MUMBAI-based Charmy who bagged the third rank in the CA Final Exam, belongs to a family who relates well to financial jargon. Quick tips from her father, a tax consultant, and her siblings who are practicing CAs, helped in acing the exam. Her go-getter attitude reflects not only in her academic record but also in other aspects of life. Read on to find more.
Name: Charmy Suresh Sheth
Exam: CA Final All-India
Roll No: 08530
Q. What made you pick CA as a career option?
A. It was love for numbers and the prestige associated with the field which inspired me to choose it. Doing CA and clearing it up in the first attempt is a tough luck. My brother and sister who cleared their CA finals motivated me to crack it in the first attempt.
Q. Is this your first big success?
A. No. I cherish those years when I was chosen as head girl of my school. I had a proactive, socially responsible and academically strong image. Winning trophies in the inter-school elocution competition gave me an edge over other students. It was a special feeling of being a teacher’s pet then! Later, my goal was to do my best in my chosen career. In fact I got All India 10th rank in CPT (CA foundation paper) scoring 90%, followed by ninth rank in my third year of BCom at Narsi Monji College of Commerce, Mumbai.
Q. How did you cope up both articleship and college?
A. I am glad I sailed through that phase; I was out for 15 hours hopping from college to work. Balancing my schedule was at times, hectic as office comes with endless responsibilities. The real challenge was to prove myself in both places. I never wanted to compromise one for the other. So, I made sure that I attended my college lectures regularly. Luckily, it was not a lonely journey – as 90% were CA students in the college. We shared similar sentiments.
Q. Earlier CA exams were conducted in 8 days, consecutively. No breaks. Now, it is an alternate day schedule. Does it help?
A. Yes, it helps immensely. In the alternate days – you get enough time to study. It comforts you to revise more. I also observe that a one-day preparatory holiday is not enough for most students. And the reason is that they do not plan well. Last-minute studies require a good planning.
Q. So, what was your study mantra?
A.“Failing to plan is planning to fail” is a mantra I randomly read somewhere. After contemplation, it was interesting to note that I was following it since childhood. My studies were all well-planned. I had made a small diary in which I used to design a 15-day timetable. I took two subjects in a day – one theory and the other practical. I was clear at what time I have to carry Subject 1 and Subject 2. Every evening post studies, I would take stock of chapters finished on the same day and subsequent days. Before sleep, I used to always put down black and white. My timetables are always on paper. Discussing verbal time table with friends mostly go vain. Your mind can forget but paper hits your mind.
Q. How many of hours of study?
A. I am an early riser. So, my preparation begins with the fresh mind. IAt that time, due to some construction in front of my house, it was difficult to fully concentrate. I joined a 24X7 library where I used to spent nine hours of the day. I am thankful to that library in every sense – I got peaceful space and dozen passionate CA friends. We all turned out to be very resourceful and helped each other as we used to discuss, share notes, books and views.
Q. How did articleship and coaching help you in the exam?
A. I joined J.K Shah classes at Andheri, Mumbai which helped in conceptual clarity. My articleship at Purvesh & Associates, Borivali, Mumbai was icing on the cake - It gave me practical exposure on audit and taxation. The audit and income tax paper was a breeze. My boss, who is also an All India ranker was a great motivator at work. Positive colleagues and meeting clients helped me gain confidence. Indeed, I got a good grip on the subject and work life. But at the end of the end, both coaching and articleship is important, but it is supplementary. Individual efforts are must.
Q. Did you feel any pressure during your exam?
A. My regular yoga exercises helped me release out all worries. I used to do pranayams before I left for exam. I was very calm, relaxed during my exams. I would not carry any materials to my exam hall. I would rather break my calm cycle if I start flipping pages at my exam hall. I believe you just have to give your best and rest will fall in its place.
Q. What next after this euphoric moment? Do you want to study further?
A. Definitely, I have a knack over financial analysis. After I finish my articleship and one year CAT preparation, I plan to do MBA in Finance. I don’t want to hurry – as I believe in step by step approach.
Q. What is your advice to future CA aspirants?
A. Most people find theories dull – there is a negative attitude towards it. You can find it interesting if you give a repetitive read. Mugging up doesn’t work in CA. One should understand the objective of XYZ chapter. Focus is must. The last 4-5 months should be only dedicated to studies. Also, don’t go for random study. There are limitless books in the market. Believe me 90% the books will say the same thing. When I go to a book store I check how I feel about the book – format, font, readable quality. Shuffling books – is sheer wastage of time and energy. So, settle down with one book.
- ICAI Study Modules/Practice Manuals
- Advanced Auditing and Professional Ethics: VK Agarwal
- Corporate and Allied Laws: Munish Bhandari
Post your queries and comments below this interview, and Charmy will respond!
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