Accounts Knowledge Hub /---

Tally ERP 9 Ledgers and Groups Creations

Creating Groups and Legers is most important part in Tally ERP 9 implementation, First we have to create Tally Groups then we can create various ledgers under specific groups.  In every implementation of Group wise Tally ledger list prepared first which affects Trading a/c, Profit and loss a/c and Balance sheet. Here is the list of ledger head and respected group of ledgers.

Ledger NameTally HeadLedger NameTally Head

Ledger NameTally HeadLedger NameTally Head

Ledger NameTally HeadLedger NameTally Head


Real Estate Developer's Business Income Computation

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real estate developer's business income computation
 Real estate sector is the fastest growing sector in the country; it provides employments to lakhs of people and has contributed a lot in the exchequer of the Government. Real Estate activity may consist of development of Townships, Residential Complexes, Commercial or Industrial Complexes etc. Real Estate projects are of long term projects, takes years to be completed.  

The real estate activities are spread over many years at or its takes more than one year to complete a project, thus it involves complex issue, while calculating business income of real estate projects.
The Income Tax Act, 1961 does not provide any specific provisions for revenue recognition of real estate business. The ICAI has issued Accounting Standard -09 related to revenue recognition and Guidance Note on Recognition of Revenue by Real Estate Developers in 2006( Revised in 2012).  

The ICAI has issued Accounting Standard -07 and related Guidance Note for accounting of real estate contracts.
The provisions of Sections 28 to 44DB are applicable in case of real estate activity along with other provisions and rules of the Act.  
Section 145 of the Income Tax Act, 1961 related to method of accounting is also relevant for calculating revenue of real estate business.


According to Accounting Standard -09, revenue relating to any, sales transaction is recognised when significance risks and rewards of ownership of goods are transferred. 
In case of real estate business, the sale of immovable property, the ownership of the property is transferred as per Transfer of Property Act, 1882 when legal title of ownership is transferred. According to the provisions of Transfer of Property Act, 1882 an immovable  property  is transferred by way of registered sale deed or according to provisions of Section 53A of Transfer of Property Act, 1882. 
In case of Completed Contract Method, the revenue is recognised, when ownership in property is transferred. Since real estate project is a long term project and the property will be transferred, when it will be completed. In this case no revenue is recognised in the years when project is under development and revenue is recognised, when project is physically completed, possession is handed over and ownership is transferred.  
1. The Revenue is recognised in the financial statements only on completion of project;

2. The consistency of income in the financial statement of developer will not be same;

3. The income will be recognised on actual basic;

4. No taxable income will be generated during the year ,when project is under development;

5. The builder or developer may use this method to defer his/its tax liabilities;

6. The real estate developer may lose benefit of Set off Depreciation or Carry Forward Losses due to long period of project and revenue recognition;

7. The benefit of Section 80-IB and other incentive provisions and benefit therein may lapse due to long period of project and revenue recognition;

8. The tax authorities do not prefer this method of accounting due to deferment of taxes.
Under this method the revenue is recognised as per the stage of completion of project on year to year basis during the development of the projects.
The underlying principal for adoption of Percentage of Completion Method for revenue recognition is that in case of real estate project, generally, significant risks and rewards of ownership of property are transferred to the buyer at the time of entering into binding sale agreement. Once sale agreement is entered, the developer effectively acts for the buyer in the capacity as contractor.
1. Revenue is recognised in the financial statements on year to year basis on the stage of completion of the project at the end of each year.
2. The profit in the financial statement of developer will be reflected consistently year to year.
3. The revenue is recognised before the property come into existence and physical possession of property is handed over by developer to the buyer.
4. The income is calculated on estimated basis, considering total project revenue to be earned and total project expenses to be earned in future. 

