Faizan Khwaja
Faizan Khwaja

My name is Faizan Khwaja. I have recently qualified as a Chartered Accountant for May 2015 attempt with All India Rank 4. I have done my graduation in BCOM from R. A. Podar College of Commerce and Economics.

My father is the Executive Director of Indian Oil Corporation, mother is a home maker and brother is an engineer who is currently pursing his Masters in Business Analytics. It is surprising to note that I am the first member in my entire family to pursue CA as a profession. What attracted me towards CA was the dignity and respect it holds in the society along with considering the ever increasing role of finance, accountancy in today’s world.

My first reaction


I was overwhelmed with happiness. I’m sure the euphoria is going to last forever. As much as my hard work has gone into achieving this feat, there has been an equal contribution of my family and teachers for their support and belief in me.

Articleship


I have done my articleship from KPMG, Mumbai. KPMG has completely groomed me into a thorough professional. Being part of the Audit team in a Big4, I could get exposure to a lot of areas practically that we actually study in theory. Due to stringent deadlines at office, it helped me to master the art of time management which is extremely important for planning and preparation during your study leave. Overall, the experience was indeed fulfilling.

Preparation


I started my preparations as soon as I went on my study leave. I made a day wise schedule up to the date of exams and followed it diligently. This helped me in completing the portion twice before I appeared for the exam.

It’s very important to note that CA final study plans involves a lot of strategy as one needs to analyse the past trends, important topics of every paper, method of optimally learning each subject, etc. Joining a coaching class helps as it provides you the initial way of going about each subject. Though, at the end of the day, self study with hard work and determination is the key to success.

Strategies


My study schedule was divided into block of 9-12 days for each subject for the first reading and 6-7 days for each subject for the second reading. One thing that I realized during my study leave was that those rigorous hard work for 4.5-5 months was not specifically for the exams but to ensure that we cover maximum portion one day before the exams. It is very essential to make a self written ‘adjustment book’ for all tricky questions of Practical subjects (only mentioning the tricky part of the question and solution to it), highlighting important points/questions in your reference books, making summary of certain chapters, for quick revision one day before the exam because it becomes hard to remember many things from what you did one or two months before exams. I shall recommend every CA final aspirant to do the Practice Manual thoroughly as it gives you an understanding on the type of questions that can be asked in the exam.

Strong and weak subjects (How did you prepared them?):
The practical subjects are comparatively easy to score as one can practice, understand and solve the same during exams. Direct Tax and Indirect Tax requires a lot of remembering as the portion is voluminous. But I decided to give extra efforts to ISCA and Law as I found them to be most scoring if it would be studied in the correct manner and I did end up scoring the highest in these two subjects. ISCA has to be done every day for 2 hours in the morning. I had finished the entire portion once while my classes took place during the study leave and then I used to do the same daily for 2 hours till I started with revision for the first paper 5 days prior to exam. Law needs to be understood and learnt. Enjoying the subject and understanding the reason for existence of the provisions of law will ensure faster learning.

Books and e-sources


For practical subjects, I referred to notes of my classes – Pinacle.

Following is the list of books I used for respective subjects –

  • Accounting standards – MP Vijay Kumar
  • Law – Munish Bhandari
  • Audit – Vikas Oswal
  • ISCA – Jignesh Cheddha
  • Direct Tax – Nihit Jhaveri
  • Indirect Tax – Bangur

Mock tests


I didn’t write any mock tests as they were held at the time when I had not completed my portion even once. I believe it’s not necessary to write mock tests as long as you are sure that your writing speed is fast enough to complete the paper during exams.

Rank and preparation


I got really inspired by a quote, “Always aim for the stars, even if you fall, you will fall in the sky”. I always had in my mind to secure a rank so that even if I wouldn’t reach at the top, I would be sure of clearing the exam. Keeping that in mind, I planned my studies. As I couldn’t study much prior to going on study leave there was an added pressure of completing everything properly. There were times when I felt like giving up but then I used to remind myself that it is only a matter of 5 months which can make/break my career. I managed to study for 11-12 hours effectively in a day with proper breaks.

Future Plans


Becoming Chartered Accountant opens a vast pool of opportunities. I am still contemplating on what I really want to do though I am more inclined towards the corporate world.

ICAI Campus


I have not yet done any preparations for ICAI campus but would be starting soon.

Advice to fellow students


Always believe in yourself and aim high. One can easily clear the CA Final exam, if he has the right approach towards every subject and has planned the entire study schedule properly. Stay determined and focused. After all, success doesnt just come and find you, you have to go out and get it.