Commerce is a branch of business. It is an organized system for exchange of goods between the members of the industrial world. It is the only backbone forming the market and the economy of the organization and ultimately the nation. It includes study of finance, accounting, taxation, auditing. The growing economy and flourishing trade and commerce make this an in-demand field with numerous lucrative career options.
What is the difference between Trade and commerce?
Trade is referred to as a basic economic activity that involves buying and selling of different goods and services between two or more parties involved in the transaction.
Commerce involves all the activities that aid in promoting the exchange of goods and services from the manufacturer to the last customers.
Commerce is growing at an unbelievably fast pace. It provides a myriad range of career option to choose from and include those in accounting, auditing, finance, and banking sectors as well as Government service opportunities.
A career in Finance and Accountancy is the prime goal for students of commerce. Not only do they learn business studies and economics, but also accountancy in the core of commerce stream. Moreover, career in Finance and Accountancy in not limited to commerce students; it can also be pursued by students of Science, Humanities as well, who have interest in finance and accounts. The demand for Accountancy and Financial professionals is increasing in Insurance and Accountancy Firms, Investment Banking Industry, Taxation and Law etc.
The various career options are –
Actuarial Scientist ,
Income Tax Specialist,
Economist and Forecasting,
Courses that would be helpful in making a career in Finance and Accountancy –
1. Chartered Accountancy
Chartered Accountancy is the most sought after course for a career in accounts and finance after 12th, offered by the Institute of Chartered Accounts of India (ICAI), previously known as Institute of Costs and Work Accountants of India (ICWAI). under Chartered Accountant Act, 1949. If you are serious about pursuing a career in accountancy it is important to understand the difference between CA and ICWA qualifications and what could be the best option after 12th.
Here are details of the levels, eligibility and career scope for this course.
CA Foundation Course- The first level is the foundation course and students can take admission after 12th . The CA CPT exam is conducted twice a year i.e June and December for foundation course registered students.
CA Intermediate- After qualifying the CPT students can pursue the intermediate course. Moreover students who have qualified bachelor’s degree in commerce with at least 55% are exempted from CA CPT exam i.e they can directly take admission into CA IPCC. The IPC exams are conducted twice a year i.e May and November. The CA IPC qualified students can pursue next level of Chartered Accountancy. After passing the first group, candidates must complete three years of on-the-job training as article or audit assistants (article ship). Candidates can then attempt the final exam during the last six months of article ship, after passing both IPCC exam groups.
CA Final- All students who have qualified in the intermediate level exam of CA are eligible to pursue the CA Final course. After qualifying the CA Final course students are considered eligible to pursue their career as Chartered Accountants.
Students who have qualified Class 10th and Class 12th from a State or National Education Board.
Students must have registered themselves for the CPT exam before the last registration dates as per June or December session
2. Cost and Management Accountant
The Institute of Cost Management Accountants of India (ICMAI), earlier known as the Institute of Cost and Work Accountants of India (ICWAI), offers Cost and Management Accounting at three levels- CMA Foundation, CMA Intermediate and CMA Final courses. The eligible students can pursue CMA after qualifying each level.
Students who have passed Class 10th and Class 12th qualifying examination from National or State Board of Education as recognized by ICMAI.
3. Certified Management Accountant (CMA) US
Becoming a certified management accountant is usually is to get one‘s career to the next level and therefore it is highly preferred by people in their mid-level positions. The course study and exam formats are suitable for working professionals and this heightens its appeal to people who do not wish to quit their jobs to earn the degree. For Indian expats who get their CMA outside India can apply for and get membership in Institute of the Cost Accountants of India (ICAI), previously known as ICWAI.
The US CMA course or certification is offered by IMA (Institute of Management Accountants) of USA, which is the worldwide association of accountants and financial professionals in business. CMA (Certified Management Accountant) certification has been the global benchmark for management accountants and financial professionals. You can now get a professional certification from the USA within 12 – 18 months. The CMA certification is well recognized by all the MNCs, audit firms, US Banks, Consulting firms and other BFSI companies having offices in India. This certification from IMA (Institute of Management Accountants) is considered to be on par with the Indian CMA by most employers. It also opens new doors for professionals globally. Three exam testing windows are offered each year.
· January and February
· May and June
· September and October.
Some of the roles are-
Chief Financial Officer
Chief Executive Officer
Foundational knowledge of economics, basic statistics, and financial accounting
Pass both CMA exam parts
Bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university
Two years of professional work experience
Active membership in IMA
4.Chartered Certified Accountant (UK)
The UK CCA course or certification is offered by ACCA - Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (UK). ACCA is similar to Indian CA in terms of subjects tackled and difficulty levels. However unlike CA this gives you more flexibility for part-time study and therefore is a great choice for working professionals.
