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The result of 12th Class will come shortly. Many students are confused about which course they should join. Many of rural or urban students don't know the details and scope of the professional course which they want to start and just join the course just because their parents suggested or friends joined.

In this article, we compare 2 professional courses i.e. Chartered Accountant and Company Secretary that can be pursued after 12th commerce.

1. Chartered Accountant

Chartered Accountancy profession is developed and regulated by the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India since 1949, and since then the profession has grown leaps and bounds in terms of membership and student base. At present, the strength of ICAI is more than 285000 members and 800000 students.

2. Company Secretary

Company Secretary profession is developed and regulated by the Institute of Company Secretaries of India since 1980. At present, the strength of ICSI is more than 55000 members and 3 lakh students.

Snapshot of details of both the Courses


Particulars Chartered Accountant Company Secretary
Duration 4 Years 4 Years
Levels of course 1. CA Foundation 1. CS Foundation
2. CA Intermediate 2. CS Executive
3. CA Final 3. CS Professional
Eligibility 10+2 10+2
Fees 1. CA Foundation = Rs. 9,000 1. CS Foundation = Rs. 4,500
2. CA Intermediate = Rs. 15,000 2. CS Executive = Rs. 8,500
3. CA Final = Rs. 22,000 3. CS Professional = Rs. 12,000
Core Areas of Study Accounting, Audit, Taxation, Costing, Financial Management, Company Law Corporate Laws, Economic and Labour Laws, Business Incorporation, Capital Market, Secretarial Audit and Due diligence, Drafting etc
Training 3 Year after clearing of first group of intermediate exam

1 year = For Professional cleared candidate
2 year = For Executive cleared candidate

Exam Twice a year in May & November Twice a year in June & December
Exam fees 1. CA Foundation = Rs. 1,000 1. CS Foundation = Rs. 1,200
2. CA Intermediate = Rs. 2,700 2. CS Executive = Rs. 2,400
3. CA Final = Rs. 3,300 3. CS Professional = Rs. 3,600
Passing %
(Last Exam)
CA CPT (Foundation) = 40% CS Foundation = 65%
CA Intermediate = 20% CS Executive = 9%
CA Final = 18% CS Professional = 14%

Opportunities for Chartered Accountants:

Due to complex taxation system of the country, CAs are in more demand for smooth compliance of taxation laws of the country. From small person and business to Multinational Companies, everyone need the services of CAs like filling of income tax returns, GST returns, Accounting and bookkeeping, financial management, costing etc.

Areas where Chartered Accountant can start practice

1. Accounting, Income Tax and Audit
2. Indirect tax i.e GST
3. Valuation of Business, Shares, Intellectual Property
4. Financial Planning and Management
5. Costing

Opportunity for Company Secretaries:

Whereas, a company having paid-up share capital of ₹5 crores or more shall be required to have a whole-time company secretary under the Companies Act, 2013.

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.

Areas where Company Secretaries can start practice

1. Business Registration
2. Corporate Laws Consultancy
3. Secretarial Audit and Due diligence
4. Insolvency and Bankruptcy Laws
5. Securities Law
6. Corporate Restructuring like Merger, Amalgamation, Winding up etc

This is just an indicative area where CA and CS can start their practice. There are other end numbers of areas where a CA/CS can excel and grow their career.

Before joining CA course, students should ask following questions to themselves:

1. Whether I am interested in Accounts, Finance and Practical subjects
2. Whether I enjoying Playing with big figures
3. Whether I am ready to devote my next 4-5 years in study

Before joining CS course, students should ask following questions to themselves:

1. Whether I love to read laws and theory subjects because almost 70% of the curriculum of CS is made of various laws

2. Whether I am ready to relocate to bigger cities for better career opportunities (As, CS has more scope in bigger cities where big companies are located)

Few students of CAs think of themselves superior to CS. It's only after they start working professionally, they understand the difference between these two. The profession of CS has its expertise in corporate laws and CA have its expertise in taxation. It is the only because of every small people have to file IT and GST returns, they know CA and not a CS but that doesn't mean that any particular course has more value and other has less. Both the profession compliment each other and both the professionals should respect each other knowledge.


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Category Career, Other Articles by - Dhaval Gusani 



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