CA vs CS – Choose Best Career Course in 2023

CA vs CS Course 2023. Difference between Chartered Accountant and Company Secretary in respect of difficulty, pass percentage, opportunity, salary and syllabus.

CA vs CS Course in 2023: Here you will find the main difference between Chartered Accountancy (CA) and Company Secretary (CS) course. If you are confused about these two terms, you should read these information which helps you to choose right career course.

I am receiving lots of questions related to these course. Which course is best career option between CA and CS? Salary of CA vs CS. CA or CS which is tough? CA or CS which is better? May I do CA and CS together. CA vs CS syllabus, pass percentage etc.

A layman shall not be able to know the exact difference between CA Course and CS Course before depth knowledge about these courses. Many students get confused while making a final decision for choosing one of these two courses as a professional career.

Comparison between CA Course and CS Course

Introduction of CA Course:

CA stands for Chartered Accountant. To become Chartered Accountant, you have to join Chartered Accountancy Course offered by CA Institute. The Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI) is a statutory body established by the Chartered Accountants Act, 1949 (Act No. XXXVIII of 1949). ICAI is the only recognised professional body to develop and regulate the profession of Chartered Accountancy in India.

Introduction of CS Course:

CS stands for Company Secretary. To become Company Secretary, you have to join Company Secretaries Course offered by the CS Institute. The Institute of Company Secretaries of India (ICSI) is constituted under the Company Secretaries Act, 1980 (Act No. 56 of 1980). ICSI is the only recognized professional body in India to develop and regulate the profession of Company Secretaries in India.

Members of ICAI:

Since 1949, the profession has grown leaps and bounds in terms of membership and student base. Starting with a handful of about 1700 members, today, the strength of Chartered Accountant fraternity has grown to over 3,65,368 members. On the education front, the ICAI began with mere 259 students and today more than 7,90,974 active students are a part of ICAI.

Members of ICSI:

The Institute of Company Secretaries of India (ICSI) has on its rolls more than 70,000 members including 11,500 members holding certificate of the practice. The number of current students is over 1,85,453 for regular programme and 10407 for CSEET.

During the year ended 31 March, 2023, 2485 and 684 Members were admitted as Associates and Fellows, respectively. Further, during the period from 01 April, 2023 to 31 May, 2023, 879 and 134 Members were admitted as Associates and Fellows, respectively. As on 31 May, 2023 the Institute had 59591 Associate and 11507 Fellow Members aggregating to 71098 Members.

Similarly, during the period upto 31 March, 2023, 1052 Certificates of Practice were issued. Further, during the period from 01 April, 2023 till 31 May, 2023, 128 Certificates of Practice were issued. There were 11649 Members holding Certificates of Practice as on 31 May, 2023.

Scope of CA vs CS Course

Opportunity for Chartered Accountants:

If you become a Chartered Accountant, you may either work as an employee in a company or start your own professional services by opening/joining a CA Firm. A Chartered Accountant in practice may be appointed as an internal or statutory auditor in a company. The CA Institute has also tie ups with various foreign professional bodies, aspirants can also find employment outside India.

Opportunity for Company Secretaries:

A CS Final qualified candidate may be appointed to work as a Key Managerial Personnel (KMP) i.e. MD or CEO, CFO and CS in a company. Every listed company (Public or Private) must have Company Secretary. Every unlisted public company having a paid-up share capital of ₹10 crores or more shall have whole-time key managerial personnel. Whereas, a unlisted private company not having KMP but has a paid-up share capital of ₹10 crores or more shall have a whole-time company secretary. You may read section 205 of the Companies Act, 2013 to know the function of company secretary.

A company secretary, as similar to Chartered Accountant, can start his/her own practice. A Company Secretary in practice may start consultancy services for companies, banks and financial institutions etc.

Passing Percentage for CA vs CS Course

Passing Percentage of ICAI Exams:

Following are the average passing percentage of ICAI examinations held twice (May and Nov) in a year.

  • CA Foundation passing percentage: 30-40%
  • CA Intermediate passing percentage: 15-25%
  • CA Final passing percentage: 10-15%.

Passing Percentage of ICSI Exams:

Following are the average passing percentage of ICSI examinations held twice (June and Dec) in a year.

  • CS Foundation passing percentage:  40-60%
  • CS Executive passing percentage: 10-15%
  • CS Professional passing percentage: 15-20%

Chartered Accountancy Course Vs Company Secretaries Course

Tabular presentation of main differences between CA course and CS course.

