Difference Between CPA and CA
CPA stands for Certified Public Accountant and these exams are conducted by American Institute of Certified Public Accountant (AICPA) and this course takes a minimum of 7 months and a maximum of 1 year to complete whereas CA stands for Chartered Accountant and these exams are conducted by Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI) and this course takes an average of 4 to 5 years to complete.
The key question that arises is whether the CPA benefits my career path or CA? There is no clear winner because both qualifications will help to grow your technical skills, accountancy skills, and business management skills. Also, CPA and CA holders tend to be equally spread across commercial and public accounting – so each qualification provides maximum flexibility to work across the industry.
Please note we are only comparing CPA membership of AICPA (American Institute of Certified Public Accountants) and CA membership of ICAI (Institute of Chartered Accountants of India).
I understand that the choice between CPA and CA is a big career decision and hence, to help you make an informed decision, I prepared an infographic that will give you a clear picture of differentiation.
CPA vs CA Infographics
#1 – CPA
- If you wish to appear for Uniform Certified Public Accountant Examination, you need to clear Bachelors in Commerce (B.Com) with a first-class or you need to have a Bachelor’s in Commerce and also a Post-Graduation Degree.
- And if you have Indian CA’s designation with B.Com than also you can appear for CPA examinations. Also, checkout Careers after B.com
#2 – CA
- If you want to appear for Indian CA Examination you need to appear for Common Proficiency Test (CPT) after appearing in Senior Secondary Examination (recognized by the Central Government of India).
- CPT Examination is held in June & December every year, so the first step you need to do is you need to register for Common Proficiency Test 60 days prior to the test i.e. on or before 1st April & 1st October.
- CPA: CPA designation will open a door of wide varied options. After getting your CPA certification you can work under various accounting fields such as International Accounting, Internal & External Auditing, Consulting Services, Forensic Accounting, Assurance services, Taxation & Financial Planning, etc. With its global recognition, you will find the best place to work anywhere in many countries. See the list of Top Accounting firms
- CA: Similarly, CA Designation will also provide you many options in the specialized areas of Accounting such as Auditing, Taxation, Corporate Finance, Corporate Laws. After getting your CA Certification you can either work in the existing top firms of Accountancy or you can start your own independent professional practice.
CPA vs CA – Salary Comparison
- CPA: The average salary earned by the CPA Professionals (in India) is found to INR 7,68,552 per year. Most people move on to other jobs if they have more than 10 years’ experience in this field.
- CA: A Chartered Accountant (in India) earns a salary of INR 6,08,976 per year on an average. Skills that are associated with high pay for this job are Evaluation and Management Auditing, Budget Management, Financial Analysis, Strategic Accounts, and Financial Advisor. People in this job generally don’t have more than 10 years’ experience. Experience strongly influences income for this job.
Both designations have their own pros and cons, it is not an easy task to opt between CPA & CA as both have a successful career. If you are interested in working abroad or in a multinational company, then you should opt for a CPA. Alternatively, if you want to start your own audit practice in India, opt for CA. Additionally, the CA exam is less costly as compared to the CPA examination.
So which one are you taking?
This has been a guide to CPA vs CA. Here we discuss the difference between CPA and CA based on the eligibility criteria, examination syllabus, career opportunities, salary, etc. You may also have a look at the following articles –