IndigoLearn

Back

How to Choose CA Final Elective Papers? The Ultimate Guide for the CA Final Student

How to Choose CA Final Elective Papers? The Ultimate Guide for the CA Final Student

#CAExams

#CAFinal

#Career

#CAResults

#ExamTips

#Exemptions

#IndigoLearn

#Job

#New

#Syllabus

When ICAI introduced CA final elective paper in 2018, there were three words resonating among CA students:

“We Are Confused!”

Trust me, the local versions of this phrase are still very funny.

And certainly, it was a confusing time for CA students & coaches alike, and for many, it still continues; but this change was necessary.

The CA final elective paper was introduced to improve the CA education system and to make students independent, resilient, and real-world ready from the start.

Before this paper came into existence, students had to go through the entire course without any specialization. Only after they entered the real world, they had the opportunity to choose a specialization, based on their work profile and experience.

However, the problem with this system was, for most students, it was too late to make a change once they entered the workforce. Even if they did, the road map to realize their new profile was long, scary, and challenging. Hence, they always stuck with what they had, despite their desire for a change.

Indeed, that was a sad state of affairs, which is why ICAI introduced the CA final elective paper.

Now, a student interested in financial law, a student excited about the capital market, and even a student looking to travel the world with the power of accounting can choose an elective based on their interests and desires.

They can finally complete the course with full enthusiasm and enter the real world with confidence.

Nonetheless, there are still many students and fresh high-school graduates, probably like yourself, who struggle to make the right choices and need some guidance.

So, we made this guide based on our experience in working with several thousands of students, to give you some valuable advice on how to choose the final elective paper.

By the way, if you still have any questions or confusion after reading this guide, then our mentors at Indigo Learn are available for a call to assist you anytime.

Ok, now let’s get started.

The Electives

We know there are six electives available to choose from.

We have:

  1. Risk Management – 6A
  2. FSCM – Financial Services & Capital Market – 6B
  3. International Taxation – 6C
  4. Economic Laws – 6D
  5. GFRS – Global Financial Reporting Standards – 6E
  6. Multi-Disciplinary Case Study – 6F

Before we expand on each elective, there are few elements that are common among all the electives, when we look at them from the examination standpoint. They are as follows:

  • It’s an open book exam, regardless of the elective you choose.
  • It’s a 4-hour exam and you will have 4 case studies to solve.
  • Each case study has a weightage of 25 marks where 10 marks will be allotted to MCQs and 15 marks to descriptive questions.
  • The examination will be in English, so students should be prepared to answer the descriptive questions in English.

A lot of students disregard this information as trivial details, but these four elements are critical to your final choice.

Consider the following questions at the beginning:

  • Will you be able to answer all the questions of the elective, to the best of your knowledge, within the time frame?
  • Will you be able to revise and remember all the concepts with just 1.5 days available before the exam day?
  • Will you be able to study all the concepts of the elective with passion instead of rote learning?
  • Most importantly, will YOU be able to apply these concepts in real-time?

If you are able to clearly answer these questions then you can go ahead and choose the CA final elective you desire. If you are facing hurdles in answering these questions, reach out to our mentors at Indigo Learn.

Another common mistake that most students do, is to take this exam lightly as it is an open book exam. Any student who makes a choice with this attitude will either end up failing or scoring fewer marks. And, they will regret their decision in the long run because they are forgetting the entire purpose of this elective.

Alright, so these are some of the common details and misconceptions that you have to consider before making the final choice.

Now, let us briefly cover all the six electives available at our disposal. We will be covering the objective of the course as defined by ICAI, the syllabus, the theoretical and practical application of the elective, and what are the potential career paths with that specialization.

These details should give you sufficient guidance on making the right decision.

Risk Management – 6A

Overview

According to ICAI, the objective behind risk management elective is as follows:

  • To gain knowledge and an insight into the spectrum of risks faced by businesses and to learn techniques of managing risks.
  • To build capability for applying such learning to address risk-related issues in real business scenarios.

