Chartered Accountant

Who are Chartered Accountants ("CA")?
Only those registered with Malaysian Institute of Accountants (MIA) can call themselves as Chartered Accountant

Not all MIA are equally experienced ?

You're absolutely right. While being a member of the Malaysian Institute of Accountants (MIA) signifies a certain level of qualification, experience within the institute does vary. Here's how the MIA membership works in relation to experience:

MIA Membership:

  • Entry-level qualification: The MIA qualification is a prerequisite to becoming a Chartered Accountant (CA) in Malaysia. There are different pathways to achieve this, but all involve education and examinations.

  • Experience spectrum: MIAs come from various experience levels. Some might be fresh graduates who just obtained their qualifications, while others could be seasoned professionals with decades of experience.

Factors affecting experience of MIAs:

  • Years in practice: The most obvious factor is the number of years an MIA has worked in the accounting field.

  • Area of specialization: Some MIAs specialize in specific areas like auditing, taxation, or forensic accounting. These specializations often require additional training and experience.

  • Industry experience: MIAs can work in various industries, each with its own complexities. Experience in a specific industry like finance, manufacturing, or healthcare can bring specialized knowledge.

How to consider experience when choosing an MIA:

  • Ask about experience: Don't hesitate to inquire about an MIA's experience during consultations.

  • Look for relevant experience: If you have specific needs, like a complex tax audit, find an MIA with experience in that area.

  • Check the MIA directory: The MIA directory might list members' areas of expertise and experience.

In conclusion, while the MIA designation ensures a baseline qualification, experience is a crucial factor when choosing an accountant. Consider the specific needs of your situation and inquire about an MIA's experience to find the best fit for your requirements.

CA vs Bookkeeper

Chartered Accountant (CA)

  • Holds a professional qualification: CAs have earned a designation through rigorous exams and experience requirements. This signifies a high level of knowledge and expertise in accounting principles.

  • Wider range of services: CAs can perform a broader scope of accounting tasks, including auditing financial statements, providing tax advice, and offering financial consulting services.

  • Education: Typically requires a bachelor's degree in accounting or a related field, followed by professional training and exams.

  • Ethics and standards: Bound by a strict code of ethics and professional standards, ensuring adherence to best practices.


  • Focuses on day-to-day tasks: Bookkeepers handle the nuts and bolts of daily accounting, such as recording transactions, reconciling accounts, and preparing basic financial statements.

  • Qualifications: Formal qualifications may not always be required, but on-the-job training or an associate's degree in accounting is common.

  • Limited service scope: Bookkeepers generally don't provide auditing, tax, or consulting services.

In simpler terms, a bookkeeper is like a data entry specialist for financial information, while a chartered accountant is a financial advisor with a broader skillset for analyzing and interpreting that data.

Here's an analogy to understand the difference: Imagine a doctor and a nurse. The nurse handles taking vitals, recording measurements, and providing basic care. The doctor, on the other hand, diagnoses illnesses, prescribes medication, and performs complex procedures. Similarly, a bookkeeper handles the routine financial tasks, while a chartered accountant provides a more comprehensive analysis and strategic financial advice.