ICAI stands for the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India which was constituted on July 1, 1949 under the act of Chartered Accounts 1949. This act regulates the profession of Chartered Accountants in India. ICAI holds the crown for being the second largest institute of the world to provide best professionals in the field of Accounting and Finance. It is both the licensing and regulating body for accounting and financing profession. It conducts examinations for Chartered Accountants, prescribes the eligibility criterias and grants licence also called Certificate of Practice. Not only this but government agencies like SEBI, RBI, MCA, IRDA, CAG , etc are assisted by ICAI in the formulation of policies. It regularly expresses its views and submits suggestions on various financial acts for example it has suggested both Direct Taxes Code Bill (2010) and Companies Bill (2009) regarding their respective problems. Even the government considers its expertise.
Now who are these Chartered Accountants ? Well they are the members of this institute. Considered as one of the toughest career choices a Chartered Accountant has to go through the prescribed examinations, practical training of three years also known as articleship and also meeting the other requirements as declared by the institution.
An ICAI member can be an associate or a fellow member. Associates are generally the freshers of the institution and associates can become fellow members if they have five years of work experience. Certificate of Practice is issued by the Institute to the members who want to engage in public practice. Auditors and certification of documents can be done by only the practicing members. Those who are provided with this certificate have a very significant role to play in the society.
The Institute has certain code of ethics which are followed by each member. Those lacking disciplinary code of conduct are dealt with heavy strictness and punishments. The institution has been consistently demanding more power from the government to resolve issues of financial frauds by Accountants of other nationalities in our country. Since this body can only govern its own members, issues by Accountants of International institutes lack right control and governance. ICAI wants to get this under its body’s discipline regulating authority to formulate order.
The course set is a combination of both theoretical and practical training. The exam to become a member of ICAI is one of the toughest exams of not only the country but also the world. The examinations are divided in three levels, in which only 15% students clear the foundation level, 5 to 8% clear the Inter level and 3 to 6% clear the final level. This means that only 0.0225 to 0.1% students applying in the foundation level are able to clear the final level. For instance the November 2013 CA exam had a pass percentage of 3.11. On the job training of three years is also conducted after successful passing of examinations (articleship).
ICAI provides the following certifications to its members on complete eligibility.
- Enterprise Risk Management,
- Corporate governance,
- International taxation,
- Treasury Management,
- Arbitration, etc.
The revolutionizing global environments require outstanding professionals to strengthen businesses and control knowledge. The top notch government agencies require top notch officials to assist them in the critical situations. ICAI has proved itself to be the best in producing Chartered accountants for this purpose.
The Institute recognizes the changing mainstreams of the world and has evolved over the years and will continue to do so, to provide the best to the industry’s most critical queries.