Things CA students should learn in the Articleship period
Just like every medical student goes through an internship in a medical college, CA students undergo an articleship in a CA firm for 3 years. It is a prerequisite for every CA aspirant to complete his/her articleship before he/she can call himself/herself a Chartered Accountant. Articleship is a crucial learning period of a CA student’s career. The experience which students get during this training period is invaluable.
The profession of Chartered Accountancy is indeed an amazing and challenging one. To become a CA, students have to absorb large chunks of information during CA exam preparation, write examinations, and complete their practical training. Though CA curriculum is vast, it is very important for CA aspirants to understand that having theoretical or practical knowledge alone can not make them a professional. They need to have a perfect balance of knowledge in both theoretical and practical aspects.
As far as theory is concerned, it is relatively easy to comprehend. However, when it comes to applying all the theoretical aspects of CA into day-to-day real-life business scenarios, the importance of Articleship comes into the picture. Articleship is a practical training phase that allows students to work for real employers on their assignments.
What makes an Articleship different from regular Internships?
Unlike regular internships in various fields, Articleship is differentiated primarily on the basis of two things:
- Time Period (Tenure of 3 years) and,
When a CA student pursues his/her articleship period, he/she has to spend 3 years in an organization working on several important tasks assigned from time to time. This, as compared to a college internship, is far more tedious, challenging, and intense.
Not only is a CA student expected to complete the tasks, but he/she has to be equally accountable and responsible for the tasks assigned. The reason being the student handling and working on the confidential information of a company. There should be no scope of error while working on the tasks. Of course, you can always take the assistance of the seniors.
What to learn during CA Articleship?
Something about everything! Don’t think about specialization in the first place when undergoing Articleship. As a Chartered Accountant, you must first learn the basic and common tasks that a CA performs. Getting a stronghold on the basics will eventually help you in your professional life. This will also help you to clear CA Final with much ease.
Below mentioned are a few areas that you should pay attention to during the articleship period:
As a CA, most of the time you will be bombarded with taxation queries. The most common concern of a taxpayer is always related to how to save taxes. To effectively handle the taxation queries of the client, and to satisfy the client are of paramount importance for a CA. Therefore, you should master this subject not only for your exams but also for your professional life. As a CA, you are expected to guide taxpayers in the right direction and that can only happen if you are pro with Taxation. So, always look forward to tax-related assignments during your articleship period like filing of Income-Tax Return, GST Return, etc.
Preparation of Company Accounts and Balance Sheet:
Preparation of Company Accounts and Balance sheets holds utmost importance in a company’s financial health. CAs have a very important role to play in the preparation of the Company’s Account and Balance Sheet. Hence, it is essential for CA aspirants to gain hands-on experience in this particular area.
Auditing simply means the process of inspection. From expressing your opinions on various financial statements to basic documentation, audit involves all. Therefore, you should try to incorporate what you study in real-time. Try to get hands-on experience with Internal Audits, Bank Audits, etc. This will further help you to understand the subject in a more conceptual manner.
Preparing Auditing is easy and simple. Read: How to Prepare for Advanced Auditing
Accounting and its software:
This is another important area which you should focus on during your internship. As a CA, you must know how to systematically maintain the financial records of a company and summarise these to compile the financial statements. Apart from that, try to get your hands on operating accounting software like Tally and SAP. Nowadays, almost every company uses these softwares to maintain their accounts. Hence, it is very important to keep the basics strong by learning accounting and also about the accounting softwares.
Time for a Pro Tip here: Try to gain overall experience and knowledge of all types of work during articleship. Get a basic understanding of all work that gets done there and then try to develop a core competency when you do a job. It’s like learning to swim first, and then trying different strokes in swimming!
Communication Skills and Office Etiquette:
Most of the students underestimate this aspect of the articleship. They hardly give the much-needed importance to office ethics and communication skills. As a CA, apart from your knowledge and experience, you are also expected to be professional in your conduct. Over a period of three years, CA students should learn everything from dressing skills to communication skills. Try to be observant and inculcate all the positive points for becoming a better professional.
It is a well-known fact that in order to get eligible for a CA articleship, a student must clear either or both groups of the Intermediate examination. If you are currently preparing for CA examinations, and want well-researched study material to clear the Intermediate exams, you can download the OnePrep app. It has brought a revolution in CA education and has everything you need to ace Foundation, Intermediate, and Final on one platform.
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