Updated July 24, 2023
Difference Between CPA vs CA
CPA vs CA together are clearly explained.CPA is the short form used for Certified Public Accountant whereas CA is the short form used for Chartered Accountants. A CPA or Certified Public Accountant can be defined as a qualified accountant certified by the AICPA (American Institute of Certified Public Accountants), having the highest level of competence in domains like finance, accountancy, and financial information services. A CPA is an international degree and the same as a lot of significance in English-speaking countries.
Any individual that has five years of working experience in accountancy and business can readily apply for the CPA course. On the other hand, a CA can be defined as a Chartered Accountant certified by the ICAI (the Institute of Chartered Accountant in India), having expertise in finance and accountancy. A CA is a Chartered Accountant in India, and an aspirant can enroll for this course right after clearing his class 12 examinations.
Head To Head Comparison Between CPA vs CA (Infographics)
Below are the Top 14 Differences CPA vs CA:
Key Differences Between CPA vs CA
The key differences between a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) and a Chartered Accountant (CA) are provided and discussed below:
- CPA stands for Certified Public Accountant, whereas CA stands for Chartered Accountant.
- CPA being an international degree, is recognized worldwide, whereas CA being an Indian degree, is majorly recognized in India and to some extent in a few Middle Eastern countries.
- American Institute of Certified Public Accountants or AICPA offers a CPA course, whereas the Institute of Chartered Accountants in India OR ICAI offers a CA course.
- A CPA course is very expensive as compared to a CA course.
- An individual holding a CPA degree will be entitled to receive more salary as compared to an individual holding a CA degree.
- A CPA course is not that difficult as compared to a CA course.
- A CA course takes more time to complete in comparison to a CPA course. The minimum time taken for an aspirant to clear CA is around 4 to 5 years, whereas the minimum time taken by an aspirant for the completion of a CPA course is 7 months, and the maximum taken is one year.
- The exams in CPA are conducted online, whereas the exams in CA are conducted offline.
- Article-ship for a minimum of three years under a Chartered Accountant firm is mandatory in CA for an aspirant to attain his or her CA license, whereas the same is not applicable in the case of the CPA course.
- CPA is a one-time online exam, whereas CA exams are executed at 4 different levels- Common Proficiency Test (CPT), Integrated Professional Competence Course (IPCC OR IPCE), article-ship for three years under a CA firm, and final exam.
- CPA covers International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) as well as US Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP), whereas CA covers Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP).
CPA vs CA Comparison Table
Let’s discuss the top comparison between CPA vs CA:
|Basis of comparison||
|Full form||The full form for CPA is Certified Public Accountant.||The full form for CA is Chartered Accountant.|
|Recognition||CPA is an international degree, and the same can be used in English-speaking countries such as the US. The degree is recognized all across the globe, unlike CA.||CA is an Indian degree, and it is majorly valued in India and in few Middle Eastern countries.|
|Eligibility||An individual holding a 5 year and above education in business and accounting can enroll for this course.||An aspirant can enroll for this course right after he or she is done with class 12 examinations.|
|Institute||CPA course is organized by AICPA (American Institute of Certified Public Accountants).||CA course is organized by ICAI (the Institute of Chartered Accountants in India).|
|Job role||A Certified Public Accountant will need to act as a strategic business advisor.||A Chartered Accountant will need to take care of the company’s finances, conduct the audit, etc.|
|Level of expense||In comparison to CA, a CPA course is more expensive.||CA is less expensive as compared to CPA.|
|Salary||A CPA receives more salary as compared to a CA.||A CA is also paid a decent salary, but if compared to a CPA, the salary is way too less.|
|Duration of the course||A CPA course takes a minimum of seven months to a maximum of one year to complete.||A CA course takes a minimum of four to five years to complete.|
|Level of exams||A CPA course is merely over in one exam.||A CA course has multiple levels (namely three). These levels-
|Article-ship||Not required.||A 3-year article-ship is mandatory in CA. It can be started right after one has cleared his or her IPCC/ IPCE exam. Even on clearance of either of the groups in IPCC/ IPCE, one can apply for article-ship.|
|Standards and Principles||CPA covers IFRS (International Financial Reporting Standards) and US GAAP (Generally Accepted Accounting Principles).||CA covers GAAP (Generally Accepted Accounting Principles).|
|Licensing||A minimum of one year of experience is mandatory in Finance or Accounting to gain a Certified Public Accountant license.||A minimum of three years article-ship is mandatory under any CA firm for gaining a CA license.|
|Online/ Offline||CPA is an online examination||CA is an off-line examination.|
|Overall passing percentage||The overall passing percentage of CPA is 45 percent.||The overall passing percentage of CA is 5 percent.|
An aspirant with a minimum of five years of experience in accounting and business can readily apply for a CPA course. On the other hand, an aspirant who has cleared his or her class 12 examinations is eligible to apply and enroll himself or herself for the course of CA. The job role of a Certified Public Accountant or CPA is to act as a strategic business advisor, while a Chartered Accountant or CA’s job role is to take care of the company’s finances, conduct audit framework, etc. An aspirant must self-evaluate and do the necessary research prior to choosing any of these courses.
This is a guide to CPA vs CA. Here we discuss the CPA vs CA key differences with infographics and comparison table. You can also go through our other suggested articles to learn more –