In some good news for Chartered Accountancy aspirants, the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India today announced changes to the curriculum, while reducing the duration of the course by a year to four. A new subject - strategic management - has been added to the syllabus.
ICAI also announced a new objective type test - common proficiency test (CPT) - replacing the existing professional education (course-I). Nearly 1.2 lakh students, who are in early stages of the course, are eligible to switch to the new curriculum, simply by going online and remitting the required fees.
The first CPT examination is planned to be conducted in November this year. The test will be held every February, May, August and November in order to reduce long waiting period for CA education and training.
The new curriculum would also have compulsory training in information technology and personality development.
The changes are aimed at making Indian chartered accountants globally competitive.
Announcing the changes, ICAI president T N Manoharan said: The curriculum has been conceptualised and devised by keeping in mind various requirements of accountancy and audit professionals at international level. We are just waiting for formal clearance from the government by September 15.
Indian CAs will have a competitive edge in work in Indian multi-national companies as well as Indian subsidiaries of foreign companies with the domain expertise in financial reporting. A special focus on international financial reporting standards based financial reporting and US GAAP (generally accepted accounting principles) based financial reporting, Manoharan added.
The strategic management subject will focus on study of business environment, understanding strategic planning and analysis and ability to understand and formulate functional strategies.
More emphasis would be given to contemporary issues like business process re-engineering, total quality management and benchmarking, Manoharan said.
The logic behind the changes is to attract the cream of the younger generation, said Manoharan. Around 7,500 candidates become chartered accountants every year, while demand is estimated at around 30,000 chartered accountants a year.
ICAI has also signed a memorandum of understanding with the Centre of Excellence for Applied Research and Training, Abu Dhabi. The two have agreed to explore the establishment of an independent institute for promoting chartered accountancy as a profession in the United Arab Emirates.