CA vs CS- Which Course is Better

Most students get caught in a dilemma while choosing between CA (Chartered Accountant) or CS(Company Secretary). Both are popular choices among students and promise a successful career, but there is a significant difference between the two, which we will discuss in this article.

While both are equally good professional options for commerce and non-commerce students, the deciding factor for which one is a better course depends on the individual’s interests.

Understanding what these courses are, their opportunities, and an overall brief comparison between them will help you decide which is better.

To help you make an informed decision we will first describe these terms in detail.

CA vs CS: Which Course is Better

What is Chartered Accountant?

ICAI i.e., TheInstitute of Chartered Accountants of India is the only authority to grant the CA degree and conduct the exam. Upon completion of class 10th, students can register for the CA coursein ICAI. After passing class 12th they can appear in the CA common proficiency test.

A chartered accountant’s role involves accounting, taxation, auditing, financial management, and knowledge of corporate laws. As every organization needs financial management, the scope of CA is wide. Chartered accountants can work in various businesses, industries, consultancy, and chartered accountant firms, financial institutions and can also do independent practice.

What is Company Secretary?

ICSI (The Institute of Company Secretaries of India) is the authority that offers the CS course in India. It is for aspirants who wish to practice as a company secretary in India and abroad. A company secretary is an expert in corporate laws, security laws, capital market, and corporate governance.

Company secretaries are in-house legal experts responsible for all regulatory compliances of a company. Aspirants need to have passed class 12th/graduated to be eligible for this course. One needs remarkable decision-making and critical thinking skills to pursue a career in CS.


Criterion CA CS
Course Name Chartered Accountant Company Secretary
Conducting Body ICAI (The Institute of Chartered Accountants of India) ICSI (The Institute of Company Secretaries of India)
Course Structure Levels of CA course
  1. Foundation Course
  1. Intermediate Course
  1. Final Course
Candidates can enroll in the CA foundation course after 10thclass. To apply for the CA intermediate course candidates can either follow the Direct Entry route or simply clear the CA foundationcourse. After successfully passing the intermediate examination, a student enters the final level of the course i.e., the CA final course.
Levels of CS course
  1. Foundation Program
  1. Executive Program
  1. Professional Program
12th pass (or equivalent) students of Arts, Science, or Commerce stream can pursue the foundation program.Graduates of all streams excluding Fine Arts can pursue the executive program. One can pursue the professional program only after completing the executive program of CS course.
Duration 5 years 2-3 years
Duration of Practical Training 3 years 1.75 years
Entrance Test CA Foundation or CA Common Proficiency Test


CSEET or Company Secretary Executive Entrance Test

(Mandatory for undergraduate candidates. Commerce graduates can directly apply for the Executive Program)

Job Profiles
  1. Internal Audit
  2. Tax Audit
  3. Statutory Audit
  4. Finance Controller
  5. Forensic Auditing
  1. Legal Advisor
  2. Corporate Planner
  3. Associate Company Secretary
  4. Chief Advisor
Who is it for? Those who are good at conceptual understanding and analytical reasoning. Those who have good organizational, legal, and financial skills.

Comparing CA vs CS

CA and CS are the two most popular courses in the commerce stream. Both courses give students a wealth of prospects and promise a bright future, but each also has its own complexities. To help you choose the right course we will look at their main focus, opportunities, expertise, difficulty, and salary.

Main Focus

  • The CA course focuses on auditing, accounting, financial evaluation, and taxation. It teaches about the concepts and application of accounting, understanding of mathematical and statistical tools, and their application in business and finance.
  • The CS course emphasizes company law, corporate governance, and communication. It teaches critical aspects of business communication, legal aptitude, and knowledge about the management and administration of companies.
  • To put it simply, the CA course is accounting oriented and the CS course is law oriented.


  • Students pursuing a career in CA enjoy opportunities both in the public and private sectors as every organization needs a CA who can manage accounts and taxes. Some of these are statutory or internal auditors, tax or finance managers, certified public accountants, etc.
  • Those pursuing a career in CS find opportunities in corporate planning and strategic management. They might also work as secretarial auditors or compliance officers.
  • Both chartered accountants and company secretaries have the option of working independently for firms or starting their own firms/being self-employed.


