CA vs FRM – What’s the Career Scope?


Both of these credentials have something in common. They both are quite well known for the fields they cater too. While CA specifically focusses on accounting and taxation, FRM is catering to concepts of risk management. They both have distinct identities, yet candidates get confused, which they should choose. To give you a simple overview, we have created this post-CA vs. FRM, which would enable you to understand the differences well.

The article is articulated in this order:

  1. CA vs. FRM Infographics
  2. What is a Chartered Accountant (CA)?
  3. What is the Financial Risk Manager (FRM)?
  4. CA vs. FRM Exam Requirements
  5. Why pursue CA?
  6. Why pursue the FRM?


CA vs. FRM Infographics

Reading time: 90 seconds

Let’s understand the difference between these two streams with the help of this CA vs. FRM Infographics.


CA vs FRM – Comparative Table

Section CA   FRM
Organizing Body The CA exams are managed and controlled by the  Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI), India. The FRM exams are managed and controlled by the Global Association of Risk Professionals (GARP), USA.
Pattern The course consists of 3 sequential levels

  • Common Proficiency Test (CPT)
  • Integrated Professional Competence Course (IPCC)
  • CA Final
The course consists of 2 sequential parts

  • Part I
  • Part II
Duration of Course The candidates usually take 4 to 5 years to complete all the levels successfully. The candidates are required to clear the Part II exam within 48 months from passing the Part I exam.
Syllabus The syllabus primarily covers the following topics

  • General Economics
  • Fundamentals of Accounting
  • Direct Taxes
  • Mercantile Laws
  • Cost Accounting & Financial Management
  • Auditing & Assurance
  • Management Accounting & Financial Analysis
  • Organisation & Management
  • Fundamentals of Electronic Data Processing
  • Quantitative Aptitude
The syllabus primarily covers the following topics

  • Quantitative Analysis
  • Valuation
  • Risk Models
  • Financial Markets & Products
  • Credit Risk, Operational Risk & Market Risk
  • Treasury & Liquidity Risk Management
  • Investment Management
Exam Fees The cost for the entire course varies in the range of $900 to $1,100. The cost of the entire course varies in the range of $1,175 to $1,775, which includes the exam fees as well as an enrollment fee of $400. The exam fees of the two parts vary depending on the time of registration.
Jobs Some of the common profiles include

  • Internal Auditor
  • Tax Auditor
  • Strategic Accountant
  • Management Accountant
  • Public Accountant
  • Government Accountant
  • Financial Advisor
Some of the common profiles include

  • Risk Manager
  • Investment Banker
  • Financial Risk Consultant
  • Risk Management Analyst
Difficulty The difficulty level of the CA exams is very high as reflected from very low pass rates. The pass rates for the CA Final exams (both groups) conducted in November 2019 were 10.2% and 15.1% for the old course and new course. The difficulty level of the FRM exams is quite high as indicated from historical pass rates that suggest that only 1 out 3 candidates are able to clear both parts. The pass rates for Part I and Part II exams conducted during 2019 were 45.9% and 58.6% respectively.
Exam Date The upcoming exams for the year 2021 are expected to start on January 21. The upcoming exams of Part I for the year 2021 are scheduled to take place during May 08-21, Jul 10-23, and Nov 13-26, while those for Part II are May 15 and Dec 04-10.

What is a Chartered Accountant (CA)?

CA is a highly valued designation awarded by the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI), which represents a unique professional role in accounting, taxation, and auditing. It is a globally recognized credential that offers a professional the rare choice of starting his or her private practice in the field of chartered accountancy or work with a private or public sector undertaking. After completing CA, a professional can work in a financial accountant, budget analystBudget AnalystBudget Analyst is a professional data-oriented person. He/she organizes and allocates various financial resources (Income from business/profession, interest income from bank deposits, profits from trading in stocks or shares) by monitoring each spending on an estimation basis and then produces probable surplus/deficit from the said more, or financial auditor, among others.

What is the Financial Risk Manager (FRM)?

FRM is a globally recognized credential offered by the Global Association of Risk Professionals (GARP) for risk management professionals. This credential is designed to impart a detailed knowledge of assessing as well as managing different types of market-based as well as non-market financial risks. This credential also covers general best practices in financial risk management and can be useful in earning expert-level skills in this specialized area. This certification offers a complete overview of risk management practices within the financial services sector.

CA vs. FRM Exam Requirements:

For CA, You Need:

Candidates who have cleared the Class 10 examination and students who have appeared for the Senior Secondary Examination (recognized by the Central Government of India) are eligible to appear for Common Proficiency Test (CPT) as the foundation level exam CA.

