Rank: 21, Batch: May 2015
Place: Mumbai, Maharashtra
I was sure from my school days that after 10th, I wanted to go into commerce field and the most reputed course in the commerce field being Chartered Accountancy, I opted for the same. Also, my source of inspiration was my cousin who is a successful Chartered Accountant and I looked forward to be like her.
My first reaction
My first reaction was the scream of happiness followed by the tears of joy. All the efforts that I put in the last 3 years flashed in front of my eyes and I heaved a sigh of relief that finally it paid off. It was a moment that I will cherish throughout my life.
I want to give credit for my success firstly to my parents who always stood by my side, believed in me and supported me throughout this journey and then to my professors who taught and guided me through the curriculum, my principal and colleagues for giving me the practical knowledge and experience and lastly to my friends for being there always.
I completed the first two years of my internship from a mid sized Delhi based firm named R.K.J.K Khanna & Co. which had one branch in Thane, Mumbai. I was registered as article trainee under CA Mahesh Madkholkar who looked after the Thane Branch. In this two years of articleship, I had work exposure in the fields of taxation, audit, accounting and project finance which helped me to practically use my knowledge of direct tax, indirect tax, financial management and audit.
In the last year of my internship, I opted for industrial training and worked as a Business planning analyst trainee with Sandoz Private Limited, a pharmaceutical company. My job profile was mainly management accounting and costing. Thus my industry exposure helped me a lot in practically understanding costing and information technology which proved beneficial in the two subjects of Group II i.e. Advanced management accounting and Information systems control and audit as I scored best in both the subjects.
Honestly, I was dependent on coaching institute because I believed that by attending lectures, one is regularly in touch with studies. I made sure I was regular and attentive in classes.
My preparation for CA final was mainly smart work rather than hard work because I had a study leave of mere 3 months since I opted for industrial training. It was the biggest challenge for me to study for 3 months and yet score a rank. So I made sure that before my study leave I had complete notes of every subject. I also decided which books I will refer for each subject so that I don’t burden myself with multiple authors.
One of the major reason for my success was effective time management. During the study leave, I drafted a schedule for each and every day till the last day of the exam and made sure that I stick to the schedule. I disconnected myself from all social media to avoid distraction and undue wastage of time.
A. Study schedule:
I prefer studying at night since there is minimal distraction even at home and hence my day started late in the morning. Throughout the study leave, I made sure that I studied ISCA daily at least for an hour. After that, I would take up two subjects everyday: theory in daytime and practical subject at night. I studied for 12-14 hrs daily and made sure that I have a sound sleep of 6-7 hours.
B. Strong and weak subjects (How did I prepared them?)
My strength was practical subjects and the best way to study practical subjects is by solving the sums rather than reading them. I tried to solve every sum from study materials as well as practice manuals. For theory subjects like audit and law, continuous reading and revision is must. As far as ISCA is concerned, I studied the subject daily emphasizing more on head points of each answer. For DT and IDT, I gave more importance to amendments and case laws. I also tried to remember and quote section numbers in Law, DT, IDT to score an edge over others.
Books and e-sources
I believe institute’s study material is the bible for all CA students. I was thorough with the practice manual of every subject. Apart from that, I would recommend D S Rawat for Accounting standards and Jignsh Chheda for ISCA. Since I was dependent of coaching institute, I referred their notes rather than authors.
Yes, I attended one mock test in April 2015. Mock tests are necessary mainly for time management and self evaluation. One gets to know where he stands and what he/she has to improve in the remaining days.
Rank and preparation
During both CPT and IPCC, I aimed for clearing the exams in first attempt and ended up missing the rank by 5 marks. It always pinched me that had I worked a bit harder, things would have been different. Hence while preparing for CA final, I aimed for a rank. Since I knew that I had limited study leave, I put in more efforts from the beginning because I did not want to regret later. All my efforts were directed towards achieving a rank which made my study momentum going. My parents and friends believed in me and motivated me throughout this journey.
I want to continue working in the industry and I am more inclined towards management accounting and management information systems and would love to pursue my career in it.
While preparing for ICAI Campus, I brushed up my academic knowledge mainly in accounting standards, IFRS, US GAAP, standards on auditing, amendments in taxation etc. I also stayed updated with the latest developments in the economy and its financial impacts.
Advice to fellow students
My mantra for success was determination, time management and smart work. So I would advice CA aspirants to be focused and study with full concentration, sacrifice all distractions, schedule your studies properly and make sure you stick to the schedule and lastly give your best efforts assuming this will be your last attempt.
Always remember “Nothing worth having comes easy.”