How to Choose a CA Firm for Articleship
Majority students have a tendency to treat the articleship training as a roadblock in becoming CA. However, the fact is that this 3 years training makes you smart and a competent chartered accountant.
There is always a difference between theory and practice. There is a lot of difference between reading Income Tax from books and doing the Income Tax work of a client. Similarly, there is a lot of difference between reading Audit book and doing audit work of a client.
CA course is designed in such a manner that you get an opportunity to know both i.e. Theory and Practice. This really makes you a Perfect CA. Simply speaking, don’t ignore articleship training.
Now, the main question is in which CA firm we should join the articleship training.
We should divide the CA firms in 3 broad categories i.e. (1) Big firms, (2) Medium firms and (3) Small firms.
Each of these firms have certain pluses and minuses. Please remember that you will not find all pluses at one place. Let’ understand them carefully, so that you can take an informed decision.
Joining Big Firms :
Big firms are those where you have multiple CA partners, CA employees, huge number of article clerks, the business of the firm is spread across the globe. The most famous big 4 firms by the name are – E&Y, Deloitte, KPMG and PWC. There are other big firms also having their offices in various cities.
These firms will pay you a very good amount of stipend ranging from ` 15,000 per month to 30,000 per month during the tenure of articleship. It means, those who want financial help should join these firms.
You will get to learn a corporate culture in these firms. These firms are known for their meticulous planning and execution skill. You will learn how to talk, how to dress, how to write, how to present yourself and so on. It will groom your personality.
You will get an opportunity to travel India and sometimes abroad. Those who love travelling may give preference to these firms.
There is a high degree of specialization in these firms. It means, you will either be placed in Statutory Audit Department or Internal Audit Department or Direct Tax Department or Indirect Tax Department or Transfer Pricing or Project Financing etc. In short, you will become a specialist in one particular field.
If your objective is to get a job in the corporate world after becoming CA, then this is a clear choice. If you want to settle abroad in future, then also you may join these firms.
The only drawback is that your time schedule is tight. Work pressure is higher and you are left with little time for study. You won’t get leave as per your choice, you will be discouraged to attend college and classes. In this case, you should prefer external degree for graduation.
Joining Small Firms :
Small firms are generally the sole proprietorship firms. These firms generally operate from one place only and have a local office in your city.
These firms have a local client base and they handle variety of work of small clients. You can develop personal relationship with those clients.
Stipend amount is very low. These firms will pay basic minimum amount as prescribed by ICAI.
In these firms, you get to learn many things. There is a personal touch with the boss. There is a homely atmosphere, flexible timings, no work pressure, very few outstation visits etc.
If you do not love much travelling, you want home food daily, relaxed routine, want to attend college and coaching classes, you should prefer this option.
If you are interested in starting your own practice after becoming CA, then this is the best option.
Joining Medium Firms :
Medium firms are generally the partnership firms. These firms may have 3 to 4 partners, few CA employees and 25 to 100 articles. These firms have one head office and few branch offices in other cities.
These firms have few corporate clients, few educational trusts, some large business clients and small individual clients as well.
The stipend will be neither too high or too low.
In these firms also, you get to learn variety of things. There is a personal touch with the boss. There is a homely atmosphere plus some touch of corporate culture.
There will be occasional outstation visits also. In busy season, there will be a huge work pressure and sometimes there will be a relaxed schedule also.
There is some scope for flexibility, some scope for attending college and tuitions etc.
It combines the pluses and minuses of Big firms as well as Small firms.
If you are in a confused state of mind about joining big firm or small firm, then prefer medium firm.
If you are not sure about whether you will start your own practice in future or you will join a job, then this option is the best.
Important Note :
The above guidelines are to help you out in case of confusion. However, if you are still undecided, then use a lottery system by picking a chit at random. Trust your favourite God. Either way, your decision is right, if you take the articleship training seriously. Give your best and you get the best in return. Your career mainly depends upon how you perform on the job or in practice. Avoid comparing with other friends to reduce frustration and confusion.
Best of Luck !