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Difference Between CA and CMA - Course, Admission Process, Career Opportunities , Salary

Difference Between CA and CMA - Course, Admission Process, Career Opportunities , Salary

Edited By Deepti Shikha | Updated on Sep 13, 2023 04:02 PM IST | #CA Foundation Exam

Difference Between CA and CMA - CA is an acronym for Chartered Accountant and CMA is the short form of Certified Management Accounting. Students can choose both CA and CMA courses right after completing their 10+2 exams. The Institute of Cost Accountants of India regulates the CMAs in India and the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India regulates and controls CA.

Although the curriculum for both CA and CMA courses have much in common. The syllabus for CA intermediate exam and CMA intermediate exam syllabus are very different. The CA programme primarily focuses on accounting, law, audit, taxation, and finance. Whereas, the CMA course deals with cost management, cost accountancy, economics, corporate finance, internal controls, financial reporting, organizational management, etc. In this article, we will discuss the various aspects of the cost accountant vs chartered accountant debate. Get to know CA or CMA which is better

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Who is a Chartered Accountant (CA)?

A Chartered Accountant (CA) is a professional person that is hired by individuals as well as companies to perform financial transactions. These professionals perform auditing of financial statements, filing of corporate tax returns, and providing financial advice.

In general the CA’s help with the financial needs of any business. A Chartered Accountant can also choose a profession to specialize in. A CA is hired to help more in the external appearance of the company. In other words, they assist and advise the shareholders as well as the investors with their financial knowledge and requirements. To become a CA an individual must complete three levels from the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI).

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Who are Cost and Management Accountants (CMA)?

The full form of CMA is Cost and Management Accounting. As the name suggests the CMA is responsible for the administration, allocation, and management of funds in the company or a business. The CMA profession is highly paid and rewardable. CMA is basically responsible for the internal development of the organization and also taking decisions on what steps are necessary for the internal development of the company,

To become a CMA in India, an individual needs to complete the CMA foundation course, intermediate followed by CMA final course.

Difference between CA and CMA Programmes


CA Programme

CMA Programme


A person needs to give entrance for a CA Foundation course after 10+2.

Or there is a direct entry route for graduates.

Students after successfully qualifying the 10+2 exam can enroll themselves in the CMA Foundation course. They don’t need to appear for any entrance exam.

Year of formation

Established in 1854 in Scotland

Established in 1854

Course structure

The CA course structure has been divided into three levels:

The CMA course structure has been divided into three levels:


The complete duration of the CA course is 4.5 years including articleship training.

The complete duration of CMA course is a minimum of 3-4 years.


A Chartered Accountant just after passing out can receive an average salary of around 6-7 lakhs. Whereas, candidates who have passed CA exams in their first attempt can receive up to 10-12 lakhs.

Salary of Rank holders can go above 25 lakhs.

The average salary received by CMA is Rs. 5-7 lakhs which increases over time.

Careers prospects

Job options for CA:

  • Statutory audit.

  • Advisor in direct or indirect taxation

  • Financial and accounting management

  • System audit

  • Handling the company's legal matters etc.

Job options for CMA:

  • Cost Accounting

  • Financial Analyst

  • Accounting Manager

  • Chief Financial Officer (CFO) etc

Demand in Market

Chartered Accountants can be hired by companies as well as individuals. There's a very high demand for CA’s in the market.

Only large scale companies need to appoint CMA’s. Hence, their demand is very limited.

Career Opportunities for Chartered Accountants

There are many benefits of taking up a CA course from ICAI. The auditor’s position is highly respected and also the demand for CA continues to increase. Some of the advantages of CA course in India are:

  1. Road to enter the corporate world

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After successful completion of a CA programme an individual can enter the corporate world and handle the finance and accounting department of the company.

  1. Exposure in industrial and public service jobs

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A CA can join industry or Government organizations. They can perform as a business consultant developing, reporting and analyzing the information required to make business decisions.

  1. CA can also work as global accountant

A CA can offer their financial reporting services globally. They can also detect or prevent any fraud by scanning the financial statements of big MNCs. They can also work as an appraiser and evaluate and check the assets and liabilities.

  1. Practice in the education sector

A CA can also work as a lecturer in universities and colleges. They can also start their own education center.

  1. Perform higher education

If a CA wants to practice as a lecturer or professor they can also choose to do higher studies at a university or college.

Career Opportunities After CMA Programme

There are no specific career or job opportunities for CMA. This is because every industry requires a CMA. CMA’s are always in demand in the public and private sectors, development institutions, banking and finance as well as education and research. Some of the common professions for CMA are:

  1. Chief Financial Officer (CFO)

  2. Financial analyst

  3. Director of finance

  4. Accountant

  5. Senior financial analyst

  6. Chairman

  7. Academic and teaching

  8. Managing director

  9. CEO

  10. Financial controller

Salary Difference Between CA and CMA

CA is considered more difficult than the CMA course. It is because of the difference in the curriculum of both the courses. While CA focusses more on all areas of finance such as accounting, law, taxation and auditing, the CMA focusses on areas of costing such as cost accounting, cost management, cost control etc. This difference in curriculum and focus of the course causes the change in the salary. This will help one further in deciding upon which is best CA or CMA.