To sit for IPCE (Integrated Professional Competence Exam), a student should have cleared the CPT and 10+2 exam (recognized by the Central Government of India). Candidates with a minimum of 55% aggregate mark in Graduation/Post Graduation in Commerce stream or 60% aggregate for those in other than the Commerce stream can directly register for the IPCE exam. Candidates who have passed the intermediate level exam conducted by ICWAI or ICSI are also exempt from the CPT exam and can directly register for IPCE. To appear for IPCE, a candidate must also have completed 100 hours of Information technology training (ITT) and registered for IPCCIPCCAccording to the guidelines established by the Institute (ICAI), there are several options for taking the IPCC Exam. There are seven subjects in all, separated into two groups of four and three subjects. You'll need 200 and 150 marks to pass a group, more (Integrated Professional Competence Course) at least 9 months before the date of examination.

To sit for CA Finals, a candidate must have cleared both groups of IPCE along with 2.5 years of Articleship.

For FRM You Need:

There are no educational requirements, but the candidate should have at least 2 years of full-time work experience related to risk management, including portfolio management, risk consulting, risk technology, or other related areas.

Why Pursue CA?

Despite it being a tough designation to earn, it is undoubtedly among the most highly acknowledged global industry credentials in finance. What sets apart being a CA is that it opens up the whole wide world of possibilities in finance for a professional, instead of keeping them restricted to the field of accounting or auditing. On completing CA, a professional can work in the capacity of an independent professional on par with independently functioning professionals, including doctors or engineers. One can become associated with a highly reputed organization in various roles associated with financial auditingFinancial AuditingFinancial audit is an independent examination of the financial statements of an entity irrespective of its size. It is done by auditors or audit firms who provide an opinion regarding the accurate and fair view of the facts & figures mentioned in the financial more, taxation, corporate finance, management consultancy, and tax compliance, among other things. A CA is invested with the power to legally represent the company or client he is working for in legal and financial disputes.

Why Pursue FRM?

FRM is a highly valued risk management credential that is best suited for professionals with a good amount of experience in risk management. It deals specifically with risk management as opposed to other areas of general interest in finance and accountancy. Those with an FRM are best fit for roles like Risk Assessments Manager and Head of Treasury Department, requiring knowledge of risk assessment and risk management in finance.


CA is meant for those with a bent of mind for accounting (including but not limited to number crunching) along with a keen interest in auditing, tax management, strategic approach to financial matters. It takes at least 4 years to complete the Chartered Accountancy (CA) course and is far more time consuming as compared to FRM, although much wider in scope as well. One can choose from an entire spectrum of career roles in accountingCareer Roles In AccountingMaking a career in accounting can fetch you multiple growth opportunities in the various disciplines of the accounting profession. You can become a finance and accounts manager, statutory auditor, tax manager/expert and certified public accountant (CPA).read more and financial auditing, among other things, and even start his or her private practice on completing CA.

FRM is more of a natural choice for those with professional experience in risk management, looking to enhance their skill sets and seek better opportunities. This credential can be earned by clearing FRM Part I & Part II exams and demonstrate two years of relevant work experience. Though highly valued, its relevance is limited to the field of financial risk management.

Recommended Articles

This has been a guide to CA vs. FRM. Here we discuss the difference between CA and FRM along with infographics and comparative table. You can learn more from the following articles –

Reader Interactions


  1. Devki says

    First I want to thank you for putting your great efforts to write such a valuable post. I need one advice from you, if I want to make a career in accounting field then which one should I go for? Whether I should go for CA or CS?

    • Dheeraj Vaidya says

      Hi Devki, Thanks for your kind words and appreciation. To give you a simple overview, you should go for CA if you want to make your career in accounting field. Because later at the last module of the exam you will be having 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. I hope this was clear for you. For more details you can refer to CA vs CS. Happy Learning!!

  2. Meena says

    Brilliant comparison between these two streams. Thanks for posting this article. Can you tell me in detail all about CA Exam? Is there any case study to learn this Course?

  3. Keerthi.S says

    as u say there is no educational requirement for pursuing FRM. But the GARP website says one needs to be atleast in 2nd year of graduation. I have given my CA Finals this May and am currently writing my Bcom exams at IGNOU . will i be eligible for FRM exams in December 2016? please reply at the earliest

    • Dheeraj Vaidya says

      Hi Keerthi, I think as a CA you will qualify. CA is considered at part with MBAs. However, it is best to check with GARP on this.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *