Accountant vs. Chartered Accountant - Differences

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When it comes to financial matters, we often depend on the expertise of accountants. Accounting science plays a vital role in running a business.

In the world of accounting science, there are various professionals. The two most important and confusing are accountants and chartered accountants. Both professionals play a significant role in managing financial matters. But there are distinct differences.

In this article,  let’s explore the differences between – An Accountant and a chartered accountant. 

In This Article:

  • What is an Accountant?
  • What does an Accountant do? 
  • What is a Chartered Accountant?
  • What does a Chartered Accountant do? 
  • Difference Between an Accountant and a Chartered Accountant.

What is an Accountant?

An accountant is a professional who often works within an organisation or as a part of an accounting firm. An accountant offers their services to many clients. 

Some of the everyday activities of accountants include:

  • Bookkeeping, 
  • Financial records, 
  • Preparing financial statements.

Accountants need strong experience and a unique skill set to thrive in success.

What does an Accountant do? 

As mentioned earlier, they are accountable for providing accurate and real-time financial reports. They are also accountable for:

  • Managing payroll, 
  • Balancing Accounts,
  • Recording transactions, 
  • Reconciling bank statements,
  • Entering and managing records,
  • Pay tax returns for large organisations,
  • Confirming compliance with tax regulations. 

What is a Chartered Accountant?

Chartered accountants are professionals who work in the field of accounting science.  

They have a broader scope of expertise with rigorous training programmes. They provide a wide range of financial services. These professionals have a broader scope of expertise with rigorous training programmes.

A chartered accountant works in the private and public sectors. They provide various financial services. They generally focus on:

  • Taxation;
  • Applied finance;
  • Managing accounting;
  • Financial accounting and reporting.

What does a Chartered Accountant do? 

A chartered accountant focuses on providing financial reports. Some of the everyday activities of a chartered accountant include:

  • Managing budgets;
  • Managing financial systems;
  • They provide financial advice;
  • Preparing accounts for small businesses;
  • Producing reports on internal audits or public-sector audits.

Difference Between an Accountant and a Chartered Accountant

The key differences between an accountant and a chartered accountant depend on

  • Qualifications, 
  • Professional training programmes and
  • Higher certificates in accounting science.

Other differences between an accountant and a chartered accountant are:

Accountant vs. Chartered Accountant:

Educational Qualifications:

An accountant should have completed three years of Bachelor’s degree in accounting science or a related field.

A Chartered Accountant requires a specialised:

  • A bachelor’s degree in accounting science, 
  • Certificate in the Theory of Accounting and 
  • Other higher certificates in accounting science.

Scope:

Accountants are involved in day-to-day financial tasks like:

    • Bookkeeping,
    • Managing payroll,
    • Recording transactions,
    • Assisting with tax preparation, 
    • Provide general financial advice,
  • Preparing regular financial reports and more.

A Chartered Accountant’s expertise extends beyond routine accounting tasks. 

They are involved in

  • Performing audits,
  • Offer business advisory services,
  • Providing strategic financial advice,
  • Assisting with complex financial transactions,
  • Guiding organisations through complex financial matters and more.

Career Opportunities:

Regarding career opportunities, accountants and chartered accountants have many options.

Accountants can find employment in various sectors. Some of the top accountant job profiles include

  • Section Officer,
  • Account Officer,
  • Tax accountant,
  • Staff accountant, 
  •  Financial analyst,
  • Junior Accountant;
  • Senior Accountant and more.

Chartered accountants have a higher level of specialisation and can pursue senior-level positions such as:

  • Auditors;
  • Accounting firms; 
  • Financial controllers;
  • Finance departments;
  • CFOs (Chief Financial Officers) in large corporations or even start their businesses.

Average Salary:

  • The average salary for an Accountant in South Africa ranges between R147k – R806k.
  • The average salary for a Chartered Accountant in South Africa ranges between R198k – R985k.

Source: Payscale

Bachelor Of Accounting Science

The Bottom Line

Both accountants and chartered accountants work in accounting science. 

The key differences lie in their qualifications, expertise, and the scope of services they provide. 

Accountants handle day-to-day financial tasks and offer essential financial insights. Chartered accountants undergo:

  • Extensive training, 
  • Have advanced knowledge, 
  • Provide a broader range of specialised financial services. 

The choice between an accountant and a chartered accountant depends on many factors:

  • Career goals, 
  • Personal interests,
  • Specific needs and 
  • The complexity of your financial requirements.

Stay tuned with Regenesys Business School. Improve your capabilities and professional knowledge in accounting science. 

Enrol now @ Regenesys’ Bachelor of Accounting Science programme and improve your compelling skills. 

Ultimately, the choice between an accountant and a chartered accountant depends on the specific needs of your business and the complexity of your financial requirements.

Stay tuned with Regenesys Business School to improve your capabilities and professional knowledge in accounting science.  

Enrol now @ Regenesys’ Bachelor of Accounting Science programme and improve your compelling skills. 

Click here to learn more about the accounting science course details accounting science Regenesys modules, and accounting science job opportunities. 

FAQs – Frequently Asked Questions: What is the Difference Between an Accountant and a Chartered Accountant?

What is the course duration of a Bachelor of Accounting Science programme at Regenesys Business School?

Answer: The total course duration of a Bachelor of Accounting Science programme at Regenesys Business School is three years.

Click here to learn more about the Accounting Science Regenesys modules. 

What are the entry requirements for a Bachelor of Accounting Science programme at Regenesys Business School?

Answer: The eligibility criteria for enroling at Regenesys Business School are:

  • Senior Certificate endorsement;
  • Relevant NQF level 6 qualification:
  • Competence in Mathematics and English at NQF level 4;
  • National Senior Certificates granting admission to bachelor’s degree.

What are the education qualifications required to become a chartered accountant?

Answer: A chartered accountant is a specialised type of Accountant. It needs more qualifications and certifications. 

To qualify as a chartered accountant, an individual must have:

  • 10+2 or matric passed in any stream,
  • Other higher certifications in accounting science,
  • A specialised bachelor’s degree in accounting science,
  • CTA – Certificate in the Theory of Accounting Science and three years of practical experience.

Source: Wikipedia

What NQF level is a Chartered Accountant in South Africa?

Answer: The NQF level for Chartered Accountants in South Africa is NQF Level 8.

How long does it take to become a fully qualified Chartered Accountant?

Answer: The course duration usually takes approximately 4.5 to 5 years. This duration may vary with universities. 

According to the SAICA, qualifying as a chartered accountant in South Africa usually takes seven years.

Click here to explore more details about the training programmes.

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Sushma Shekhar

MSc, BSc Content Writer | Regenesys Business School

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MSc, BSc Content Writer | Regenesys Business School

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