Essay Academic

CA vs CPA in India- Main Differences, Comparison, Toughness

CA vs CPA in India- Main Differences, Comparison, Toughness

While considering the benefits of the CA (Chartered Accountant) and CPA (Certified Public Accountant) qualifications, both give the accounting career a competitive edge. It doesn’t matter whether you choose CPA or CA, both the course will help you gain expertise in the field of accounting, business, finance and various other management sectors. However, when you are in the dilemma of choosing which one to pursue your accounting career prospects, it will be really a confusing choice. In this article, we are going to talk about benefits, advantages, disadvantages, comparison and differences between CA and CPA. So, let’s start.

CA vs CPA in India- Differences, Comparison, Toughness, Benefits, Which Is Better?

Why the CA or CPA?

If you are a candidate looking forward to flourishing your career in the accounting profession, it’s definite that CA and CPA will give a competitive edge over the candidates without such qualifications. In today’s competitive job market,    professional accountancy qualifications are priceless and they will give students the ability to work for organisations, especially Big 4s and MNCs.

Employers widely accept the fact that candidates with professional accountancy qualification like CA, ACCA or CPA will have the necessary skills to drive the productivity and growth of the company. It’s also accepted that qualified employees have greater exposure to various aspects of an organisation compared to those without a qualification.

CA vs CPA- Differences, Comparisons

When it comes to differentiating CA and CPA, it would be better to know the distinctive features of these two courses.


While a CPA student gets the membership of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA), the world’s largest accounting body, CA students enjoy the membership of ICAI (Institute of Chartered Accountants of India). If you are planning to study in foreign countries, read more about the CPA programs offered in the respective countries.


While considering the syllabus of both the courses, there is a vast difference. When a CPA student gets the opportunity to learn International Financial Reporting Standards and Generally Accepted Accounting Standards and Principles, which gives a definite edge to the students who pursue career internationally, CA students secure knowledge on Indian business laws, taxation and management; but helps the candidate to handle the more complex accounting issues. On the flip side, if you are more focused on the broader side of the accounting skills such as costing, planning, production and marketing, it would be better to opt for CPA.

Course Duration

The CA and CPA are poles apart in course duration also. While the CPA needs only 7 months to one year to complete the course, CA takes a minimum of 4 years for the course completion. Also, the CPA students have just 4 exams, that too in multiple-choice and subjective exams that increase the ease of examination. On the other hand, a CA student has to attend a total of 16 exams in the CPT, IPCC and Final levels. While CPA students have the provision to attend the online exam, CA students have to attend offline mode of answering.

National vs International Recognition

The international recognition of the CPA helps the students to explore opportunities on a global level. On the contrary, CA professionals are sought-after mostly in India. Since the employers are hiring accounting professionals to manage the work of US clients, CPA is considered as the most desirable qualification and it gives an edge over the Indian Chartered Accountants.


CPA opens multiple doors to various industries across the world and it teaches you to diversify your thinking and gives opportunities to become an active part in the company success. According to accounting experts worldwide, CPA leads one to explore the management aspects and innovative sectors of a business through the knowledge and skills they acquired. if you want to be more collaborative in contributing to your organisation success, CPA would definitely fit the bill.


Once a candidate passed the exam, the person will be issued certification and license and get one-year work experience in the field. CA is a more arduous course compared to CPA. A CA student gets the license only if he/she completes 3 years with articles in a CA firm.

Expense, Cost

  • When it comes to the expense of the course, CPA is more costly compared to CA course. The candidates are not supposed to take the CPA exam from any place other than the US and the Middle-east.

CPA or CA- Which One Is better?

Deciding on whether to choose CPA or CA is not that easy because both the courses have its own merits and are well-framed to meet the learning requirements of the candidates who look forward to pursuing their career in accountancy. And, indeed, a freshman cannot simply make a choice. Before making a hasty decision it would be better to do some research on the roles you want to perform in the future and understand the necessary qualification and skills needed for those career roles.

Those preparing to join CA or CPA should know that both courses demand significant time investment and there isn’t any shortcut but hard work only will be paid off in the end. Students need to be very focused and dedicated to complete the course on time. Both courses have accreditation from internationally recognised institutes. Though CA is economical compared to CPA, the pass percentage of CPA is far better than CA.

Whether it is CA or CPA, limitless opportunities of these courses open doors to the qualified candidates to kick-start their high profile job. While CA certification provides you with the options to work in the specialized areas of accounting such as Auditing, Corporate Finance, Taxation, Corporate Laws etc, CPA certification enables you to work in various field including international accounting, consulting services, internal & external auditing, assurance services, financial planning, forensic accounting and other business management positions.

A lot of institutes in India provide excellent coaching for students who wish to pursue their career in the accounting profession. Establishing a strong foundation in the field of education, Kerala is one of the most preferred states in India to do professional education courses. A huge number of students from different part of the country come to Kerala to get quality education in the course they are looking for.

No matter whether you select CA or CPA, identify the skills you want to develop and your career passion. Either way, you can prosper your accounting career with a CA or CPA designation with your name. 🙂

If you liked this article then please let us know in the comments below. Share this article with your friends who are CA or CPA aspirants. Thank you.

About the author

Ajay Chavan

"Cut from a different cloth"
I believe words have the power to change the world. So, here I am, determined to change the world and leave my mark on it, one word at a time.
A writer, amateur poet, ardent dog lover, Sanskrit & Urdu enthusiast, and a seeker of Hiraeth.

Leave a Comment