CA Two letters that mean a lot

By Anton Colella

5 September 2014

ANTON'S ACCOUNT: The importance of using your CA designation in everyday business life.

In all my meetings with members, it is clear how proud they are of being a Chartered Accountant. I regularly tell the story of visiting a graveyard in the west of Scotland and noticing a gravestone with a name followed by the designatory letters "CA".

I therefore find it somewhat surprising that it is becoming less and less common for members to use their designatory letters in business and indeed other communications. Other professions would appear to be more comfortable with putting their initials after their name.

As we celebrate our 160th year and continue to grow from strength to strength in establishing our professional community, I would like to encourage members to reconsider using their designatory letters.

The right to use these letters was not gained easily –members should be proud not just to have earned the right to do so – but to publicly display that pride. The use of such letters is a signal to the outside world of the qualities and integrity that one can expect from that individual.

Regardless of one's employer or whether one is self-employed, the message is the same.

Such a move would also give CAs greater visibility within their respective organisations, and highlight to others within the organisation who is in their peer group. This would be particularly helpful to younger members who had just joined the organisation. It may also serve as a precursor to the establishment of a "CA" community within that organisation.

We need to try to get away from the perception that the inclusion of the designatory letters is pretentious - it must be seen as the signal of an external standard which sets CAs apart and all CAs should seek to promote this, regardless of where they are located in the world.

CA is our badge, our Unique Selling Point (USP) – it has served us well for 160 years and is another successful export story. Let us once again be proud to let the world know that we belong to a body that has ethics at its heart. The eight founding members would be very proud if we did.


  • Development of the profession

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