Campus placements for fresh chartered accountants seem to be gaining a faster traction than many other technical and non-technical education streams, as the domestic hiring market show signs of revival.

The Institute of Chartered Accounts of India, which holds two rounds of campus placement for fresh CAs every year, expects more hiring and bulkier salary packages during the first round that is scheduled to kickstart across all its 16 centres in the first week of March.

Average salary

During the two rounds of placements – in March and September last year – the average salary offered by companies to the fresh CAs was ₹7.30 lakh and ₹7.11 lakh, up from ₹6.12 lakh and ₹6.75 lakh respectively in 2011. A total of about 120 companies, across segments such as FMCG, IT, telecom, auto and financial services, had placed about 1,600 candidates during the year.

The September placements last year saw Hindustan Unilever snapping up a candidate for a ₹21 lakh annual package, while during the March round Bharati Airtel picked up five fresh CAs for ₹16 lakh a year each.

Highest offer

The highest salary offered by an overseas company during the last round was ₹24.64 lakh a year (10,800 Kuwaiti dinars) by Alghanim Industries at ICAI’s New Delhi centre for three candidates.

“The highest annual package during the campus placements in the last two years increased from ₹14 lakh to ₹21 lakh. We see this increase further during the March placements this year, going by the number of companies that have enlisted their participation,” Tarun Ghia, Chairman, Committee for members in Industry, ICAI, said.

Candidates’ pool

This time, however, corporates will have to select from a smaller pool of candidates, although the vacancies will be more than last year. So far, the institute has received queries for about 900 vacancies.

The pass figures for the first round of placements this year is about 3.11 per cent of the total candidates that took the exam, as against 12 per cent last year.

This is because the ICAI has hardened the question paper with more analytical questions, as also the valuation process, and scrapped the moderation and grace marks practices.

“This we have done to bring out the best of students, a kind of filtering at the exam level itself. Also, we did this to discourage students from flocking to the mushrooming coaching institutes that makes students mug up the subject, without knowledge of application and analysis,” Ghia said.

(This article was published on February 27, 2014)
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