Since Income Tax Act, 1961 does not provide any specific method for calculation of income of real estate developer, so normal provisions related to head business or profession i.e. Section 28 to 44DB are applicable after considering Accounting Standards 7 & 9, read with “Guidance Note on Accounting for Real Estate Transactions (Revised 2012), issued by ICAI applicable for accounting year commencing on or after 01.04.2012.
The Court has allowed to real estate developers to choose any one of the methods for accounting and recognition of their revenue. They are free to choose CCM or PCM related to old Accounting Standard-07. After 1.04.2003 the Accounting Standard-07 has been revised and ICAI has issued guidance note for calculation and accounting of real estate projects. 
In following cases , which are relating to period prior to 1.04.2003 when as per old Accounting Standard-07 applicable in such period the option are available for assesessee to adopt any one of CCM or PCM, still courts held that the real estate developers should follow PCM method;
Greater Ashoka Land & Development Company Private Limited V. Asstt. CIT (2001)79 ITD 595(Delhi) (2004)89 TTJ (Delhi) 281, Assessment Year 1988-89, the assessee argued that it has followed one venture of accounting and accordingly, profit in respect of such venture would be determined only in the year in which venture is completed. The Tribunal held that Income accruing one year cannot be deferred to future years by adopting incorrect method of accounting , with a view to postpone tax liability. 
Asstt.CIT V. Prerna Premises (P.) Limited (2006) 7 SOT 288(Mumbai), Assessment years 1988-89, the assessee is a real estate developer followed project completion method of accounting. the assesssee did not recognised revenue on the ground that the construction of the project was not completed. Tribunal held that Period of Completion of project cannot be allowed to be stretched at the whims of assessee. Since 80% of the constructed area had been sold and occupied by the buyer, hence the project was deemed to be completed. 


Business Transactions Vs Investment Transactions

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The income arising from Sale of Shares/Debentures or other securities and real estate business will be determined and taxed on the basis, whether they are Capital Asset or Business Asset. It is important to determine, whether the income is generated from Capital Assets or from Business Assets and be determined as Capital Gain or Income from business.
It is important to determine the nature of income because the rate of tax will be different in case of Capital Gain or Business Income. 

There is no parameter prescribed under the Income Tax Act, 1961 to characterised on the basis of which, a transaction can be classified as business transaction or as transaction of investment. 
If a transaction emerges on sale/purchase of an asset kept as an investment, then it is in the nature of Capital Asset and income arises from the same will be taxed as Capital Gain or otherwise it is a Business Income.
Section 2(13) of the Income Tax Act, 1961 defines “Business” to “include any trade, commerce or manufacture or any adventure or concern in the nature of trade, commerce or manufacture.”
Section 2(14) of the Income Tax Act, 1961 defines “Capital Asset” as “Property of any kind held by the assesses, whether or not connected with other his business or profession, but specifically excludes “Stock in trade” and other kind of specified assets.
Note: Any kind of property except except those falling in the excluded category is a Capital Asset.
Let us consider some Judicial Decisions in this respect;
CIT vs. Ahmedbhai Umarbhai & Co. (1950)18ITR 472(SC) the Supreme Court has defined business to mean every continued activity of person, which yields profits and which is in the nature of trade, commerce or manufacture.
Barendra Prasad Roy Vs. CIT(1981)129ITR 295(SC) the Supreme Court held that business income mean as activity carried on continuously and systematically by a person by the application of his labour and skill with a view to earning an income.
Thus the main ingredients of a Business are;
1. It should be an occupation or profession which occupies the time, attention and labour of a person,
2. The object is primarily of making profit.
CIT Vs. Associated Industrial Development Co. (P) Limited (1971) 82 ITR 586/1972 CTR(SC) 239(SC) , the Supreme Court held that “ Whether a particular holding is by way of investment or forms part of the Stock in trade is a matter which is within the knowledge of the assesses, who hold the shares and it should , in normal circumstances, be in a position to produce evidence from its record as to whether it has maintained any distinction between those shares which are its stock in trade and those which are held by way of investment.”
Fidelity North star Fund, In re(2007) 288 ITR 641,  Authority for Advance Rulings (AAR) held that “ ordinarily the purchase and sale of shares with the motive of earning a profit, would result in the transaction being in the nature of trade/adventure in the nature of trade; but where the object of investment in shares of a company is to derive income by way of dividend, etc., then the profits accruing by change in such investment ( by sale of shares) will yield capital gain and not revenue receipt.” 
Premji Bhimji vs. CIT (1971)81ITR 179(Cal.); it has been held that “In deciding whether a venture is in nature of trade no rigid formula can be applied. The total impression must be gathered from all the relevant facts and circumstances. In a transaction of purchase and re-sale, whether the purchase is made solely and exclusively with the intention to re-sell at a profit and the purchaser has no intention of holding the property for himself or otherwise using it, the presence of such an intention is a relevant fact and unless offset raises a strong presumption that the adventure is in the nature of trade.”
Bhogilal H. Patel Vs. CIT (1969) 74 ITR 692( Bom.) it has been held that “ a person is undertaking a trade or business , or entering into an adventure in the nature of trade, it is essential that the particular transactions under scrutiny should have been entered into with the intention of earning a profit on the other hand if a person invests money in land intending to hold it, enjoys its income for some time, and then sells it at a profit, it would be a case of capital accretion and not profit derived from an adventure in the nature of trade. So intention of the person at the time of entering into transaction will be important to decide whether it is a transaction in the nature of trade or an investment.
Khan Bahadur Ahmed Alladin & Sons. Vs. CIT (1968) 68 ITR 573(SC) it was held that the answer to the question does not depend upon merely counting the number of facts and circumstances and pro and con or upon one particular fact such as original intention of the assessee or upon the application of any abstract rule, principal or formula but must depend upon the total impression and effect of all the relevant facts and circumstances established in a particular case. 
Supreme Court of India in case of G. Venkataswami Naidu & Co. vs. CIT (1959) 35 ITR 594(SC) enumerate some tests to decide nature of transaction as;
1. Was the purchase a trade and were the purchase of the commodity and its resale allied to his usual trade or business or incidental to it?
2. What is the nature of the commodity purchased and resold and in what quantity was it purchased and resold?

