What Are Chartered Accountants – A Definition

What Are Chartered Accountants – A Definition

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Generally speaking, chartered accountants are found in countries outside the US. In order to have this title they must be registered as a part of a professional group. For example, Britain they may be members in the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales. There are several different groups found in Britain.

The difference within each country of an accountant who is chartered and one who is not is the level of educational training they have as well as testing that they have completed. Most countries require the members to continue with updating their learning and skills through a process of continued education.

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The first professional body of accounting was formed by a group of chartered accountants in Britain back in 1854. Since that time many more organizations have been formed. Within the United States of America these would be referred to as a Certified Public Accountant. Individual governing rules and regulations are created within the group themselves. In addition each country has their own requirements regarding the ability to perform of each person.

Outside the United States, mainly in Canada, this type of professional is known as a CA. Until recently, only those registered would be allowed to perform audit functions on any company which was publicly traded. Every country has their own set of rules and requirements for each individual segment of the profession. They have individual license requirements also. Normally one finds that in addition to their own regulations there will be a government run office which also oversees their work.

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Receiving a license or becoming certified as an accountant is a big decision. For those within the United States it can be a very expensive decision as well. The US has one of the highest education requirements of any of the countries who provide certification to their bookkeepers. In the US a person needs to complete a four year degree in accounting as well as take further classes beyond that in certain required fields.

In the United States, the CPA exam is made up of several different parts. Today one needs to be very dedicated to their work to continue and obtain a license of this type. It is estimated that approximately 85% of those who take the exam do not pass on the first try. This can become very expensive for someone just setting out to build their career.

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In a nutshell, the difference between chartered and non-chartered is simply a matter of organizational membership. Many may have the ability to do the things that the members do but either choose to not join the professional organization or for some reason are not allowed to join.

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