ACCA vs CA – Which Accreditation should you choose?

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ACCA vs CA – Which Accreditation should you choose?

Introduction of ACCA and CA

Several professional qualifications are available for those who want to make accounting or finance their ultimate career. Getting suggestions to seek several credentials from many sources might be perplexing. In this context, ACCA and CA are often the most important certifications, which we shall explain in this blog. Both the ACCA and CA certification programs are highly-preferred after the 12th grade and offer promising career prospects and salaries. You should be well aware of the possible outcomes of ACCA vs CA, which will help you to evaluate which is better for your career.

Let’s first define what ACCA and CA mean before we thoroughly study which career choice is best for you.

What is ACCA?

The Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) is a global certification recognized in over 180 countries. It is administered by the official accounting body of the same name ACCA in the UK. More than 5,00,000 people worldwide are enrolled in ACCA courses. The major benefit of taking an ACCA course is that it emphasizes a deep understanding of accounting & finance professions while also providing students with a further understanding of UK GAAP, local laws, and IFRS. The 13 papers covered by the course provide students with a thorough understanding of the discipline of accounting and finance.

What is CA?

CA is an abbreviation for Chartered Accountancy, one of the most sought-after and profitable career paths among business students. They are regarded as experts in various fields ranging from accounting and auditing to finance, corporate law, taxation, etc. There is no age restriction to become a Chartered Accountant, and the ICAI (The Institute of Chartered Accountants of India) does not bar candidates from taking the test as many times as they choose.

Let’s quickly compare the ACCA vs CA details and the differences to choose the program that will be the best fit for you.

ACCA vs CA

Specifics ACCA CA
Course Duration The course will take two years to finish, plus 3 years of PER (Practical Experience Required). The tenure ranges from three to five years, based on the candidate’s abilities and 3 years of articleship in a CA Firm is mandatory.
Exam Structure ACCA has three levels, i.e., Applied KnowledgeApplied SkillsStrategi Professional Level. Three Levels: CA FoundationCA Intermediate CA Final
Eligibility Candidates passing the 10th standard can start the ACCA course. However, they must hold a bachelor’s degree in BBA, B.com, BMS, or a related field to get certified. Candidates must have a background in commerce and have completed the 12th grade.
Salary  The average ACCA salary is 8-9 LPA. The average CA income is between 6 and 8 LPA.
Designation Forensic
Accountant,
Auditor
Tax Specialist,
CFO
Accountant,
cost accountant, AccountingManager, Taxation Expert

ACCA vs CA – Which is Hard?

In terms of passing rate, curriculum, topics, and adaptability, the CA course is more difficult than the ACCA course. The CA Course has an extremely low passing rate, making it the most challenging course in the country. As a result, students must make many attempts to pass the tests. It also extends the length of the CA course.

This, however, does not make the ACCA course any simpler to crack and pass. To pass the tests, students must study diligently and extensively. One of the reasons why ACCA certification is slightly simpler to handle than CA is the flexibility in terms of examinations and papers. In CA, subjects are grouped together. So, If you fail a topic in that group, you will have to rewrite all subjects in that group again. In contrast, if you fail any exam of ACCA, you can repeat the exam as often as you’d want as long as you pass the relevant topic.

Given the number of years, papers, course levels, and diversity of both courses, it should be no surprise that the CA course is generally regarded as more difficult than ACCA. However, as this is an entirely subjective matter, the outcomes may vary from instance to case.

Let us now look at the distinctions between ACCA vs CA in terms of fee structure, salary packages, recruiting companies, and other factors.