3. Did the purchaser, by any act subsequent to the purchase, improve the quality of the commodity purchased and thereby make it more readily resalable?

4. What were the incidents associated with the purchase and resale?

5. Were they similar to the operations usually associated with the trade or business?

6. Are the transactions of purchase and sales repeated?

7. In regard to the purchase of the commodity and its subsequent possession by the purchaser, does the element of pride of possession come into the picture?

8. Whether the finance required for the purchase of the commodity has been found from the surplus funds with the assesses or whether they represent borrowed money?
The above points considered by the Supreme Court are not a conclusive to determine the nature of business or trade. All relevant points should be considered for deciding nature of transaction.
Gujarat High Court in case of CIT Vs. Rewashanker A. Kothari (2006) 283 ITR 338   held that in order to determine ,whether profit arising from sale is business income, following tests can be applied;
1. The first test is whether the initial acquisition of the subject matter of transaction was with the intention of dealing in the item or with the view to finding an investment;

2. The second test is why and how for what purpose the sale was effected subsequently;

3. The third test is as to how the assessee dealt with the subject matter of transition during the time the asset was with the assessee & whether the assessee treated the asset as stock in trade or has been shown in the books of account as investment;

4. The fourth test is how the assessee himself has returned the income from such activities and how the department has dealt with the same in the course of preceding and succeeding assessment;

