My daughter is studying in the XIth grade in Abu Dhabi. She is in the commerce stream and also studying maths as she wishes to opt for a career in accountancy. I have two queries:

1. Can she can do her studies/internship for the Indian CA while staying in Abu Dhabi?

2. Which programme should she pursue: the Indian CA or the ACCA?
Sindhu Jacob, Dubai

Chartered accountancy is an extremely sound profession to pursue and will hold her in good stead in the future - be it in a job or if she is planning to set up a business.

Accountancy is a profession which will help your daughter analyse and evaluate the ramifications of almost all decisions a company might take on the bottom line of the organisation.

I would advise that she do maths in high school, while in college she could do commerce, economics or business studies.

I also suggest that your daughter first finishes college and only then commences her chartered accountancy studies. Some students do both simultaneously. Personally I am not in favour of this pathway because I believe it is important for a student to experience college life to the full. After all, education is more than just academics, isn't it?

The Chartered Accountancy (CA) courses in India are very demanding and normally take four years post college to complete. For this she will need to do her articles with a firm of chartered accountants in India. During this period of training your daughter will be involved in conducting audits of companies and other finance and tax work. This normally involves travel to factories and manufacturing units, many of which tend to be outside city limits.

On completing the programme, she has various options - to join a professional firm of chartered accountants or work in the finance section of a company or even start her own practice and specialise either in corporate law, tax or auditing.

Now to answer you second question:

To get the ACCA qualification (Association of Chartered Certified Chartered Accountants) in addition to the mandatory exams, the student is required to have three years' work experience. This can be acquired in the UAE and your daughter does not have to return to India as would be required if she pursues her (Indian) CA course.

Personally I feel that the CA is more demanding than the ACCA, both in terms of content and rigor. Having said that, the ACCA qualification will definitely be helpful in getting a job in the Gulf, South Africa and the UK, but not in India where companies and firms definitely favour a Chartered Accountant qualification over an ACCA.

Another possibility is your daughter pursue her chartered accountancy qualification from the Institute of England and Wales and acquires the required apprenticeship with a firm of chartered accounts based in the UAE which is registered with the institute in England and has permission to provide this training.

Sanjeev Verma began his career with Ernst & Young before moving on to set up the Gulf operations of IDP Education Pty. He now leads Intelligent Partners in Dubai developing a wide range of solutions in areas of international education.

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