Cost accountancy, anyone?

COURSE OF STUDY

If you are interested in becoming a Commerce professional join the Cost Accountancy course, conducted by the Institute of Cost and Works Accountants of India (ICWAI).

The objective of the course is to gain expertise in the field of Cost and Management Accountancy. A qualified cost accountant can either become a practicing cost accountant/auditor or can take up employment in a government agency.

The Cost Accountancy course is open to anybody who has passed 10+2. It is a correspondence course with postal/oral coaching.

Career Options: Once a candidate has passed the Final course examination, there are several options available to him. He can serve as a cost accountant/management accountant and hold top management positions such as, Cost Controller, Cost Auditor, CEO, CFO, etc.

The central government has constituted an all-India cadre known as Indian Cost Accounts Service (ICAS) on par with other Class-I services such as IAS, IFS, etc. to advise the government in cost pricing and framing appropriate fiscal and tax policies.

Thus, he can join the Central or State governments and also be appointed in a court of law, Labour Tribunal or any other statutory/ regulatory body. Rules stipulate that companies whose aggregate value of net worth/turnover exceeds Rs. 5 crore in a financial year must have its cost accounting records duly audited by a certified cost auditor

Education: Cost Accountancy has also been recognised by many Universities in India for the purpose of admission to Ph.D course in Commerce and allied disciplines.  As per the decision of the AICTE (All India Council for Technical Education), fellow members of ICWAI are treated on par with Ph.D candidates in so far as appointment to the post of Professor, Associate Professor, Reader, Assistant Professor and Lecturer in Professional/ Management institutes is concerned.

Stages of Cost Accountancy course: There are three stages to pursue a Cost Accountancy course — Foundation Course, Intermediate Course, Final Course.

After passing the Final course and completing practical training, a cost accountant can use the descriptive title AICWA after his/her name to indicate that he/she is an Associate Member of the Institute. After fulfilling the prescribed criteria, an AICWA can become a Fellow Member and  use the letters FICWA after his/her name to indicate that he/she is a Fellow Member of the Institute. Those who are known as cost accountants in India are called management accountants all over the world.

Foundation Course: Candidates who have passed the Senior Secondary examination under 10+2 and completed 17 years of age are eligible for the Foundation course. Those who are awaiting results can get provisional admission. Students’ desirous of doing the course can get the application form and prospectus by paying Rs. 200 (add Rs. 50 if obtained by post/courier).

Duly filled in applications with relevant documents and remittance of fee, should be submitted to the Regional Councils of the ICWAI. Students belonging to Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Pondicherry and Lakshadweep can submit their applications to the Southern India Regional Council of ICWAI, 4, Montieth Lane, Egmore, Chennai - 600 008.

The admission to the course is open throughout the year. However, the last date for admission to Foundation/Intermediate/Final course for the December examination is June 5, and for the June examination it is December 5, that is generally six months earlier. The registration is valid for seven years.

Subjects of Study: The Foundation course consists of six subjects arranged into four papers of 100 marks each. They are: Organisation and Management Fundamentals; Accounting; Economics and Business Fundamentals; and Business Mathematics and Statistics. A candidate is declared to have passed if he obtains 40% marks in each paper and an aggregate 50% of the total marks.

Study Materials: Study material is provided to all students registered for both oral coaching and postal coaching.  All regional offices of the chapters conduct postal coaching and oral coaching by authorised centres of the Institute. Students opting for oral coaching should contact the respective Regional Council office or Chapters.

Course Fee: The postal tuition fee/oral coaching fee for Foundation course (including study material) is Rs. 3,500; Students who are taking the postal coaching will get four sets of question papers.

Intermediate Course: Those who have completed the Foundation course or passed the degree examination are eligible to register for the intermediate course. The course is divided into two groups of nine subjects with 100 marks for each subject. They are: Group-I — Financial Accounting; Commercial and Industrial Laws and Auditing; Applied Direct Tax; and Group-II — Cost and Management Accounting; Operation Management and Information System; Applied Indirect Taxes. The candidate will not be allowed to take the Intermediate examination unless he completes the computer-training programme. The fee including study materials for postal coaching is Rs. 7000 and the oral coaching fee is Rs. 11,000. During this course, each candidate has to undergo 100 hours of compulsory computer training, group discussion and business communication.

Final Course: A student, who has passed the Intermediate examination of the Institute, is eligible for admission to the Final course. The Final course consists of two groups comprising of the following eight subjects of 100 marks each. Group-III — Capital Market Analysis and  Corporate Laws; Management Accounting and Strategic Management; Indirect and Direct Tax Management; and Financial Management and International Finance. Group-IV — Management Accounting — Enterprise performance management; Advance Financial Accounting and Reporting; Cost Audit and Operational Audit; and Business Valuation Management. The coaching fee for the course including study material is Rs. 9000 for postal and  Rs. 14,000 for oral.

In order to obtain the Course Completion Certificate to appear in the Final examination, students are required to undergo compulsory training in computers, undergo modular training, audit/industrial training and submit a dissertation in not less than 5000 words. Further, a candidate has to complete three years of practical training and submit a dissertation.

The ICWAI has 71 examination centres located in various cities all over India (Mumbai, Bangalore, Kolkata and Delhi have multiple centres) and two overseas centres at Dubai and Muscat. The examination fee for the Foundation course is Rs 800, for Intermediate, it is Rs. 1600, and for Final, it is Rs. 1800. For more details visit: www. icwai.org.

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