Chartered Accountant – Definition

Cite this article as:"Chartered Accountant – Definition," in The Business Professor, updated December 15, 2019, last accessed October 19, 2020,


Chartered Accountant (CA) Definition

Chartered accountant (CA) is a term used as a professional designation for accountants who have met the requirements of the Institute of Chartered Accountants and have sat for and passed the exams. Accounting professionals can earn a credential or professional designation called Chartered accountant (CA) which will enable them to work in diverse fields across different countries. Generally, chartered accountants can work in the business, taxation, finance, audit and general management industries. Individuals or accountants earn this professional designation after going through a study where they take certain courses at the Institute of Chartered Accountants and pass an examination.

A Little More on What is a Chartered Accountant (CA)

In the United States, the designation of a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) is equivalent to a Chartered Accountant, given the fact that they perform similar roles. This designation allows a holder to work in the business, finance and taxation field where he can prepare financial statements, file tax reports, prepare audit reports and work in similar capacities.

To maintain the designation of chartered accountants, professionals are required to undergo a continuing professional development after they have earned the professional designation. In every country, the memebership of chartered accountants is highly competitive. There are specific requirements that individuals must meet before they become Chartered accountants, these requirements differ from state to state and country to country.

In history, chartered accountants were the first to organize in a professional body in Scotland in 1854, it was after this body was formed ad other professional organizations emerged.

The following are the major points to note about Chartered Accountants (CA);

  • Chartered Accountant (CA) is a professional designation awarded to accounting professionals after they have met certain requirements and have specific qualifications.
  • In the United States, Chartered Accountant (CA) is an equivalent designation to Certified Public Accountants (CPA).
  • Different countries have different requirements and processes that individuals must follow in order to earn the CA designation.
  • Generally, CAs work in the fields of audit, finance, business, taxation, and general management.

The major areas that chartered accountants focus on are; Audit and assurance; Financial accounting and reporting;  General management and accounting and; Applied finance or taxation.

Chartered Accountants (CAs) vs. CPAs

The United States regard CA and CPA as equivalent designations, while CPA is widely used in the United States, many countries of the world use CA as a professional designation for certified accountants who have gone through the required courses, passed an exam and undergo a continuous professional development course.

Reference for “ Chartered Accountant (CA)”

Was this article helpful?