Trying to find out the difference between Chartered Accountants and Accountants?

When you’re looking for an accountant for your business, you’ll inevitably run into accounting firms that spout about how they have Chartered Accountants. But what exactly is a Chartered Accountant and what’s the difference between a Chartered Accountant and a regular Accountant?

This is one of the questions we get asked all the time and something that causes a lot of confusion if you’re not aware of how an accountant becomes a Chartered Accountant.


What is a Chartered Accountant?

To understand the difference between a Chartered Accountant and an Accountant, you’ll need to look at what it takes to be designated membership as a Chartered Accountant. Chartered Accountants are accountants that have a specialised bachelor’s degree in accounting followed by completion of post-graduate studies in a Diploma of Chartered Accounting. This is followed by three years’ work experience alongside a Chartered Accountant who will provide mentorship during this period. Only when these requirements have been met can they qualify as a Chartered Accountant and become a member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants Australia New Zealand (ICAA).

The ICAA upholds the highest standard of accounting practice and enforces a strict code of ethics that all of its 120,000 active members must uphold. The program is currently preferred by the “Big Four” accounting firms. It provides a rigorous pathway to ensure the highest calibre of proficiency is attained by those who complete the training.

Also, Chartered Accountants are subject to ongoing training and professional obligations to maintain and renew their membership. This ensures that if you are dealing with a Chartered Accountant, you are working with someone who has the highest level of accountability, transparency and experience in the industry.


You might also be interested in our article: 5 Simple Steps to Changing Accountants


What’s the Difference Between a Chartered Accountant and an Accountant?

While Chartered Accountants complete a rigorous post-graduate process to gain their qualification, Accountants have a lower baseline of knowledge. Accountants usually specialise in a specific or singular field of business such as tax, payroll or bookkeeping while working with a Chartered Accountant will ensure that they have a deeper and broader understanding of business to provide you with more well-rounded advice for your business.

Chartered Accountants generally have the most significant value in more complex situations that require further expertise on how best to navigate the red tape associated with running your business and personal financial affairs.


What’s the Benefit of Doing Business with a Chartered Accountant?

Engaging a Chartered Accountant means that you generally have a dedicated ‘business partner’ who can advise you. Below are the benefits of having a Chartered Accountant:

  • Sound and accurate advice – they can address all matters large or small with accuracy to ensure that your needs are met
  • Regulated by a professional body means that they are bound by a code of ethics and standard of professionalism. This also means that they are required to take out professional indemnity insurance as well as undergo regular compliance to ensure that they are still meeting the standards set
  • Broad experience – this ensures that they have minimal blind spots in their knowledge of business and ensures that they’ve built a strong business acumen in a wide variety of business situations
  • Integrity – this offers peace of mind in ensuring that your financial reporting and business practices are being conducted according to the law and in the financial interests of your business first
  • Business growth – Chartered Accountants are often involved in advising on minimising risk but also on identifying and guiding you through growth opportunities such as purchasing of assets, employment/payroll or freeing up capital to invest in growth
  • Massive savings in tax and time – Chartered Accountants can help with reducing your tax liability while simultaneously saving you time with secretarial and reporting obligations you have as a business. This can significantly reduce your worries and afford you more time to focus on running your business.


Key Takeaways

Unless you have an in-house Financial Controller or CFO, Chartered Accountants are generally considered the best option for outsourcing accountancy and advisory responsibilities for your business. Whether your financial situation is complicated or you have limited knowledge of finances, a Chartered Accountant can help you navigate this area of the business landscape.

Many of Box Advisory’s clients have saved themselves in tax and time that has paid off the price of our services in multiple folds. If you’re yet to engage in an accountant, you can be confident that dealing with one of Box Advisory Service’s Chartered Accountants will ensure your business is thoroughly looked after. To find out how we can help you, you can book in a free consultation with us or call us to discuss your matter further.


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Please note that every effort has been made to ensure that the information provided in this guide is accurate. You should note, however, that the information is intended as a guide only, providing an overview of general information available to contractors and small businesses. This guide is not intended to be an exhaustive source of information and should not be seen to constitute legal or tax advice. You should, where necessary, seek a second professional opinion for any legal or tax issues raised in your business affairs.

Chartered Accountants and Accountants