Chartered Accountant Job Description: Top Duties and Requirements

A Chartered Accountant, or CA, uses their accounting expertise to guide their client’s financial plans and ensure all tax activities are compliant with provincial and federal regulations. Their duties include planning taxes, auditing accounts, and recommending solutions to accounting issues. Due to their certification, Chartered Accountants are typically more sought after and have greater responsibilities than a regular Accountant.

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Chartered Accountant duties and responsibilities

The duties and responsibilities of a Chartered Accountant are extensive and can cover a wide range of accounting-related issues. Some of the most important tasks they fulfill include:

  • Conducting tax planning and tax oversight for special projects
  • Preparing income tax returns
  • Providing accurate reports on a company’s finances to government agencies
  • Reviewing tax forms and make recommendations for adjustments if necessary
  • Resolving any tax-related issues for the business or client
  • Maintaining strong professional relationships with businesses and clients for continued service

What does a Chartered Accountant do?

Chartered Accountants perform several tasks, including preparing income tax statements and conducting audits of their client’s or employer’s finances. Their certification indicates they have the authority to file a tax return and conduct audits on behalf of an organization.

Chartered Accountants may work independently or collaborate with Auditors, Financial Planners and other professionals within an accounting or a finance department. They are typically full-time employees who work in office environments. However, you may need a Chartered Accountant to be available during the weekends and evenings. They may specialize in areas such as assurance services, environmental accounting, personal financial plannings, forensics or valuation.

Chartered Accountant skills and qualifications

Chartered Accountants require a unique skill set to accomplish their tasks effectively. Some of these include:

  • Expert handling of QuickBooks and other relevant accounting software
  • Knowledge of local and federal tax laws and regulations
  • Problem-solving and analytical thinking skills
  • Written and verbal communication skills
  • Meticulous and detail-oriented
  • Excellent numeracy and mathematical knowledge
  • Time management skills to prioritize tasks efficiently

Chartered Accountant experience requirements

Candidates for Chartered Accountant positions need three or more years of work experience in a related financial role. Consider those who have worked as a Junior Accountant, Bookkeeper, or Accounts Administrator. Qualified candidates also have experience working with local and federal tax laws.

Chartered Accountant education and training requirements

A Chartered Accountant must have a university degree in accounting or related fields to work. They must also complete a professional training program that a provincial or territorial institute of Chartered Accountants approves. Candidates typically need two years of on-the-job training before working on their own or managing a team of other accountants. Depending on the province or territory, Chartered Accountants can also apply for chartered accounting roles. Candidates must undergo 30 months of on-the-job training, complete the Uniform Evaluation (UFE) exam, and be a member of the relevant provincial or territorial institute.

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Chartered Accountant job description FAQs

What's the difference between a Chartered Accountant and a Bookkeeper?

Chartered Accountants and Bookkeepers perform similar functions, and their duties sometimes overlap in an organization. Both professionals work within accounting or finance departments but have different responsibilities. A Bookkeeper manages a company’s records such as its invoices and daily financial transactions. They may perform basic accounting duties such as creating reports. Chartered Accountants use their accounting skills to plan a company’s finances and perform tax-related duties. They use the records from a Bookkeeper to perform their duties.

Can a Chartered Accountant position include all possible CA specializations?

While you may need a Chartered Accountant to focus on one specialization, an applicant can cover all specializations. This is especially true of Chartered Accountants for small businesses, but larger companies generally have one Accountant dedicated to each specialization. When posting job descriptions, look for a Chartered Accountant who is versatile. 

What should you look for in a Chartered Accountant resume?

When going through resumes, look for Chartered Accountants who have the accounting skills your business needs for financial planning and maintaining fiscal policies. An excellent candidate has an academic background in accounting and is eager to learn how to use new accounting software and other technologies. They are also detail-oriented. Look for applicants who have accounting experience as a volunteer, intern, or full-time employee.  

What is a Chartered Professional Accountant in Canada?

Today, what we know as a Canadian CPA is actually a merger between several former accounting qualifications. Chartered Accountants (CA), Certified Management Accountants (CMA), and Certified General Accountants (CGA). They all share the same designation and now go by the umbrella term, Chartered Professional Accountants (CPA), no matter their specialization. The term also applies to candidates who received their accounting certification outside of the country and pass the Canadian CPA assessment.

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