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The Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI) is basically a constitutional body that was created by an Act of Parliament, viz. The Chartered Accountants Act, 1949 (Act No.XXXVIII of 1949) for overlooking the profession of Chartered Accountancy in the country. It primarily works under the administrative control of the Ministry of Corporate Affairs, Government of India. Currently, the ICAI is the second largest professional body of Chartered Accountants across the world and it is known for its strong tradition of service to the Indian economy in public interest.

The responsibilities of the ICAI are administered by a Council in agreement with the provisions of the Chartered Accountants Act, 1949 and the Chartered Accountants Regulations, 1988. The Council is made up of 40 members from which about 32 are elected by the Chartered Accountants and remaining 8 then get chosen by the Central Government usually in lieu of the Comptroller and Auditor General of India, Securities and Exchange Board of India, Ministry of Corporate Affairs, Ministry of Finance and other stakeholders.

Over all these glorious years, the ICAI has received appreciation for being a premier accounting body not only in the country but across the globe, and is known for following the highest standards in technical, ethical areas and also for sticking to stringent exams and education standards. Since the year 1949, the profession has grown immensely, especially when it comes to the members and student base. Here are the core responsibilities of ICAI.

  • Regulating the profession of Accountancy
  • Education and Examination of Chartered Accountancy Course
  • Continuing Professional Education of Members
  • Conducting Post Qualification Courses
  • Formulation of Accounting Standards
  • Prescription of Standard Auditing Procedures
  • Laying down Ethical Standards
  • Monitoring Quality through Peer Review
  • Ensuring Standards of the performance of Members
  • Exercising Disciplinary Jurisdiction
  • Financial Reporting Review
  • Input on Policy matters to Government

Motto and Mission

The core aim of the ICAI is “Ya Aeshu Suptaeshu Jagruti” in the Sanskrit language. It can be translated as “a person who is awake in those that sleep”. This is a proverb from the Upanishads (Kathopanishad) and it was used for ICAI at the time of its formation in 1949 by Sri Aurobindo as a part of its emblem. During the inception period, C. S. Shastri, a Chartered Accountant from Chennai, had gone to Sri Aurobindo and requested him (through a letter) to give an emblem to the newly-formed Institute of which he was an elected member from Southern India. In the reply, Sri Aurobindo presented him with the emblem of a Garuda, which is basically a mythical eagle in the centre along with a quotation from the Upanishad: Ya Aeshu Suptaeshu Jagruti. This emblem together with the motto was shown to everyone during the first meeting of the Council of the Institute and it was loved by the members of the Council.

Besides the emblem, ICAI consists of a separate logo for its members. It introduced a new CA logo for the use of its members in 2007 as a part of a brand building exercise. The logo was unveiled by the then Minister of Corporate Affairs, Prem Chand Gupta, during the auspicious occasion of the Chartered Accountant Day (1 July) in the presence of the then President of ICAI Sunil Talati. Note that the members of ICAI do not have the authority to use the ICAI emblem, but they can make use of the CA logo instead on their official stationery.

This is the mission of the ICAI: “The Indian Chartered Accountancy profession will be the Valued Trustees of World Class Financial Competencies, Good Governance and Competitiveness.”

ICAI Exam – Institute of Chartered Accountants of India Exam

The ICAI exam, also famous as CA exam, is organised by the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI), for producing skilled chartered accountants in India. The ICAI is responsible for conducting a variety of examinations matching different levels of the Chartered Accountancy course, in accord with the Chartered Accountants Regulations 1988.

Students who want to take up Chartered Accountancy as a career need to enroll for the programme at the ICAI and get through all the levels of exams within a stipulated period of time to be qualified officially as a Chartered Accountant.

FOR becoming a CA, these examinations are conducted:

  • Common Proficiency Test (CPT)
  • Foundation
  • Intermediate (Integrated Professional Competence) Examination
  • Final Examination

ICAI Exam Highlights

Exam Name ICAI Exam
Conducting Body Institute of Chartered Accountants of India
Exam Level National Level Exam
Exam Frequency Twice a year
Exam Mode Online
Exam Duration 120 minutes
Language English
Exam Purpose Training and Certifying Chartered Accountants in India
Course Offered CA
No. of Test Cities 192 cities in India and 5 abroad
Exam Website icaiexam.icai.org

Qualification

A candidate is eligible for applying for the membership by:

  1. clearing all the three levels of exams prescribed by the ICAI and completing three years of practical training
  2. availing the exemptions under the mutual recognition agreement (MRAs)

Placement Scenario

The Institute maintains a placement portal for qualified members and partially qualified students. This is complemented with various campus placement events and advertising via its professional journals and website.

During early 2010, the ICAI got three of its newly qualified Associates recruited at Singapore-based agriculture supply chain major Olam International with a record annual salary of US$160,000 each.

International Affiliations

ICAI is the main founding member of the International Federation of Accountants (IFAC), Confederation of Asian and Pacific Accountants (CAPA), South Asian Federation of Accountants (SAFA) and International Innovation Network (IIN). It is also an associate member of the Chartered Accountants Worldwide, which is a Member of the International Valuation Standards Council (IVSC).

Code of Ethics

The Institute has an intense code of ethics and actions. If members break any such codes, then it could result in disciplinary action against them. The Institute prints a Members Handbook that contains the Chartered Accountants Act 1949, Professional Opportunities for Members – an Appraisal, Chartered Accountants Regulation 1988, Code of Ethics and Manual for its members. All of these jointly form the basis of regulation of the profession. The Council is also equipped with a Peer Review Board that makes certain that while fulfilling their professional attestation services assignments, the members of the Institute adhere to the following (a) abide by the Technical Standards formed by the Institute and (b) maintain proper systems (including documentation systems) for keeping up with the quality of the attestation services work they perform.

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