Institute of Cost Accountants of India: An overview

The Institute of Cost Accountants of India (ICAI) which is a statutory Body set up under an Act of Parliament has been  in the field of  molding and grooming aspiring and bright students in the country to become a most effective Cost and Management Accountants not only in India but also globally.


This Institute has a distinct role in maintaining governance system in the country’s economy. This is the second largest Cost and Management Accounting Body in the world, having student strength of about 5 Lacs and about 50,000 members serving in different capacities throughout the world. There is a  sea change in regulatory structure to bring about transparency in Corporate discipline and governance mechanism.  This has lead to further recognition of the expertise and knowledge of Cost and Management Accountants to play a vital role in the areas of increasing responsibility on mandatory maintenance of cost records, cost audits for corporate entities and ensure fair assessment under taxation laws through effective application of Generally Accepted Cost Accounting principles and its techniques.


Prospects and Career Options


The growing importance of trade and industry along with the rapid growth of capital and money markets in an economically developing nation like ours has increased the importance of Cost Accountants enormously. Moreover all the companies registered under the Companies Act, are required to get their accounts audited only by professional Cost Accountants. A qualified Cost Accountant has the option of joining the Government Service, PSUs or taking up a lucrative assignment in the private sector. The duty of Cost Accountant is to ensure that the financial transactions of an organization are maintained according to the law, they also keep track of cost of management of the company and manage tax and cost audit matters. Cost & Management Accountants work as Finance Managers, General Manager (Finance) or Director (Finance) and watch over the finances in the day to day management of companies. 


They can practice as CMA. Serve the Industry, Government and Regulatory Bodies as a CMA.  Their main areas of work include Accountancy, Auditing, Cost Accountancy, Taxation, Investigation and Consultancy. Capital structure planning and advice regarding raising finance, Working Capital management, Preparing project reports and technical feasibility studies.  They also prepare budgeting including capital budgets and revenue budgets, cash budget, cash flow statements, profitability statements, statements of sources and application of funds, Inventory management, material handling and storage, Market research and demand studies,   Control methods and management information and reporting Personnel recruitment and selection.


The Institute has evolved a new “syllabus 2012” keeping in mind the recent changes and to continue to be at par with the international standards based on six skill sets – knowledge, comprehension, application, analysis, synthesis and evaluation. This syllabus is also mapped with four knowledge of pillars – Management, Strategy, Regulatory Function and Financial Reporting. The New syllabus has been framed in such a manner that it will inculcate the required knowledge and equip the professionals through proper education and adequate industry-oriented trainings.  Finally to extend all possible professional expertise to ensure transparency and governance as desired by the Government.


The Institute’s basic principle is to inculcate the required knowledge and equip the professionals through proper education and adequate industry-oriented training.


Some Useful contact information:


The Institute of Cost Accountants of India (ICAI), (Website: or Toll Free No. 1800 110 910 with its headquarters in Kolkata, acts as the nodal agency in regulating the profession of the CMAs as well as conducting examinations, granting certificates and exercising disciplinary control over the members. There are four Regional Councils and several branches under them. Application forms can be obtained from the Institute of Cost Accountants of India, CMA Bhawvan, 3, Institutional Area, Lodhi Road, New Delhi 110003.


To develop the CMA professional, the course has been structured in the following ways:

Foundation – Intermediate – Final or

Intermediate – Final.


Eligibility criterion for pursing courses:


Admission in Foundation Course for Undergraduates – after passing Class X – appear in Foundation Course – after passing XII.


Registration to Intermediate Course.

After Passing Foundation Course Examination or

Direct Admission for Graduates (of any discipline other than music, fine arts and performing arts)

Enrolment in Final Course – after passing intermediate Course Examination of the Institute.


The Institute also provides certain exemption for the qualified students:

Qualified ICSI candidates are eligible to claim exemption in specified papres of the Intermediate and Final Course.  Reciprocal Exemption is also available in specified papers for qualified candidates of the Institute while pursuing ICSI Course.


Intermediate qualified students of The Institute of Chartered Accountants of India are exempted from appearing in Foundation Course.


ICSI Foundation passed students are exempted from appearing Foundation Course of the Institute.


ICSI students who have completed Computer Training in that Institute are exempted from undergoing Computer Training of the Institute. This is a reciprocal arrangement and is also available to students who had completed computer training in our Institute.


The following Value Added Services are available for students:

Coaching (Oral/Postal)

Trainings (at different stages):

Computer Training

Communication and Soft Skills Training

Industry Oriented Training Programmes

Practical Training


Quality Study Materials, Workbook, Compendium- Mentors and Monitoring – so as to gather relevant knowledge by aspiring professional accountants.


In a verifiable, consistent form and manner;

Having scope for review for further value addition;

So as to assess the sufficiency and enrich further;

To be aligned with the industry requirements

Practical experience through combination of both Output-Based Approach and Input-Based Approach of IFAC to enable aspiring professional accountants to demonstrate that they have gained the

Professional knowledge;

Professional skills

Professional values, ethics and attitudes required for performance with professional competence

Exposure through Case Study/Case let approach.

Admission is open throughout the year. However, the benefit of being eligible to appear in Examinations would be available as under:

For June Examination 30th November of the Previous Calendar Year.

For December Examination 31st May of the same Calendar Year.

Examinations are held twice in a year in the month of June and December. A Large number of Examination Centres are apread across the country and abroad.


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