Specifics ACCA  CA
Signing Authority Association of Chartered Certified Accountants(ACCA, UK) The Institute of Chartered Accountants of India
Salary Packages The average annual income is around eight lakhs; however, it can range from 4 to 15 lakhs based on the firm and experience. The average CA salary ranges between Rs. 6 and Rs. 8 lakhs per year.
Companies Hiring  MNCs that handle the work of foreign clients or businesses outside of India favor ACCA. Companies such as the Big 4 (EY, KPMG, PwC, Deloitte), Grant Thornton, and BDO. CAs are preferred by Indian companies because they are familiar with Indian laws and terminology.
Syllabus Except for taxation, the syllabuses of the CA and ACCA courses are nearly identical. Taxation in nations like the UK, Malaysia, Singapore, Hong Kong, etc., is covered by ACCA. The CA program will teach you about Indian taxes.
Internship / Articleship For ACCA, an articleship is not necessary. But the applicants must have three years of experience. Candidates must have completed two to three years of an articleship with a reputable CA.
Frequency of Attempts Every 3 Months Every 6 Months
Fees Rs. 2-3 lakhs per annum Rs. 1 lakhs per annum

Companies Hiring ACCA and CA

In the discussion of ACCA vs CA, one most important aspects would be the recruiting companies, job roles, and the salary associated with them. 

There are ACCA job prospects everywhere in the world. Most MNCs recognize the ACCA degree, particularly the Big4 firms of KPMG, E&Y, Deloitte, and PWC. Then there are KPOs that process data for customers in the United States and the United Kingdom. These firms prefer ACCAs due to their skill sets and knowledge of UK accounting and tax. Aside from that, the Middle East is well known for providing employment opportunities for ACCA students.

With the newly updated curriculum and introduction to technical training, the CA course is also gaining the ability to become familiar with the technology that powers every industry in a structured manner. Due to this, this profile is now even more significant. There are numerous CA firms in India that have branches both in India and abroad. Additionally, CAs are unquestionably employed in every company in India.

Salaries for ACCA and CA

You may still anticipate earning between INR 4 and 6 LPA if you are an ACCA Affiliate and a fresher. As you gain professional experience and demonstrate your skill at work, this is likely to increase. The starting remuneration of an ACCA Fresher will grow to INR 6 to 8 LPA if you begin employment as a new employee after joining the organization. The compensation that ACCAs receive is significantly higher globally. The typical pay for ACCA employees in the UK, where its headquarters are, is £30,700. 

The salaries received by ACCAs in other nations are as follows-

  • France: £23,100 – £31,400
  • Singapore: £24,000 – £30,000
  • Switzerland: £47,400 – £61,000
  • Australia: £32,400 – £40,500
  • Germany: £23,100 – £28,900
  • USA: USD 44 – USD 83

The skill level and experience determine a CA’s remuneration. A CA’s annual pay in India is projected to be INR 4-5 lakhs. It is a good starting compensation for new employees. However, the CA who excelled in the CA-Final Examination or has established a name for themselves may receive the highest starting pay for a CA. Chartered Accountants who are in practice are paid based on their capacity to bring in clients. He might make up to INR 45 lakhs a year if he can get large corporations as clientele. In India, practicing chartered accountants get average compensation of INR 20 lakhs. One might assume that the minimal CA income in India from his practice is INR 10 lakhs.

ACCA vs CA Duration with Exemptions

The ICAI does not grant any exemptions to CA students.

Many exemptions are provided by ACCA, including-

  • Graduation: 4 exemptions of 13 ACCA exams
  • CA qualified: 9 exemptions of 13 ACCA exams
  • IPCC passed + Graduate: 6 exemptions of 13 ACCA exams

Before exempting an applicant, the ACCA thoroughly examines their qualifications. It is advised to take the exams to brush up on your topic knowledge, even if you qualify for a particular exemption but haven’t studied the subject in question in a while.

Syllabus – ACCA vs CA

Most of the topics covered by CA and ACCA are similar, including:

  • Accounting (IFRS vs. Ind-AS)
  • Financial Management
  • Costing (called Performance Management in ACCA)
  • Audit & Assurance (International Standards vs. Indian Standards)

The fundamental distinction in the syllabus of ACCA vs CA is that CA focuses on Indian taxation, whilst ACCA focuses on taxation in nations such as the United Kingdom, Malaysia, Singapore, Hong Kong, and others. 

