When students approach me and ask whether they should do articleship in a CA firm or should they take a dummy, I get very sad and disappointed.  I am very sure that our Institute of Chartered Accountants of India at the time of envisioning this great profession would have never ever imagined students asking this question or for that matter even think of not undergoing articleship.

Årticleship, right from the very beginning has been made mandatory for all students pursuing chartered accountancy profession.  The basic fundamental of this proposition is to enable a young and budding chartered accountant understand the nuances of accounts, audit,law and tax and consequently, become a true professional.  Never ever would have our predecessors at the Institute of Chartered Accountants imagined a sight where students who have cleared chartered accountancy course could not even prepare a proper bank or cash book, which is typically the case with students who qualify as a CA and did not have had any prior articleship experience.

In my professional career of more than 15 years, which includes 3 years of articleship, I have met thousands of fresh chartered accountants.  In the first fifteen minutes of any interaction it is very easily identifiable whether or not that person has undergone articleship or is he/she giving some irrelevant gyaan to cover up his inexperience, or rather I would say his/her incompetency to answer relevant questions.

Articleship during the course of chartered accountancy is extremely important as it forms the backbone of your career.  A qualified chartered accountant without articleship experience is like a blunt knife, which has been built to cut anything but does not have enough strength.  And such knives are of no use to the society and therefore, redundant over a period of time.

It is important that articleship should be seen as a tool to learn and grow whilst in the process of your journey to become a chartered accountant.  I can share with you my experience when I was looking for articleship at the time of starting my career.  I did my graduation from Delhi University and at that time there were not many people to guide us for good articleship firms.  I am talking of the year 1999.  However, through some references I tried in 3-4 good firms and finally got through a firm called RSM & Co (which later merged with PwC in 2006).  During my articleship, my seniors always used to tell me one thing that the harder you work as a trainee, the brighter you would be as a chartered accountant.  And I think that grooming and training we received in our articelship days really helped us become solid professionals.  And because of the hard work and solid training I received, I was able to crack interviews in BIG4s leading to a awesome professional and personal life.

Some students also ask how would they cope up with studies and classes during articleship and my answer to them always remain the same.  You do not need coaching and training for all the subjects and even if you need then focus on your time management skills.  It is very important for anyone to realise that CA degree is a highly respected profession not only in India but across the globe and it is therefore, important that one manages everything well.

Me and my batch mates have all attended classes, though not all and used to travel extensively during our articleship days.  In fact, it was so much that almost 10-15 days in a month I was outstation and therefore, always missed my classes.  However, everyone in our batch always had one thing in our mind that we have to focus on our work as well as studies and therefore, managing them together was the key.  This attitude of not cribbing always helped us find time both for work and studies.

What is that fear which comes to mind and forces a student to think whether he/she should do or not do articleship. I think the biggest fear is whether one would be able to manage and devote enough time to studies along with articleship.  My article on “Managing studies along with articleship”might help you with some tips on not only how to manage both, but excel.

How I analysed whether I should go for articleship or not – A very practical tip

I am about to share with you a very practical tip which I personally did when I was getting ready for articleship.  A lot of my relatives and friends told me to do articleship either from a very small firm (so that there’s not enough work and I get more time to study) or not do articleship at all, because as per them what matters is the CA degree and knowledge can be acquired later.  I was heavily confused just like many of you would be and then I did something very practical:

  1. I took a plain piece of paper and folded into half;
  2. In one half I wrotedown the advantages of doing articleship and in the other half write the dis-advantages;
  3. I could write down various advantages which typically included “acquiring knowledge, practical exposure to audit and tax matters, meeting CFOs of companies, networking with senior people and creating a strong network of friends who would all be interested in becoming real professionals”.
  4. However, when I started to think about the dis-advantages, I could write only one, i.e., getting more time to study.
  5. I realised that the advantages were many more than the dis-advantages and if I could manage my studies well along with articleship, I can achieve both the objectives. This thought in itself was highly motivating and wortha try.
  6. I made a well informed decision and went ahead with articleship; and that decision truly changed the course of my profession.

