CA vs CS: Which course is better for students?

Chartered Accountancy and Company Secretary are the two Career options for the students after 12th Exam. In both the profession it works, completely based on accounting & Statistics but there is a huge difference between the role & responsibilities of the Company.

CA vs CS: What's the Difference?

Students are generally getting confused between these two courses whether to do CA or CS after the Academic Exam. Hence students must Know the basic concepts of both the courses to take a wise decision.

A Chartered Accountant Mainly focuses on accounting & auditing,management accounting,taxation while A Company Secretary mainly focuses on Corporate laws,advisory & secretarial roles at the CEO Level as well as strategic Management & Planning. After this a CA evolves into a role of a business advisor where he advises the Top Management of a Company to enhance its profitability through ethical means and at the same time protecting and caring for the environment & society Whereas a CS advises the Senior Management of the company on corporate Laws ensuring regulatory Compliance.CS is an in-house legal advisor.

It's natural to feel perplexed while thinking about which one best meets your qualifications and career goals. To get an idea about it, read the article below including duration, course procedure, scope, and difficulty level, and then decide which one best fits your professional profile. CA should be chosen if you want to pursue a career in finance or accounting, but CS is the best option for those who want to seek higher-level managerial roles or legal management.

 How to Become a CA?

If you are planning to Pursue a career as a CA you must need to follow the given steps:

  • Enroll for the CA course in ICAI.
  • Qualify CA Foundation Exam & pursue for any Degree Course.
  • Qualify CA Inter Exam.
  • Obtain articleship training & work under the supervision of a Professional CA for three years.
  • Pass the CA Final Exam.

How to Become a CS?

If you are planning to Pursue a career as a CS you must be having an excellent critical thinking skill.You must need to follow the given steps:

  • Enroll for the CS course in ICSI
  • Qualify CS Executive Entrance Exam
  • Enroll & qualify in the CS executive programme
  • To obtain specialisation enrol & qualify in the CS Professional Exam
  • Qualify all the exams to become a successful CS.

Course Duration between CA & CS

CA is more complex when compared to CS,as the duration of CA is five years which in CS is of three years. Compared with CA, CS is easy to crack but the career scope is limited. CS is an important link between the company and its board of directors, shareholders, government and regulatory authorities. Hence, they come up with a diverse roles in the management, taxation, finance and international trade departments of a company.

A chartered accountant’s role is also getting diversified. As a result, CA education is becoming a lot tech-enabled.More tech integration will be seen in areas such as audit, taxation, compliance and even the litigation practice of the CA profession. Accounting is evolving with technology well integrating with concepts such as artificial intelligence, machine learning, etc. There is a great scope for CAs in areas such as data analytics and cybersecurity.

Another factor to consider while deciding between CA and CS is the length of the programme. Although both CA and CS courses have three levels, the time of each field vary. When opposed to CA, CS is a shorter programme that can be finished in two to three years. CA, on the other hand, takes 5 years to accomplish. Similarly, with advancements in the technology sector, CS takes care of software copyright and licensing, cyber laws compliance, etc.

Career Prospective of Both CA and CS

Students interested in pursuing a career as a CA have more options than students interested in pursuing a career as a CS. They can look into both the public and private sectors, such as government agencies, private companies, banks, law firms, businesses, and civil services.

The learning prospective never ends for both the courses. One can always opt for an LLB or a PhD. A specialisation in courses around taxation, international trade laws, valuation, insolvency and bankruptcy code etc can be pursued.

The job prospects will be much higher on account of the diversity of the application for the role of a CA.Therefore, a chartered accountant is paid more in comparison to a company secretary. CAs have more authority than CS and can sometimes argue cases for their clients, similar to a lawyer.Candidates interested in a career in CS might look into a variety of options in large corporations throughout the world. They can work in a variety of areas, including governance, administration, stakeholder meetings, and the board of directors. They Students might also consider working as a Company Secretary for numerous businesses on their own. So,there is a great scope of employment for a company secretary. Every company with a paid-up share capital of Rs 2 crore or above has to appoint a company secretary for their smooth & frequent functioning.

The starting salary of a CA fresher is an average of 7 to 8 lakh per annum with any corporate firm while the starting salary of a company secretary is between 3 to 4 lakh per annum.

