You have probably listened many times that ICAP have lower pass rates than other professional accountancy bodies around the globe. I am now explaining the reason why it is happening with ICAP students.
Generally, ICAP students do articleship in audit firms while studying for ICAP papers. These audit firms make ICAP students work 10 to 12 hrs a day telling them that they are providing training to them. ICAP students only receive peanuts as compared to students of other professional accountancy bodies around the world. The stipends they receive are insufficient to cover education, commuting and meal expenses. While at the same time, these audit firm partners earn millions of rupees per annum. ICAP do not protect its students by setting reasonable stipends for ICAP students working in audit firms approved with ICAP.
ICAP also do not allow its students to work in financial services, not for profit, manufacturing and public sector limiting breath of experience for ICAP students. ICAP needs to be recognize the fact that accountants can provide many other services to clients other than audit & assurance services. ICAP students should be given freedom to choose their career pathway. But the story does not stop here. ICAP students gets stressed too much by working 10 to 12 hrs a day and 6 days for week sometimes Sundays also. ICAP students also miss lectures and do not have time to study at home (as told by my role model who is ICAP member, CPA, ICMA and CFA) such as reading study texts and doing exam standard questions etc. The end result of this is failure in examination and lower pass rates. So most students get frustrated and forced to leave their education in the middle such as doing CA inter only and end up without having any practicing license for audit and qualification equal to Masters degree that is recognized by HEC (Higher Education Commission) Pakistan that you can use for immigration purpose to do job abroad.
This fact is concealed by ICAP by stating that we are providing much higher quality education than other professional accountancy bodies around the globe, but the fact is that ICAEW is No 1 professional accountancy qualification currently and placing get change from time to time. However, most of the students have recognized this fact and diverted their efforts towards other professional qualifications such as ICMAP, CPA, CIMA, ICAEW, ACCA etc. As a result, ICAP market share is drastically fallen in past decade and to prevent its market share, ICAP is deteriorating the quality of education and adopting unethical ways to prevent its market share.
If you go abroad, you will find that ICAP and other qualifications are equally preferred by employers such as ICAP and ACCA as told by my friend working in Ireland he was studying both CA and ACCA simultaneously. ICAP should fix reasonable stipends for ICAP students, maximum working hours per day and ensure that ICAP students get study leave sufficient to study entire syllabus Just like ACCA does for its ACCA Students by requiring ACCA Approved employers to bear study expenses, provide training, study leave and review ACCA Approved employer performance each year. Otherwise, say good bye to ICAP before your life will get miserable. As being a good Pakistani and professional, you have moral duty to force ICAP to protect students interest and avoid such behavior that discredits the institution of which you are student or member. If ICAP can force Audit firms not to recruit ACCAs, then it can also force Audit firms to pay reasonable stipends (not below minimum salary for unskilled labour in Pakistan about Rs. 13000 pm) if they want to remain approved employer for ICAP students. These Audit firms earn in millions of rupees per month while students who make them earn such money struggle to meet their education expenses.
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