5. The fifth test ( normally applied in the case of firm or company) is in what manner the deed of Partnership or MOA as the case may be authorised the transaction;
6. The final and most important test is as to the volume, frequency, continuity and regularity of transaction of purchase and sale of goods concerned.
While going through above judicial proceedings and considering other factors , it is essential to determine the nature of transaction by judging the intention of parties at the time of purchase or sale of assets;
The intention of person can be gathered from a number of factors;
(A) Intention behind investment; if the investment is made as an organised activity , such as by establishment of office, deployment of staff to undertake various activities , etc., and with the intention to earn profit by sale or purchase of asset , the activity will be in nature of business.
(B) Frequency and volume of transactions; more the frequency of transactions, more will be presumption that it is business transaction. If transactions are entered into regularly and continuously, then it is more likely to be treated as a business activity. The period of asset held by person, will also be considered to determined nature of transaction. If a person not regularly enters into transaction or he holds assets for a longer period and sale thereafter than the nature of transaction will raise Capital Gain.
(C) Normal Business of the assessee;  if purchase and sale of asset is allied to the assessee’s usual trade or business or are incidental to it, it will be treated as business transaction. On the other hand if a purchase and sale is an independent activity than business of the assessee, then it in nature of investment.
(D) Intention behind sale of asset; if asset is sold in the normal course of business of the assessee or it is a routine matter for assessee then it is a business transaction. On the other hand if asset is sold to generate a fund to meet some liability then it will be treated as an investment transaction.
(E) Mode of acquisition of asset;   if an asset has been acquired by way of partition of HUF, gift or under a will and subsequent sale of asset will result Capital Gain.
(F) Accounting treatment in books of accounts; if an asset is shown as an Investment in the books of accounts of the assessee, and then its sale will raise Capital Gain.
(G) Other Factors;  there are some other factors, which will affect the nature of transaction such as ratio of sales or purchase and holding, the time devoted to the activity, the extent to which it is the means of livelihood and stated in the MOA in case of a Company , which have to be considered while d determining  the nature of transaction.
Thus most important factor for characterisation of transaction as trading or investment is the intention behind it. Other factors are ancillary but there has to be a scrutiny of either all or most of all the factors and the combined effect of all of them have to be considered to characterise the transaction as business or investment. The facts of each case have also to be taken into consideration.


Service Tax Section Wise list

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                             Service Tax Section wise list
Service Tax (Chapter -V of Finance Act 1994):
Section 64 Extent, commencement and application.
Section 65B Interpretations
Section 66B Charge of service tax
Section 66C Determination of place of provision of service
Section 66D Negative list of services
Section 66E Declared Services
Section 66F Principals of interpretation of specified descriptions of services or bundled services.
Section 67 Valuation of taxable services for charging Service tax
Section 68 Payment of service tax.
Section 69 Registration
Section 70 Furnishing of Returns
Section 71 Scheme for Submission of Returns through Service Tax Preparers
Section 72 Best Judgment Assessment
Section 72A Special Audit
Section 73 Recovery of Service tax not levied or paid or short levied or short paid or erroneously refunded
Section 73A Service Tax collected from any person to be deposited with Central Government
Section 73B Interest on amount collected in excess
Section 73C Provisional attachment to protect revenue in certain cases
Section 73D Publication of information in respect of persons in certain cases
Section 74 Rectification of mistake
Section 75 Interest on delayed payment of Service Tax
Section 76 Penalty for failure to pay service tax
Section 77 Penalty for contravention of rules and provisions of Act for which no penalty is specified elsewhere
Section 78 Penalty for suppressing value of taxable service
Section 78A Where a company has committed any of the following contraventions, namely:— (a) evasion of service tax; or (b) issuance of invoice, bill or, as the case may be, a challan without provision of taxable service in violation of the rules made under the provisions of this Chapter; or (c) availment and utilisation of credit of taxes or duty without actual receipt of taxable service or excisable goods either fully or partially in violation of the rules made under the provisions of this Chapter; or (d) failure to pay any amount collected as service tax to the credit of the Central Government beyond a period of six months from the date on which such payment becomes due, then any director, manager, secretary or other officer of such company, who at the time of such contravention was in charge of, and was responsible to, the company for the conduct of business of such company and was knowingly concerned with such contravention, shall be liable to a penalty which may extend to one lakh rupees.”;
Section 80 Penalty not to be imposed in certain cases (Sec - 76,77,78)
Section 82 Power to search premises
Section 83 Application of certain provisions of Central Excise Act 1 of 1944
Section 83A Power of adjudication
Section 84 Appeals to Commissioner of Central Excise (Appeals)
Section 85 Appeals to the 1[Commissioner] of Central Excise (Appeals).
Section 86 Appeals to Appellate Tribunal
Section 87 Recovery of any amount due to Central Government
Section 88 Liability under Act to be first charge.
Section 89 Offences and Penalties
Section 90 Cognizance of offences
Section 91 Power to arrest
Section 93 Power to grant exemption from service tax
Section 93A Power to grant Rebate
Section 93B Rules made under section 94 to be applicable to services other than taxable services
Section 94 Power to make rules
Section 95 Power to remove difficulties in implementing new services
Section 96 Consequential amendment

