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Understanding the Difference Between a Regular Accountant and a Chartered Accountant

By Brian, June 30, 2016

Financial matters are among the most confusing and complex subjects. In order to adhere to government laws and protect our finances, we need proper record keeping and accurate filing. This is why we need an accountant – a professional who has the training and experience in managing our financials effectively. But you may be wondering what is the difference between accountants and chartered accountants in Toronto.

What is an Accountant?

An accountant understands financial laws and he or she can provide answers to monetary questions, no matter how difficult it is. They can help clarify concepts and processes, and they also offer transparency when managing your personal/business finances.


An accountant’s main responsibility is to provide real time and accurate records of an individual or company’s financial transactions. He is aware of all compliance guidelines that may be needed for each transaction. Accountants can be employed by the company to work in full time capacity, while others provide service to private individuals.

Many accountants help their clients compile and file their annual tax returns while others also specialize in estate planning, fund management, investment options or retirement packages.

What is a Chartered Accountant?

Perhaps the one thing that truly sets chartered accountants apart is their training. They get more training than a normal accountant and they are required to successfully complete a post graduate program. In addition, they need to work under a mentor program for at least three years before they can practice in their chosen profession.


A chartered accountant specializes in providing accurate records of an individual or organization’s financial transactions; therefore they are employed in a more commercial capacity.

Moreover, a chartered accountant is seen as an accountant for hire, compared to a normal accountant, which may have his own practice. They offer fee-based services and they also provide overall financial supervision. For individuals and companies, they can be hired as a wealth manager. This is because their expertise is focused on business functions.

Choosing a Qualified Accountant

The roles of accountants are highly specialized and they should have extensive experience to be truly effective. Their key benefit is that they have the ability to bring a comprehensive financial knowledge of ever-changing local and national regulations.


Whether you are an individual, business or organization, hiring an accountant will prove to be very beneficial. However, it’s very important to pick the right accountant that meets your requirements. Choose an accountant with the experience and expertise to handle your financial affairs. Mismanagement can lead to
large fines and a lot of aggravation.

A chartered accountant is your best option if you want to efficiently manage your financials. If you are looking for a professional whose expertise lies in wealth management, financial advice and a complete finance-related service, it may be wise to go with a chartered accountant instead of a normal accountant. They may cost more but remember that you will only pay for the services you require.

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