Institute of Cost and Works Accountants (ICWA)

Source: Sanket Pandit

ICWA or Institute of Cost and Works Accountants is an entrance exam conducted by the Institute of Cost Accountants of India (ICAI) for admissions to its cost accounting courses. ICAI was set-up in 1959 with the objective of promoting the Cost and Management Accountancy profession in India.

ICWA is a national-level entrance exam recognized by the Government of India and registered under the Companies Act. The ICWA course provides you with knowledge of managing the business efficiently, where, as a cost accountant you have to collect and analyze financial information from all the levels of the company.

The course includes 3 different levels:

  1. ICWA Foundation Course
  2. ICWA Intermediate course
  3. ICWA Final course

The admission to this course is done through the ICWA exam, the application form which is available online.

ICWA Eligibility Criteria

There are different eligibility criteria for each of the 3 ICWA courses. To pursue cost accounting as a career, a student will have to start right after passing class XII by taking admission into the foundation course. Students waiting for their results can apply on a provisional basis.

The eligibility criteria for each of the course is as follows:

ICWA Foundation Course

  1. The student must have passed class XII or equivalent from a recognized Board, or
  2. The student must have passed the National Diploma in Commerce Examination directed by the All India Council for Technical Education, or
  3. Candidate must have passed an equivalent examination from any State Board of Technical Education under the authority of said All India Council, or
  4. The candidate must have passed the Diploma in Rural Service Examination conducted by the National Council of Higher Education.

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ICWA Intermediate Course

The candidate must have passed class XII or equivalent examination and Foundation Course of the ICWAI or graduated in any discipline other than:

  1. Fine Arts/Foundation (entry-level) Part I Examination of CAT of the institute
  2. Foundation (Entry Level) Part I Examination and Competency Level Part II Examination of CAT of the Institute

ICWA Final Course

  1. The candidate must have passed class XII.
  2. The candidate should be a graduate in any discipline except Fine Arts or equivalent
  3. Candidates must have passed all eight papers of the ICWA intermediate course.

ICWA Application Process

The application process for ICWA is available in online mode only and candidates have to fill and submit the application form for the ICWA exam before the last date of each term. Also, the candidate must submit the application fee alongside, without which the application form is not accepted by the student.

Applicants must make sure to fill in the forms correctly. However, incomplete forms will be available in the system which should be completed within 30 days, the failure to do so will result in the removal of the form. The application fee for each course is different.

Steps in the admission process of ICWAI are:

  1. Filling Application form – The candidates first fill the application form on the official website. The candidate should check the eligibility criteria while filling the form. The application form will be available only online. 
  2. Payment of application – Once the candidate fills all the details required in the application form of ICWAI, the candidate has to pay the application fees for further proceedings. The application fee is different for different courses.
EXAMINATIONFEES (IN INR)
Foundation courses$1,200
Intermediate courses (Group 1 or 2)$1,200
Final course (Group 3 0r 4)$1,400
  • Admit card download: After depositing the payment, print out the admit card. The admit card will be available before one week of the exam date. The admit card of ICWAI will be available on the official website.
  • Appear in Exam: The candidate needs to appear in the ICWAI examination on the scheduled exam date. The candidate needs to carry an ID proof photocopy and photograph which was uploaded in the application form.
  • ICWAI result: The ICWAI declares results within 60 days of examination. The result will be available on the official website of ICWAI.
ExaminationFee
FoundationRs.1200
Intermediate (Group 1 or 2)Rs.1200
Intermediate (Both 1 and 2)Rs.2400
Final (Group 3 or 4)Rs.1400
Final (Both 3 and 4)Rs.2800

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ICWA Exam Pattern

The ICWA is an offline exam and the exam pattern is a descriptive-mode, where the candidate is expected to write full answers. Each paper carries 100 marks and the duration is 3 hours for each paper.

  1. The ICWA Foundation course consists of 4 papers based on accounts.
  2. The ICWA Intermediate course consists of 2 groups (Group 1 and 2) with 4 papers each; papers 5-8 and papers 9-12.
  3. The ICWA Final course also consists of 2 groups (Group 3 and 4) with 4 papers each; papers 13-16 and papers 17-20.

ICWAI Course Fees

The ICWAI course fees varies for different courses. The cost of the prospectus of ICWAI is Rs. 250.

  1. The ICWAI foundation course fees is approx. Rs. 4000.
  2. The ICWAI intermediate course fees is approx. Rs. 20,000.
  3. The ICWAI final course fees is Rs. 17,000.