My advice to young students pursuing chartered accountancy is always to do articleship honestly and very seriously.  Things that you would learn in those three years would go a long way with you and would help you become a strong and respectable professional.  In the short term you might find things easily achievable, however your ambition to become a through and brilliant professional might turn out to be a distant dream.  After all do you want to be branded as a ‘Dummy CA’ after working so hard in clearing such difficult papers.

Write down your goals and work very very hard to achieve them.In the end I would like to end with a quote:

 “ The person who sweats more in training, bleeds less in war”

Work hard in your training so that you become a great warrior.

——————————————————————————————

Authored by Nimish Goel, a qualified chartered accountant who’s passion is to coach young chartered accountants and aspiring students achieve the best in their life.  Nimish used to work with EY and PwC in India and has also worked with KPMG in Europe.  He now runs his own consulting company and runs a blog www.nimishgoel.com .  He can be reached for any queries and issues on his blog.

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One response to “Is Articleship Important for a CA student?”

  1. Mehidy Hasan says:

    thanks

  2. abhishek says:

    80% disagreed with the author…

  3. Praveen Dodda says:

    Articleship is not required more than 18 months. articleship seems to be harrasement ship. One of my friend asked for sexual favour to complete article ship. this seems to be ICAI is putting students into risk. Making 3 years of article ship is non sense.

  4. Poonam Singh says:

    Hi,

    I’m a Bcom graduate and just started working with E.Y.

    I’m planning for my C.A, but I am not sure about my eligibility,because of my busy schedule and this mandatory article tarining.

    Kindly suggest me some solution.

  5. Deepak says:

    Dear sir

    now i m working as accountant in Pvt Ltd co my dream is to became CA but its not possible because of my family background,now i want to ask it is possible to do CA with working or not please suggest me? or can i try same other field with working

  6. B.Chandrasekharreddy says:

    hi sir i am doing articleship in medium size firm my friends joined in big4 .they are criticising me of joining in medium rather than big4 .can u say difference in big4 and medium firms

  7. sushant saini says:

    Sir I have cleared ipcc now I m about to start articleship but I m confused that in which field I should go I.e in audit or in taxation or in finance.can u plz suggest me which one would b best

  8. Himanshu says:

    I have done 2 years of training worth CA firm & now pursuing Industrial training. The thing make me confuse about this article ship is the area which we have not covered during the article ship, How we will be taking those tasks once become the Chartered accountants.

  9. S Lakshmi Naarayanan says:

    Yes , truly doing article ship shows difference at market of recruitment

  10. RAJAN says:

    Sir,
    I also agree with what you said about not doing Dummy Articles, but you should also think from the side of the student who faces pressure from their principal auditors torturing them to the end and making their life miserable. Have you ever though of articles working starting from morning 8.00 am till next day morning 5.00 am continuously and even after that the article is expected to come back to office back by 8.00 am again. Even doing that work they are not allowed to take a leave. You said about the great time management article. You mean to say that the articles would have 30 hrs a day. Come out of the old aged thoughts sir. I don’t know how you used to spend your time, but the present generation is changed, if you are expecting everybody to be book worms you are wrong. We have some personal life to achieve, for whom we need to work day and night. What do they achieve by working day and night. And I would like to share one more thing that is happening presently in many CA offices is that they expect the newly entering article to know everything which is not possible, and if they are not knowing they used to abuse saying that you are not fit for anything, which is creating inferiority complex in the students. First let the ICAI listen to the grievances of the current article assistants and take decisions. Always the decision goes favouring the member not the article, why this differentiation. The only reason i would like to mention why students prefer Dummy is Harassment from the Principal auditor

  11. CA B B SHETTY says:

    Yes articleship is very useful but articles should not be exploited. They should be paid more. Institute President and office bearers instead of using the Institute Forum to move around Delhi Ministrial corridor to get the audit at institute five star level expenses, they should constructivly for the benefit of articles and improvement of CA calibre. Dummy articles is fashion of the day and these leaders simply talk at air condition cabins. Why they are reginally centralising the registration of articles and they can only allot the articles to a firm of their choice thereby stop this dummy articleship for their relatives, frinds etc