Chapter VA of The Finance Act, 1994 ADVANCE RULINGS:

Section 96A Definitions
Section 96B Vacancies, etc., not to invalidate proceedings
Section 96C Application for advance ruling
Section 96D Procedure on receipt of application
Section 96E Applicability of advance ruling
Section 96F Advance ruling to be void in certain circumstances
Section 96G Powers of Authority
Section 96H Procedure of Authority
Section 96-I Power of Central Government to make rules.
Section 96-J Special exemption from service tax in certain cases
Section 97 Special Provision for exemption in certain cases relating to management etc .of roads
Section 99 Special provision for taxable services provided by Indian Railways

Statutory Bank Audit ~ essential records, Information ,evidences

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Following information / records / details / evidences for the purposes of Statutory audit of Bank :

1. Closing circular issued to the branch / reference in their website to download the same.
2. The extent, size and specialization of the branch
3. The profile of the branch and performance in the past two years.
4. Comparative analysis of movement of interest income and expenses vis a vis advances and deposits respectively for two years.
5. List of top borrowers accounts accounting for 2% of the advances of the branch or Rs.1 crore whichever is lower, covering at least 60% of advances of the branch.
6. Copies of last three months Concurrent Audit Reports ( if covered under Concurrent Audit)
7. Copy of the summary sheet of the last Inspection Report.
8. Copy of Revenue Audit Report, if any.
9. Copy of IT Audit Report, if any.
10. Copy of vigilance enquiry or any special investigation reports.
11. Details of fresh advances made during the year. 
12. Details of major weaknesses, if any, persisting in the branch
13. List of Potential NPA Accounts  – For quarter ending December.
14. Details of loan accounts restructured during the year.
15. Details of advances which are pending renewal for more than 3 months.
16. Details of advance accounts wherein stock statements are not received for 3 months.
17. List of NPA accounts wherein the valuation reports are older than 3 years.
18. List of non corporate entities with working capital limits in excess of Rs. 10 lakhs.
19. List of borrowers accounts which underwent CDR during the year.
20. List of accounts where recoveries are made, where DICGC / ECGC claims have been received.
21. Details of expired Letters of Credit / Guarantees.
22. Details of Invoked Guarantees / Letters of Credit and treatment thereof.
23. List of off balance sheet items and contingent liabilities, if any.
24. Details of suspense and sundry entries beyond 1 year.
25. Details of fraud by employee or outsiders, against the bank during the year.
26. List of recoveries in NPA accounts and appropriation thereof.
27. Details of legal expenses incurred and accounting in the books.
28. Details for Long Form Audit Report, including Annexures for advances above Rs.2 crore
29. Details for Tax Audit under section 44 AB of Income Tax Act, with specific reference to additions to fixed assets.
30. Details of section wise tax deducted and remitted including date of deduction, date of remittance and delay if any. TDS mapping for deduction and remittance.
31. Certificate from branch management that TDS has been duly deducted and remitted as per provisions of Income Tax Act, 1961
32. Details for furnishing various certificates.
33. Date when the audit could be commenced.
34. Proforma Management Representation Letter to obtain the management’s assurance that the financial statements and other information furnished for furnishing certificates are truly and correctly prepared and presented by the branch management to the branch Statutory auditors.


Tally ERP9 last year closing balances current year opening balances

Make change in tally.ERP9 last year closing balances current year opening balances


First Open your company in tally Gateway of Tally Screen then change the Period (ex.  1.04.2016  to 31.03.2017). This option is useful when using same company for the next year.


