Institute of Cost Accountants of India

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Institute of Cost Accountants of India
भारतीय लागत लेखकार संस्थान
ICAI Emblem
Abbreviation ICAI
Motto तमसो मा ज्योतिर्गमय
Formation 28 May 1959; 59 years ago (1959-05-28)
Legal status Body corporate established by a special Act of the Parliament of India
Objective Develop and regulate the profession of cost and management accountancy, direct and indirect taxation, financial reporting, insolvency and bankruptcy practices, operations management, regulatory compliance, and cost audit in India
Headquarters Kolkata, India
Coordinates 22°33′29″N 88°21′13″E / 22.558103°N 88.353672°E / 22.558103; 88.353672
Region served India
Students < 5,50,000
Member's designations ACMA, FCMA
President CMA Sanjay Gupta
Vice President CMA H P Padmanabhan (Pappan Bhai)
IFAC member since 7 October 1977
Regional Offices NIRC, New Delhi (Northern India), SIRC, Chennai (Southern India), WIRC, Mumbai (Western India), EIRC, Kolkata (Eastern India)
Official Organ The Management Accountant (published monthly)

The Institute of Cost Accountants of India (ICAI), previously known as the Institute of Cost & Works Accountants of India (ICWAI), is a premier statutory professional accountancy body in India with the objects of promoting, regulating and developing the profession of Cost Accountancy. It is the only licensing cum regulating body of Cost & Management Accountancy profession in India. It recommends the Cost Accounting Standards to be followed by companies in India to which statutory maintenance of cost records applicable. ICAI is solely responsible for setting the auditing and assurance standards for statutory Cost Audit to be followed in the Audit of Cost statements in India. It also issues other technical guidelines on several aspects like Internal Audit, Management Accounting etc. to be followed by practising Cost Accountants while discharging their services. It works closely with the industries, various departments of Government of India, State governments in India and other Regulating Authorities in India e.g. Reserve Bank of India, Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority, Securities and Exchange Board of India etc. on several aspects of performance, cost optimisation and reporting.

The ICAI is a Founder Member of the International Federation of Accountants (IFAC),[1] Confederation of Asian and Pacific Accountants (CAPA)[2] and South Asian Federation of Accountants (SAFA).[3] ICAI is a member of the National Foundation of Corporate Governance(NFCG).[4] The headquarters of ICAI is situated in Kolkata, and operates through its four regional councils located at Kolkata, Chennai, Delhi and Mumbai, 94 chapters in India and 78 chapters abroad.


The Institute of Cost Accountants of India (ICAI) was first formed as a registered limited company in the year 1944 (14.6.1944) as per the provisions of the then companies Act, 1913 with the initial objective of promoting, regulating and developing the profession of Cost Accountancy. Post Independence, the institute got statutory recognition when the Parliament of India enacted "The Cost and Works Accountants Act" (Act No.23rd of 1959),[5] a special act, on May 28, 1959 to accord statutory recognition to ICAI (then ICWAI) as an autonomous professional Institute with the objectives of promoting, regulating, and developing the profession of Cost and Management Accountancy.

The CWA Amendment bill, 2011 was passed by both the Houses of Indian Parliament viz. Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha on December 12, 2011 and assented by the Honorable President of India on January 12, 2012. The changes were published in the Official Gazette of India on January 13, 2011.

President and Board of Central Council[edit]

CMA Sanjay Gupta has been unanimously elected as the President of the Institute of Cost Accountants of India for the year 2017-2018.

An academician with more than 25 years of teaching experience he has authored several books on Valuation Management, Operations Management, Cost Audit, Laws & Audit, Cost & Management etc. He has published several articles in different reputed journals and offered his professional acumen in different professional institutes including Government organizations.

Qualification and syllabus[edit]

Cost & Management Accountants (CMAs)[edit]

CMA Logo for exclusive use by Indian CMAs

This is the primary qualification of the ICAI and following completion of up to three levels (Foundation, Intermediate and Final) examinations[6] and three years of practical training[7] in areas like Management Accounting, Cost Accounting, Financial Accounting, Taxation, Audits, Corporate Laws etc. enables an individual to become a Cost & Management Accountant.

