Is IIA Superior to ICAI? | CA CS CMA (Amendment) Act

  • CA|Exam|CS|CMA|
  • 5 Min Read
  • By Taxmann
  • |
  • Last Updated on 23 December, 2023


According to the recommendations of the Parliamentary Panel, the Indian Institute of Accounting (IIA) will be the next substantial development. The government has proposed that IIAs be established in the same manner as IIMs and IITs. The objective is also to delegate the powers that are currently held entirely by the ICAI.

This is the most buzzing abbreviation nowadays amongst CA Students & Professionals.

Read Taxmann's Detailed Analysis of the CA, CWA, and CS (Amendment) Act, 2022

Also due to social media, many myths have been formed. So let us look at what the official bill contains about IIAs:

    • The IIAs will be statutory bodies established by a Central law similar to IITs and IIMs.
    • They will be set up in different parts of India.
    • Each IIA will have a board of governors consisting of experts, lay persons, and government officers drawn, among others, from the Ministry of Finance, the Ministry of Education, and the Ministry of Corporate Affairs. The board size will be ten. The board will have full functional, financial and administrative autonomy for its efficient functioning.
    • The chairman and the members will be eminent persons from business, public administration, accountancy, finance, academia, and so on.
    • Each IIA will have an Academic Council that will develop the curriculum. The undergraduate curriculum will have financial and cost accounting, auditing, tax, law, business strategy, organisational behaviour, management, governance and public administration, technology, data science, psychology and other fields relevant to the wide role that accountants play.
    • IlAs will start with a five-year undergraduate programme in accounting. Overtime, they will develop post-graduate programmes in specialized areas such as forensic accounting, business analytics, cyber security, valuation, international tax, and other relevant fields. Once these programmes stabilise, they will develop Ph.D programmes. Admission will be through a national entrance test after secondary schooling under the National Educational Policy 2020.
    • IlAs will be research-driven. They will support research and publications efforts by their faculty generously.
    • IlAs will work closely with national and regional educational institutions such the Indian Institutes of Management, the Indian Institutes of Technology, the National Law Universities, and other universities and institutions.
    • From the beginning IIAs will have an international outlook. They should have students from all over the world including from developing countries. They should aim to get the best faculty from around the world.
    • They should price their education reasonably and provide liberal financial aid to needy students. Access, equity, inclusion, diversity, and fairness are important. They should work to raise endowments from industry.
    • Those who qualify in the undergraduate programme will be given two degrees, a Bachelor of Accounting and a Bachelor of Business. This will give them a choice of the stream they want to go into.
    • They will be given a licence to practise similar to CAs. The licence-holders will be called Certified Professional Accountants (CPAs). They will be required to register themselves with a Central Licensing Authority (such as NFRA) which will handle their disciplinary matters.

“The proposal visualizes the IIAs as academic institutions that educate licensed professionals similar to AIIMS, PGI, JIPMER, National Law Schools, and so on. In contrast, the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India will be a professional certification agency, much the same way it is now.”

To read more about the bill, click on the link provided:

IIAs could be a turnaround in the education world. IIA could be the solution to all of CA courses’ concerns; these are the features that can make IIA superior to ICAI:

    1. Since IIA will have an entrance exam after 12th, it will be extremely difficult to pass, and while IIA will select the best students based on aptitude, as do IIMs, it is up to them to consider 10th and 12th grades in addition to the entrance exam, ensuring that the quality of students seems to be exceptional.
    2. Some subjects in the CA curriculum are taught on a rote based while IIA may tailor the curriculum to the amount of rote learning required for particular disciplines while also introducing subjects and abilities that are in great demand in the accounting and finance business.
    3. Industrial training can made compulsory in the curriculum to help students have a deeper understanding about industry. Exploitative rules of Articleship and excess powers to members which they misusing it against students can be curtailed by IIAs.
    4. Students gets chance to enjoy normal college life. Also it would be advantageous for the student if they got international exposure.
    5. IIA students can be groomed to be better managers than CAs.

Some problems that may arise with IIAs are as follows:

    1. As it will be Government-run institute, it may attract a Reservation quota which might be problematic with respect to quality of scholars.
    2. High fees will be attracted like IIMs & IITs. However special loan schemes can be provided to the students.

However, it must be noted that CAs are centralised is one of the reasons why they are recognised and respected. Every candidate receives the same question paper (resulting in the same level of difficulty), is placed in the same setting, and takes the tests at the same time. The identical curriculum is followed by all of the candidates. Unlike engineers from IIT/NIT, MBAs from IIM/FMS, doctors from AIIMS or lawyers from top law schools, no CA has to state where they are from. The tag CA is sufficient in and of itself. The addition of IIA will dilute the prestige of course and CA profession as a whole.

The biggest challenge with IIA institute will be building a reputation with the industry that its pass outs have the knowledge that is required to compete with CAs.

Dive Deeper:

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Here are some Frequently Asked Questions:

Q.1 Is IIA going to replace ICAI forever?

Certainly not. The goal of establishing IIA is to break the ICAI’s monopoly and promote competition for chartered accountants. Students will have the option of becoming Chartered Accountants through the ICAI or Certified Professional Accountants through the IIA in the future.

Q.2 After the introduction of IIA, the scope of CA Professionals is about to reduce?

Competition is always beneficial in any industry.Quantity is never more important than quality.A competent passionate professional always finds his/her place irrespective of the crowd who claims they are same as you.

Q.3 Will a CPA have similar powers & rights as a CA does?

CPAs, like CAs, will be granted a licence to practise. But, because there is no particular mention of it in the proposal, what role they will play for the Business organisations, what exactly they may do as CAs, and so on is still unclear and not specifically mentioned in proposal.

Q.4 Is it thereby guaranteed that IIA will be established in the future?

Currently, it is only presented as a suggestion in 45th report of standing committee on finance. It will take long time to establish a law for such an institution and then to form it.

Disclaimer: The content/information published on the website is only for general information of the user and shall not be construed as legal advice. While the Taxmann has exercised reasonable efforts to ensure the veracity of information/content published, Taxmann shall be under no liability in any manner whatsoever for incorrect information, if any.

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