This article is written by Reet Balmiki, from NALSAR University of Law. This is an exhaustive article which deals with the average CA salary in India, various factors that determine a CA’s salary, and the major recruiters in the industry.
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A Chartered Accountant plays a significant role as a pillar in the economic growth of the country and the overall nation-building. As a result, Chartered Accountancy is considered to be a much-respected profession in India and offers flattering packages and a wide range of opportunities.
This article discusses the various packages available to Chartered Accountants, the average CA salary in India, the factors that determine the CA salary, and the various high-paying recruiters in India.
Basic sources of remuneration for a CA in India
Along with the wide-ranging opportunities in Chartered Accountancy, there come various ways in which a CA may earn their basic income. Apart from the basic salary that a CA receives, the other earning sources can broadly be categorised under three heads on the basis of the roles played by a CA –
- Fees – Fees are a significant source of income for a CA who works individually. When a CA delivers their consultancy services to manage an individual’s or company’s account, they will be entitled to fees as remuneration. This is a major source of income for around 80% of the individually practising CAs.
- Commission – A CA often helps their clients in fixing financial problems such as disapproval of loans, preparing books for the mergers or showing good books to attract good investors. In return for the solutions offered by the CA, they are offered commission income.
- Bonus and incentives – Similar to many other professions, when a CA works exceptionally well in their field, they receive a bonus as an incentive for the good work done during the year.
Now that we have looked at the forms in which a CA can earn their income, let us proceed to explore the average CA salary and various packages available for CAs in India.
Average CA salary in India 2021
According to a survey in 2019, a CA is paid an average hourly salary of Rs 700 (which may range from a minimum of Rs 500 and go up to Rs 3,000) and a monthly average salary of Rs 55,000 (which may range from a minimum of Rs 10,000 and go up to Rs 1,50,000).
Further, as per the press release issued by the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India, despite the economic impact of the COVID pandemic and resultant lockdowns, there has been an upsurge in the demand for Chartered Accountants by 37% in 2020. This has resulted in an increase in the average salary of the Chartered Accountants from Rs. 7.34 lakhs per annum in 2019 to Rs. 8.91 lakhs per annum in 2020. Therefore, as per the report on the Campus Placement Programme, during February-March 2020, the average salary offered was Rs 8.91 lakhs while the highest salary for domestic posting went up to Rs 23.28 lakh per annum.
The average salary for a CA in India during 2021 starts from 6-7 lakhs per annum and reaches up to 30 lakhs per annum. However, it is very important to analyse the various factors behind the determination of CA salary to estimate an accurate average CA salary in 2021. Before doing this, we must first look at the various salary packages available in India.
Salary packages for a CA in India
A CA’s salary depends on various factors such as experience, skills, location of recruitment, and so on. Based on these, a CA is offered a salary package.
- Lowest package – The estimated minor salary for a CA at the beginning of their career is Rs 3 lakh per annum. In return for services for smaller companies, CAs receive a salary package of Rs 3 lakh per annum. However, a fresher who has done exceptionally well in their exams and has built a reputation can secure a much better package during the initial period of their career itself.
- In-between package – The middle range packages for CAs varies based on the posting. For an international posting, the salary range is between 9-18 lakhs per annum. Indian businesses offer CAs packages ranging from 6 to 9 lakhs per annum. CAs can, however, earn around 10-20 lakhs per annum in public sector postings.
- Highest package – The highest salary for a CA is offered for international posting where they can earn up to 75 lakhs per annum. The highest salary for a CA for a domestic posting falls within the range of 25-45 lakhs per annum.
Fresher CA salary in India
ICAI offers placements to all freshly qualified CA graduates twice a year. While offering placements, priority is given to rank holders who have cleared the exam in their first attempt following those who have not made multiple attempts are offered placements.
The starting salary of a CA graduate is determined on the basis of several factors such as skill, job profile, past experience, the company they have been recruited in, and the place of recruitment. However, on average, a freshly graduated CA could start their career with a package ranging from 4-6 lakhs to 40-60 lakhs per annum based on several factors.
- Top rankers of CA Final – Rs. 15-25 lakh per annum
- Cleared CA in the first attempt – Rs 11-15 lakh per annum
- CA fresher passing in several attempts – Rs 6-9 lakh per annum
Factors affecting the salary of a CA
As previously discussed, the salary of a CA is determined on the basis of several factors. The most important and commonly considered among these are the basic skills essential for a CA, practical experience in the field, willingness to update and learn, the job profile for which the CA has been recruited, and the company and location of recruitment. Let us take a look at each of these individually and determine the average CA salary for the year 2021 based on various factors.