  • The new syllabus has been introduced in August 2016 following the International Education Guidelines (IEG) of IFAC to get the advantages in the process of Mutual Recognition Agreement ( MRA) among /different member countries of the world under GATS in WTO.
  • Subjects for examinations include management accounting, Financial Accounting, strategic management, taxation, corporate law, financial management, business valuation, financial reporting and cost & management audit etc.
  • Students who have passed degree examination of any recognised university or equivalent are eligible for admission directly to Intermediate level.
  • Paperwise exemptions on the basis of reciprocal arrangement are available to students who have passed Institute of Company Secretaries of India Final Examination.[8]
  • Examinations are held twice a year in June and December in various examination centres in India and overseas centres. And Results are declared in the month of August and February for June term and December term exams respectively.[9]

A student has to pass three levels of examination and complete three years of practical training to be eligible to apply for Associate membership of the Institute.

The members of the Institute of Cost Accountants of India carry the designation ACMA (Associate Cost and Management Accountant) and FCMA (Fellow Cost and Management Accountant), as applicable based on their type of membership of the institute.

Other certification and diploma courses[edit]

Certificate in Accounting Technicians (CAT)[edit]

The Certificate Course in Accounting Technicians (CAT)[10] was launched by ICAI in year 2009. This is one-year course that comprises examinations, computer Training, practical training and orientation training programmes. The main objective of CAT is to develop among the students the necessary skills required to apply theoretical knowledge of accounting to practical situations in different functional areas of accounting.The CAT Course comprises two levels namely Level-I & Level -II and a CAT aspirant is required to complete both the examinations for obtaining CAT Certification.

Certificate in IFRS Convergence[edit]

In order to equip its members with the knowledge of International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) which is scheduled to be introduced in India in the near future, ICAI has introduced the "Certificate Course on International Financial Reporting Standards(IFRS) Convergence'.

Diploma in Management Accountancy (Dip. MA)[edit]

The Management Accountancy Examination is a post-membership examination. Only Members of ICAI who have completed at least a period of one year's Associateship are eligible for admission to this examination.[11] This is a research oriented Programme in two parts. Part I consists of two groups and Part II requires for submission of a Dissertation followed by Viva-voce. On completion of the referred Programme, a candidate is eligible to use the letters-"Dip. MA" after his or her name.

Diploma in IS Audit and Control[edit]

This is a Certification program of the Institute. The Program adopts the curriculum of ISACA and seeks their help in choosing the right faculty and examiners. The Institute has adopted the ISACA Model curriculum for IS audit and control (3rd edition). The ISACA model curriculum entitles the program to be posted on the ISACA web site, and graduates of the program shall qualify for one year of work experience toward the CISA certification. ICAI members would be entitled to two years of further credit. Therefore, of the total requirement of five years of work experience in the IS Audit Domain, members successfully undergoing this course would need only two more years of relevant experience. The course curriculum would give them the required technical impetus and exposure to successfully complete the remaining two years of training requirement. Only members of the Institute are eligible for registration for the programme.

Diploma in Business valuation[edit]

A Cost & Management Accountant who is in whole-time practice for at least five years is now eligible to be registered as a Registered Valuer. Registered Valuers will provide valuation in respect of property, stocks, shares, debentures, securities, goodwill or any other assets or net worth of a company or its assets or liabilities. This diploma course aims to develop proficiency in Valuing assets and liabilities through a learning process that blends concepts with applications. The course is an advanced knowledge module that presupposes understanding of management accounting and corporate finance. The candidate for his diploma course must have passed the final examination of the Institute.

Diploma in Internal Audit[edit]

This is another Certification program of the Institute. The course will be delivered through distance learning mode, supported by webinars. Completion of a detailed project report/ case study write‐up will be mandatory for the completion of the course. Course will be of one-year duration and will involve investment of 240hours of learning. In addition, a participant is expected to invest around 50 hours in completing an Internal Audit project in the last leg of the course concurrently. The candidate for his diploma course must have passed the final examination of the Institute.


A person who has passed the Final Examination of the Institute and has obtained for a period of not less than three years of practical experience in the field of Cost & Management Accountancy and other related areas can apply for Associate Membership. The practical experience as above may be acquired prior to or after passing the Final Examination or partly before and partly after passing the said examination. The applicant has to produce evidence to the satisfaction of the Council[12]

According to Sec 2(b) of CWA Act 1959, “Cost Accountant” means a person who is a member of the Institute. Sec 5(1)provides that the members of the Institute shall be divided into two classes designated respectively as Associates and Fellows.

