Umesh Pahilani - AIR 41 CA Final Nov 2015 - Mumbai, Maharashtra
Umesh Pahilani

I am a self-motivated, fun loving and optimistic person. I am not the kind of person who starts his studies 1 year before the exams and studies all day long, but when I do, I study with full concentration.

I completed my graduation from Mumbai University. I decided to enter CA for the kind of respect it brings to your name and of course it was a challenging one.

My first reaction

To be Honest, I was surprised and really happy when I first saw the results as PASS as all of us know that CA Exams are unpredictable and so are the results. I immediately told my mom and she started crying with joy.

I did not think of rank in CA Finals even after seeing my total score. I checked my Rank about 1 hour later after seeing my score when some of my friends told me to just check it for luck and it was really a bonus.

There are a lot of people who supported me throughout and deserves the credit for my success. The biggest thanks to God for everything that I am today. I want to give credit to my family and especially my mom who had put in so much efforts for me to make me comfortable and relaxed during my preparation leave and some of my friends and seniors at work who were always there supporting and motivating me.


I did my articles from a Big4, Ernst & Young (EY). One big advantage of doing your internship from Big4 is that you get a lot of good experience and exposure (Corporate level) which you might not be able to gain in a mid size or small firm. It also provided me with an opportunity to work with rank holder CA’s who inspired me to aim for a rank.

Another advantage is that you get prepared to sit for long working hours during your stringent deadlines at work and it helps you to sit for long study hours without being tiring.

Practical exposure definitely makes your concepts more clear and helps you understand things better.


I started my preparation for CA finals during the study leave itself i.e just 5 months before the exams as I did not get much time to study during my internship days due to long working hours at job. So, I toiled unwaveringly and studied sincerely for 5 months to complete my preparation in this short time considering the vast and the complex syllabus. However, I had not and could not have anticipated how physically, mentally and emotionally exhausting it could be.

Coaching was helpful but I wont say it is necessary. I took coaching for some practical subjects but what matters in the end is self-study. One can clear CA finals even without coaching but with little more efforts.


A. Study schedule:
I started studying from 1st June-15 for 8-10 hours a day effectively and completed my syllabus the first time by 10th Oct-15 and I did my revision in the next 20 days before my exams on 1st Nov-15. I used to study one subject at a time continuously for days and would complete that subject and then start another one.

B. Strong and weak subjects (How did I prepared them?)
I was strong in Accountancy (FR) and Direct Tax (DT) and was having a good grip on them. ISCA and Costing were my weak subjects. To overcome it, I studied them conceptually and secured highest in ISCA in comparison with other subjects which helped me to grab a rank.

Books and e-sources

For every subject, you will find a lot of good books. The only thing is you need to stick to one book for each subject.

I read Reference books for all the subjects along with Institute’s Practice Manuals (PM) and I would suggest the following books for Self-study which are easily available in the market:

  • FR – M P Vijaykumar and D S Rawat
  • SFM – A N Shridhar
  • Audit – Aseem Trivedi and V K Agarwal
  • Law – Munish Bhandari
  • ISCA – Amit Tated
  • DT – Vinod Gupta Modules
  • IDT – Bhangar

Mock tests

Yes, I attended the mock test conducted by ICAI for 4 out of 8 subjects just a month before the finals. It helped me to understand how to manage your speed, time management and presentation in the exam.

I do believe that mock tests can help a student assimilate the exam environment helps in time management.

Rank and preparation

Honestly, I was not preparing for a rank in finals. My only aim was to clear the finals in 1st attempt. Many a times when my momentum broke down, I used to talk to my friends at work who motivated me and helped me reach here.

Future Plans

Right Now, I am planning to enter into corporate world and in a meantime, look for an opportunity to start business of my own.

ICAI Campus

I am reading and researching about the companies that I would like to apply to and staying updated with the recent changes, amendments and on current business events. Also I continue to improve my interpersonal skills.

Advice to fellow students

Believe in yourself and and just give your best efforts and leave the rest. CA is definitely a great and prestigious course. With little zeal, enthusiasm and hard work, anyone can attain success. My Best wishes with all my friends.

Please feel free to write to me at in case you have any questions or would like to discuss something.