Exam Structure for ACCA and CA

  • The ACCA certification is categorized into three levels: Foundation, Fundamentals, and Professional. And CA is also divided into three levels, i.e., CA Foundation, Intermediate, and Final.
  • The ACCA module consists of 13 papers, whereas the CA curriculum consists of 18 tests.
  • Exams are given by ACCA every three months, most likely in March, June, September, and December. CA holds tests in June and December twice a year.
  • The British Council administers ACCA tests on behalf of the ACCA UK, which is computer-based. ICAI is the driving force behind CA exams, which are predominantly paper-based.
  • Becoming an ACCA member requires 3–4 years of study. To become a certified CA in India, you must complete the CA program in five years.
  • Students can choose which test to take first in the ACCA course. Additionally, students may select two of the four optional papers depending on their preferences. The test format for the CA course is very different. The group structure used for CA examinations requires candidates to pass every paper in the group in a single sitting.

After comparing all the pros and downsides of ACCA vs CA, let’s talk about why someone would think about doing ACCA after CA.

ACCA with CA

Passing the ICAI’s CA exam places you in one of the most recognized positions in India, but when it comes to worldwide recognition and chances, Chartered Accountancy has relatively restricted career options. The “Association of Chartered Certified Accountants,” or ACCA, is a global accounting organization headquartered in the UK. It is recognized in 179 countries and is valued on par with the local ICAI certification in India. If you are a CA looking for greater job options outside of India, you might consider ACCA a thorough qualification without wasting much time.

  • IPCC complete + Graduate: 6 exemptions of 13 exams in ACCA
  • Final CA: 9 exemptions of 13 exams in ACCA

It would make it very simple for students to complete ACCA in addition to CA. IPCC students can finish 7 ACCA tests while working on their articleship in 1 to 1.5 years. In addition to these exemptions, qualifying for an ACCA after CA has several other advantages, including-

  • Because ACCA is recognized in approximately 180 countries globally, you are qualified to work on various profiles in international corporations as an ACCA member.
  • When it comes to exemptions and job experience, ACCA is quite flexible. As a CA, you are exempted from nine ACCA papers, and the articleship you complete after completing IPCC Group 1 also contributes toward the ACCA’s Practical Experience Requirement.
  • The ACCA examinations are given four times a year. That allows you enough time to prepare how you see suitable, giving you a better chance of passing.

So, after this brief discussion of ACCA vs CA, you must be able to decide which course to choose as your career option.

FAQs

1. Is CA more difficult to comprehend than ACCA?

Yes, the latter is more difficult when comparing ACCA vs CA. When we consider the number of tests, passing requirements, years of effort, and course levels, we can claim that CA is a far more lengthy and challenging course than ACCA.

2. Who earns more, ACCA or a CA?

Chartered Accountants make an average annual compensation of approximately 6-7 lakhs. The average ACCA employee earned between 4 and 10 lakhs. If we compare the job prospects of ACCA vs CA, Indian companies choose CAs because they are familiar with Indian laws and terminologies connected to them. Companies outside of India or multinational corporations choose the ACCA to manage the business of international clientele.

3. Is ACCA the same as CA?

. In a way, CA and ACCA are similar. The course material is the only different thing. A CA degree, on the other hand, is not internationally recognized, but ACCA is authorized on a global scale. It is a key distinction to make. Indian law and other business rules also greatly affect the latter, which is another difference between “ACCA vs CA.”

4. What makes ACCA the best course in finance and accounting?

Since ACCA is based on worldwide accounting standards, it has become a recognized professional credential, putting an end to the argument between ACCA vs CA for those seeking employment abroad. Candidates with ACCA accreditation will have the opportunity to work with prestigious organizations and glean priceless skills and expertise from them.

Two of the best professional certifications for a candidate interested in a career in accounting and finance are ACCA and CA. This blog has discussed the ACCA vs CA and other essential issues. 

Regarding professional certification, two considerations come into the equation: where you want to work and how much money you want to make.

Candidates must pass the corresponding certification exams to obtain these excellent credentials. It is important to note that the certification examinations listed above will be difficult; consequently, candidates should enroll in top training courses at a renowned institute such as NorthStar Academy (NSA). They provide well-organized ACCA and CA courses as well as the most popular study materials. Get help from NSA’s finest mentors and pass these certification examinations easily. They also provide package discounts, making the course more affordable.

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