What is a Chartered Accountant (CA) and what do they do?

When you are looking for specialist advice and services in your business, hiring chartered professional accountants is the one you can trust. Thousands of other options are available in the market, but these individuals are real gems.

They have higher qualifications, more experience, and extensive accounting knowledge, making them stand out from others.

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What role do they play in your business? Is hiring them worth it? This article answers all your queries about chartered accountants. 

Table of contents

What is a Chartered Accountant (CA)?

A chartered accountant is an accounting and finance expert qualified to perform complex accounting processes.

These professionals have higher qualifications and experience in comparison to other accountants. They typically focus on financial accounting and reporting, taxation, management accounting, corporate finance, auditing, and forensic accounting.

What’s the Difference Between a Chartered Accountant and a Certified Public Accountant?

The term Certified Public Accountant CPA is mainly used in the U.S., whereas Chartered Accountant C.A. is used in most countries.

In Canada, CPA stands for Chartered Professional Accountant, and in Australia, CPA refers to a Certified Practicing Accountant. But in the U.K., instead of recognising these professionals as CPAs, they are known as Chartered or Certified accountants. 

The main difference between Certified Public Accountant and Chartered Accountant lies in their designation, experience and qualifications. A CA will have more training and qualifications than a certified accountant.

CPAs take nearly 5 years to complete their education, followed by 1-2 years of work experience.

On the other hand, to be eligible for C.A., you must have completed an undergraduate degree and gained 3 years of experience working with an accounting-approved employer and pass multiple exams. A further three years of supervised experience is usually needed to engage in public practice.

Even after receiving a license, C.A.s must stay informed about the latest techniques and accounting practices through continuous professional development (CPD) courses.

What is the role of C.A. Chartered Accountant?

Chartered accountants can perform day-to-day accounting tasks, but businesses hire them mainly for complex accounting needs. We have listed a few roles of a chartered accountant.

● Auditing

Chartered accountants can do company audits efficiently. The auditor’s role is to ensure that companies’ financial statements are accurately prepared and presented. They also check whether the company follows the accepted accounting principles, tax regulations, and country norms.

● Financial advisor

One of the major roles of a chartered accountant in companies is to provide necessary financial advice. They gain an in-depth understanding of your financial risks and opportunities and provide advisory services.

Additionally, these professionals can assist you with tax planning, business acquisitions and mergers, and eliminating financial risks.

● Management consulting

These professionals also provide consulting services, including preparing your management information systems, designing budgets, analysing resource allocations, and assisting with cost accounting systems.

They often use your working capital to improve productivity and gain better returns.

● Taxation

Tax regulations keep changing in the U.K. year after year, and this makes businesses have difficulty complying with the law. But chartered accountants are bound to keep themselves updated with these changes and can help you prepare tax returns properly.

Typical tax advisors in the U.K. have specialist tax qualifications in addition to C.A., like CTA. They can also reduce tax liabilities by assessing tax-free allowances, benefits, and grants.

Additionally, they can speak with HMRC on your behalf at times of tax investigation.

● Cost accountancy

Owners often hire these professionals for cost accountancy in a manufacturing firm or a service-based industry. They are responsible for identifying the cost of production and forecasting the costs that will be incurred at different stages of production.

Chartered Accountants can provide detailed costing information and help you with proper finance management. They can also recommend cost-controlling methods and assist you in establishing appropriate selling prices for your offerings.

● Investigations

Chartered accountants play a major role in tax investigations or any business finance-related investigations. They can look for any frauds and errors in the system, determine the current financial position, check for tax and finance records, etc.

These experts focus on different financial aspects of your business to identify why your profits aren’t meeting your expectations. Chartered accountants can also work with lawyers in solving financial theft and other legal issues.

Why hire Chartered Accountants in England?

Finance and accounting are such critical tasks of your business that you mustn’t hand them over to ordinary people.

Firstly, they might not have the required qualifications and experience in handling these tasks.

Secondly, they may manipulate your data or cause data breaches.

Therefore, whenever you are selecting an accounting professional, make sure to look into their certification. Established companies must always hire a chartered accountant as they usually have complex finance and accounting needs.

Here are a few more reasons why you can hire a Chartered Accountant in your business.

● Less financial stress

It is difficult to maintain corporate financial documents, especially when you have a thousand other tasks to focus on. But, with chartered accountants, you can stay stress-free with your financial well-being.

These professionals will accurately assess present financial situations and recommend approaches to save money and improve profits.

● Better business model

Businesses, especially established ones, can hire these professionals to help them assess existing business models and make necessary changes to cope with current market requirements. Chartered accountants can forecast upcoming trends, look out for business opportunities, and determine potential risks. Thus, you can effectively grow your business and take a step towards success with such experts backing you.

● Quality tax consulting

Tax is not something business owners love to do. It can take up a huge part of your profits, but with experienced accountants, you can also reduce tax bills.

While unqualified people can suggest ways to reduce tax bills, a Chartered Accountant will provide the best solution. They understand your eligibility for tax-free allowances, benefits and government grants and help you claim them on your tax returns.

Hire Hire Chartered Accountants

Work with UK-based Experts for tax, audit, accounting, payroll, & EIS/ SEIS needs.

Have a question? Call us on
0203 983 8100
Monday to Friday 9am – 4:30pm


Whenever you are hiring for an accountant, make sure you assess your finance and accounting requirements first. This will help you decide whether to hire a chartered accountant or a certified accountant who can fulfil your needs.

Though hiring a Chartered Accountant can be costly, especially for small businesses, having them on your back can save you from accounting errors, fines and penalties in the long run.

Experlu Editorial Team
The editorial team at Experlu is comprised of seasoned financial professionals dedicated to providing high-quality content on accounting and finance. With a wealth of experience and diverse expertise, the team produces insightful articles that have established the Experlu blog as the UK's leading financial and accounting resource. The team includes accountants, auditors, and business advisors who stay updated with the latest industry developments. Their commitment to excellence ensures that Experlu remains a trusted source of information, helping readers stay informed about audit, business, finance, and tax matters.