CA vs CGA: Difference and Comparison

The rapid growth of businesses all around the world has led to the increasing demand of Chartered Accountants and Chartered General Accountants.

These two jobs have become well-recognized in the last few years as they have helped the business sectors to function smoothly.

Now, those who want to want to pursue a career in this field should have a clearer understanding of both topics.

Key Takeaways

  1. CA (Chartered Accountant) is a professional accounting designation recognized internationally, while CGA (Certified General Accountant) is a Canadian accounting credential.
  2. CAs primarily focus on auditing, taxation, and financial reporting, whereas CGAs work across various accounting functions, including management and taxation.
  3. The CA designation requires more extensive education and experience than the CGA credential.


The difference between CA and CGA is that the job of a Chartered Accountant (CA) is mainly taxation, auditing, accounting, and general management. The job of a Chartered General Accountant (CGA) is to provide the necessary tools to those individuals who want to pursue a career in the field of Accountancy.


A Chartered Accountant works in the fields of business and finance and can be involved in public practices at the same time.

Whether it is for budget forecasting, tax planning, preparation of accounts books, capital budgeting, financing, or any other activity, Chartered Accountants are required in almost every field.

While a Certified General Accountant provides practical tools that are necessary to achieve a career in the field of Accountancy.

These practical tools ensure that the individual pursuing this training will be able to handle everything confidently. A CGA excels in his skills of accounting and taxation and is involved with CA firms.

Comparison Table

Parameters of ComparisonCACGA
Duration to complete the course It takes more time to become a CA. Usually, it takes around 2-5 years to become a CA. It takes lesser time to become a CGA as compared to a CGA.
FlexibilityThey are less flexible as compared to a CGA program. These programs are more flexible as compared to the CA programs and provide a good income.
PrevalenceChartered Accountants and CA programs are prevalent almost all around the world. CGA programs are mostly famous in Canada.
FunctionPerform multiple tasks at a time such as auditing, tax planning, etc.Provide the practical tools needed to pursue a career in Accountancy
ExperienceOnce a candidate has cleared the examination, he/she does not need any experience to issue audits. One needs to have completed a minimum of 500 hours of work, only then a CGA gets a license to issue auditing opinions.

Who is CA?

The word ‘Chartered’ means to be qualified in a particular profession.

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A Chartered Accountant is well-qualified and knowledgeable in fields like auditing, taxation, financial, and general management are all areas of business and finance.

Some of them work in public practice, others work in the private sector, and others work for government agencies.

Chartered accountants were the first to form a professional accounting body, which originated in 1854 in Scotland.

Almost from the start, the Edinburgh Society of Accountants (1854), the Glasgow Institute of Accountants and Actuaries (1854), and the Aberdeen Society of Accountants (1867) all received royal charters.

The indispensable advice provided by CA is a prerequisite while forming any law in commerce or taxation.

Their knowledge is quite commendable in taxation as their discernment always helps in tax planning.

They also ameliorate the regulation of foreign exchange inflows and outflows in the country by corroborating swap contracts, forward contracts, and futures contracts, among other things.

Mary Harris Smith was the first woman chartered accountant in the world when she was acknowledged by the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales in 1920.

The first Indian to become a CA and a member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India was CA Gopaldas Padamsey Kapadia.

He had also been named the President of the same institute for the years 1949-1952.

chartered accountant

Who is CGA?

A Certified General Accountant is a professional epithet especially granted to the citizens of Canada. In Canada, the designation can be attained by individuals who meet the education, experience, and requirements of the CGA-Canada examination.

After having qualified for the exam, these experts work all over the world in different fields like commerce, finance, industries, and businesses and with the government too.

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The national association, which was previously known as the Canadian Accountants’ Association, was inaugurated in 1908 by a three-member team of Canadian Pacific Railway accountants in Montreal, Quebec.

The government of Ontario passed legislation in 2004 that would enable the CGAs to practice public accounting.

A special meeting was held in October 2013 when the integration agreement was ratified between the CGA-Canada and CPA-Canada.

The knowledge and professionalism of a CGA are reflected in a catalogue of competencies.

In Canada, there are about 130 competencies listed in the CGA Competency Framework that a newly qualified CGA requires.

The academic program for the qualification of a CGA contains about 19 courses, which are of different levels and stages.

Besides an undergraduate degree, the students need a minimum experience of 24 months attained in any business sector or different fields.

Moreover, the CGA must have a public accountant license before the individual issues auditing opinions. This license includes a minimum of 500 accounting hours in a year.


Main Differences Between CA and CGA

  1. The examinations to become a CA are conducted almost all around the world, while the examination to become a CGA is mostly conducted in Canada.
  2. The degree of CA is a diploma completed by the students, while the degree of a CGA is more of a certificate.
  3. The duration for the course of CA is more as compared to that of CGA.
  4. Chartered Accountants can perform multiple tasks at a time, such as auditing, tax planning, etc., while CGAs can provide the practical tools needed to pursue a career in Accountancy.
  5. Chartered Accountants can be involved in both accounting and financial tasks, while CGAs are involved more in accounting tasks.
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Last Updated : 13 July, 2023

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11 thoughts on “CA vs CGA: Difference and Comparison”

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  2. This article offers a comparative analysis of two distinguished accounting qualifications, it is well-researched and highly informative.

    • The clear differentiation between the roles of Chartered Accountants and Certified General Accountants is what makes this article utmost useful.

  3. The detailed comparison of the roles, educational requirements, and professional functions of CAs and CGAs is truly commendable, highly informative post.

    • This article is an excellent resource for individuals aspiring to pursue careers in the field of Accountancy, provides a clear understanding of the core differences.

  4. The emphasis on the historical background of these accounting professions provides a solid foundation for understanding their evolution and significance.

  5. This article offers relevant insights into the professional roles and educational requirements for CA and CGA qualifications.


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