what's in a name



From: Anonymous


Can somebody explain to me what the difference is between a chartered accountant and a CPA? I was talking to a friend tonight who told me his accountant is better than mine because his accountant is a chartered accountant (whilst mine is a CPA). He said the road to becoming a chartered accountant is more difficult than becoming a CPA. Is this true? Dale....any comments?

Thanks in advance

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Reply: 1
From: Richard Hunt

Oh that's easy, the difference between a CA and CPA is about $150/hr !

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Reply: 1.1
From: Dale Gatherum-Goss

Hi Ethan

Abt 20 years ago, the difference in public perception was quite extraordinary. CA's were the real mccoy and CPA's were wannabe's.

Now, the differences are negligible. The courses that we do are the same; the training involved is the same etc etc etc.

If you are a public company, a CA is important, but, for most of us it will not make a skerrick of difference whatsoever.

I am eligible for both, and, I chose to be a CPA because it is a brand name that the type of people I look after will recognise and appreciate.

Your friend is mistaken or misguided I am afraid.

Have fun
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Reply: 1.1.1
From: Jerry Maguire

dale is right i have to agree totally.
the difference between them to me and some is nothing but to some who is CA certified hate the CPA and the same goes for the other way.
i bet you that your friend can't even tell the difference and what it really means between them both...
as long as you find a good accountant that gets you the right return and do the right thing does it really matter if he is CA or CPA???
dale is CPA and do you wanna give him up cos someone who is CA and who charge more or an extra few hundred dollars and thinks that he is more up himself...
for me i don't think so...
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Reply: 2
From: Peter Davidson


My wife is a CA. In order to become a CA she has been put through rigourous and enduring study, sometimes round the clock for weeks on end, has sat 6 exams and to top it off works full time for PriceWaterhouse Coopers. (They run them to the ground!) and the pay is not that good either, $50K 2nd year graduate. In order to work for a chartered accountantcy firm, such as PriceWaterhouse Cooopers, Ernst & Young, KPMG, Delloittes etc.. you need to be a CA, CPA's don't cut it for some reason.

In the Industry, CA's are more highly regarded and often they are preferred to CPA's.

In terms of property investing and who does what better, it probably depends on the actual person and how much they understanding about investing\tax\returns etc. I wouldn't say one is better than the other when it comes to simple stuff.

My accountant is a CPA, I don't use my wife who is a CA because he know more about tax returns and how to maximise as where as my wife is an audit guru(Although will probably give her a chance one day).

Hope this helps.

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Reply: 2.1
From: Dale Gatherum-Goss

Hi peter

I don't wish to argue, but, having worked for a big 4 firm and small firms, sat both sets of exams; been responsible for training graduates and mentoring staff through both the CA & CPA courses . . . there is very little difference indeed.

Unless, of course, you want there to be.

I do many tax returns for people who work in the big 4 firms including partners of international accounting firms.

A piece of paper is no guarantee that there is knowledge behind it and I can attest that there are many educated idiots out there and a large number of them call themselves accountants of both CA & CPA persuasion.

A rose by any other name still smells so rancid

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Reply: 2.1.1
From: Richard Hunt


My take on Ethan's comment was that it was all a bit of a G-up -- I reckon I had this one pretty well covered from the start!

Alas, my only wish now is this thread doesn't fall into the hands of a re-formed Monty Python, God help us us all!

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