10 Most Popular Abbreviations For Chartered Accountants

Careers related to accounting, financial reporting, tax reporting, financial management, etc., are usually high-rewarding and give you a higher average income than other economic professionals.

It is one of the reasons why thousands of undergraduate and graduate students pursue the certifications and professional qualifications to join the practice.

The Chartered Accountant is the most pursued and followed certification among all finance and accounting professionals.

According to the stats, around 7000 students qualify as CA every six months, and 40% to 50% are women.

Although CA is a highly sought-after career path, many other related certifications are equivalent or alternative to a CA.

If you are also considering pursuing chartered accountancy and are unsure which career path to take, this article is for you.

We have listed the top 10 popular abbreviations for Chartered Accountants. Besides, we will also talk about what a chartered accountant does.

So let’s get into it.

What Is A Chartered Accountant?

A Chartered Accountancy, or CA, is an internationally recognized accounting certification widely used in many countries worldwide.

Accounting professionals can become Chartered Accountants by completing the prescribed certification and practicing as international accountants and external auditors.

However, the designation of Chartered Accountant is used for accounting professionals outside the United States. It is more prevalent in Common Wealth countries across the world. 

When it comes to the job description of a Chartered Accountant, the certification of CA authorizes the professional to audit the financial statements and review the tax reporting for businesses.

Besides audit services, Chartered Accountants also provide advisory services and internal audits of business entities.

As earlier mentioned, the designation of Chartered Accountant is not used in the United States. So, what is the designation of the same professional in the United States or other countries where CA is not designated?

We will discuss it in the coming sections of the article.

Abbreviations For Chartered Accountants

Here are the abbreviations used for Chartered Accountants:

1. CA Inter (CA Intermediate)

CA Inter or CA Intermediate is not the CA certification but a level of CA exam. However, in the countries like India, Pakistan, etc., CA Inter qualified professionals can also secure good jobs in corporate organizations.

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It is the second level of the Chartered Accountancy course, with nine months of study period allowed to the students.

However, students of CA can make eight attempts for CA Inter as the registration for the CA Inter is valid for four years.

Professionals who have completed the CA Inter also use the term CA to define their title. It is because every country has different criteria to define who can be called CA. Therefore, we can say that CA Inter is also an abbreviation for Chartered Accountants.

2. CPA (Certified Public Accountant)

Chartered Accountant is a professional designation common in most countries of the world.

However, when we talk about the United States, CA is not the term they use for accounting professionals who can audit financial statements and do tax reporting for publicly listed companies. CPA is the abbreviation for the professional equivalent of a CA in the United States.

CPA stands for Certified Public Accountant, the common designation in Australia, the United States, etc. In the United States, a CPA is entitled to work as an external auditor for publicly listed companies in different states.

To become a CPA, accounting graduates must complete the CPA program in the country, be it the United States or Australia.

Related Abbreviations For Chartered Accountants

CPA, CA, and CA Inter are the most common terms that refer to accounting professionals of the same levels in different regions of the world.

However, several other designations and professional levels of accountants are related to Chartered Accountants. So here is the overview of related abbreviations for Chartered Accountants:

3. ACCA (Association Of Chartered Certified Accountants)

ACCA stands for Association of Chartered Certified Accountants, a certificate-awarding institution.

The organization awards the certificates for the exams taken within the ACCA qualification and foundation-level certifications.

ACCA also awards ACCA Qualifications to finance and accounting graduates. These professionals can pursue a very bright career in corporations as finance or accounting professionals.

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ACCA-qualified accountants are also often considered equivalent to Chartered Accountants.

4. ACMA or Cost Accounting Management Partner

ACMA is also a certificate related to the Chartered Accountant and stands for Associate of Chartered Institute of Management Accountants.

The certification is usually awarded by accounting bodies in India, Pakistan, etc. The Indian Cost Accounting Association (ICAI) is a member of the International Accountants Federation, which allows them to award the certificate to accounting professionals who complete the certification from recognized associations of the respective countries.

5. CIA (Certified Internal Auditor)

CIA or Certified Internal Auditor is also an abbreviation for Chartered Accountants but is a separate certification.

The Certified Internal Auditor is awarded a global certification in Internal Audit, which entitles them to work as an internal auditor in different business entities.

The main difference between a CIA and CPA or CA is that the CIA is awarded by the Institute of Internal Auditors (IIA), and a CA degree is awarded by The Institute of Chartered Accountants(ICAP). Besides, the job description of both professionals also varies to some extent.

6. CFA (Chartered Financial Analyst)

Chartered Financial Analyst is the certification awarded by CFA Institute. The organization specializes in awarding CFA designation to financial professionals worldwide.

CFA is a three-part exam, and the job description of a Chartered Financial Analyst is more like an investment management professional.

CFA is often viewed as a related or equivalent designation to the Chartered Accountant when it comes to the internal role of an accounting professional.

7. CGMA (Chartered Global Management Accountant)

The following abbreviation of Chartered Accountants is CGMA, Chartered Global Management Accountants.

These professionals are also entitled to work in a wide range of positions in the finance industry worldwide.

The CGMA exam is considered one of the most challenging, and structured study is essential to pass it. The professionals have expertise in operations, strategy, finance, and management.

AICPA established the CGMA qualification in 2012 and is responsible for awarding the certification.

Although many people perceive CIMA and CGMA to be similar, it is not the case. The designation of CGMA is the partnership between CIMA (Chartered Institute of Management Accountants) and AICPA (American Institute of CPAs).

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8. CGA (Chartered General Accountant)

Chartered General Accountant is the alternative abbreviation for Certified Public Accountant. Chartered Professional Accountants of Canada issued the certification of CGA in the past.

However, the designation of Certified Public Accountant is also currently used in Canada.

CGA’s job description is similar to CA’s and includes audit, tax reporting, business consulting, financial tasks, etc.

The Chartered General Accountant also provides business advisory, forensic accounting services, business recovery & insolvency consultation.

Therefore, we can say that CGA is the equivalent designation of CPA in the US and CA in different regions of the world.

9. CPA (Chartered Professional Accountant)

CPA Canada, the national-level organization for Canada, awards the designations accounting profession. Chartered Professional Accountant is the Canadian designation for Chartered Accountants.

The role of a Certified Professional Accountant is the same as that of a CA or Certified Public Accountant.

The job description of a Chartered Professional Accountant is to analyze the financial records, review the tax reporting of business entities, perform an audit of financial statements, and provide consulting & advisory services to business entities.

Therefore, it won’t be wrong to say that Chartered Professional Accountant is an alternative abbreviation for Chartered Accountant.

10.  CMA (Chartered Management Accountant)

ICMA (Institute of Cost and Management Accountants) is an international organization established to award cost and management accounting certification.

The job description of a CMA usually includes analyzing financial data and statements of a business entity and making it usable for the entity’s management team.

Highly qualified cost and management accountants can get the certification of Chartered Management Accountants and work as fully qualified professionals in the relevant areas.


We have discussed the top 10 abbreviations for Chartered Accountants that you must know if you are about to decide which career path to choose.

Besides, understanding the relevant designations and certifications helps executives and business owners hire the services of the right professional for their business entities.