Associate Member (ACMA)[edit]

This is the basic membership of the institute. Application for Associate Membership should be made in prescribed Form 'M2' available at the Headquarters of the Institute in Kolkata and the offices of Regional Councils and Chapters. The application should be accompanied with prescribed fees mentioned in the Form ‘M-2’, experience certificate(s) duly attested by the employer(s) in original and photocopy of certificates of date of birth and highest academic qualification of the applicant. The experience can also be certified by the employer(s) in Form ‘M-2’.[13]

However, for general convenience, institute has established online membership application mechanism.[14] After admission to membership, members are entitled to use the letter "ACMA" after his name to indicate that he or she is an Associate Member of the ICAI.

Fellow Member (FCMA)[edit]

An Associate Member who has been in continuous practice in India for at least five years or a member who has been an Associate for a continuous period of not less than five years and who possesses such qualifications and experience as the Council may prescribe apply for Fellow Membership of ICAI.[15]

Any person whose name is entered in the Register as a fellow of the Institute and so long as his name remains so entered, shall be entitled to use the letters "FCMA" after his name to indicate that he is a Fellow of the ICAI.

The Council of the Institute has mandated that the members of the Institute should use "CMA" as the prefix before their names to signify that he/she is a professional "Cost & Management Accountant".

Mandatory Continuing Education Programme (CEP) for members[edit]

In line with the recommendations of the International Federation of Accountants and feeling the need to have compulsory and continued training of the members of the Institute, the institute has made training mandatory for all members to ensure constant updating of knowledge and skills of members. The institute has also framed certain guidelines covering the requirement of eligible training, awarding and recording of credit hours as well as features for considering programmes eligible to award credit hours. The objective of Continuing Education Programme is to assist the members in widening their knowledge base and in improving their skills to be at the cutting edge of technology by providing training and expertise in critical areas.[16]

Practice as Cost Accountant and legislative recognition[edit]

To practice as a Cost Accountant in India, either individually or in partnership or in LLP with one or more practicing member(s) of the institute, it is necessary to obtain the Certificate of Practice (CP) from the Institute of Cost Accountants of India.

Act 18 of 2013 companies Act 2013.

A Cost Accountant(CMA) is defined and is also considered as expert among others in the said act.A Cost Accountant can act as an Internal Auditor of a company and can be a Cost Auditor of a company.Cost Audit standards are recognised.

A CMA can be an Investment advisor under SEBI regulation.

A CMA is an auditor under VAT act of various states and central excise.

A CMA can be an authorised representative under various statutes. A CMA is an auditor under GST act.

A CMA is recommended by the standing committee on the DTC to be included in the Income tax act to be an tax auditor(Pending legislation)

Cost Accounting Standards (CASs) and Management Accounting Guidelines (MAGs) issued by ICAI[edit]

Cost Accounting Standards (CASs)[edit]

The Institute of Cost Accountants of India (ICAI), recognizing the need for structured approach to the measurement of cost in manufacture or service sector and to provide guidance to the user organizations, government bodies, regulators, research agencies and academic institutions to achieve uniformity and consistency in classification, measurement and assignment of cost to product and services, has constituted Cost Accounting Standards Board (CASB) in the year 2001 with the objective of formulating the Cost Accounting Standards (CASs).[17]

The structure of Cost Accounting Standard consists of Introduction, Objectives of issuing standards, Scope of standard, Definitions and explanations of the terms used in the standard, Principles of Measurement, Assignment of Cost, Presentation and Disclosure.

The CASB has primarily identified 39 areas/items on which CASs are to be developed.

On visit to India during the month of May, 2010, the then President of IFAC, Mr. Robert Bunting praised the role of ICAI by saying that "In cost accounting standards, perhaps India is the global leader. Its role is limited to select sectors and is closely linked to public accounting in most countries. We are discussing about the possibilities to make this system acceptable in more regions."[18][19]

The Council of the ICAI at its 251th Meeting held on 12–13 February 2009 and 258th Meeting held on 14 December 2009 decided on Mandatory application of Cost Accounting Standards (CASs). The CASs shall be mandatory with effect from period commencing on or after 1 April 2010 for being applied for the preparation and certification of General Purpose Cost Accounting Statements. So far ever 22 Cost Accounting Standards and 4 Management Accounting Guidelines have been issued by the Institute. The effective date of the standards are also mentioned in respective standards.

