When you need help with an audit, completing your taxes, or any general help with your business or finances, it’s good to know all of your options. There are many people willing to provide you with commercial or professional services, but they may not always be the best candidates for the job. In Canada, you want to find a Chartered Accountant (CA). What exactly is a Chartered Accountant?
A chartered accountant is a special designation for an individual in the accounting field, indicating that the holder of the title is qualified to work in public practice, giving tax advice, tax preparation, performing audits and providing consulting services. This is equivalent to a certified public accountant in the United States, or CPA for short. In Canada, CA is part of the Canadian Institute of Chartered Accountants (CICA).
In order to achieve this status, a person must possess an undergraduate degree. They must also have writing experience and, depending on their province, may require additional education. All candidates across Canada must also pass a three-day Uniform Evaluation (UFE).
Besides CAs, there are other types of accountants available, and there are differences between them. A certified general accountant (CGA) must meet different standards. These standards relate to education, work experience and examination requirements.
CGA, like CA, requires an undergraduate degree. They must also complete courses in separate academic studies and pass different qualifying exams. A minimum of twenty-four months of supervised work experience is also required. Work experience may span multiple areas of the business world.
CGA has accounting expertise in several fields. These include business strategy, taxation, business and personal finance, management and auditing. Before being permitted to issue an audit opinion, CGA must be certified as a chartered accountant.
Another type of accountant is a Certified Management Accountant, or CMA. This is a professional designation that indicates that its professionals use financial information and other materials to formulate strategies and decisions about government and industry. They have a strong foundation in management, strategy and accounting. A more distinct group than the CA or CGA, the certification test allows candidates to demonstrate proficiency in financial planning, decision support, control and analysis.
In the end, the question of what is a chartered accountant can be answered by someone who is capable of helping you with your business practice. CAs are also qualified to assist you with auditing, taxation and general financial advice. If you want to start your own business, or just need some help figuring out how to prepare your taxes or how to invest, someone with this certification can be very helpful. There are different types of accountants and you will want to find the one that best suits your needs.
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