Major Differences Between CA & CS

The Primary points that can be distinguised between CA and CS are mentioned below:

 Category CA CS
Name of the course Chartered Accountancy Company secretary
Description Students are providing with a thorough understanding of accounting & finance Students are providing with a thorough understanding of corporate governance & Company Law
Institute Name ICAI(Institute of Chartered Accountant) ICSI(Institute of Company Secretary)
Duration 5 Years 3 Years
Subjects Subjects includes taxation, finance,Banking, Accounting etc. Subjects includes tax laws,company laws,general & commercial laws etc.
Levels It has 3 levels to become CA It has also 3 levels to become CS
Entrance Exam Mandatory for all mandatory only incase of undergraduate
Articleship Training Minimum for 3 years 15 months of training required
Duties Advise the company on concerned matters of taxation & Finance As a compliance officer for the company
Exams Conducted twice a year in the month of May & Nov Conducted twice a year in the month of June & Dec
Job Profiles Auditor
Credit Analyst
Forensic Audit
Financial Analyst
Research Analyst
Investment Advisor
Associate Company Secretary
Legal Advisor
Corporate Policymaker
Principal Secretary
Company Registrar
Corporate Planner 
Chief Administrative Officer



Is CS more simple than CA?

CS is much easier as compared to CA which has been referred to the toughest course in India. The CA Course is easy to enter but tough to exit. While the CS is also not easy but not as tough as CA.

Secretarial Auditing – CS are the only persons who can sign the secretarial report of a Company. As none, another person can handle the legal affairs of the company in a manner better than a Company Secretary.

Legal Compliance – CS are known for handling the Corporate Governance of the Company. Company Secretaries are held responsible to operate the company within the terms of Company Law.

Less Duration Course – The duration of CS is less than CA. Where the minimum duration of CA is 5 years, CS can be completed in just 3 years.

No Work Pressure – Students pursuing CA have to handle a heavy workload while completing the CA Final studies due to their articleship. On the other hand, CS students can complete their internship after completing the CS studies.

By making a reference to the above articles, we can conclude that CA has much better opportunities as compared to CS but pursuing CA is not easy as Company Secretary course.

Why choose CA over CS?

CA are given high respect in the Society and especially where you are doing your practice rather than servicing some company. They are consulted for so many aspects say it finance, cost, accounting, auditing, taxation etc while a CS can be consulted for the Company Legal Matters only.Chartered Accountants are the only authorized person who can sign the Financial Statements of the Company. Only after a signature of CA, financiual statements can be called as Audited Financial Statements and presented to the shareholders of the company.

The scope of CA have not been limited to our country. ICAI has tied up with various International professional bodies and enhanced the scope of Indian CA throughout the world. Its a world wide opportunities for CA.As everybody knows, that three years of practical training has been a mandatory part of the Chartered Accountancy curriculum. In such three years of practical training, they emerge out as true professionals ready to lead the industry as soon as they become CA.

CA also hols an impressive knowledge of Company Laws and they are also expert in various fields hence, CA gets priority over CS while the company makes a selection for the job.

Is CA salary is more than that of CS?

Historically, among CA and CS, CA has always been more popular with students.But it does not always mean that a CA will receive higher package than a CS.The salary package is defined by your knowledge and work experience.So maybe in cases a CS will be getting more salary than a CA, but it all depends on his knowledge and skills.

The average salary of CA is somewhere between 7 to 8 lakhs in India. Depending on their qualifications and experiences, a CA can earn more than the estimated salary.The starting salary of Company Secretary is somewhere between 3 to 4 lakhs per annum while the average salary is 5 to 6 Lakhs in India.

Which has a better Scope as a Career Prospectives?

CA should be chosen if you want to pursue a career in finance or accounting, but CS is the best option for those who want to seek higher-level managerial roles or legal management.

CA is a professional course that adds immense credibility. Even if you don’t want to join a company, you can do your own practice. And develop clients on merit.Capital Markets benefit a lot from their expertise and hence demands are always high. It is a myth that a CA’s work involves only numbers and excel sheets. A CA employed by a firm can also contribute toward decision-making and enhancement of profits for the firm whereas CS professionals are treated as authority on company laws and communication. Both factors govern the smooth functioning of any corporate level organization. CS can directly advise the board of directors and they will act as you say in legal matters. But always remember with great power comes great responsibility.So both the courses have their own career scope depending upon their knowledge & skills.


Hope you can find this article helpful. If you did like this Blog then Share it with your friends who are doing CA Final studies or who will be giving their CA Final exams in the near future. 

All The Best..!!

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1 comment

  • Indranil Dey

    I have seen many CS aspirants who are considered unsuccessful due to short of merely one mark either in individual subject or aggregate. This system is not so fair as CS students have to explore efforts more and struggling to complete their course like other professional courses. The ICSI authority need to reconcile their strategy of passing percentage as well as marking in order to save such CS aspirants from mental depression.

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