  • CA requires a quantitative approach, hence one must have strong analytical skills and be good with numbers.
  • CS requires more of a qualitative approach i.e., one must have strong communication skills, multi-tasking skills, and attention to detail.
  • Some hard skills one must have to pursue CA are IT proficiency, general business interest, and awareness. On the other hand, the hard skills required for CS are expertise in company law and management.


  • Both CA and CS are professional courses and require hard work. The difference in the difficulty of the two courses lies in their curriculum and passing marks
  • CA deals with numerical and case studies chapters on the other hand CS has more theoretical subjects. Most students tend to find CA subjects more challenging because they have a practical approach while CS has a theoretical approach.
  • Many students consider the CA exam difficult owing to its vast syllabus and complex pattern. If you aim to score above the CA pass percentageyou have to make proper use of your time and devote at least 2 hours sincerely to studying daily.


  • A fresher CA is offered anywhere between 6-7 lakhs per annum which can increase up to 40-70 lakhs based on experience, work profile, skills, firms, and international postings. The pay also increases for those who pass the exam in the first attempt and rank holders.
  • A fresher CS usually earns 3-5 lakhs. With the increase in experience, they can earn up to 17 lakhs. If he or she is a rank holder, the salary might increase.
  • The average income earned by chartered accountants is more than that of company secretaries. The average salary of a CS in India is 6 lakhs per annum whereas the average income of a CA in India is 8 lakhs per annum.

Pros and Cons of CA

Despite being one of the most sought-after and prestigious career choices in India, like any other profession chartered accountant also has its pros and cons. Students must first consider these before arriving at a decision.


  • The profession of chartered accountant has a lot of versatility and career flexibility.
  • Demand for chartered accountants is significant both in India and abroad.
  • A chartered accountant can be a lawyer in favor of the client.
  • A chartered accountant has an impressive six-figure salary.
  • As every organization requires a chartered accountant they have a high demand.
  • The field of chartered accountant is secure, and stable with steady growth.


  • The CA course is rigorous and cracking the exam is tough which leaves little time to develop other skills.
  • Chartered accountants have to stay up-to-date with the ins and outs of the finance industry, this requires constant learning even after securing a job.
  • There is a high level of competition in the CA field which puts one under a lot of pressure.
  • Developing a client base is hard.
  • Working hours as a CA are long and monotonous.
  • Chartered accountants have to meet deadlines at the end of every financial year which is very stressful.

Pros and Cons of CS

CS also has its fair share of advantages and disadvantages. It is important to make a sound decision and figure out if this course is right for you or not.


  • The CS course is cost-effective.
  • This course offers good remuneration and growth opportunities.
  • A company secretary has no stress about meeting deadlines.
  • The CS profession has flexible working hours.
  • The CS profession comes with a lot of travel opportunities.
  • One gets to learn a lot about the industry by interacting with higher authorities and intelligent people.


  • The income of a CS is not up to the mark.
  • The work weeks in this profession are long.
  • There is a lot of documentation and paperwork.
  • Career growth is slow when compared to CA.

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To sum things up, students must choose the course which adds value to their career plans and interests them. You should keep your goals in my mind and not follow anyone’s decision blindly but decide for yourself. Doing proper research on both courses will give you some insight into what each one offers and whether it fits your personality or not.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q1. Who earns more CS or CA?

Ans. A chartered accountant earns more than a company secretary. The average income of a CA in India is 8 lakhs per annum and a CS’s is 6 lakhs per annum.

Q2. Is CS easier than CA?

Ans. Most people consider CA more challenging than CS. This is because the syllabus at every level is vast and complex. The subjects in this course are also considered tough and require in-depth knowledge.

Q3. Which type of CA has the highest salary?

Ans. Chartered accountants who are posted abroad have the highest pay ranging up to 75 lakhs per annum.

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