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Accountants, ultimately, what differentiates a CPA and a CA How did you decide which accreditation suited you? #EOY22

At the moment, I am a newly graduated High School student interested in majoring in Finance and Accounting at the UTS Business School, and aspiring to pursue further studies upon entry into the work force to become a fully realised and accredited accountant. Although I am many years away from making this choice, I would like to inquire and ask for advice on making this decision. Thank you in advance!

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David’s Answer

Hi,

The difference between a CPA (Certified Public Accountant) and a CA (Chartered Accountant) is that a CPA is a US specific and the CA is a worldwide designation.

However, CPAs are issued by the state, so if you gotten your CPA in California an then moved to New York, you might need to get an additional CPA designation for the state of NY.
Thank you comment icon Thank you David! Benjamin
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Megan’s Answer

Hi!

A lot of college programs are structured in a way to support studies in obtaining their CPA license in their respective US state. This was my experience in Texas. I then got a reciprocal license in Missouri, since CPA governance is managed at the state level. Members of my network who have their CA got the accreditation later in their career when it suited their future career interests and goals.

Best of luck!
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Conrad’s Answer

CPA stands for Certified Public Accountant and CA stands for Chartered Accountant. Both are professional designations for accountants, but there are some key differences between the two.

The main difference between the two is that CPAs are licensed by state boards and are primarily focused on public accounting, while CAs are chartered by national professional bodies and are primarily focused on working in industry, commerce and the public sector.

CPA and CA exams are different in nature, CPA is a comprehensive exam covering various aspects of accounting and business, focusing on tax, audit, financial statement and regulations. While CA is more focused on the accounting, auditing, and tax laws of the country.

In terms of education, to become a CPA, candidates must have a bachelor’s degree in accounting or a related field and pass the Uniform CPA Exam, which is administered by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA). To become a CA, candidates must have a bachelor’s degree in any field and pass the Chartered Accountancy Exam, which is administered by the Institute of Chartered Accountants of the country.

The decision of which accreditation to pursue will often depend on an individual's career goals, interests and what area of accounting they want to specialize in.
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Audrey’s Answer

Hi Benjamin!

The difference between a CPA (Certified Public Accountant) and a CA (Chartered Accountant) is that a CPA is a US specific designation for accountants working in all 50 states and the CA is a worldwide designation.

While I am neither, (I am a US based financial advisor) most of my work is done in collaboration with CPAs and occasionally EAs (Enrolled Agents). EA's are licensed by the IRS (Internal Revenue Service) to prepare tax returns whereas CPAs are licensed by their applicable state boards of accountancy. EA is also a US specific destination.

Hope this helps!
Thank you comment icon Thank you, this is amazing! I really needed it. Benjamin
Thank you comment icon Thank you, Audrey for the advice. Benjamin
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Charlie’s Answer

I am a Canadian CA that worked as an accountant in the US where my peers were CPAs. In my experience, all my peers saw my CA as equal to the US CPA and by achieving either you have proven your dedication and experience as an accountant.

If you plan to work at an accounting firm there may be a requirement as you get to certain levels (ie. partner level), but I would say in my experience most companies would accept you as a qualified accountant. For resume search engines I would include CPA somehow in the resume so that it comes up if you have an Australian CA.
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josh’s Answer

The CA really has no standing in the US but does around the world. The CPA has many world counterparts but being a CPA is better than being a CA standing aside.
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