CA vs CS – Which One’s the Best? Many students are confused between which course to take from the two extra-ordinary courses that is CA (Chartered Accountancy) and CS (Company Secretary). But in this article, we will see the details of both of the courses and how they help students get ahead in their professional careers.
To give a simple overview, a student should go for CA if the student wants to make his/her mark in accounting initially. Because later at the last module of the exam, you will have so many subjects which will allow you to choose any domain of finance you like. But first you need to be exceptionally good in accounting to clear the first and second module.
A CS is someone who will take over the corporate governance of the company. S/he will be a master of corporate laws and practice and will be able to act as a direct advisor to the board of directors of the company. To pass CS, you need to have special liking for Law and how it works in company perspective.
To get a detailed purview of both the courses, let’s look at the following sections step by step.
- CA vs CS Infographics
- What is Chartered Accountancy (CA)?
- What is Company Secretaryship (CS)?
- Key differences between CA and CS
- Why pursue CA?
- Why pursue CS?
CA vs CS Infographics
Reading time : 90 seconds
Lets understand the difference between these two streams with the help of this CA vs CS Infographics.
What is Chartered Accountancy (CA)?
This is one of the most esteemed courses in India. Students who have commerce background are the perfect fit for this course. But now, even students with varied backgrounds like science and arts are also joining this prestigious course to be able to make their mark in their professional careers.
But CA is not for the faint hearted. If you want to pursue CA, the first quality you should possess is resilience. Because it’s one of the toughest exams in India! People often compare CA with CPA, but CPA is easier than CA, as CA needs more in-depth study and more involvement.
If you can clear three levels in one go, you would be able to become a CA within 3 years. Having said that, most people don’t clear it in one go or even in two-three attempts! You need to study hard and consistently to clear the exam. If you want to pursue CA, think twice before enrolling.
What is Company Secretaryship (CS)?
Company Secretaryship used to be easier. But now, it has become as hard as CA. By saying hard we don’t mean to scare you. It means that the filtering is so strict that very few can get to clear all three modules. Imagine the scenario, only 3 people out of 100 clear all three modules last year.
As it has become as hard as CA, the value of CS has also increased. If you want to act as an advisor to the MD or CEO of the company, you should choose this course. Because you will be considered as an expert of corporate law and practice and drafting!
Let’s look at the key difference between CA and CS.
Key differences between CA and CS
There are many differences between CA and CS, though they both are equally hard and sought after courses.
CA needs to have more of quantitative ability than qualitative ability. On the other hand CS needs to have more qualitative approach to his/her career. A CA needs to have good analytical skills; s/he also should be good with numbers and s/he should handle pressure. CA needs to accurate in every numbers and there’s no room for errors. In case of CS, s/he should be very good in law and management. S/he also needs to be pretty good in communication as s/he needs to advise the board of directors of the company.
Often clients need someone who can act as a lawyer in their favour. If you’re a CA, you can act as a lawyer. But a CS doesn’t have the authority to defend his client or represent him in any case. This is one of advantages of having a CA degree over CS.
When you complete your CA, you would be able to do various audits. The audits can be statutory or tax audits and CA would be having the power to say the last word. CS doesn’t have any power to conduct such audits. If you think of more comprehensive course, CA is better than CS in many cases.
In case of CA, the main focus is accounting. However, in later module of the course, CA has many subjects from various domains to make the course comprehensive. In a word, the focus of CA course is quantitative. CS, on the other hand emphasizes on corporate law. As CS has to communicate with the board of members quite often, thus CS course is made qualitative. Even an HR subject is also included in the last module of CS. To talk about the bend of the course, CA is more comprehensive as it includes various subjects; CS is more global as people at ICSI understand the value of soft skills along with the technical skills.
It’s being seen that CAs are mainly hired by audit and consulting firms and firms with global repute whereas CSs are being hired by public enterprises and government organizations. That doesn’t mean that CAs and CSs are not being hired by other industries. The above is just a trend being noticed in recent times.
If a company needs someone in finance domain, generally the company prefers CAs over CSs as CA has much broader scope of knowledge and expertise compared to CS. But you cannot demean CS as a course. It’s equally good. But there’s a significant difference in salary for CA and CS. A good CA earns almost double of what a good CS earns in the market. It may be because of the authority and power CA can exercise in favour of his/her clients.
Why pursue CA?
There are few reasons for which you should pursue CA –
- CA is a professional course that can give you instant credibility. Once you clear CA you will be called an expert of many domains.
- CA is a course which needs a lot of pursuance and while pursuing this course you will learn a lot about hard work, resilience and intelligence. These are the life skills you require to make your mark in any professional career.
- CA has a great reputation and authority. Even if you don’t want to join a company, you can do your own practice. It’s one of self-employed professions that are revered in the society like doctors and engineers.
Why pursue CS?
CS has limited scope but it’s much advanced in a global perspective. Let’s see why you should pursue a CS.
- Once you complete your CS, you will be treated as an authority of company laws and communication. Both will be great tools to run a company.
- As a CS, your biggest advantage is you can directly advise the board of directors and they will act as you say in legal matters. Imagine the responsibility you have as a CS.
- Even if CA is given more prominence, CS is equally tougher and only few people can clear it that makes you one of the best in a whole of students and professionals.
Other useful comparisons
- CA and MBA
- Compare CA with FRM
- Difference between ACCA vs CA
- Compare CFA with CA
- CPA vs CS difference
- CS vs CFP
- CMA vs CS differences
You will get the best results if you can do CA and CS both. But it’s not easy to pursue both of the courses simultaneously. If you would like to pursue even one of these, remember it’s a full time job. Part time work will not help you crack these exams. You need to study really hard. Go through the above details and pick what best suits you.