What’s the difference between an Accountant and a Chartered Accountant
Chartered Accountant Vs. Accountant
Did you know that you can’t call yourself a driving instructor without the relevant qualifications and registrations? Just like a solicitor, surgeon, dentist, actuary, or architect, “driving instructor” is a protected title.
But “accountant” isn’t.
In theory, anyone could call themself an accountant and offer accountancy service to the general public.
A Chartered Accountant (or Chartered Certified Accountant) however is someone with relevant qualifications and experience.
To become a Chartered Accountant you need to do the exams (so, so many exams) and complete years of relevant, real-world experience. And to remain as a Chartered Accountant you are required to complete CPD every year to ensure you are up to date with changing legislation and procedures.
Furthermore, any firm calling themselves Chartered Accountants will be registered with a relevant professional body (such as Chartered Accountants Ireland) and have Professional Indemnity Insurance.
For clients, this means a number of things. Firstly, if you engage a Chartered Accountant you can be sure they are qualified to give the advice they give and will likely have plenty of experience in dealing with issues just like yours. Secondly, if things go wrong, as they sometimes do, you have a route to resolve things – via the institute they are registered with.
In short, with a Chartered Accountant, you get a higher level of comfort and a lower level of risk. If you needed an operation, you want the same from a surgeon, wouldn’t you?