Dealing with harassment and mistreatment in the CA firm

Dealing with harassment and mistreatment in the CA firm

Take the practical as well as a self-help approach. Doing these, whatever the practical help you have, you’ll get it. And whatever help you would wish to have but you don’t have it, help yourself get through the phase.

The importance of Articleship and the CA firm

As a CA student, you need to study for the purpose of passing your CA exams, pass your CA exams, and finish your Articleship successfully in order to become CA.

Here, Articleship is a major aspect of your CA course. You can neither take it for granted nor can you take it too seriously.

As a CA student, your goal in your Articleship is to finish it successfully because only then you will be able to become CA (which is why you are in the CA course).


Another aspect that goes hand in hand with your Articleship is your CA firm.

Here, some CA students gain positive and productive experiences while many CA students complain about facing a lot of problems which include exploitation, harassment, and mistreatment.

Approaches to deal with the problems

There can be many approaches to deal with the problems you face.

The ideal approach

For anything wrong on their part, you may want your CA firm held strictly accountable. You may want them to honour your rights as a CA student. You may want them to act and behave ethically and refrain from the acts and behaviours which are unethical. You may want the working environment to be made conducive. If this is the case, they surely are your genuine and righteous wants.

The point here is, all of it would make perfect sense if we are living in an ideal world and if the institute had a strong, student-supportive, very active, and well-publicized grievance redressal system in place in case any CA student faced any issue during the CA course. This does not seem to be the case as of today.

The activism approach

You can also draw a sharp line with respect to right and wrong and if at any time, your CA firm falls on the wrong, you can decide to go to any length to hold them to account. This approach would tantamount to activism and still be within your rights as a person. What this will also likely do is to cost you your precious time, energy, and focus away from finishing your studies, passing your exams, completing your Articleship, and going on to become CA, all of which is why you are in the CA course.

The practical approach

Being smart and practical goes a long way in helping you navigate through your challenges. Whatever practical help available to you through the Institute or any forums, do take it.

The self-help approach

At Becoming CA, what we suggest is a personally progressive and self-developmental approach where no matter what happens to you, you deal with it in a way which will help you progress in the CA course and your chosen career, where you develop as a person and be well in your professional and personal life.

What I suggest is, take the practical as well as a self-help approach. Doing these, whatever the practical help you have, you’ll get it. And whatever help you would wish to have but you don’t have it, better help yourself get through the phase anyhow.

In this regard, it is important to take note of the following:

The Theoretical world versus the Practical world

Your rights, your duties, your obligations, they are all theory. They come from a theoretical world.

On the other hand, your work and training and Articleship are a practical world. And there is always a difference between the theoretical world and the practical world. So, better than getting stuck in the theoretical world, the smart thing to do is to learn and understand your practical world and navigate through it accordingly.

In theory, in the theoretical world, your world may be ideal. Nobody should do anything wrong to you. Nobody should do anything unethical. But in reality, in the practical world, a lot of things happen – unwanted, unwarranted and undesirable things – and when they happen, you can either look at your rights and take a stand, or you can be smart and focus on your goal of finishing your Articleship and whatever bad comes in your way, attempt to weather it off, sidestep it, learn how to protect your mind and emotions from getting affected by it. Doing these will ensure your progress in your goal of finishing your Articleship successfully and thereby becoming CA.

Your progress in the practical world

It is not easy to be at the receiving end of someone doing wrong to you, it costs you dearly. The greater point here is, if you want to progress in your professional life, a lot of unwanted and undesirable things will come your way. You will have to deal with them anyways. You can either deal with them positively or negatively, productively or resentfully. We recommend a positive and productive approach because even though it is tough, it is also in the interest of your progress, development, and well-being. A negative and resentful approach does not help you for long.

So, whatever it is your firm does to you, remember it will all pass. That you are there for finishing your Articleship and for becoming CA. That whatever they do is part and parcel of the practical side of Articleship and once you will be done with your Articleship, you will be done with these unwanted and undesirable problems too.

Please feel free to add any point if you find anything missing, counter any point if you feel you have a better one, and help your fellow CA students by sharing your views on the topic in the comment section below.

M. Ammar

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