What is the Difference Between CA and CS?

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Difference Between CA and CS

Chartered Accountancy and Company Secretary are two sought-after courses coming under the Commerce stream. Regarded as frequently opted courses after 12 Commerce, both CA and CS are often considered as interrelated in terms of course content and professional job profiles. However, they may seem similar but are actually CA and CS are two different courses which emphasize on two separate departments in a business firm. Also named amongst the toughest exams in India, CA Course aims to equip students with the intricate knowledge of Accounting and Finance whereas, CS provides students with an expert understanding in Corporate Governance and Company Law. For all those going through the conundrum of how to decide between these two, here is blog elucidating difference between CA and CS. 

Difference Between CA and CS: General Overview 

Both these certifications vary greatly in terms of their course structure, duration, levels of study, job opportunities, etc. Tabulated below are the major points of difference between CA and CS:

Parameter CACS 
Name of the CourseChartered Accountancy Company Secretary
Conducting BodyInstitute of Chartered
Accountants of India (ICAI) 
Institute of Company
Secretaries in India 
Duration 5 Years2-3 Years
Qualifying Levels -CA Foundation 
-Integrated Professional Competence 
-CA Final 
-Foundation Course 
-Executive Program
-Professional Course 
Subjects of Study -Fundamentals of Accounting 
-Auditing and Assurance 
-Management Accounting
and Financial Analysis 
-Tax Laws
-Economic Labour
and Industrial Laws 
-Banking and Insurance
-Law and Practice 
Articleship Minimum for 2.5 Years 15 Months of Training

Difference Between CA and CS: Career Pathway

Being prominent courses in the field of Commerce, it is essential for the aspirants to possess a strong knowledge of core subjects under this stream. The journey of attaining the esteemed qualifications differ greatly.  Let us understand in simple steps, the processes of becoming a CA as well as CS. 

Steps To Become A Chartered Accountant

You will be required to complete the below-mentioned steps to become a CA:

  • Register for ICAI 
  • Qualify the CA Foundation exam and opt for a bachelor’s degree 
  • Clear all the exams of IPC level
  • Pursue Articleship 
  • Qualify for the CA Final level

Steps To Become A Company Secretary 

If you aspire to earn the qualification of a Company Secretary, you will have to complete the following steps:

  • Register with the ICSI  
  • Pursue the Foundation Course 
  • Qualify the Executive program.
  • Complete the Professional Course 

Thus, while both CA and CS require aspirants to qualify certain levels, these course levels immensely in terms of the process, duration and structure.

Difference Between CA and CS: Coursework 

The curriculum as well as course structure constitutes the major criteria of difference between CA and CS. The duties of a Company Secretary are managing the tax records of the company and ensuring that all the legal and statutory regulations are met, and the CS course equips them with knowledge of handling the legal and financial departments of a firm.

On the other hand, Chartered Accountancy is inclined more towards the management of accounts along with analysing the risk in business endeavours and its management. The chartered accountants not only keep a track record of the accounts of the company but also provide financial advice for the betterment of the company. Hence, the course is centred towards concepts like Auditing, Financial Management, Techniques of Accounting, etc.

Difference Between CA and CS: Duration 

Another major difference between CA and CS is their duration. Although CA and CS comprise of 3 levels, the duration of these levels vary. CA is considered to be tougher than CS, hence, the duration of each of its course levels is longer than that of CS. On average, it takes an aspirant to complete CA in 5 years including the articleship. Whilst CS can be completed in a shorter duration of 2-3 years. 

Difference Between CA and CS: Scope 

Attaining these elite qualifications, you can explore a wide range of career options. While exploring the difference between CA and CS in terms of a full-time career, Company Secretaries have ample opportunities wherein they can work with an array of organizations or can opt to carry out their work independently. For those who qualify as certified CAs are considered to have better career opportunities than CS. As a CA, you can choose to be a part of Government organizations, private organisations, banks, law firms etc. But most commonly, you can also practice independently and work for multiple clients.

Difference Between CA and CS: Salary Package

Both these qualifications are financially rewarding and the actual salary package of any of these depends upon the individual’s professional experience as well as the company amongst various other factors. The average salary of CA in India can be somewhere around 7 Lakhs and go up to 30 Lakhs while if you are a Chartered Accountant in the UK, it can be somewhere around 44,000 USD [33,44,000 INR roughly]. On the other hand, Company Secretaries get an average salary package of 5 Lakhs to 10 Lakhs in India while on a global level, it can be even higher, reaching around 51,000 USD [38,76,000 INR roughly] which is even at par with CA.

Note: These average salary packages are only for indicative purposes.

Difference Between CA and CS: Which is Easy?

When it comes to the difficulty level, CA is amongst the toughest courses in the world while CS is considered easier to complete. This is because CS has more theoretical concepts while the latter is focused on calculations, financial statements, analysis and much more. If you are good at comprehending concepts in one go and aren’t much inclined towards number-crunching, then CS is a suitable choice while CA is perfect for those with an educational background in Accounting or Finance as they would be able to tackle the syllabus better.

How to Choose Between CA and CS?

While exploring both these courses, it is normal to get confused between which one suits your candidature and professional journey better. For this you have to consider the aforementioned factors like duration, course procedure, scope and difficulty level and then peruse upon which one suits your career profile better. If you aim to build a career in Finance or Accounting then CA must be considered whereas for those aspiring to pursue higher-level managerial roles or in legal management, then CS is the best option. Further, since both these courses have similar content in terms of theory, many students also prepare for these two together and then make their decision accordingly on which exam they are able to crack first. CA after CS is a demanding qualification and once you have cleared CS executive and the articleship training, you can directly appear for IPCC and thus gain both certifications which will broaden your career horizons!

Want to know more? Check Out: CA vs CS!

We hope that you are now familiarized with the difference between CA and CS and what sets them apart. Want to pursue a professional course? Reach out to our Leverage Edu experts and we will assist you in finding the right course and institution that fits your aspirations, interests and career goals.

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