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How to Become CA in India?

Learn how to become a Chartered Accountant (CA) in India with our step-by-step guide.

Becoming a Chartered Accountant (CA) in India is an esteemed, prestigious and rewarding career choice. It involves relentless preparation, sound knowledge and a detailed understanding of the Chartered Accountancy Exams.  This article will provide an overview of becoming a Chartered Accountant in India, including preparation, qualifications and continuing professional development. It will also provide guidance on how to become CA (Chartered Accountancy) Course and become a qualified Chartered Accountant in India.

Overview of Becoming a Chartered Accountant in India

Becoming a Chartered Accountant (CA) in India is a rigorous process that requires extensive knowledge and dedication. After completing a minimum of three years of articleship and passing the CA examinations from the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI), you can become a Chartered Accountant. 

The CA course consists of three levels: 

  1. Foundation
  2. Intermediate 
  3. Final. 

The Foundation course is open to anyone who has completed Class 12 with a minimum aggregate of 55 per cent in any stream. The Intermediate and Final courses are open to Foundation course graduates and those with a relevant graduate or post-graduate degree. Candidates must complete the Integrated Professional Competence Course (IPCC) and the Final course before being eligible to apply for the CA final examination. Upon completing the CA examinations and three years of articleship, you can become a Chartered Accountant in India.

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Preparing to Become a Chartered Accountant in India

Becoming a Chartered Accountant in India is incredibly rewarding and challenging. It requires dedication, hard work and a commitment to learn and understand Indian Accounting Standards. To become a Chartered Accountant in India, one must pass the Chartered Accountant (CA) exam and complete the required coursework. 

The CA exam is administered by the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI) and consists of three levels of exams spread over four years. Once an individual has successfully passed the CA exam, they must complete a three-year practical training program to be eligible for the Chartered Accountant title. 

Once the training is completed, the individual can apply to become a Chartered Accountant in India. Becoming a Chartered Accountant in India is a prestigious career and provides many professional opportunities. It is a great way to develop technical knowledge and enhance professional credentials. 

Understanding the Chartered Accountant Exams

Becoming a Chartered Accountant (CA) in India is a professional achievement that opens doors for a successful career in finance and accounting. The Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI) is responsible for administering the exams, which consist of three stages: 

  • Common Proficiency Test (CPT), 
  • Intermediate 
  • Final. 

To qualify, applicants must complete all three stages that test knowledge and skills in accounting, auditing, taxation, and financial management. Each stage of the exam is designed to assess a specific area of expertise and the applicant’s ability to apply the knowledge gained in these areas. The exams also ensure that a CA has the right attitude and skills to work in a professional environment. Although the exams are rigorous and demand hard work, dedication, and much preparation, those who pass are rewarded with a professional qualification that can take them to the highest levels of the finance and accounting industry.

Qualifying for the Chartered Accountancy Course

The Chartered Accountancy course is an advanced professional qualification recognised globally for its rigorous standards. To qualify for this course, individuals must thoroughly understand financial accounting and taxation. 

Those who successfully complete the course can hold the prestigious title of Chartered Accountant (CA) in India. The course is designed to provide a comprehensive understanding of accounting and auditing principles and best practices, enabling students to apply their knowledge to manage business activities successfully. 

The Chartered Accountancy course is available in India through accredited institutes and universities. To become a Chartered Accountant, aspirants must pass examinations and clear the final assessment. Aspiring CAs should also have an excellent academic record and professional attitude to succeed in this challenging field.

Duration of CA Course

The Chartered Accountancy (CA) course in India offers different paths based on the candidate’s educational background:

After Class 12th (Foundation Route): The minimum duration for candidates who enter after Class 12th through the Foundation course is approximately 5 years. This includes the Foundation course, Intermediate course and final course, along with articleship training.

Direct Entry (After Graduation): For candidates who enrol directly into the Intermediate course after graduation, the minimum duration is around 4 years. This includes the Intermediate course, Final course, and articleship.

Tips for Students of Chartered Accountancy

Maintain a Positive Mindset: While CA is challenging, maintaining a positive mindset can make a significant difference in your journey.

Patience is Key: Be patient, especially when facing setbacks. Success may not come instantly, but perseverance can lead to great achievements.

Use Official Study Material: Start your preparation with the official study material issued by ICAI. Exhaust these resources before considering additional books or notes.

Strategize Smartly: Develop a well-thought-out study strategy. Prioritize lengthy and frequently asked topics first, and then tackle shorter or less common ones.

Remember that the CA course demands hard work and dedication, but with the right approach and a positive attitude, you can overcome the challenges and achieve success in this prestigious profession.

Continuing Professional Development as a Chartered Accountant in India

As a Chartered Accountant in India, it is important to stay current with the ever-changing accounting and financial regulations. To do this, engaging in Continuing Professional Development (CPD) is important. CPD helps Chartered Accountants maintain the highest professional standards, remain current on the latest accounting and financial regulations and develop new skills. CPD activities include:

  • Attending professional development seminars.
  • Reading professional publications.
  • Engaging in online learning programs.
  • Participating in industry conferences.

By engaging in CPD activities, Chartered Accountants in India can ensure that they remain at the forefront of the profession and are well-equipped to handle the demands of the profession.

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Completing the Chartered Accountancy Course

The Chartered Accountancy (CA) course in India is one of the country’s most sought-after and respected professional qualifications. It is also one of the most challenging qualifications to obtain. The entire course is spread across three levels. 

The first level – Common Proficiency Test (CPT) – is the entry-level test, followed by the second level – Integrated Professional Competence Course (IPCC) and the final level – the CA Final exam. Passing these three levels is required to become a Chartered Accountant. The course requires hard work, dedication, and discipline to get through successfully. With such a professional qualification, one can work in various fields, from finance to law, from banking to corporate services. The opportunities are immense, and the rewards are great. It is no wonder that the Chartered Accountancy course is so prevalent in India.


In conclusion, becoming a Chartered Accountant in India is a challenging task. However, it can be achieved with dedication and hard work. It requires a rigorous journey that starts with preparing for the exams, followed by the qualifying exams, completing the course and then continuing with professional development.

With a clear understanding of the various steps involved, one can embark on the journey to becoming a successful Chartered Accountant in India.


What are the subjects covered in the CA Foundation, Intermediate, and Final examinations?

The CA course is divided into three levels: Foundation, Intermediate, and Final. The subjects covered in the CA syllabus vary depending on the level of the exam. The CA syllabus mainly focuses on subjects such as Accounting, Taxation, Auditing, Business Laws, Ethics, and Communication among others.

Can I pursue a CA course while completing my undergraduate degree?

Yes, as per ICAI guidelines, candidates have the facility to take provisional admission to the foundation course of ICAI after the class 10 exam. However, the provisional admission will be converted into regularized once a candidate clears the class 12 exam.

How can I gain practical experience for the CA course's articleship requirement?

To gain practical experience for the CA course's articleship requirement, candidates can work under a practising Chartered Accountant for a period of three years.

What is the passing criteria for CA exams in India?

Candidates have to clear each paper with a minimum of 40% marks to be able to clear the course levels. The minimum marks requirement is mandatory and common for all candidates.

Are there any exemptions available for candidates with prior qualifications?

Yes, exemptions are available for candidates with prior qualifications. Candidates who have completed their graduation or post-graduation in commerce with a minimum of 55% marks or other professional courses such as CS or CMA can get exemptions from certain papers of the CA course.

How do I apply for CA membership and become a practising Chartered Accountant in India?

To apply for CA membership and become a practising Chartered Accountant in India, candidates have to complete the CA course and articleship requirement.

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