Now let’s look at the syllabus covered in Risk Management

  • Introduction to Risk
  • Source & Evaluation of Risks
  • Risk Management
  • Quantitative Analysis
  • Risk Model
  • Credit Card Measurement and Management
  • Risk Associated with Corporate Governance
  • Enterprise Risk Management
  • Operational Risk Management

Understanding 6A Risk Management Elective

As you can see above this elective is to help you specialize in various risks businesses face and how you, as a CA, can fix them. It covers concepts around risk identification, risk assessment, and risk mitigation which are critical for businesses around the world.

This elective has major links to SFM and audit. If you have studied Strategic Financial Management (SFM) thoroughly and can apply the concepts in real-time, then you can opt for this elective.

Most students and coaches agree that this is the easiest paper among all the others. Because the Risk Management book has only 9 chapters and it is a very small book. The questions are mostly theoretical (90%) and less practical (10%).

6A Stats

May 2018

Nov 2018

May 2019

Appeared

140

639

1837

Passed

94

517

1688

Pass Percentage

67%

81%

92%

Top Marks

86

95

95

 

The stats don’t lie. However, ICAI gradually increases the difficulty of each elective so the upcoming November 2021 paper may have more practical and tougher questions. So, we suggest that you choose an elective based on its merits rather than difficulty.

It is also a useful elective if you are planning to do a diploma in Insurance and risk management after your qualification. Most questions are related to DIRM.

If you are looking into the corporate sector for a career then this elective will greatly serve its purpose for your aims.

You can check out the study material, case studies, mock test papers, and suggested answers at ICAI’s web page for paper 6A.

 

FSCM - Financial Services & Capital Market – 6B

Overview

According to ICAI, the objective behind Financial Services & Capital Market elective is this:

  • To gain knowledge of financial services rendered by intermediaries and banks and their role and activities in the financial market in general and capital market in particular;
  • To acquire the ability to apply such knowledge to address issues in practical scenarios.

Now let’s look at the areas covered:

  • Global Financial Markets
  • Impact of Various Policies of Financial Markets
  • Capital Market – Primary
  • Capital Market – Secondary
  • Money Market
  • Institutions & Intermediaries
  • Commodity Market
  • Banking Management & Banking as Source of Capital Including NBFCS
  • Mutual Funds
  • Private Equity
  • Investment Banking
  • Credit Rating
  • Treasury Operations
  • Risk Management
  • Credit Derivatives
  • SEBI Guidelines

Understanding 6B Financial Services & Capital Market

The primary focus of this elective is to help you specialize in skills necessary for financial institutions such as banks, merchants, trading platforms, leasing companies, and mutual fund agencies. Quantitative analysis is a key element and skill required to succeed in this elective.

CA students have to study a lot of acts such as the SEBI act and other acts/regulations related to financial and capital markets. Of course, a lot of economic laws are also touch-based in this elective.

Companies looking to go public will require financial analysts and accountants who can help them through that process. The knowledge gained in this elective will help students be part of such operations.

As for the test itself, 85-90% of the questions are theoretical and 10-15% of questions are practical.

Here are some stats:

6B Stats

May 2018

Nov 2018

May 2019

Appeared

678

1524

1683

Passed

371

764

1287

Pass Percentage

55%

50%

76%

Top Marks

92

77

91

 

Many consider this paper to be tougher than risk management because you have to consider amendments that often take place. Obviously, when you are dealing with laws and acts, then it is understood that amendments happen to them and so it will affect the elective.

While it is tougher than 6A, it is still easy when compared to other tougher electives.

So, if you are enthusiastic about stock markets, trading, IPOs, and other transactional/retail-based financial instruments then this course will enlighten your mind and you can choose this as your CA final elective paper.

You can check out the study material, case studies, mock test papers, and suggested answers on ICAI’s web page for paper 6B.

International Taxation – 6C

Overview

According to ICAI, the objective behind the International Taxation elective is this:

  • To develop an understanding of the concepts, principles, and provisions relevant to international taxation and acquire the ability to apply such knowledge to make computations and address issues in practical case scenarios.

