A bachelor’s degree in accounting is what most students looking for the job of an accountant pursue. But most employers insist on a master’s degree, along with membership of a professional body of accountants.
A doctor of philosophy (PhD) is necessary if one wishes to be a part of academia and work as a university lecturer or professor teaching accountancy.
Internationally, the degree of Bachelor of Accountancy/Accounting (B.Acy, B.Acc., or B.Accty) or Bachelor of Accounting Science (B.Acc.Sci.) is widely recognised for positions of accountant in most companies.
The curricula are extremely detailed and equip the student for professional practice and specialisation in financial accounting, management accounting, auditing, and taxation.
The courses may also include economics, management, business law, and statistics, among other subjects. There are also courses that lead to the award of degrees such as B.Com. (Accounting) and BBA (Accounting).
Chartered Accountancy course
In India, the chartered accountancy course is considered one of the most prestigious and rigorous professional courses in India.
The course includes both theoretical study and practical training. The chartered accountancy course and profession are regulated by the ICAI.
The course comprises four levels, as follows.
- Common Proficiency Test (CPT)
- Integrated Professional Competence Course (IPCC)
- Three years’ articleship or training under a practising accountant
- Chartered accountant’s final examination
A candidate can register his or her name with the ICAI for the CPT after passing the 10th standard examination. A candidate for the IPCC should have passed both the 10 + 2 level examination and the CPT.
The IPCC examination involves seven papers in two groups. For starting the third level, that of articleship, a candidate should pass IPCC Group I of four papers and complete 100 hours of an information technology training programme and 35 hours of an orientation course that covers personality development, communication skills, and other topics.
A candidate can register for the CA final examination after passing both groups of IPCC examinations. He or she can appear for the CA finals during the last six months of the articleship. After passing the CA final examination, the candidate can enrol with the ICAI as a member and start practising as a chartered accountant.
The level of difficulty in passing the course can be gauged from the fact that only 8 to 16 percent of candidates pass it in each edition of the CA final examination.
Other Accounting Courses
Another popular course is cost accountancy conducted by the Institute of Costs and Works Accountants of India (ICWAI). Cost accountancy helps company managements focus on improving the quality of products and services by reducing other costs. The minimum eligibility for the course is a pass in class 12 examination. The course is a suitable academic avenue for commerce graduates, too.
The company secretary course, conducted by the Institute of Company Secretaries of India (ICSI), is also much sought after, as every company requires the services of this professional to take care of the formalities involved in stock trading. Company secretaries have statutory powers and high levels of knowledge of legal matters and accounting and can assist companies in takeovers, mergers, and collaborations, and help them list themselves in stock exchanges abroad. The minimum qualification is a pass in class 12, though graduates in commerce and law are the ideal candidates.
Chartered financial analysts are highly valued for their expertise in the area of corporate investments, and the chartered financial analyst course equips students with knowledge of accounting, economics, and business practices. The minimum qualification to pursue the chartered financial analyst course is graduation, preferably in Commerce and Maths.
The MBA Finance course conducted by prestigious business schools is a good option for careers in investments, brokerage, market analysis, economics, and financial management. Graduates can apply for the course and hope to be hired by good companies at campus selection programmes.
There are many other educational and job opportunities in finance, economics, statistics, and business administration, such as certified financial planner, chartered alternative investment analyst, financial risk manager, financial modelling, investment banking, and various BBA and MBA courses.
Apart from graduate and postgraduate courses, there are also certificate and diploma courses.
Not all students can manage to secure admission to good courses in top colleges. However, this does not mean that they are going to be denied excellent career choices.
Courses such as the NSE certification programme and the certified financial planning programme open up possibilities of wonderful careers.
There are also many options for students who feel that they need to work right after completing graduation or even while pursuing their education. The trick is to choose a programme in finance and accounts that includes software and practical training.
Online Course in Accounting
We’ve collated some of the best online courses in financial accounting, offered by the top universities and business schools such as Wharton, Michigan Ross, Darden Virginia and IESE.
Check them out here:
– Best online courses in financial accounting
Important Topics in Accounting
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