The program has a foundation level before the actual ACCA. Any candidate who is fresh out of school or someone who has had a long break from studies must start from the foundation level. Completion of this level qualifies a candidate to work in junior level positions before moving on to ACCA qualification. If you take three additional specialist exams within a year of relevant experience you get a certified Accounting Technician (CAT) qualification. The actual ACCA qualification has up to 14 exams (depending on exemptions based on courses taken previously) and has a three-year experience requirement.
Eligibility for ACCA-
Students who have completed 12th from Commerce stream should pass in 5 subjects including English and Mathematics like Accounts, with 65% marks in at least 2 subjects and over 50% in the others.
5. Chartered Global Management Accountant (UK)
The CGMA certification is offered by CIMA- Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (UK). It is a popular accounting course focused on management and cost accounting.
CIMA also provides online learning and self-study help for candidates who want to learn as they earn.
There are two levels to becoming a CGMA. The requisite is three years experience that can be from before, during or after your CGMA attempt. The first level is foundation level for those with little or no accounting experience. With relevant degrees or experience you can get an exemption at this level. Once this is done, you can move to CIMA professional qualification level. With relevant experience and qualification you can get an exemption at this level as well.
The CGMA designation is open to all business leaders who have demonstrated mastery of the technical finance and accounting skills, established themselves as strategic leaders, and committed themselves to the high ethical standards of the profession.
Two of the world’s leading accountancy bodies – the Chartered Institute of Management Accountant (CIMA) and the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) – launched the Chartered Global Management Accountant (CGMA) designation to meet growing employer demand for finance professionals with an expanded skillset.
Those who live in North America, Central America or South America would obtain the CGMA through the AICPA Pathway.
Those who live in Europe, the Middle East, Asia/Pacific or Africa would obtain the CGMA through the CIMA Pathway.
6. Company Secretary (CS)
After CA, company secretary holds commendable value in the field of commerce. CS professional handles various operations of companies related to administrative matters. Company secretaries not only help the board of companies in making policies but they also ensure that all of them are implemented and are operational. Major business decisions and strategies are prepared under the supervision and with the assistance of CS.
Some of the roles are-
Chief Administrative Officer:
Member of Board of Directors:
Class 12/ Graduation
After Class 12, students must take up ICSI Foundation course. The duration of the foundation course is eight months. It is mandatory to pass the foundation course within three years of the admission.
After qualifying the ICSI Foundation course, students can enroll in ICSI Intermediate Course. However, Graduates and Post Graduates (excluding Fine Arts students) can directly enroll in the Intermediate course without going for the Foundation course.
Students who clear ICSI Intermediate course are eligible for the last stage of the ICSI course, i.e., Final.
Training is the most important aspect for students pursuing courses in Company Secretary. Students must undergo short-term training program during the Intermediate level and after the final level exams of Company Secretary course.
For obtaining an Associate Membership of ICAI, it is mandatory to acquire practical training after the completion of Intermediate or Final level course.
After the successful completion of practical training and final level ICSI course, these students are eligible as Associate Company Secretary.
The career of a Company Secretary begins only after getting eligibility as Associate Company Secretary.
7. Master of Business Administration (Finance)
MBA has become a basic qualification in demand for employees in accounting and finance industry. Its is important that you take your degree from accredited university. You may consider taking an year off to pursue Executive MBA program from reputed University, which is designed for working professionals with an intensive one-year program. Any graduate can take MBA course. Correspondence courses involve online and / or weekend classes with yearly exams. Traditional MBA would require you to pass qualifying tests like Common Admission Test (CAT) in India or a University specific admission test.
Eligibility for MBA Program:
A graduate degree under 10+2+3 or 10+2+4 pattern under any discipline, from a recognized university.
Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) is another course that can boost career of finance professionals. This course is more investment-focused, linking towards financial planning and corporate finance-based coverage.
Economics is the study of production, transfer, use of goods, services and resources. It is a research-oriented career that requires learning and making use of various theories, principles and model. Economists conduct research, analyze data to predict market trends, build economic theories and models and make recommendations for resolving economic issues. Career opportunities in this field are economist, statistician, strategist, risk management analyst, operations research analyst, insurance underwriter, budget analyst, etc,.
10. Actuarial Science
Analysis of risk such as insurance, business, finance, and healthcare is the core.
Professionals in this field make use of mathematical equations, statistics, and financial theories to determine the risk and uncertainty due to various future events that may impact any business. If you have the love for numbers, data analysis, statistics them this is a career for you.
Stockbroking is buying and selling of stocks in the stock market such as Nifty and Sensex. Stock brokers manage investment in stocks, bonds, mutual-funds, and derivatives for their clients and advise them about market fluctuations. Due to steady growth in stock markets there is predicted growth in demand for qualified professionals. Scope and opportunities lie with brokerage firms, banks, investment firms, insurance companies, pension funds and other financial institutions. One may choose to work as independent broker or financial consultant after an expertise over the years.
Entrepreneurships conceptualize business idea, build the structure, function and strategy and launch their own company. Government is extremely supportive for start-up initiatives. However, it can prove to be a very risky and challenging path. Certainly not for the timid.