  12. CA. Subhash Chandra Podder says:

    Dummy Articled Assistants
    I am in this profession since 1970 ( that is more than 42 year ) . Articled ship is mandatory beyond that period by the ICAI . During my long association in the profession I/ we had to take articled assistants for undergoing training to be a Chartered Accountant. I was an articled Clerk ( then as articled clerk ) for the period from 1965-1969 , four years ) and gained a lot to be an article clerk , be it may to learn how to keep records, preparation of financial statements , audit of financial statements of any entities , represented to taxing authorities , preparation of Tax returns of clients so on and so forth. By this way I gained lot of practical experience for the profession and after qualifying CA in the year 1970, I could able be to handled clients independently, obcourse with the guidance of Seniors with set audit programme . by gaining knowledge I could handled / and signed financial statements of Banks ( As Statutory Central Auditors ( 5 banks ) , Audit of Government Undertakings 20 in numbers ) . Statutory audit of Life Insurance corporations . and other Insurance companies , Private and Public limited companies etc. have courage / met with RBI Governors , So many Chairman and Managing Directors , and others . we don’t encourage this type of Dummy articled assistant . The Institute has a set programme , it is upto the Employers to decide to take article assistant or not. Our article assistants are our Assets in the Company , pay them stipends by account payee crossed cheque / Not negotiable / not tranferable .love them , teach them how to read, and write and express of his/ her opinion on the particular assignments , Value them . Encourage them to read professional Journals and magazines beside of their study time , See the result. You are telling those are not as per quality auditors ? I admit . But are you really go through various websites hosted nationally / internationally , besides our CA. Jounal , if so why those are not submitted to the Institute as Unstructured Learning activities . Every day go on searching different web casts , besides Knowledge Portal mailed by the Institute to you , Update Yourselves . Knowledge is power. Be honest and advise others to be honest.
    CA. Subhash Chandra Podder , FCAMRN 12073
    Kolkata
    Date: 19/9/2014

  13. YATENDRA GOYAL says:

    The Author is right when he says ”The person who sweats more in training, bleeds less in war”

    This would also be equally true, for training, you need a trainer besides the trainee. In my entire 35 years of Post qualification experience, by and large, I did not see a real trainer, whether in Mumbai like city or Ajmer like city (Where I belong to). If one was privileged to have a trainer like Mr C L Jhanwar of Jaipur, his life’s experience would be entirely different.

    Leave the concept of trainer, do, most of the practioners have some worthwhile work to do as a professional. Agree or not, many of the professionals are in share business or other such other easy businesses..

    Let us also introspect properly, are we not into a very very low end Jobs is a filing of return and most of the associated activities, not a very very clerical job. and what today are we doing is keying figures into the system only. (I am not talking about few privileged, who are different because God made them such and because they got Opportunities).

    Let us not forget that we are into a new world which is completely technology driven, where we are now expected to shift from Knowledge users to Knowledge creators (As Azim Premji says), with the existing system, and the kind of people can we ever be able to do this? Can the present trainers with age old mind-sets, age old tools, age old thought process, can ever help in building the future. It is time to reinvent and stop doing the patch work.

    Training is a good concept, it has only to be reinvented, only a bit change, educate the student thro teleconferencing on regular basis, include all chapters in course content which are necessary to groom into a good professional, allow him to pass one exam after another, no restrictions to giving gaps, let him pass out, go for a compulsory training of his choice, under some industry, or some selected sound professionals who can really be teachers, more than professional

    Let us rethink and Build future.

    Yatendra Goyal,

    yatendragoyal@gmail.com

  14. YATENDRA GOYAL says:

    The Author is right when he says that ”The person who sweats more in training, bleeds less in war”

    This would also be equally true, for training, you need a trainer besides the trainee. In my entire 35 years of Post qualification experience, by and large, I did not see a real trainer, whether in Mumbai like city or Ajmer like city (Where I belong to). If one was privileged to have a trainer like Mr C L Jhanwar of Jaipur, his life’s experience would be entirely different.

    Leave the concept of trainer, do, most of the practioners have some worthwhile work to do as a professional. Agree or not, many of the professionals are in share business or other such other easy businesses..

