How To Do CA And CS Together

CA and CS are two popular courses that open doorways to many opportunities. Well, the good news is yes you can pursue all three of them individually or simultaneously. 

You are allowed to pursue only one extra course with CA at a time. So, you can’t go for graduation along with CA & CS. You can either pursue only CA Course & CS Course or CA & Graduation or CS & Graduation. But to solve this problem, you can either do the third course after completing one of the two mentioned courses.

Also, ICAI & ICSI have tie-ups with various universities like the Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU), etc. So, you have the option to pursue correspondence graduation courses. By doing this, you will have double advantages.

You will not just get a graduation degree but also a few of your subjects will be exempt. It’s a wonderful advantage which you can definitely give a thought to! So, we can conclude here how our problem turns into an advantage.

Apart from the above, CA & CS together has an excellent advantage. The advantage is that the course content is quite similar in both these courses. So, you can manage your subjects accordingly & you won’t need to start afresh.

Most of the subjects & their contents are related to each other. The subjects which are different are mostly related to laws for which you can give a little more attention.

It’s also an excellent choice in terms of opportunities that would open up for you. You’ll stand out among your peers all other things being equal. This recognition may be very important – especially in the corporate sector.

Another advantage according to me is that the exams don’t clash as also the exams are not very apart from each other. There is around a one-month’s gap between CA & CS attempts. CA exams are generally held in May & November while CS exams are held in June & December. You can revise for CS exams in the time gap available between.

Just make sure you give complete details from time to time about the secondary course pursued by you at the Institute from time to time. Failure to declare the course details to the Institute can create problems later on. So, please be very transparent in this regard from the start.

Our suggested route is as follows:

  1. First, start with clearing the CA Foundation exam. Once you clear the exam, you’ll find that you’ve gained an exemption for CS Foundation. (Those who clear the CA Foundation exam need not pursue CS Foundation!).
  2. After you’ve cleared CA Foundation, register and appear for the CA Intermediate examination. This gives you an exemption for the CMA Foundation exam as well!
  3. So, in clearing CA Foundation and CA Intermediate, you are no longer required to take CS Foundation and CMA Foundation! 4 exams “cleared” for the “price” of two.
  4. After finishing up with CA Intermediate, our advice is for you to clear CMA Intermediate. This is because there is a significant overlap in concepts between the two fields. Look at the CA Intermediate and CMA Intermediate syllabus for more details.

So that’s 3 exams cleared …

  1. After this, you’ll need to look at how best to tackle practical training as all three courses have such requirements.
  2. Now, here’s where you can modify your path depending on your interests. Our suggestion is for you to undergo CA Articleship training. This gives you the best scope and you can even gain an exemption from CMA practical training if you work in one of the relevant fields of practice! (Look at this post for information on exemptions for CMA Practical training).
  3. If, however, you decide to focus on CS Articleship, you can do that too. In any case, the fastest route is for you to go for CA Articleship. We will assume that this is the choice you’ve chosen for our discussion below.
  4. During your Articleship period, prepare for and complete the CS Executive exam. This will give you a broad scope of knowledge. You should also know that you should apply for permission from the ICAI Institute by filling up Form 112. This allows you to pursue other courses during your articleship period. If you do not fill up this form, you will not be able to pursue and study for these other courses during your Articleship.
  5. After that, complete the final course requirements for all three courses: CA Final, CMA Final, and CS Professional. Focus on completing the CA Final course first before the other two.
  6. Once you have completed all three final exams, find out if you are eligible for exemption from CS practical training. If not, you’ll have to undergo 1 year of training.

All being said you need to understand that this journey might turn out to be tougher than you think.

  • A key factor is the leeway you get at your place of articles. Many organizations have extreme work pressure and as a trainee, you can have a tough time managing work and study. Only if a place permits enough time to study will you be able to get through.
  • Another important aspect is the expenditure. The two courses together are going to cost you enough. Well not only financially but also mentally and physically. Hence advanced financial planning is necessary. 
  • You are allowed to hold any one Certificate of Practice. So, you will get full recognition of being a CA (Chartered Accountant) & a CS (Company Secretary) but you cannot practice as both of them. So, instead of making a choice later, you can make a choice now & decide what suits you the best.
  • If you are doing this just for the sake of having three prestigious degrees… well, it’s not worth it, and you’d probably flounder. But if you are passionate and want to gain insight into all facets of the profession, then it might be worth it.

Finally, it is your life so make these decisions very carefully. Do not worry about the preparations as CA Exam Series and CS Exam Series will be here to help you out throughout your journey.


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