List of CASs issued by ICAI till date[20]

CAS-1 (Final) on Classification of Cost

CAS-2 (Final, Revised 2012) on Capacity Determination

CAS-3 (Final, Revised 2011) on Overheads

CAS-4 (Final) on Cost of Production for Captive Consumption

CAS-5 (Final) on Average (equalized) Cost of Transportation

CAS-6 (Final) on Material Cost

CAS-7 (Final) on Employee Cost

CAS-8 (Final) on Cost of Utilities

CAS-9 (Final) on Packing Material Cost

CAS-10 (Final) on Direct Expenses

CAS-11 (Final) on Administrative Overheads

CAS-12 (Final) on Repairs And Maintenance Cost

CAS-13 (Final) on Cost of Service Cost Centre

CAS-14 (Final) on Pollution Control Cost

CAS-15 (Final) on Selling & Distribution Overhead

CAS-16 (Final) on Depreciation & Amortisation

CAS-17 (Final) on Interest and Financing Charges

CAS-18 (Final) on Research & Development Expenses

CAS-19 (Final) on Joint Costs

CAS-20 (Final) on Royalty and Technical Know-How Fee

CAS-21 (Final) on Quality Control

CAS-22 (Final) on Manufacturing Cost

CAS-23 (Final) on Overburden Removal Cost

CAS-24 (Final) on Treatment of Revenue in Cost Statements

Besides issuing standards, ICAI is also issuing Guidance Notes to each important standards in more detail and with practical examples for better understanding & proper implementation of each standard to achieve the right objectives set out in each standard.

Management Accounting Guidelines[edit]

MAG-1 on Implementing Benchmarking

MAG-2 on Valuations Management a Tool of Management Accountant

MAG-3 on Implementing Corporate Environmental Strategies

MAG-4 on Tools and Techniques of Environmental Accounting for Business

Cost Audit & Assurance Standards (CAASs)[edit]

With the introduction of "The Companies (Cost Audit Report) Rules, 2011" by Ministry of Corporate Affairs (MCA), Govt. of India, the scope & application of Statutory Cost Audit (u/s 233B of the Companies Act, 1956) has been widened manifold. The said rule also introduces a new concept named as 'Performance Appraisal Report' (PAR) which needs to be submitted by the Statutory Cost Auditor to the company along with the Cost Audit Report. This PAR is only meant for the company & it is not required to submit the same to the MCA like the Cost Audit Report.

In this changed context, the institute, addressing the needs of separate standards of auditing & assurance of cost records, has constituted the Cost Audit and Assurance Standards Board (CAASB) entrusting the responsibility to formulate standards and develop guidance notes in the areas of auditing, assurance, related services and quality control keeping in mind the special sophisticated structure & objectives of Statutory Cost Audit.[21]

The sub-section (3) of section 148 of the Companies Act, 2013 gave the statutory mandate for separate auditing standards for audit of cost records as distinct from auditing standards applicable for audit of financial records. It stipulates that the auditor conducting the cost audit shall comply with the cost auditing standards which are issued by the ICAI, with the approval of the Government of India.

Till date, the CAASB has issued four standards:[22]

CAAS-101 on Planning an Audit of Cost Statements

CAAS-102 on Cost Audit Documentation

CAAS-103 on Overall Objectives of the Independent Cost Auditor and the Conduct of an Audit in Accordance with Standards on Auditing

CAAS-104 on Knowledge of Business, its Processes and the Business Environment

International partnerships[edit]

The Institute of Cost Accountants of India (ICAI) has entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the leading Professional Accounting Bodies to enable Mutual Recognition and co-operation among the Institutes to develop the Profession of Management Accountancy for the benefit of their members in the pursuit of excellence in education and training and continuing professional development in Cost & Management Accountancy.

  • Institute of Management Accountants (IMA), USA[23]
  • Chartered Institute of Management Accountants, UK[24]
  • The Institute of Cost and Management Accountants of Oman[25]
  • Institute of Public Accountants (IPA) Australia[26]
  • An MoU is also in existence with CMA Sri Lanka.
  • Chartered Institute For Securities & Investments, UK[27]
  • Institute of Professional Accountants and Auditors of Russia (IPAR)[28]
  • Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA)[29]

See also[edit]

Some of the Management accounting bodies Worldwide besides the Institute of Cost Accountants of India(ICAI-CMA):


External links[edit]