Examination and Courses for ICWA

The entrance examination of the Institute of Costs and Works Management is held twice in a year. 

The application fee for the courses are given as follows:

  1. Foundation course – 4,000 rupees.
  2. Intermediate course – 12000 rupees to 20000 rupees.
  3. The final course – 17000 rupees to 20000 rupees.

Also, the course syllabus for the exam of the Institute of Costs and Management is given as follows:

  1. Paper-I contains the subject of the Fundamentals of Economics.
  2. Paper-II consists of the subject of Fundamentals of Accounting.
  3. Paper-III consists of the subject of Fundamentals of Law and Ethics.
  4. Paper-IV consists of the subject of Fundamentals of Business Mathematics and Statistics.
  5. Paper-V consists of the subject of Fundamentals of Financial Accounting.
  6. Paper-VI consists of the subject of Fundamentals of Law and Ethics.
  7. Paper-VII consists of the subject of Fundamentals of Direct Taxation.
  8. Paper-VIII consists of the subject of Fundamentals of Cost Accounting.
  9. Paper-IX consists of the subject of Fundamentals of Operations and Strategic Management.
  10. Paper-X consists of the subject of Fundamentals of Cost and Management Accounting.
  11. Paper-XI consists of the subject of Fundamentals of Indirect Taxation.
  12. Paper-XII consists of the subject of Fundamentals of Company Accounts and Audit.
  13. Paper-XIII consists of the subject of Fundamentals of Corporate Law and Compliance.
  14. Paper-XIV consists of the subject of the Fundamentals of Strategic Financial Management.
  15. Paper-XV consists of the subjects of the Fundamentals of Strategic Cost Management Decision Making.
  16. Paper-XVI consists of the subjects of the Fundamentals of Direct Tax Laws.
  17. Paper-XVII consists of the subjects of the Fundamentals of Corporate Financial Reporting.
  18. Paper-XVIII consists of the subjects of the Fundamentals of Indirect Tax Laws.
  19. Paper-XIX consists of the subjects of the Fundamentals of Cost and Management Audit.
  20. Paper-XX consists of the subjects of the Fundamentals of Strategic Performance Management and Business Evaluation.

So, it can be seen very clearly that a candidate needs to go through 20 papers to pass the exam and, in turn, to get into the department of the Institute of Cost Works and Management.

Now, if a student wishes to apply for the exam which is held in June, then they can apply before 31st January of the same year as well. On the other hand, if a student or candidate wishes to apply for the December exam, which is the second exam for the candidates to pass the entrance test, which consists of 20 papers, the last date of application remains July 31 mostly.


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Results of the Entrance Test

The Institute of Costs Works and Management announces its official result on its official website. The official result of a candidate can be found by going through the websites that are:-

  1. www.examicmai.in
  2. www.examicmai.org

The result usually gets uploaded on its due date, and the candidate or student who appeared for the entrance test can see their result by entering their 11 digit registration number to check the full details of the result. Along with the result that is published on the official website, the rank list of the top 50 candidates of the exam is released on the official website as well.

The candidates who successfully cleared the exam can enroll themselves for the final exam. According to the statistics every year, anywhere between 4000 candidates to 5000 candidates appear for the entrance examination conducted by the Institute of Costs Works and Management. However, out of these candidates who appear for the entrance examination, only about 20% of the students qualify for the examination and get to sit for the final round, which is again conducted by the Institute of Costs Works and Management.

Jobs for ICWA

Various jobs are being offered to the candidates who can clear the final examination as conducted by the Institute of Cost and Works Accountants (ICWA).Some of the Job roles along with the vacancies according to the recent report publishes are listed down below:-

  1. Director with 35 around vacancies.
  2. Multi-tasking staff with around 70 vacancies.
  3. Junior Technical officer with around 6 vacancies.
  4. Junior Research Fellow with around 196 vacancies.
  5. Master Craftsman with around 8 vacancies.
  6. Soldier with around 90 vacancies.
  7. Deputy Director with around 21 vacancies.
  8. Deputy Chief Engineer with around 34 vacancies.
  9. Engineer with around 87 vacancies.
  10. Director-General with around 2 vacancies.
  11. Chairman and Managing Director with around 1 vacancy.
  12. Managing director with around 5 vacancies.

According to the statistics, for this year and the upcoming year, there is a huge number of jobs that are being released for ICWA passed candidates as it is conducted by the Institute of Costs Works and Management.

There are jobs in various Government as well as in private sectors such as Banking, Railway defense, Marketing, Retail, Media, Journalism, Insurance, Advertising, Finance, Manufacturing, Construction and many more as well which are considered as subsets of the above-listed sectors which contain both public as well as private sectors.


