What is a Chartered Accountant (CA)

A Chartered Accountant (CA) is a professional accountant who has completed the Chartered Accountants Program, which leads to the awarding of a Graduate Diploma. This qualification is recognized as an “approved qualification” and is offered by Chartered Accountants Australia & New Zealand (CA ANZ), a professional accounting body representing over 136,000 members in Australia

In the realm of accounting, there are both chartered accountants and regular accountants. The term ‘accountant’ itself is not a protected title, and consequently, there are no formal education requirements associated with it. However, it is commonplace for accountants to have pursued studies in economics and administration.

In contrast, a chartered accountant is a distinguished and protected title, subject to specific educational prerequisites. To attain the designation of a chartered accountant, individuals must possess at least a bachelor’s degree with a specialisation in subjects such as tax and duty law, legal studies, and accounting. Furthermore, meeting additional requirements, including practical experience, is imperative.

What does it take to become a Chartered Accountant (CA)?

While the generic term ‘accountant’ doesn’t require formal education, many aspiring professionals in the accounting field choose to enhance their skills by pursuing relevant studies in administration and economics. On the contrary, the journey to becoming a chartered accountant is a structured process with specific educational criteria.

Steps to Becoming a Chartered Accountant (CA) in Australia:

  1. Study for a bachelor degree: You need to complete a bachelor’s degree in accounting or a related field. The degree should include passes in subjects that cover specific competence areas.
  2. Apply for provisional membership: After completing your degree, you need to apply for provisional membership with the Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand (CA ANZ) organization.
  3. Gain work experience: You must work in a relevant accounting role with an approved or recognised training employer for a minimum of three accrued years (or part-time equivalent).
  4. Meet the entry requirements: CA ANZ has specific entry requirements for the CA Program, which include academic and employment criteria. For international applicants, you must hold a visa that entitles you to study the CA Program.
  5. Complete the CA Program: The CA Program is a structured program that includes core and elective subjects, as well as practical experience components. You need to complete the program and achieve the required competencies to become a Chartered Accountant.