Rank: 30, Batch: Nov 2016
Place: Kolkata, West Bengal
I have wanted to be an entrepreneur since an early age and that led me to take up the field of commerce in Class XI. And it was right then that I planned to pursue CA later, being a course which provides all round knowledge across various subjects in the domain of business.
My first reaction
I felt happiness and an immense sense of gratitude towards my family and friends. I unhesitatingly give them credit for my success, especially my mother, who has been a constant support during tough times.
I did my articleship from R Pugalia & Co. and industrial training from Emami Ltd. I have had the good fortune to have worked in an environment where not only learning, but innovation was equally emphasized. To have had my ideas and arguments respected during my articleship days and later, having been entrusted with the responsibility of handling the transition from Indian GAAP to Ind AS for one of the largest FMCG companies in India during my industrial training, I can unequivocally say that the right mix of independence and responsibility was my favourite aspect of articleship.
My articleship days provided me a glimpse into the practical issues that arose with respect to a lot of topics that form part of our syllabus. That gave me a deeper understanding that helped with my preparation for the examination.
I have always believed in regular studying and that was my mantra for CA final as well. I gave adequate time to each subject and also tried to stay in touch with all of them during the last few months. It doesn’t help to do a subject thoroughly at a stretch and then forget about it while going on to the next one. I generally divided my day into different parts and studied a mix of practical and theory subjects every day.
I have never taken coaching all my life and having had come out with flying colours, I can firmly say that self-study is not only adequate but also necessary to gain deeper understanding of what you learn. Coaching institutes may provide guidance, but ultimately it’s your hard work that pays off. And trust me, self-study allows you to be flexible with your studies and work-life balance.
A. Study schedule
I used to study a theory subject in the morning just before office and a practical subject after coming back home. During my final leave of 3 months, I divided my day to study AS and SAs in the morning, solving past papers for practical subjects at night and 2 theory subjects in between. I tried to stay in touch with all the subjects instead of doing them at a continuous stretch.
B. Strong and Weak subjects (How did I prepared them?)
Practical subjects have been my strong subjects while theory subjects, especially ISCA, I had a hard time with. For practical papers, daily practice was my mantra. I used to solve past papers for Accounts, SFM and Cost every alternate day. For theory subjects, the goal was to get a fair number of revisions before sitting for the exams. The huge syllabus was the challenge as far as theory papers were concerned.
Books and e-sources
The ICAI’s Study Materials are what I used to develop my concept for the practical papers while for the theory papers, I referred some popular authors’ books. Practice Manuals and Suggested Answers are a must for good preparation.
I attended mock tests conducted by the institute 3 times before the final exam, based on how much I had prepared by the time the mocks were held each time. It’s a good idea to sit for the mocks, at least for the practical papers, since they help with time management during the final exam.
Rank and preparation
It has always been my aim to do my best and yes, getting a rank in CA Final was a certainly a motivating factor. Juggling between subjects and maintaining a healthy mix of theory and practical subjects I took up at a time was essential in keeping the study momentum going. I have also been practising Preksha Meditation which definitely helped to keep the stress away.
I want to take up a job in the corporate world to gain some experience and finally wish to make my mark as an entrepreneur.
Preparation for both campus and off-campus interviews is about presenting yourself well. A brief revision of technical areas is sufficient to get through most interviews but what is more important is creating an impactful resume and communicating your experiences to back it all up.
Advice to fellow students
One should embark on this journey by choice and not merely because most students in the commerce field take up the course; that, I think would allow one to reap greater dividends from the huge time and effort that this course demands.
From a career point of view, CA is a good experience if you want to enter business later on, but specialization is the rule of the day if you want to make a career in the service sector. Think of CA as part of a well-planned strategy to achieve your long term goal and try and opt for relevant specializations and other professional courses that would give an edge to you.