Interview Questions for freshers Chartered Accountant's (CA)

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Here is General Interview Questions for freshers CA’s which are asked in almost every interview irrespective of the type of job profile. These Interview Questions are more important for freshers as they generally don’t have much to talk on the experience side.

One thing you should remember in any interview is, you should be completely honest about your work and experience else you may get in to problem.


How to crack CA Final / IPC Examination?

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Ca Final/ IPC exam are going to be held in May month of 2016 & students are trying to give their personal best to crack the exam but most of the students commit some common mistake which they should avoid achieving success in the examination & one of the mistakes is “Studying without Rules”
I am providing here golden rules with my personal experience to crack an examination-

One & Half Times
It is one of the most common but important rule to crack exam and relates to time management. Apply this rule to complete your question paper in a timely manner with a sufficient time for revision just put a wrist watch in front of you on the desk in examination hall and try to complete every answer within one & half times against the number allotted to the question, in that way you can complete your 100% paper with in time separating sufficient time for revision.

Be Average Always
2nd and my personal favorite rule is “Be average” i.e. try to give equal respect to all questions because five average answers in an answer sheet can fetch you more marks then four good answers. Simply apply this to your studies as well don`t give extra time to your favorite subject and neglect which you dislike because at last you have to score 40 marks individually in each subject along with 50% in aggregate.

Exam Oriented
Most common mistakes done by most of the CA students are not doing Exam oriented studies. As most of the students try to delve in to the topics of their interest and forgot the ultimate aim to achieve success in exams. It is good to understand the topic in depth but guys try to understand what is the benefit of five good topics that clearly understood by you of your interest, if you ultimately got fail in exams. So try to do exam oriented study always coz after passing exam a professional life is waiting for you to delve in to the topics.

Give Thirty achieve Forty & Fifty!!
 No matter how many hours a day you study from how many months before the exam days but the most crucial time is Thirty days before the exam if you not utilize this time in a well planned manner for revision of all the subjects you never got succeed in your exams.

“Power of the prayer” Strange but true!! Give some time on a daily basis to God & meditation because it makes the difference in you by energizing you with new energy and give you the immense power to overcome your obstacles and helps you to achieve your aims in life.
Wishing all CA students a great success in the forthcoming examination!!
“The only thing in the whole word that can stop you to achieve your goals is YOU” 


Sales Tax Registration Procedure - MVAT

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1) Proof of Constitution of business (as applicable)

I. In case of proprietary firm  : No proof required
II. In case of partnership firm : Copy of Partnership Deed
                                                     (Registered or unregistered)
       III.     In case of Company           : Copy of List of present Director obtained from 
                                                      MCA website & 
      Copy of Certificate of Incorporation

2) Proof of Permanent residential address *(Please provide at least 2
    Documents out of the following documents containing the name and
    Present address).

A) Any One from the following

1. Copy of passport
2. Copy of driving license
3. Copy of election photo identity card
4. Copy of ration card.
5. Copy of MTNL/BSNL landline Bill
6. Copy of Saving Bank Passbook ( First page & Last Transaction page )
7. Copy of Bill of Domestic Gas Connection. 

B) Any One from the following

1. Copy of property card or latest receipt of property tax of Municipal
      Corporation/Council/Granmpanchayat as the case may be.
2. Copy of latest paid electricity bill in the name of the applicant.
3. Copy of Latest Society Maintenance Bill in the name of applicant
4. Copy of Co-op. Society share certificate in the name of applicant

    3).   Proof of Place of business

I) In case of owner:
 Proof of ownership of premises viz. copy of property card or
 Ownership deed or agreement with the builder or any other relevant

II) In case of tenant:
  Proof of tenancy/sub-tenancy like copy of tenancy Sub-tenant 
  Agreement or rent receipt or leave and license or consent letter, etc.
  Supported by Documents showing ownership of licensor or person
  Giving consent.

4). Two latest passport size photograph of the applicant. 

5). Bank cancelled cheque leaf.