Average Salary for 1-10 years experience (Ambitionbox data)Rs. 2 Lakh pa - Rs. 15 Lakh paRs. 1.40 Lakhs - Rs. 20 Lakhs pa
Average SalaryRs. 6.5 Lakh paRs. 6 Lakh pa

Steps to Become Chartered Accountant

While the CA exam may appear tough with proper planning, preparation and guidance one can clear it. Here are the short steps on how to become a chartered accountant.

  • Clear the class 12 exam with a minimum of 50% marks.
  • Register and clear the CA Foundation Exam.
  • Register and clear CA Intermediate both groups
  • Complete CA practical training and other certification requirements
  • Appear and clear CA Final for both the groups

Steps to Become Certified Management Accountant

Given below are few simple steps on how to become a certified management accountant.

  • Register for the CMA Foundation course and clear the examination.
  • Register for the CMA Intermediate course and clear the examination.
  • Complete the required practical training.
  • Register for the CMA Final course and clear the examination.
  • Become a member of the Institute of Cost Accountants of India (ICMAI).

Frequently Asked Question (FAQs)

1. Which course is more difficult CA or CMA?

Both CA and CMA courses are difficult but CA is more vast than CMA. CA focuses on everything related to accounting in detail whereas CMA is focused only on cost accounting related subjects

2. What is the full form of CA in commerce?

Dear Aspirant!

CA stands for Chartered Accountant in commerce. A Chartered Accountant is a professional who specializes in accounting, auditing, and financial management. To become a CA, individuals typically undergo rigorous education, training, and examinations. They play crucial roles in financial decision-making and ensuring compliance with financial regulations.

3. Which programme is more in demand in India CA or CMA?

Both the programmes are in demand in India but CMA’s are hired by only large scale companies whereas CA’s are hired by individuals and all types of companies.

4. What exactly does CA and CMA deal with?

The CA program deals with taxation, accounting, audit, law, finance etc. Meanwhile, the CM course deals with cost management, cost accountancy, strategic planning etc.

5. Is CMA better than CA

Whether CMA is better than CA depends on one's personal preference and interest in addition to the career goals. Both are considered prestigious exams.


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Questions related to CA Foundation Exam

Have a question related to CA Foundation Exam ?

If you chose chartered accountant (CA), then you have to write several exams and practical training. Here are some exams to write in your road to pursue CA, that are conducted by ICAI.

  • If you have passed 10th, then you can take an entry level exam. This foundation course consists of 4 papers
  • If you are a graduate or postgraduate with specified marks or higher degrees or you passed the foundation course then you can register for the IPCC. It consists of 2 groups with 4 papers each.
  • After you pass either 1 or both groups of IPCC, you should pursue articleship.
  • After completion or if you still have 6 months of your articles hip time, you can appear for the CA final exams. It consists of 2 groups each consists of 4 papers.
  • Before appearing for your final exams, you should undergo AICITSS during the last 2 years of practical training.
  • After you have passed in final exams and articleship, you can be a member of ICAI and can use Chartered Accountant before your name.

Dear aspirant !

Hope you are doing well !

CA Foundation Exam Pattern 2024 – Details

  • The CA Foundation examination consists of four papers.
  • Paper 1 and Paper 2 are subjective type papers.
  • Paper 3 and Paper 4 are objective type papers.
  • The CA Foundation exam is conducted for a total of 400 marks, with each paper carrying 100 marks.

Candidates must successfully clear their 10th and 12th exams from a recognized educational institute . Also, the minimum mark they need to attain in their 12th standards is 50% aggregate. There is no age restriction to apply for the CA foundation.

The details of this exam is given below ;- .

Hope it helps you !

Thanking you !!

A breach of contract refers to the failure of one party to fulfill its responsibilities under the terms of a contract, that leads to legal consequences and potential remedies for the non breaching party. In simple terms, it's when one party doesn't do what they promised to do in a contract.

A breach of contract can take various forms, including:

  1. Material Breach
  2. Minor Breach
  3. Anticipatory Breach
  4. Actual Breach.


I'm assuming you mean that you wrote wrong question booklet number in CA Foundation Maths exam and then corrected it using a whitener and wrote the correct number over it. If this is the case, then you don't need to worry as such mistakes happen a lot among students every year and as we cannot replace the OMR sheet, the invigilators suggest to use whiteners.

It's perfectly normal and acceptable. You need not worry about anything.

Hope this helps,

Thank you

Hello aspirant,

Due to unforeseen circumstances, the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI) has changed the exam dates for the CA Foundation 2023 December session. The CA Foundation December 2023 exam will be held on December 31, 2023, and January 2,4,6, 2024, according to the updated CA Foundation timetable. Registration for the December 2023 session of the ICAI CA Foundation is currently closed. The CA Foundation June 2023 results had already been made public by the institute on August 7, 2023. A new education and training programme has also been announced by ICAI, and it will go into effect on July 1st, 2023.

For more information you can visit our site by clicking on the link given below.

Thank you

Hope this information helps you.

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