There are two parts to the International Taxation syllabus:

Part 1 - Taxation of International Transactions & Non-resident Taxation in India, it covers:

  • Transfer Pricing Provisions Under the Income-Tax Act, 1961
  • Other Provisions Relating to Taxation of International Taxations and Non-Resident Taxation Under the Income-Tax Act, 1961
  • Law and Procedures under the Black Money (Undisclosed Foreign Income and Assets) and Imposition of Tax Act, 2015 – An Overview

Part 2 – Other Aspects of International Taxation, such as:

  • Overview of Model Tax Conventions
  • Tax Treaties, Application, and Interpretation
  • Anti-Avoidance Measures
  • Taxation of E-Commerce Transactions

Understanding 6C International Taxation

To start with, this elective is related a lot to paper 7 on Direct Tax Laws, which is a compulsory paper as part of the CA final. As we know, paper 7 has 70 marks of DT and 30 marks of IT.

The same international taxation is elaborated in this elective with an extra chapter. It also takes a lot of content from the diploma in international taxation (DIIT).

So, if you have mastered your direct taxation laws then you can successfully clear this paper.

However, it is a widely held belief that this is the hardest & toughest paper of all and also highly practical in nature. Of course, whenever there are acts and laws involved, you will have amendments too. That’s part of the reason.

Nevertheless, there is an advantage from an examination preparation point of view. You see paper 7 comes right after paper 6. Generally, if you choose a different elective, you get only 1.5 days between each test and each paper has different concepts to be studied.

But with international taxation, you will be indirectly preparing for paper 7  as well. So it's two birds with one bullet.

Now, lets look at some previous exam stats:

6C Stats

May 2018

Nov 2018

May 2019

Appeared

1190

4629

10654

Passed

676

3447

3343

Pass Percentage

57%

74%

31%

Top Marks

93

78

95

 

As you can see the stats are quite fluctuating but the number of students international taxation has increased drastically as it is a very lucrative career stream.

Any CA specialized in International Taxation will have an added advantage in the job market.

As for the opportunities, there is a wide range of opportunities from corporate to government sectors where students can apply.

If you have any exposure to practical aspects of international taxation then you will be able to ace this paper with flying colors as well as excel greatly in your career. Because you will be a global tax expert.

However, if you are scared of direct taxes or you struggle with it, then it is highly recommended not to take this elective.

You can check out the study material, case studies, mock test papers, and suggested answers on ICAI’s web page for paper 6C.

Economic Laws – 6D

Overview

The objective behind economic laws, according to ICAI, is:

  • To develop an understanding of the provisions of different economic laws and acquire the ability to apply such knowledge to address issues in practical case scenarios.

Let’s look at the areas covered in economic laws

  • World Trade Organization (WTO) Covering Its Role, Principles, Functions, and Dispute Settlement Mechanism
  • Competition Act, 2002, and Rules/Regulations
  • Real Estate (Regulation and Development) Act, 2016 [Central Act and Rules/Regulations]
  • Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code, 2016 & Rules/Regulations
  • Prevention of Money Laundering Act, 2002 & Rules/Regulations
  • Foreign Exchange Management Act, 1999 & Rules/Regulations
  • Prohibition of Benami Property Transactions Act, 1988 & Rules/Regulations

Understanding 6D Economic Laws

This elective is closely related to paper 4 corporate and economic laws and it is mostly theoretical. Any student preferring this elective has to be well versed with laws and should have an inclination to the same.

Recently, ICAI has added case laws, which are a collection of legal decisions by courts, adjudicating authority, and tribunals. It is a critical element of this elective and students should be prepared for it.

Law, at any point in time, is tough. So this paper is generally considered tough. However, by the addition of case laws, this elective has now become tougher.

You may ask, which is tougher 6C or 6D?

Well, currently, 6C is still tougher from a practical standpoint but in terms of volume and study material, 6D is tougher as you have to remember multiple laws.

