companies or other business entities. This often includes auditing balance sheets, income statements, cash flow statements etc.

Financial planning: The aspirant gets an opportunity to perform financial planning for businesses or individuals, including tax planning, retirement planning etc.

Taxation services: An aspiring chartered accountant may provide tax services like tax returns filing and advising their clients on various aspects related to taxation such as investments in mutual funds, stocks etc., tax benefits available under Section 80C etc.

What are the most popular firms to do a CA articleship in?

PwC, Deloitte, EY and KPMG are the top four firms known for having the best training programs and quality of work. These firms offer a wide range of services in their respective fields, and they have been around for a while now. They also offer internships to students who wish to gain experience in their respective fields before they start working full time after graduation.

There are other firms, such as Grant Thornton, Mazars, BDO and Crowe Horwath, which also offer good training programs.

While these are some of the most popular options, we regularly see professionals who complete their Articleship in Chartered Accountancy with smaller accounting firms or family-run accounting firms.

What is the stipend that CA articles receive?

Unfortunately, the CA Articleship does not pay much. During this period, articled trainees earn, but these amounts are not comparable to those paid to other professionals in other domains with similar experience. The ICAI does prescribe minimums to be paid, but those amounts are so low that we believe nobody practically even considers them a guideline.

Typically, the amount of stipend (salary) that CA articled trainees receive is as follows:

Senior Student/Junior Student – Rs 12,000 per month (Fixed)

Second Year Student – Rs 15,000 per month (Fixed)

Third Year – Rs 20,000 per month (Fixed)

Is CA Articleship considered work experience?

It is important to note that CA Articleship is usually not considered work experience for CAs. You will be working under your employer during this period and not on your own. However, the knowledge gained during this period can help you immensely when sitting for the CA exam.

Most business schools and MBA programs do not consider the articleship full-time work experience, while a small minority of MBA programs do. See this article for more information.

What do CAs do after articleship?

The articleship is the last stage of the CA course. After 2.5 years, you will be eligible to appear for the CA Final examinations. After passing CA Final, you can take up a job in a firm or start your practice. Some examples are:

Audit: The chartered accountants who possess auditing skills can work in audit firms as they provide financial audit services to clients.

Taxation: A CA can also work as a tax consultant or tax advisor to help his client file their income tax returns (ITR) and other related government documents.

Consultancy: The chartered accountant can also pursue a career in management consultancy, financial analysis and risk management. CAs can also become consultants responsible for preparing business plans, project reports, budgets, and financial statements. The consultants also advise improving efficiency in any business organisation or company.

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