A chartered accountant is a qualified member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales, the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Scotland, or the Institute of Chartered Accountants in Ireland; these were the original bodies to be granted royal charters.
Other bodies of accountants also now have charters such as:
- The Chartered Association of Certified Accountants,
- The Chartered Institute of Management Accountants, and
- The Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy (however, their members are not known as chartered accountants).
Today, the majority of chartered accountant firms are engaged in public practice concerned with auditing, taxation, and other financial advice; however, many trained chartered accountants fulfill management roles in industry (A Dictionary of Business, 1996, p. 97).