CA salary in 2021 : based on skill
A Chartered Accountant is expected to have three kinds of basic skills to properly serve their clients. They are thus paid on the basis of their analytical, compliance, and reporting skills. As a part of these, a CA is expected to have several budget management, financial, and auditing skills to perform better and be entitled to higher remuneration. Thus, for a CA to gain higher packages, they must possess these skills and continue to build on them throughout their career.
|Average Salary per annum
|Evaluation and management auditing
|SAP financial accounting and controlling
CA salary in 2021 : based on experience
Similar to other professions, practical experience along with basic skills is valued much more and is thus rewarded highly. Therefore, experience forms a huge relevance while determining the CA salary as it enables one to polish their skills and build a good reputation and goodwill in the industry. With continuous practice and experience, a CA gains more knowledge and skills about the industry and is thus paid higher for the same.
|Year of experience
|Average CA Salary per annum
CA salary in 2021 : based on the job profile
The demand for CAs in the industry is not limited to accounts and taxes and extends to a wide range of posts with different entities. Naturally, the salary of a CA varies with the job profile at which the CA has been recruited. This is because the nature of work done by the CA differs from post to post. The profile for CFO, account executive, and accountant receives an average salary above 20 lakh per annum, whereas account assistant and business analyst are paid approximately 12 lakh per annum. Therefore, a job profile is an important factor in determining the average pay a CA would receive during a year.
|Average CA salary per annum
|Assistant account manager
|Senior account executive
CA salary in 2021 : based on city of recruitment
Along with the job profile, another common factor determining the CA salary is the city in which the CA is placed. This is because companies popularly pay their employees depending on the pay scale of the particular city. Naturally, metropolitan and developed cities will pay their employees comparatively higher than other cities. This is because the cost of living is relatively higher in such cities.
|Average CA salary per annum
High-paying recruiters in India in 2021
Apart from the city in which a CA is recruited, another factor that significantly impacts the CA salary is the organization that recruits the CA. The high-paying employers, including the Big 4 and many other top players in the industry, provide flattering packages to CA graduates along with wide-ranging career opportunities to explore. According to the list of participating organizations, 222 organizations participated in the Campus Placement programme from February-March 2021. Some of the companies that are popularly known to be the highest paying recruiters have been listed out in the table below –
|Average CA Salary per annum
|Rs. 25-45 Lakhs (Highest)
|Hindustan Unilever Ltd
|Rs. 10-36 Lakhs
|Rs. 14-35 Lakhs
|Rs. 14-32 Lakhs
|Aditya Birla Sun Life
|Rs. 13-28 Lakhs
|Rs. 11-27 Lakhs
|Rs. 10-25 Lakhs
|Rs. 10-22 Lakhs
|Rs. 12-22 Lakhs
|Rs. 6-17 Lakhs
Top recruiters of CA professionals
- The Big Four – The Big Four is a collective name for the four largest professional services networks in the world – Deloitte, Ernst & Young, KPMG and PwC. These are the major recruiters in the industry and provide good CA salary packages and great opportunities.
- IT industry – Many major companies from the IT industry such as Wipro, Microsoft etc. recruit CA professionals to be a part of their audit teams. They generally provide an average CA salary of Rs 7-10 lakhs per annum.
- Indian CA firms – Many CA firms including the top firms like Haribhakti & Co., Singhi & Co., Chaturvedi & Shah etc. also hire CA candidates for the purpose of auditing.
- Public sector undertakings – Apart from major CA firms, many PSUs like BSNL, HPCL etc also recruit CA professionals and offer good packages that range from Rs 6-15 lakhs per annum.
- Manufacturing companies – Manufacturing companies like TCS and MRF also hire fresh CA graduates. Though these companies provide a relatively lower package, they provide huge exposure which is beneficial for candidates. The average salary is Rs 7-11 lakhs per annum.
- Banks – Banks often hire a number of CA candidates for wide-ranging job profiles. These are suitable for fresh CA graduates and have a salary package of around Rs 5-10 lakhs per annum.
- International companies – These companies hire CAs for their foreign branches. They offer high salaries and great opportunities in the industry. However, the basic salary for such organizations is relatively low.
Chartered Accountancy is a profession that is only increasing in demand over time. Chartered Accountants are among the most handsomely paid professionals in India. As seen during the ICAI placements in 2020, the average salary for a CA in India has significantly increased and is expected to further increase during 2021.
However, the CA salary is based on certain factors such as skill, experience, job profile and so on. Though these factors influence a professional’s salary, even a fresh graduate who has made a name in the industry and has the necessary skills is often offered high-paying packages. There are several major recruiters in the industry that provide great salaries and wide-ranging opportunities to CA professionals.
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