CA or CS? Which Course Should I Prefer? – Analysis for you

Despite the difference in the roles, the two careers – CA and CS are often confused between by people who don’t know the difference between the two. Being two of the most popular career options for Commerce students, they are often closely compared.

Let us understand with an example-

Kartik: Hey Rohan, can I have a look at this month’s accounts, I have to suggest the board of members about the areas where we can cut down our costs.

Harshit: Sure, I just audited the sheet. And my calculations tell me that we saved 20% of taxes this time. You can report this to board.

Here kartik is a Company Secretary (CS) who has to advice the company for its benefit and growth, and he is asking Harshit who is a Chartered Accountant (CA) to have a look at the finance sheet.

Both Kartik and Harshit are two very important professionals needed in the business world. One is an expert in accounting and finance, while the other is an expert in company law and corporate governance.

Who is a Chartered Accountant (CA)?

Chartered Accountants are professionals who minimize risks, losses and maintain accounts of firms and companies with their accounting skills. They work across various domains of business such as audit, taxation, investment, finance, etc. to increase the profitability of the firm.

Who is a Company Secretary (CS)?

Company Secretaries are professionals who act as consultants to the board of directors of companies on matters of management, administration, finance, accounting, taxation, etc. Their job involves giving advice on business and company laws, dealing with situations involving a conflict of interest, suggesting ways to prepare financial reports, developing corporate strategy, and assisting in planning.

Understand CA vs CS by Infograph


Key Differences Between CA vs CS

  • A CA can apply for jobs in the fields of auditing, accounting, taxation, consultancy, and management accounting whereas a CS can apply for jobs as legal experts, strategic managers, corporate planners, executive secretary, and chief advisor.
  • A CA course may take an average of 4 to 5 years to complete whereas a CA course might take an average of 2 to 3 years to complete.
  • CA exams happen in the month of May and November every year whereas CS exams are conducted in the month of June and December each year.
  • CA course focuses on subjects like direct taxes, fundamentals, and basics of accounting, auditing, and assurance, CAFM (cost accounting and financial management), MAFA (management accounting and financial analysis), etc whereas CS course focuses on subjects like tax laws, company law, general and commercial laws, economic labor and industrial laws, banking and insurance, basic economics, and business environment, etc.

Scorecard of CA vs CS

Nature of courseCA is practical whereas CS is theoretical
Which is toughest?CS is somewhat easier than CA
Which course can give me a good salary?CA are paid more than CS
Which course has better job opportunities?Both has a better scope and are in demand 
Which course is for less duration?The duration of CS is less than CA.
Which course has fewer registration feesCS fees structure is around Rs 40000 under ICSI which is less than CA fees.
Which course has a better pass percentage?CS pass percentage is more at the foundation level. CA pass percentage is more than CS at the final level
Which course is recognised overseasThe scope of Chartered Accountants is more overseas. 

What should you prefer?

If you to read Corporate Laws & compliances then CS is most preferable choice. It is a theory based course more than of practical.

If you love accounts & taxation then CA is most preferable choice. It is a practical based course less of theory.

Passing rates

CA Final examOld courseNew course
Group – I only26.94%17.34%
Group –II only23.09%28.15%
Both Groups10.19%15.12%

The below table represents the outcome of the CS exams held during June 2019.

Executive programOld syllabusNew syllabus
        Module – 111.51%
        Module – 216.78%
Professional ProgramOld syllabusNew syllabus
        Module – 127.13%27.82%
        Module – 230.73%24.73%
        Module – 333.34%27.76%
Foundation Program64.53%

You will get the best results if you can do both courses. 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 hard. Go through the above details and pick what best suits you.

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