Let’s look at some stats

6D Stats

May 2018

Nov 2018

May 2019

Appeared

446

1378

4811

Passed

268

1135

4063

Pass Percentage

60%

82%

84%

Top Marks

94

88

95

 

Of course, this is majorly a theoretical paper. So practical questions may not necessarily be there.

If you are interested in a career in the legal field then this is the best option for you as it exposes you to a lot of interesting and intriguing case studies.

It will help you become a strong advocate or lawyer in defending parties affected due to economic laws.

You can check out the study material, case studies, mock test papers, and suggested answers on ICAI’s web page for paper 6D.

GFRS – Global Financial Reporting Standards – 6E

Overview

The Objective of GFRS is as below:

  • To develop an understanding of the key concepts and principles of International Financial Reporting Standards and to acquire the ability to apply such knowledge to make computations and address issues in practical case scenarios.
  • To develop an understanding of the significant differences between IFRS and US GAAPs and apply the same in practical case scenarios.

Let’s look at the syllabus:

  • Conceptual Framework for Financial Reporting as per IFRS – 10 Marks
  • Application of International Financial Reporting Standards – 70 Marks
  • Significant Differences Between IFRS and US GAAPS – 20 Marks

Understanding 6E Global Financial Reporting Standards

This elective is closely related to paper 1 Financial Reporting. It covers many elements around Ind AS, IFRS, and US GAAP.

This is a practical paper and many people consider it to be the second easiest paper after risk management. If you are looking to make a career in accounting and international financial reporting then this elective will help you develop some core skills.

If you have excelled or studied the FR paper then this paper will be a cakewalk.

You have to pay attention to important concepts such as carve in and carve out between IFRS and Ind AS and how different US GAAP is from these two.

Here are some stats to consider.

6E Stats

May 2018

Nov 2018

May 2019

Appeared

214

483

593

Passed

104

198

408

Pass Percentage

49%

41%

69%

Top Marks

90

67

99

 

You can check out the study material, case studies, mock test papers, and suggested answers on ICAI’s web page for paper 6E.

Multi-Disciplinary Case Study – 6F

Overview

The objective of the paper, as per ICAI, is:

  • To analyze and integrate the concepts, principles, and provisions of accounting, auditing, taxation, corporate laws, finance, and business strategy and management to address issues in practical case scenarios.

And the areas covered are:

  • Financial Accounting & Reporting
  • Audit & Assurance
  • Taxation
  • Finance and Financial Management
  • Management Accounting
  • Corporate Laws
  • Business Strategy and Management

Understanding 6F Multi-Disciplinary Case Study

Basically, this is an amalgamation of all your subjects. This includes both practical and theoretical questions.

Of course, it is tough and challenging. Only the strong of the heart (and mind) are suggested with this course.

6F Stats

May 2018

Nov 2018

May 2019

Appeared

10

30

22

Passed

4

17

14

Pass Percentage

40%

57%

64%

Top Marks

81

65

77

 

As you can see, not a lot of students take this paper as their CA final elective. It can be quite detrimental if you are not in the right state of mind and you choose this subject.

However, if you are someone who has high aims in life such as establishing your own business or an entrepreneur or becoming a top consultant or chartered accountant, then this is the perfect course.

You will be trained to think 100% logically, and in every angle, as you prepare for this elective.

You can check out the study material, case studies, mock test papers, and suggested answers at ICAI’s web page for paper 6F

In Conclusion

So, these are some brief descriptions, test-based outcomes, and potential career opportunities for each elective.

The best way to prepare for Paper 6 CA final elective is to prepare a thorough index of each concept and case study. This will help you navigate through the material during the test. If not, it can be quite disastrous and stressful, to state the least.

Though it was a little challenging initially, CA Students across the country have begun to think more precisely about their careers and their specialization after paper 6 introduction.

With that said, we wish you the best as you choose your CA final elective paper and prepare for it. You can always rely on Indigo Learn for assistance, mentorship, and much more, to clear your paper 6.

Till then, take care. Have a nice day!

 

Image Credits: Party photo created by cookie_studio - www.freepik.com

1FIN by IndigoLearn
15-Jun-2021
Share