February 2020


Manish Sampat

Dear Members,

The Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI) declared the results of the Chartered Accountants Final Examination (old & new Course) held in November, 2019 on 16th January, 2020 and totally 14,591 newly-qualified CAs were added to our fraternity. This is comparable to the 14,185 students that qualified earlier in the CA Final examinations held in May, 2019. A comparison of % of students passing in both groups in the old course has increased in the November, 2019 attempt as compared to May, 2019 from 7.63% to 10.19%.– whereas under the new course the same has fallen from 20.85% to 15.12%. A point to be noted is that this % was 9.09% (old course) and 9.83% (new course) in May, 2018 and 15.03% (old course) and 16.44% (new course) in November, 2018: 14,969 & 9,243 newly-qualified CAs were added in November, 2018 and May, 2018 respectively.

In order to sharpen the analytical and comprehension skills of students and to have an objective assessment of their performance in the examination, ICAI has introduced an assessment system in which 30% of the questions asked in the examination of select papers are multiple choice-based questions (MCQ) of 1 and 2 marks. Thus making scoring possible even in certain theory subjects as compared to the previous paper pattern and eliminating subjectivity in the assessment process to some extent. This system was put in place for the May, 2019 examination for both intermediate and final levels under both the old and new courses of education and has been one of the major factors in improved performance of the students resulting in better results.

However, there is a rising concern about a substantial decline in the number of fresh students entering our profession. There has been an almost 70% drop in the students’ registrations for the CA course in the last five years from 141,241 in FY 2015 to only 45,048 in FY 2019. This reduction in the number of new students wanting to enter our profession is a worrying factor considering the fact that there are less than 3 lacs Chartered Accountants out of which only 138,874 are in practice (as on 01/04/2019) in a country with an estimated population of 1.37 billion people. One of the possible reasons could be increased competition from other similar courses in finance such as ACCA, CFA and CPA etc. Another reason could probably be the structure of the entire examination system, where entry is relatively easy but final qualification much more difficult. This creates uncertainty and therefore discourages newer entrants from taking up this course.

Recent developments in the profession have also attracted negative publicity discouraging students from entering this profession. Lastly, I believe that there is a perception that other professions like MBA, Law, etc. are more contemporary and offer better earnings prospects. This should be an area of concern for us and the Institute along with the entire CA fraternity needs to work together to bring in changes to address these concerns and meet the needs and aspiration of the young aspiring students.

In my view, Chartered Accountancy is a very respected and an evergreen course having lots of opportunities, great prospects and a very bright future.

BCAS is reaching out: Our Society has a strong legacy of ethical values, culture of financial discipline and focus on quality of service to its members. We also believe that today our Society needs to increase its reach and circle of influence by expanding beyond the traditional service delivery channels. We recognise the facts that the demographic profile and preferences of our members are changing and we need to embrace technology to stay relevant and deliver the best to our stake holders. In this endeavour, we at the BCAS have taken many initiatives like: (1) organising joint events with other professional, trade and industry bodies, (2) organising lecture meetings in the suburbs, (3) exploring maximum opportunities of having events outside Mumbai, (4) digitisation of our course contents and educational materials (including the publications and the Journal) (5) tailormade industry specific training and educational programmes.

We are open to co-operate, coordinate and collaborate with other like-minded organisations within and outside the city of Mumbai. Please free to get in touch with me or write to me at president@bcasonline.org for any initiative in which you would like BCAS to participate.

I very strongly believe that effective implementation of your constructive suggestions and honest feedback will go a long way in BCAS maintaining its vibrancy, position of eminence and inspirational leadership for a long time to come.


CA Manish Sampat



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