The following article has been authored by Rishabh Gupta and all views expressed here are entirely his own.

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Your Articleship is the golden time of your period as a CA Student. How you go through it will have an impact on what type of CA you are destined to become. Taking your Articleship too seriously or too lightly will have an adverse impact on your training and your overall learning experience. Here I will discuss the 5 conventional things and some basic points regarding it that every Article should learn during his Articleship tenure.

1. Audit– it’s highly likely that the day you join your Articleship, you’ll be sent out for the first phase of an audit called Vouching.

What you should learn

The point here to know is that developing a working knowledge of Standards of Audit, and getting to know the History of Accounting errors and system problems at a particular client’s place can easily benefit you in understanding how things are done in the real life.

2. Accounting– “What’s a Chartered Accountant who hasn’t done some real accounting work” that’s what my Boss said. Simple data entry of client’s can help you understand fundamental accounting concepts better

What you should learn

Familiarise yourself with the two basic accounting software in use- Tally and Busy, however keep in mind both are powerful software and misjudging them for just simple accounting tolls would be imprudent. Both not only offer powerful reporting facilities but also assist in business management. Learning from them you can also develop managerial and reporting capabilities useful in the long run.

3. Communication skills– Although this is stressed upon by CA’s, speakers etc but has been more or less neglected by the masses as most of them chase marks. Know this much that an average CA with good communication skills will fare much better than the topper with poor communication.

How to go about it

Start small, taking initiative such as requesting your principal that he allows you to attend his meetings with the client regarding audit etc can be helpful, or if you’re in the second year you yourself can hold regular meetings and develop communication while discussing your audit related queries etc. You can also go big and take part in ICAI’s student Conventions held regularly throughout India

What you should learn

When you’re in a meeting you should realize the person you’re dealing with holds a vast amount of knowledge regarding his company and matters related to it. If you got a good query but your presentation is bad he can outwit you easily. Have you ever realized that if you’re a practicing CA with the same communication problem, how adversely it can affect you. Start now

4. Dealing with the Babu– One of my all time favourite, your articleship training is not complete until you’ve witnessed the reality of a government office. If you’ve seen the movie “Chala mussaddi office office” then you’ll probably know what I am hinting at. Government offices working at snail paces, double sided drawer’s for easy transfer of bribes, constant running around to submit ITR at the Central Revenue office,  standing in queues for hours and trying to set up an appointment with a higher rank officer for days only to get it after paying 1000 to the peon are some of the things I witnessed during my time.

What you can learn and gain

Your biggest learning will be that you’ll be able to come out of your shell and become a tougher and more confident person. That constant running around will also force you to understand the system and deal with it in a better way. Knowing what to do and how to do it.

5. Take the Chill Pill– Remember that your three years of articleship may be the most important, but they’re not the only three years of your career. Learn when to relax. Some people are unable to cope up with too much work and study pressure all pressing on them at the same time. Also know that you may be asked to go over and above your capacity. While that is acceptable at times, you should know where to draw the line and ease yourself.

Why you need to learn this

Young Indian professionals are the most stressed out lot in the world. Their ambition of money takes a toll on their health, and leads to restlessness, depression, heart problems and many more. Just tell me one thing, what good is that extra money you make when you can’t even be happy with it? Learning this important point and relaxing when you should, during your training, will complete your experience of becoming a successful CA later on.

These are some of the major points to be learnt during Articleship. I may have missed out on a few less important ones as it is these major points that form the core of your learning experience. I would love to hear from you regarding what all you learnt during your Articleship