3 toughest areas of the job of a Chartered Accountant

For most people, becoming a Chartered Accountant is a dream-come-true. Rightly so, because the prestigious title is bestowed only upon a select few, those who can withstand the severe pressure and hard training every aspirant undergoes.

Yet, life is not a cakewalk once you become a CA. New challenges are waiting for you, obstacles that could break your morale. While the job is a thrill like no other, there are many aspects of being a CA that are less than pleasant. Here are the toughest areas of the job as a CA:

Being on track with the technologies

The world is getting digital now, and so are we. Every aspect of our lives is touched by this digital revolution. If it influenced even your bedroom, how could your job remain aloof? Businesses are fast adapting to these digital changes, for their benefits. Amidst all this, a regular, average chartered accountant would naturally find himself lost. And indeed, this has been the case so far. Many CAs have been laid off due to their inability to adapt to the latest technologies.

It is fair to assume that keeping in pace with the latest technological innovations is something CAs are not really good at. Apart from every form of automation, many businesspeople are finding it far easier to search for financial advice online, instead of hiring CAs for the same.

Are CAs completely replaceable by digital resources? No, of course not. In crucial moments, only humans can give a performance unmatched by the machines. However, most people do not realize the importance of CAs, which is making it quite difficult for them to secure new clients.

The bottom line is: No matter how distasteful or unfair it seems to you, learning the latest technologies is essential for your practice.

Making a name for yourself

When you are fresh out of the course, as a new-born CA, things look to be quite rosy. We arrive with a passion and will to conquer the world. However, with time, we realize that making a name for you is undoubtedly one of the toughest aspects of this job.

Without a substantial experience and/or a reputed firm to back you up, you are mostly not taken seriously by others. On the other hand, starting your own firm is no small deal either. The initial expenses are quite high to be managed alone, which is why most people go for partnerships. Even then, the world of accounting follows a strict hierarchal pattern, where rising above others often take a lifetime.

Such factors do make it quite tough to become a chartered accountant. But there are no fruits without hardships. Managing to crack into a reputed firm or bagging a high-profile client, in the beginning, might give your career a much-needed boost.

Surviving the lifestyle

Ask any CA about what they hate about their job, and their answer would mostly fall along the lines of "everything." This doesn't prove that the trade is bad, so no need to get alarmed. However, it does indicate how frustrating the profession could be.

So, what is it that makes the job of the CAs so frustrating and tough? Well, here are some key things:

  • Every now and then, you might find yourself face-to-face with an interesting task. However, apart from that, you work would largely be repetitive and monotonous. If you are a part of a big firm, then doing the same work on a loop might become the only thing you do.

  • The workload is never consistent. There would be times when you would have ample time to count the stars in the sky, while on other days you might not get even proper sleep. Being a client-oriented profession, uncertain work hours is a part of the deal. This is what makes it both interesting and exhausting.

  • Chartered accountancy is a job which demands many virtues from people, and the ability to work under pressure is one of them. The strict timelines and demand for error-free results, after working for long hours, can put a toll over your mental faculties. Yet, your mind must remain sharp. For many, this is the toughest part of being a CA.

  • Knowledge is a never-ending path of life. This statement could not be truer for CAs. Despite clearing one of the toughest exams in the country, your studies are not really over. You would need to constantly study new things in order to remain ahead of others. For those who love gaining knowledge, it is one of the more enjoyable aspects of the job. For those who don't, not so much.

  • The cut-throat competition in this profession is what most CAs finds to be toughest. Every client wants to hire the sharpest tool in the box. Displaying your own abilities would never be enough; you would also need to prove why you are better than everyone else. The constant need to stay ahead of others takes a toll on many people.

  • The deadlines are like a hanging noose. Many people are of the nature that prefers working at the end. This attitude doesn't work in this profession, where lapsed deadlines can lead to financial losses for both you and your clients. Quite often, the deadlines are set neigh-impossible, but you still have to go along with it.

  • Details mean everything in this trade. Among hundreds of terms, conditions, and clauses, you need to have hawk-like eyes that never ignore crucial details. Some might enjoy it like detective work, but most find it exhausting work.

  • So, as we saw, the lifestyle of a CA is not something many people might envy. While it is fun and thrilling in some parts, it is mostly exhausting and frustrating to the CAs.


Being a Chartered Accountant is definitely a proud achievement, something only a few people are able to achieve. Yet, the world on this side is not all gold and glitters. The job is thrilling and enjoyable, with many thrilling prospects. But there are also some really tough aspects of this job.


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