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Salary offered to Institute of Cost and Works Accountants (ICWA)

The main aim of the Institute of Cost and Works Accountants (ICWA) is to meet the globally rising demand for management and to regulate the cost accounts in India. The various jobs under the Institute of Cost and Works Accountants (ICWA) and their corresponding salaries are listed down as follows:

  1. Chief Financial Officer with a salary of around eight lakhs per annum to 18 lakhs per annum.
  2. Chief Accountant with a salary of around eight lakhs per annum to 12 lakhs per annum.
  3. Internal Auditor with a salary of around ten lakhs per annum to 15 lakhs per annum.
  4. Finance Manager with a salary of around six lakhs per annum to 15 lakhs per annum.
  5. Assistance Financial Manager with a salary of around four lakhs per annum to 9 lakhs per annum.

Again the average salaries offered to the candidates in various industries are listed down as follows:

  1. Banking Industry with an average salary of around 6 lakhs per annum. 
  2. Information Technology Industry with an average salary of around 10 lakhs per annum.
  3. Consultancy Industry with an average salary of around 7 lakhs per annum.
  4. Manufacturing and Distribution Industry with an average salary of around 8 lakhs per annum.
  5. Telecommunications Industry with an average salary of around 13 lakhs per annum.
  6. Business Process Outsourcing Industry with an average salary of around 5 lakhs per annum.
  7. Financial Services Industry with an average salary of around 4 lakhs per annum.

Mainly the academic qualification of the passing candidates determines their pay structure. The average salaries which are being fetched by the different Degree earned by the individuals are given as follows:

  1. Master of Business Administration with a salary of around 12 lakhs per annum to 30 lakhs per annum.
  2. Bachelor’s Degree with a salary of around 3 lakhs per annum to 24 lakhs per annum.
  3. Master of Commerce with a salary of around 21 lakhs per annum to 30 lakhs per annum.
  4. Master of Business Administration and Accounting with a salary of around 4.5 lakhs per annum to 16.5 lakhs per annum.
  5. Bachelor of Commerce and Accounting with a salary of around three lakhs per annum to 21 lakhs per annum.
  6. Bachelor of Finance with a salary of around 3 lakhs per annum to 22 lakhs per annum.
  7. Master of Business Administration and Finance with a salary of around 1 lakhs per annum to 5 lakhs per annum.

According to the different skills which are posed by the candidates their salary is also given. Salaries of the candidates based on their skills are given in the list below:-

  1. Accounting with an average salary of 8 lakhs per annum.
  2. Microsoft Excel with an average salary of 5 lakhs per annum.
  3. Account Management with an average salary of 5 lakhs per annum.
  4. Financial Reporting with an average salary of 8 lakhs per annum.
  5. Financial Analysis with an average salary of 7 lakhs per annum.
  6. Microsoft Office with an average salary of 5 lakhs per annum.
  7. Microsoft Word with an average salary of 5.5 lakhs per annum.
  8. Accounts Payable with an average salary of 6 lakhs per annum.
  9. Senior Financial Management with an average salary of 8 lakhs per annum.

Again the candidates are also given salaries based on their experiences. The salaries of the candidates based on their experiences are listed down as follows:-

  1. Less than a year with an average salary of around 3 lakhs per annum.
  2. 1-4 years with an average salary of around 5 lakhs per annum.
  3. 5-9 years with an average salary of around 7 lakhs per annum.
  4. 10-19 years with an average salary of around 11 lakhs per annum.
  5. 20 years or more with an average salary of around 30 lakhs per annum.

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FAQs

What are the types of courses in ICWAI?

Ans. There are 3 types of courses in ICWAI named as ICWAI foundation course, ICWAI intermediate course and ICWAI final course.

What is the cost of the prospectus of ICWAI?

Ans. The cost of the prospectus of ICWAI is Rs. 250.

Is the duration for every ICWAI course the same?

Ans. No, the duration for every ICWAI is different from one another. The duration for the ICWAI foundation course is 8 months, for the ICWAI intermediate course is 10 months and for ICWAI final course is 18 months minimum.

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Rachit believes in the power of education and has studied from the top institutes of IIIT Allahabad, IIM Calcutta, and Francois Rabelias in France. He has worked as Software Developer with Microsoft and Adobe. Post his MBA, he worked with the world’s # 1 consulting firm, The Boston Consulting Group across multiple geographies US, South-East Asia and Europe.

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