The CA Qualification
The title "chartered accountant" (CA) and the designatory letters CA, ACA and FCA go back to the origins of the organized profession in Scotland and England nearly 150 years ago, with the granting of royal charters by Queen Victoria. Today, CA's in all of the Home Institutes of ACAUS have attained a level of professional expertise that has become a world standard.
CA's undergo lengthy and rigorous training and must pass numerous examinations to qualify for membership. Moreover, they are required to maintain high standards of professional conduct and competence supervised by their home institutes.
The range of professional activities of CA's and certified public accountants (CPA's) has expanded over the past few decades to include auditing, financial reporting, taxation, personal finance, corporate finance, financial management and information technology. In recognition of the depth of training and expertise possessed by CA's, many states in the U.S. recognize certain CA qualifications in granting CPA status. Canadian and Australian CA's, for example, have a special conversion examination (IQEX) to streamline the process.
One of the constants in the rapidly developing 21st century economy is the constant escalation of international economic activity. With open markets on each of the continents, accountants with international expertise have become increasingly necessary to almost all businesses. In addition, social pressures for greater accountability worldwide continue to force governments, businesses and the profession to be more responsive to the needs of the public and stakeholders. Expansion of the power and availability of information technology both globalizes commerce further and raises the need for accountants to become "knowledge managers."
CA's have a keen understanding of the new challenges facing businesses in the global marketplace. They are uniquely poised to serve and advise clients in need of international financial expertise.