    Let us also introspect properly, are we not into a very very low end Jobs is a filing of return and most of the associated activities, not a very very clerical job. and what today are we doing is keying figures into the system only. (I am not talking about few privileged, who are different because God made them such and because they got Opportunities).

    Let us not forget that we are into a new world which is completely technology driven, where we are now expected to shift from Knowledge users to Knowledge creators (As Azim Premji says), with the existing system, and the kind of people can we ever be able to do this? Can the present trainers with age old mind-sets, age old tools, age old thought process, can ever help in building the future. It is time to reinvent and stop doing the patch work.

    Training is a good concept, it has only to be reinvented, only a bit change, educate the student thro teleconferencing on regular basis, include all chapters in course content which are necessary to groom into a good professional, allow him to pass one exam after another, no restrictions to giving gaps, let him pass out, go for a compulsory training of his choice, under some industry, or some selected sound professionals who can really be teachers, more than professional

    Let us rethink and Build future.

    Yatendra Goyal,
    yatendragoyal@gmail.com

  15. Sagar says:

    Sir your article and your experience is very good and it helps the student to think twice before going to dummy articleship……..
    Sir can Institute track the records of Dummy article student? or How it possible to Institute for tracking such students?

  16. Venkat says:

    Dear Mr.Nimish Goel,

    Iam very happy the Article is in Right time. This relates not only to those aspiring to join CA Course, but also an eye opener for those doing Articles.

    Most of the Article students of these days lack many aspects which should be pointed down as below,

    – English speaking, comprehension skills
    – Soft skills,
    – Behavioural skills
    – Man management skills
    – Time planning

    I think you can present an article on these aspects, as to apart from your related subjects, the importance that carry in both becoming a complete chartered accountant as well to be a success in life.

  17. Pawana says:

    The question of dummy articles arises only if there are people to sign the dummy papers. It is such so called qualified personns who need to think the danger that they are casting on the profession by encouraging dummy articled

  18. sai says:

    Even after joined for articleship in a big firm,if they treats us as an employee and whole 3 years if they taught only one audit(which is routine)…….how does it helpful to us?

  19. akash says:

    Very Nice article.

  20. Anonymous says:

    Getting into a good articleship firm is also important. There are some CAs who are so greedy about money they take up assignments which are a total waste of time of an article. I know a CA who once took up an assignment where the articles had to pack toys (articles in their third year of articleship) in boxes in a godown. CAs who make their articles do manual labour like this should not be allowed to practice. And the worst scenario was when a person who could not clear CPT tells the articles I thank God I didn’t clear CPT otherwise I would have to do this.

    • Ompal singh says:

      Most of the CA s have taken work of FAR in which you have to count number of table chair ,cpu and monitor in an organisation . I know a CA who is selling insurance policy, even sometimes an article has to make tea for his bosses.
      Even if there is no work in office we have to sit till 8 p.m ICAI is promoting dummy article since there is no check that what a article is learning in its training period.
      Is this is something we had studied for?

  21. Ca Preeti Goel says:

    This one was truly written with cocern & don’t have second thought.

  22. Mayandi Shanmuganathan says:

    Sir,

    The article is really good one and agreed fully with you.

    Some of the students of CA, also from working community from various private as well as govt. organisation who is working in finance, accounts field of the organisation.

    For those people who is working in reputed private as well as public sector organisation with reasonable period of experience in the field of accounts, finance, tax law may be exempted from the requirement of articleship. If it is so particular it should be there, then it may be done at any time after completion of study or course.

    regards

    M.Shanmuganathan

  23. Anshuman Dutta says:

    This is indeed an excellent article with a very effective closing punch-line : an eternal idiom! Those who swet in peace, bleed less in war!

    It is indeed a pity that the ICAI despite all its excellent efforts at institutionalizing CE programs is missing out keeping a serious check on the three year training programme which has stood us all in good stead while training as “articles”.

    Best,
    anshuman dutta FCA
    Mem No 82262

  24. murali says:

    truly good article and an eye opener for those aspiring CAs who donot want to learn practicla knowledge by doing articles

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