     6). One more ID Proof Like Voter ID/ Passport / Aadhar Card

7). Registration Fee of Rs.5025/- and Security Deposit of Rs. 25000/- 

           8). PAN Card:
i) In case of proprietary firm   : Proprietor’s PAN Card
ii) In case of partnership firm  : PAN of partnership firm & of all partners 
iii) In case of Company            : PAN of Company and of all Directors

1 In Case of Compulsory Registration for exceeding of Turnover

1. In case of Importer (OMS Purchases) Turnover should exceed Rs.100000 and Taxable Turnover should be more than Rs.10000/-
2. In case of Maharashtra Dealers the Turnover should be more than Rs.10,00,000/-
3. Purchase and Sales Bills along with list party wise, date wise, Day wise
4. Lorry Receipt for Interstate Purchase 
5. If any Purchase or Sale is done in cash, confirmation of the party.
6. Registration has to be done within 30 Days of the date on which the turnover has exceeded.
7. Registration charges are Rs.525/- 

What is difference between CV and a Resume?

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“ What is meaning of  CV?” is a question job seekers often find themselves asking. Approach 10 professionals and odds are high only one or two can tell you the real answer. Good news, you’re about to be one of those few people who know not just what the letters stand for, but how the CV compares to a resume, and whether or not you should have one.

Curriculum Vitae, more commonly referred to by its shorthand abbreviation CV (a Latin term meaning course of life), got tossed around a lot when I was in graduate school. I’m pretty sure I pretended to know what it meant the first time I heard it, only to go home to Google and educate myself before it came up in casual conversation again.

I quickly learned that dissertation-defending PhDs didn’t have resumes, they had CVs.

 Unlike the resume, which lists work history and experiences, along with a brief summary of your skills and education, the CV is a far more comprehensive document. It goes above and beyond a mention of education and work experience and often lists—in thoughtful detail—your achievements, awards, honors, and publications, stuff universities care about when they’re hiring teaching staff. Unlike a resume, which is rarely longer than a one-sided single page, the CV can be two, six, or 12 pages—depending on your professional achievements.

Let’s go over some basics of the CV versus resume. 

What is a CV?

As touched upon briefly above, CVs are primarily popular among academics, as graduate students often spend a lot of effort getting their work published during these post-grad years. While higher-education institutions undoubtedly evaluate a potential candidate’s grades and test scores, they’re also eager to see where an applicant’s been published.

“Publish or perish” was a popular sentiment during my two years in graduate school, and it appears not much has changed. I spoke with a couple of my former classmates who went on to obtain doctorate degrees long after I’d left with a master’s degree in hand and an I’ve-had-enough-of-that mindset, and they were quick to reiterate how important getting published is to one’s career, and, of course, the standard academic’s CV. 

OK, Anyone Besides Academics?

You’re right, they’re not the only ones who choose the long (sometimes, very long) document over a resume. The website Undercover Recruiter explains that U.S. and Canadian residents need a CV if they’re applying to work abroad, specifically in the U.K., Ireland, and New Zealand. In these countries, “a CV is used in all contexts and resumes aren’t used at all.” Moreover, “The CV prevails in mainland Europe and there is even a European Union CV format available for download,” a super helpful template if you’re confused about how to build one. 

What’s the Difference Between a CV and a Resume?

Short answer: Length.

Long answer: The CV’s static in that it’s not a document needing to be tailored for different positions in the way that a resume is. Rather, according to UNC Writing Center, the CV’s a “fairly detailed overview of your life’s accomplishments, especially those most relevant to the realm of academia,” hence the variance in length; an early-stage grad student’s CV is going to be a lot shorter than a sixth-year student preparing to write a dissertation.

The document only changes as your accomplishments grow—you publish the findings of a scientific study, or a short story, or you receive an award as a Teaching Assistant—whereas a resume can and should be modified often as you job search and apply to different companies and positions. I highly encourage you to tailor your resume for each and every job you apply to, even if the job descriptions are similar. (It’ll not only help you stand out, but also ensure you get through the INTERVIEW.)