Chartered Accountant vs CPA: What Are the Differences?

Are you wondering if you should become a Chartered or Certified Public Accountant? Becoming either involves years of study. Knowing the difference can help you decide.

So, what is the difference between a Chartered Accountant vs CPA?

Becoming either can be an enriching career. However, to decide, you need to know what they are, what they do, and their differences.

This article will present everything you need to know about the differences between a Chartered Accountant and a Certified Public Accountant.

Keep reading to find out more.

What Are the Differences Between a Chartered Accountant and a CPA?

What is a Chartered Accountant? Chartered Accountants and Certified Public Accountants can perform the same functions.

A professional body grants a Chartered Accountant a charter. The Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales is an example. A CPA is an accountant certified by the State Board of Accountancy.

Chartered Accountants must also complete a professional exam before practicing. Whereas CPAs only need to pass a state-administered exam.

In terms of responsibilities, a Chartered Accountant is responsible for auditing financial statements. A CPA may also provide tax-related services and financial planning.

A Chartered Accountant (CA) is a professional accountant whose regulator has granted chartered status. Such as the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW), the Scottish Qualifications Authority (ICAS), or the Institute of Chartered Accountants in Ireland (ICAI).

A CPA, on the other hand, is a qualified accountant who has met the requirements of a professional body. Such as the American Institute of CPAs (AICPA) or the Canadian Institute of Chartered Accountants (CICA).

There are other differences between the two professions. That includes the type of work they do and the industries they work in.

So, while a Chartered Accountant and a CPA can provide many of the same services, you should be aware of some critical differences between the two.

Chartered Accountant vs CPA

A Chartered Accountant (CA) is a title for accounting professionals worldwide. Chartered Accountants are highly educated and experienced professionals. They are responsible for providing financial and tax advice to individuals and businesses.

A Certified Public Accountant (CPA) is a designation for accounting professionals in the United States. CPAs are licensed by their state Board of Accountancy and must adhere to strict ethical standards. They are responsible for auditing, tax, and consulting services.

While Chartered Accountants and CPAs are highly qualified professionals, some critical differences exist. Chartered Accountants are more common in countries outside the United States, like Northampton Accountants. While CPAs are more prevalent in the US.

International organizations set the educational requirements and standards for becoming a Chartered Accountant. On the other hand, individual state boards govern and set the standards for CPA titles.

Finally, Chartered Accountants typically focus on financial advisory and consulting services. While CPAs are more likely to provide auditing and taxation services.

Educational Requirement

CPAs must have a bachelor’s degree in accounting or a related field. They also need to complete at least 150 semester hours of college coursework.

To become a CPA, you must also pass the Uniform CPA Examination administered by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA).

To become a CA, you must complete an undergraduate or graduate degree in Accounting. The school must be accredited by the Institute of Chartered Accountants of the jurisdiction in which you intend to practice.

You will also need to complete a professional accounting program and pass an examination by the CA bodies.

Other Similarities and Differences

Both professions are responsible for preparing and auditing financial statements. A Chartered Accountant is also responsible for tax planning and preparation.

A CPA must be licensed in the state where they practice. In comparison, a Chartered Accountant does not need to be licensed. Finally, a Chartered Accountant is usually employed by a single firm. Many firms use a CPA.

One key difference is that CAs are chartered by their national governments. CPAs are certified by independent professional organizations. This difference in certification means that CAs are typically held to higher standards than CPAs.

Another difference is that CAs often work in public accounting firms. While CPAs are more likely to work in private businesses. This difference in the work environment can lead to different salary levels for these two groups of professionals.

CAS and CPAs are qualified to provide a full range of accounting services. It includes auditing, taxation, and financial consulting. But, CAs are more likely to work in public accounting firms. While CPAs are more likely to be employed by corporations.

For compensation, CAs and CPAs both earn high salaries. Although CAs tend to make more on average.

Overall, both CAs and CPAs are highly skilled. They are both essential members of the financial community.

While some crucial differences between these two professions, they both play vital roles. That is ensuring the health of the economy.

Simple Tips to Consider When Choosing a Profession

There are many differences between Chartered Accountant vs CPA. The most crucial difference is that Chartered Accountants are certified by provincial or territorial bodies, while CPAs are certified by the CPA body.

So, which designation is more beneficial for your career? If you want to pursue a career in accounting, then the CA designation is more practical. However, the CPA designation is more beneficial if you are looking to pursue a career in business.

Don’t stop getting smart about your money now. Browse our business and personal finance articles today.


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