Chartered Accountancy

An attractive profession for youths

M A Wahab Akanda | Published: April 12, 2018 00:40:53 | Updated: April 17, 2018 10:49:22


Students browsing books at the library of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Bangladesh (ICAB)

Today, globally Chartered Accountancy (CA) is considered to be one of the most valued professions and has many opportunities for the graduates. To create that opportunity for the interested students for getting international standard education and degree, Institute of Chartered Accountants of Bangladesh (ICAB) operates adopting the full syllabus of the renowned mother institute of CA profession worldwide, i.e., the Institute of Chartered Accountants of England and Wales (ICAEW).

About the significance of CA

CA degree is regarded as a respected profession in almost all the countries worldwide, and the chartered accountants have a high demand in each country including the big economic giants like UK, USA, Canada, Australia, Japan, Singapore, India, China, etc. As the world is experiencing rapid growth in corporate houses, the demand for chartered accountants will be very high shortly.

The CA degree holders are working in responsible and vital leading positions in almost every sector including the multinational companies, government and non-government organisations. The organisations where mostly CAs work efficiently include manufacturers, traders, oil and gas companies, mobile phone operators, technology-based companies, power generating companies, banks, insurance companies etc. As CA degree provides the professional experience and knowledge to the holders, they can work at diversified positions such as CEO, COO, CFO, company secretary, head of audit, head of finance, head of taxation, head of operation, etc. Chartered accountants can also open audit and advisory services firm and operate their own businesses where they may provide audit, tax and other advisory services. As our local economy is also expanding rapidly, Bangladesh needs many more qualified CAs.  Currently we have only 1,800 CAs compared to the market demand of more than 12,000.

Today, many students ask why they should go for CA. Firstly, it is a widely accepted and respected profession worldwide and provides unlimited growth opportunities. Secondly, it unfolds wide range of exciting career opportunities in every sector of business and finance. Thirdly, most CAs are hired by high profile local and multi-national companies and is rewarded excellent compensation packages.     

The role of ICAB

ICAB has been working to promote and regulate high-quality financial reporting and auditing in Bangladesh, develop and maintain the competence of professional accountants and enhance the reputation of the accounting profession in all sectors of the economy. It is an active member of the International Federation of Accountants (IFAC), the International Accounting Standards Board (IASB), the Confederation of Asian and Pacific Accountants (CAPA), the South Asian Federation of Accountants (SAFA) and Chartered Accountants World (CAW).

The members of ICAB hold a widely respected professional accounting qualification which supports enterprise, corporate governance and sustainable growth in the business environment.

Details about articleship and entry criteria

Articleship is a form of practical training provided by ICAB authorised CA firms. Becoming a member of ICAB is mandatory. The duration of articleship depends on a candidate’s prior level of education/certifications (three to four years). Practical training covers the areas of real-life work in accounting, auditing, taxation, information technology, finance, etc.

During the articleship period, candidates will be paid a handsome amount from the firms where they will be working as an articled student. They will also be eligible for different scholarships from ICAB, different firms both by their merit and financial needs. There are some scholarships, especially for the female students. Overall, one does not need to take economic benefits from their home if they avail any scholarship. Total approximate cost of getting this dignified degree  is around Tk 150,000.

Students from any discipline may join in CA profession after completing HSC, A level, graduation or post-graduation. First, a student needs to get admitted in a CA firm for articleship which will be of three years for graduates and four years for HSC/A Level completed one. The articled students get trained up during the tenure of articleship on the relevant arena. Examinations are held on two sessions in a year at three centres (Dhaka, Chittagong and London). Total number of courses one needs to study in CA are 17 (7 in Certificate Level, 7 in Professional Level and 3 in Advanced Stage).

Why one should choose ICAB

ICAB has fully adopted the syllabus of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW). As a result, professionals can also become the member of ICAEW. International accounting bodies such as IFAC, CAPA, SAFA recognise ICAB certifications. Students with outstanding academic background may be eligible for certain paper exemptions. Financial support for candidates experiencing financial difficulties and full exam preparation support are provided by ICAB. Pass/fail in a paper is counted independently. However, if one wants to get something premium, then he/she has to work hard, but nothing is impossible in this world. To pass within a shortest possible time, candidates have to be professional, studious and hardworking. There are many examples of candidates who have become chartered accountants within three to four years. Most importantly, the current students are getting the benefit of subject-wise passing and waiver for prior learning. Again, having passed only the Certification Level, many students are drawing  Tk 50,000 to 120,000  monthly working in corporate sector after completing the articleship. As a newly qualified chartered accountant, one can expect a six-digit payment. Right now, more than 250 plus chartered accountants of Bangladesh are working in different countries including UK, USA, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, Europe, Middle East, Singapore, Malaysia, etc.

Procedures of getting admitted

Candidates may collect the list of CA firms with all details from ICAB website and apply for articleship in their desired CA firms. The candidates will be assessed through written test and viva. There is no specific time for recruitment rather the firms hire throughout the year. For more information, candidates may contact personally with the counselling centre situated on the ground floor of ICAB and/or visit www.icab.org.bd. All the information, including entry criteria, is available on the website.

The writer is a ICAB member and head of corporate finance of a multinational company.

He can be reached at  wahab.akanda12@gmail.com

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