What are the three levels of chartered accountant?

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Chartered Accountants (CA) are the highest level of accreditation that can be achieved by a chartered accountant. The CA designation is awarded by the International Federation of Accountants (IFAC), which is an international body representing accountants in over 150 countries.

The IFAC has created three levels of CA: Foundation, Intermediate and Final. To become a CA, you must complete one or more of these levels and meet other requirements such as passing exams or completing internships. To find out more about becoming a CA, please visit our blog post here: https://www.cma-uk.org/blog/categories/graduate-courses

1. The Foundation course

The first level of chartered accountancy is the Foundation course. It is a one-year course and it is compulsory for all students who want to become chartered accountants. You must study for 180 days in this course and pass both exams – CIMA (Chartered Institute of Management Accountants) and ACCA (Association of Chartered Certified Accountants).

The Foundation level provides an excellent grounding in accounting theory with modules on financial reporting, management control systems, audit procedures and ethics. The student will also have an opportunity to work on some practical problems under supervision by their tutor or another teacher in the department where they are studying.

2. The Intermediate course

The Intermediate course is a postgraduate course. It is a full-time course that lasts for 1 year duration and has two semesters, each of which contains three papers.

3. The Final course

The final course is the most difficult and challenging part of your CPA journey. It is designed to test your knowledge, skills and abilities. You will have to complete a mixture of lectures, practical work and examinations over a period of three years.

The course covers all aspects of accounting including financial reporting; management accounts; taxation; auditing principles & practices; cost accounting & analysis; personnel issues such as compensation strategies for management employees or directors etc., plus much more!


  • CA is the highest qualification in accounting.
  • CA is a professional designation, awarded upon completion of a rigorous course of study.
  • It indicates that an individual has met all requirements set out by the institute and can practice as an accountant under its control.


As you can see from the three levels of chartered accountant, there are many different areas to cover in your training for the CA. If you want to further your career as an accountant then the next step is becoming a member of ICAEW.

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