Raman kumar  Garg

Are Cost Accountants same as Chartered Accountants?

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by Raman kumar Garg
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RE: Are Cost Accountants same as Chartered Accountants?

Dr. Anand Wadadekar, PhD
Dr. Anand Wadadekar, PhD

Hello There! Looking at the query I can definitely say that this is a very good and well thought query and am very glad that you approached CareerGuide.com to ask this query and seek clarification about the difference between what Cost Accountants (CWAs) and Chartered Accountants (CAs) do.


I am an Educationist and have been counselling many students from the commerce / law / management field for more than seven years now and I am also involved in teaching and writing on career management for many reputed newspapers and magazine all over India.

Cost Accounting by definition in simple words means accounting / capturing all types of costs an organisation has incurred on production, maintenance, salaries, etc and differentiating each cost into fixed cost, direct and indirect cost, variable cost, etc to ascertain the exact allocation of cost into cost centers. Cost accounting is related only to 'costs' and its accounting, audit, reports, etc. All this work is done daily by Cost Accountants in corporates and also by appointed external consultants.

Chartered Accountancy is a domain of accounting, audit, taxation of the entire organisation. Chartered Accountancy is an over all domain which also looks into cost accounting (little) but looks majorly into entire accounting of each transaction, taxation, auditing and report preparation.

Cost Accountants day in day out look into the 'costing' factor of the company while Chartered Accountants day in day out look into the whole 'account management' of the company.

Cost Accountants and Chartered Accountants are governed by Cost Accountants Act and Chartered Accountants Act, respectively. These are Acts of Parliament. It is mandatory for all companies to have chartered accountants for expertal and statutory audit and cost accountants for statutory cost audit. The audit reports from chartered accountants and cost accountants are mentioned in the Annual Return and are also filed with the Registrar of Companies annually and quarterly. The reports are also mentioned in the Annual Report given to the share holders of the company.

As far as the salary packages of CWAs and CAs is concerned, they are here and there similar. These professions are highly respected in the industry and society.

Therefore CWAs and CAs are not the same, however they work for related areas.

RE: Are Cost Accountants same as Chartered Accountants?

Nidhi Arora
Nidhi Arora
Verified Career Expert
Career Counselor at CareerGuide.com
  • Gurgaon

Cost Accountancy gives more weight-age to Cost Accounting as a subject. Or you can say that it is like professional degree with Costing/ Cost Accounting as a major subject. I hope you know what Cost Accounting means. This is allocating costs to each unit produced

. This is more useful in manufacturing industries. Cost Accountants can do Cost Audit which is compulsory for certain manufacturing companies under the Companies Act, 1956 in India. 

As against this, Chartered Accountants get specialized knowledge in Taxation and Auditing. They have to undergo practical training under a qualified Chartered Accountant. They do the financial auditing meaning auditing the books of accounts. All companies need to get their accounts audited by a qualified Chartered Accountant under Companies Act 1956 in India. Further under the Indian Income Tax Act, any entity having turnover exceeding a certain threshold are to be audited under that Act. 
We can list a lot of such things but I have given fundamental differences. Hope you are reasonably clear now.

RE: Are Cost Accountants same as Chartered Accountants?

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