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Often mistaken for the same, a chartered accountant is as different from a company secretary as chalk is from cheese. Chartered Accountants work in all fields of business and finance. Some are enga...
Often mistaken for the same, a chartered accountant is as different from a company secretary as chalk is from cheese. Chartered Accountants work in all fields of business and finance. Some are engaged in public practice, others work in the private sector and some are also employed by government bodies. On the other hand, the main function of a Company Secretary is to act as the mediator between the company and its Board of Directors. He also provides guidance to the Chairman and the Directors on how to make the best use of their responsibilities under various laws.
Let us see the difference between a chartered accountant (CA) and Company Secretariat (CS) so that it helps you to make a career choice-:
|Criteria||Chartered Accountant (CA)||Company Secretariat (CS)|
|1) Course details||Chartered Accountancy Course is a professional course in the field of Accounting. It is about financial management, taxation and accounting.||The Company Secretary (CS) is a professional course which is conducted by The Institute of Company Secretaries of India (ICSI). To become a Company Secretary, the candidates need to pass the Foundation Programme, Executive Programme, and Professional Programme.|
|2) Career Scope||The scope of a CA is very wide. He can either pursue private practice or join an organisation's financial accounting department or serve in taxation departments. He can also work in fields of Finance, Corporate finance, Management consultancy, Tax Compliance, Change management. Chartered accountants mostly deal with studies like market research, budget planning, planning of policies; management of working capital of an organisation, etc. Their duty is to ensure that the particular company is maintaining its financial transactions according to the law of the country and manage the cost and tax matters of it.||A Company Secretary can find employment in government accounts or law departments or he can become a Managing Director or Chairman of a Company and be a part of the Board of Directors of a Company. The role of a Company Secretary is that of an advisor for legal matters. If a company goes public, then the management of the public issue falls under the ambit of a Company Secretary. All legalities involved with inter-corporate investments and loans are looked after by a Company Secretary.|
|3) Skills required||Good aptitude skills with concentration ability, good with numbers, good analytical skills, can work under pressure, a systematic way of working.||Proficiency of law and management, good communication skills to deal with many types of people, should sound convincing and the capacity to fit in the corporate environment.|
|4) Authority||A CA can act as a lawyer and appear before various appellate authorities of direct and indirect tax departments like The Commissioner of Income Tax, Income Tax Appellate Tribunal etc and defend his client||A CS does not have the authority to defend his client or represent him in a case.|
|5) Power||In India, it is only a CA who can conduct various statutory audits and audits under Income Tax Act called Tax Audit etc.||A CS does not have the power to conduct such audits|
|6) Statutory body||The CA is a member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India. A person can only become a CA after passing exams conducted by The Institute of Chartered Accountants of India||A CS is a member of The Institute of Company Secretaries of India. A person can become a CS only after passing exams conducted by the Institute of Company Secretaries of India.|
|7) Companies hiring||PwC, Ernst & Young, HSBC Bank, Neeraj Bhagat & Co., KPMG, Alok Sinhal, ICICI Prudential, Om Kotak Mahindra, Birla Sun-Life, Tata AIF Life, Reliance, HDFC Standard Life-Chartered Accountancy Co., Max New York Life, SBI||Banks like SBI, HSBC, Bureau of Public Enterprises, government financial institutions and stock exchanges, universities, etc|
|8) Institutes offering the course||The Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI) is both an examining and a licensing body. It is the responsibility of the institute to conduct the Chartered accountancy (CA) Courses throughout the country. A CA programme is of two years apart from the training period. It has three sections, Competency Professional Test (CPT) that was earlier known as Professional Education exam PE1, Professional Competency Examination (PCE) and Final examination||The minimum eligibility required for the foundation course for training as a Company Secretary is 10+2. Graduates or post-graduates in commerce, or any other discipline are allowed to skip the foundation course and enroll directly for the intermediate examination. This exemption is also extended to those who have passed out of the Institute of Cost and Works Accountancy or the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India. For better career prospects one may opt for the Company Secretary course after having completed either the Cost and Works Accountancy course or the Chartered Accountancy course or both. The Institute of Company Secretaries of India conducts examinations for different levels of competencies throughout the country. Those who clear these examinations are granted membership to the Institute.|