Anirudh Swaminathan - Air 5 CA Final November 2016 - Chennai
Anirudh Swaminathan

I am Anirudh Swaminathan and I secured All India fifth rank in CA Final (Nov 2016). I did my articles from Lovelock and Lewes (member firm of PwC) Chennai. My dad’s a Senior Vice President in one of the joint ventures of BPCL and my mother is a home maker. My sister has completed her doctorate in neurosciences and is currently pursuing her post doctoral research in Montreal, Canada.

There are two reasons for me entering CA:
a) I was good at numbers and I always wanted to be in a field which involved numbers. My dad himself being a commerce graduate nurtured that ambition quite well by making me interact with various chartered accountants helping me get an idea of the work done by a CA.

b) To be very frank, I wasn’t a good student till my ninth grade. Taking up commerce stream gave a new opportunity for me to shine right from the start. And I think I was quite successful right from the start in commerce.

My first reaction

Ecstasy is the only word I can use for the result. One can never expect a rank irrespective of his or her illustrious past as it’s relative and has got much to do with the performance of others. So getting a rank and that too a single digit one was a great feeling and one of the best moments of life.

Coming to thanking, the first people who come to my mind are my parents. The sacrifices which they made to make this possible are immense. Apart from that, I thank all my teachers right from school to chartered accountancy for the success. Last but not the least, I would like to thank all my friends who helped me in this journey, notable among those being Saimanivannan, Subhiksha and Varun.


I did my articles from Lovelock and Lewes (a member firm of PwC). Doing articles in a good firm is a must as it gives a good exposure to the outside world and how things work. And the period in which I did my articles was full of regulatory changes ranging from companies act, 2013 to Indian accounting standards. Doing articles in a big four helped to stay ahead of peers when it came to technical issues. On a personal note, I was lucky to have good bosses in office like Arun, Prianka and Aishwarya who were very dedicated in how they taught me and also were great inspirations. As I did articles in the assurance division, a large portion of the financial reporting and auditing papers were taken care of by my articles experience.


Joining classes is a personal choice. I have been used to attending classes. So I attended classes for the major subjects. But towards the end what stands by your side is what you prepare. If one can do it well on his own, nothing like that.


I had enrolled for mock tests right from the beginning of my study leave. So I had to write a test (for 50% of one subject) every Sunday. That ensured that I covered the entire syllabus by September 30th. Another model exam in the first half of October gave real time exam experience. So I had my schedule in line with the test timetable. On an average, I read for 12-14 hours a day.

Coming to sources of preparation, the institute practice manual is a must. Apart from that, any good book or study material is required to gain a broad understanding of those concepts which have not yet been tested. Both put together give a reasonable amount of confidence to face the exam.

Mock tests

As stated above, mock tests were integral to my preparation. They helped me structure my preparation. And one more thing, if you take those seriously, you would end up reading the chapters twice or thrice before the test which ensures a good grip on the topic. Also, it ensures good writing speed and helps in planning your time in an examination. Finally, you know where you stand. So it’s better to write at least one mock exam before the main exam.

Rank and preparation

As I had secured a rank in my inter, rank was definitely an aspiration in my final preparation. There is a quote which goes on say ” don’t rest after your first victory. Because if you fail in the second, more lips are waiting to say that your first was just luck”. I always had this in mind while preparing. However one shouldn’t let that affect his manner of preparation. Love for the subject is the only way one can truly put in his best efforts. If one cultivates that love for reading and starts linking various topics or subjects, rank is just an eventuality.

Future Plans

Having seen how practice works, I want to have a stint in industry before I actually make up my mind and take an informed decision.

ICAI Campus

For campus, my advice is that stay updated on recent happenings. Also, if you have something on your resume, you must be in a position to explain that quite well.

Advice to fellow students

Don’t view chartered accountancy as an exam. It’s just another milestone in ones learning process. So the first step is to develop a liking towards the subjects and start reading them. Three years of articleship is a boon in the course of which one can explore so many avenues and learn loads. Once that momentum is set, only certain finer aspects relating to exam need to looked at. So never give up reading at any point of your career. Staying updated and technically sound is the only way to success in this profession.