SL No. Particulars Chartered Accountancy Course Company Secretary Course
1. Official Website www.icai.org www.icsi.edu
2. Duration Approx. 4 Years Approx. 4 Years
3. Levels/ StagesFoundation Course
Intermediate Course
Final Course
CSEET
Executive Course
Professional Course
4. EligibilityClass 10 passed for Foundation. Direct Entry to IntermediateClass 10+2 passed for CSEET. Direct Entry to Executive  
5.Course FeesA) Foundation Registration fee (₹9,000)

B) Intermediate Registration fee (₹15,000)  

C) Final Registration fee (₹22,000)

D) Other Fees: Students’ Activities Fee (₹2,000) Articled Training Registration Fee (₹1,000)
A) CSEET Registration fee (₹1,000)

B) Executive Programme Registration fee:
₹8,500 for Foundation Pass Students  
₹9,000 for Commerce Graduates
₹10,000 for Non-Commerce Graduates
₹12,500 for ICAI-Foundation/ ICAI(Cost) Foundation Pass Students

C) Professional Programme Registration fee (₹12,000)  
6. Subjects/ SyllabusCA Foundation Course:
1. Principles and Practice of Accounting
2. Business Laws and Business Correspondence and Reporting
3. Business Mathematics and Logical Reasoning & Statistics
4. Business Economics and Business and Commercial Knowledge

CA Intermediate Course:
1. Accounting
2. Corporate and Other Laws  
3. Cost and Management Accounting
4. Taxation  
5. Advanced Accounting
6. Auditing and Assurance  
7. Enterprise Information Systems & Strategic Management  
8. Financial Management & Economics for Finance

CA Final Course:  
1. Financial Reporting
2. Strategic Financial Management  
3. Advanced Auditing and Professional Ethics
4. Corporate and Economic Laws
5. Strategic Cost Management and Performance Evaluation  
6. Elective Papers
Paper-6A: Risk Management  
Paper-6B: Financial Services and Capital Markets
Paper-6C: International Taxation  
Paper-6D: Economic Laws
7. Direct Tax Laws and International Taxation  
8. Indirect Tax Laws
CS Executive Entrance Test (CSEET):
Paper-1: Business Communication
Paper-2: Legal Aptitude and Logical Reasoning
Paper-3: Economic and Business Environment
Paper-4: Current Affairs and Viva Voce

CS Executive Course:
1. Company Law
2. Cost and Management Accounting
3. Economic and Commercial Laws
4. Tax Laws and Practice
5. Company Accounts and Auditing Practices
6. Capital Markets and Securities Laws
7. Industrial, Labour and General Laws

CS Professional Course:
1. Advanced Company Law and Practice
2. Secretarial Audit, Compliance Management and Due Diligence
3. Corporate Restructuring, Valuation and Insolvency
4. Information Technology and Systems Audit
5. Financial, Treasury and Forex Management
6. Ethics, Governance and Sustainability
7. Advanced Tax Laws and Practice
8. Drafting, Appearances and Pleadings

9. Electives 1 out of below 5 subjects   9.1. Banking Law and Practice
9.2. Capital, Commodity and Money Market
9.3. Insurance Law and Practice
9.4. Intellectual Property Rights – Law and Practice
9.5. International Business-Laws and Practice  
7.TrainingCompulsory 3 Years Articleship under CA in Practice.Mandatory only for obtaining COP. Articleship shall be completed under a practicing CS.   1 Year articleship for CS Final qualified candidates.   2 Years articleship if done after clearing CS Executive.
8.Examinations May and November June and December
9.Examination Fee₹1000 for CA Foundation Exam   ₹2700 for both Group of CA Intermediate Exam   ₹3,300 for both Group of CA Final Exam₹1,200 for Foundation Programme   ₹2,400 for both Modules of Executive Programme   ₹3,600 for all three Modules of Professional Programme  
10.Pass PercentageCA Foundation: 30-40% CA Intermediate: 15-25% CA Final: 10-15%CS Foundation: 40-60% CS Executive: 10-15% CS Final: 15-20%
11.Post Qualification CoursesInformation Systems Audit (ISA)   Diploma in Insurance and Risk Management (DIRM)   Management Accountancy Course (MAC)   Corporate Management Course (CMC)   Tax Management Course (TMC)   International Trade Laws & World Trade Organisation (ITL & WTO) Post Qualification Diploma in International Taxation Certificate Course on GST Certificate Course in Compliance, Governance & Risk Management in Insurance
12.Placements ICAI Campus Placement Programmes ICSI Placement Services
13.RoleStatutory Auditor   An Expert in Accountancy, Auditing and Taxation. Risk assessment and Performance measurement.   Formation, financial structure and liquidation of limited companies.   Share Valuation Work, Arbitrator, Undertaking investigations, Directorship, Executors and Trustees.   Management Consultancy Services    A Key Managerial Personnel (KMP)   An expert in Corporate Laws, Securities Laws, Capital Market and Corporate Governance   Advisor to the board of Directors on best practices in Corporate Governance   Secretarial Auditor and managing all regulatory compliances of the company.   Corporate planner and strategic manager
14.DesignationChartered AccountantCompany Secretary
15.Name PrefixA member of ICAI may prefix CA to his name.A member of ICSI may prefix CS to his name.

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