Should you work hard, or work smart in CA?

Should you work hard, or work smart in CA?

Your goal from the day 1 should be to become CA, and not become an expert in the subjects of your deep interests.

People’s Advice
When I moved to Chennai from my hometown in Karnataka, I received advice from a lot of people to work really hard in my CA course. I heard this advice from so many people so many times that it got deeply imprinted in my mindset. I believed working hard was the only way to become CA.

But on my first day of CA coaching classes, my accountancy faculty asked me to introduce myself to the class, and when he heard me saying “I want to work hard in CA and get paid for it later in life,” he said this:

“In CA, you don’t work hard, you work smart.”

He did not provide explanation to his statement, may be he didn’t want to lecture the class on it on the first day of his class. But five years later, when I looked back at what he said on our first day, it made all the sense to me.

Studying Hard
I opted for the CA course because I was good in the Accountancy subject. I wanted to become an expert in this field and thought of writing books on it.

As soon as I moved to Chennai, I started studying this subject hard. I spent hours at a time studying a single page, getting into the detail of what each and every sentence in the page really meant. I wanted to become an expert in Accountancy and if I didn’t study this subject to its depths then how would I become an Accountancy expert?

The Wrong Approach
But working hard only on the subjects that were of my deep interests was not the right approach for me to become CA, because all the CA students are required to study all the subjects prescribed in the CA course, and write and pass exams in all the subjects. It doesn’t matter to the Institute if you want to become an expert in the fields that deeply interest you and hence want to study only these subjects. What matters to the Institute is that all the CA students study and pass in all the subjects prescribed in the CA course.

I studied so hard and so deep on the subject that interested me that I received exemption in it easily but I failed in other subjects. Hence, for the CA students working hard only on the subjects of their interests is not the right way of study, working smart is.

Studying Smart
But what does it mean to work smart in CA?

1. Your goal from the day 1 should be to become CA, and not become an expert in the subjects of your deep interests. Otherwise, your efforts will not go in the direction of becoming CA, you will not find the time to study all the subjects and will not pass in all the exams. Hence, you will be held back in the CA course.

2. Study all the subjects prescribed¬†in the CA course in order pass all the exams. If you study deep and hard but only the subjects that deeply interest you, you will end up with other subjects not studied. And as mentioned in the above point, if you don’t study all the subjects, you won’t pass in all the exams and you won’t go on to become CA.

3. Carry the mindset that will help you to become CA. The beliefs, values, attitudes, and assumptions that you carry in your mind, they are all part of your mindset. For examples, if you don’t value or give importance to your CA exams, you will not put the required efforts in your study. And if you carry dislike towards any subject prescribed in your CA course, you will end up getting frustrated with the subject. Not valuing or giving importance to your CA exams and carrying dislike toward any subject in the CA course mean that you are not carrying the right mindset required to become CA.

Sometimes we carry limiting beliefs that hold us back from going on to become CA. Question your beliefs, attitude, values and assumptions (your mindset) from time to time. Get rid of the things that are not helpful to you in becoming CA. Get your mindset right for the sake of becoming CA, this is part of smart thinking and smart work.

M. Ammar

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