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
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 email@example.com
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.