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If you have chosen the path to practice finance, auditing and accounting as a professional then you are bound to come across the terms ACCA and CA. Where one is globally recognised the other one is immensely popular in India. On their journey to becoming a CA (Chartered Accountant), young aspirants often face an impediment of choosing between ACCA and ICAI. If you are one of those candidates then this article is for you.
Let us find out which of CA and ACCA is better for you and why. But before that, you must have a clear understanding of the two programmes. For that, refer to the following links.
Table of Contents
Here are the basic differences between ACCA and CA course that you must be aware of before making a final selection.
Association of Certified Chartered Accountant
Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA)
Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI)
The course focuses on Taxation, Auditing, Accounts Handling, Management Accounting, etc.
This programme mainly focuses on Finance and Financial Accounting.
Candidates are required to complete the course within three years with two to three more years of training.
Depending upon the difficulty level of the programme and candidates’ eligibility, this programme can be completed in three to five years with an additional year of training.
Total of 14 Papers
Total of 20 Papers
Globally Recognised (180 countries)
Recognised in India
INR 2 Lakh to INR 3 Lakh
Less Than INR 1 Lakh
ACCA is supposed to be much more flexible than the CA course as students are allowed to attempt a single paper in each attempt.
The CA programme is not flexible and students are required to attempt a minimum of one group at a time.
An ACCA does not have the authority to sign the audit report in India.
CA Vs ACCA - Which is Tougher?
Considering the duration, the number of papers, course levels and flexibility of both the courses, it is of no surprise that the CA course is usually considered to be tougher than ACCA. But, this is completely a subjective topic and the results may vary in your case.
According to the data collected through a survey in 2018, the passing percentage of ACCA was over four times than that of CA. 40 per cent of the total students managed to pass ACCA, whereas only 9.09 per cent could pass CA. Due to this humongous difference in the percentage, CA is generally considered to be harder to pass than ACCA.
One of the reasons why ACCA is slightly easier to tackle than CA is its flexibility in terms of exams and articleship. In CA, subjects are grouped together. So, if you fail to pass a subject in that group, you will have to rewrite all the subjects in that group again. In ACCA, on the other hand, this is not the case. If you fail an exam, you will have to rewrite that particular subject only. Students are also free to attempt exams in ACCA as per their convenience.
ACCA Vs CA - Which is Better for a Career?
Both the courses have their own characteristics which make them one of the most preferred professional courses in the field of finance and accounting. However, when it comes to career opportunities in India Vs abroad, both the courses can be placed at different levels. Now let’s find out which of ACCA and CA is better for a career in India and which is better for a career abroad.
ACCA Vs CA - Which is Better for a Career in India?
CA is one of the high yielding and most recognised courses in India. Students through CA are taught and specialised in the tax and financial systems of India. Because of this, employers or companies in India usually look for CA candidates rather than ACCA. In simple words, a CA certificate holder has a larger share of employment in the market than an ACCA certificate holder. Another reason behind this is the signing authority. ACCA.s in India are not authorised to sign the audit report but a practising CA is authorised to do so.
However, many multinational companies have started to settle abroad to cater to their clients. These international corporations settled in India look for an ACCA rather than a CA. This makes ACCA certificate holders easy to grab jobs at companies like JP, PwC, KPMG, etc.
CA Vs ACCA - Which is Better for a Career Abroad?
ACCA is a globally recognised course and is accepted in 180 countries around the world. One who holds an ACCA certificate can work in companies abroad. An ACCA certificate holder has the knowledge of the CA course along with additional knowledge of UK Laws, FAAP and IFRS. So, if you are interested in making a career abroad, ACCA would be a better option for you.
CA Vs ACCA - Which Has More Advantages?
Considering all aspects of these courses mentioned above, here we have drawn a conclusion for which course is more advantageous.
Flexibility with Aritcleship: In this category, the ACCA programme wins. One of the many advantages of ACCA over CA is that you are allowed to pursue your articleship while writing exams. In that way, you can finish your course in 3 - 4 years. But in the case of the CA course, you can only begin to pursue your compulsory articleship after clearing the second level of CA - IPCC.
Initial Salary: Since the CA programme focuses on the Indian tax and financial system, companies here usually look for a CA more than for an ACCA. So, the initial salary offered to Chartered Accountants is usually higher than that of ACCA. The average initial salary of a CA in India is up to INR 8 LPA or above and for an ACCA, it is up to INR 5.7 LPA.
Duration: Again, if you are interested in completing the course in a short duration of time and get employed, ACCA is the course for you. The minimum time required to complete CA is about 4.5 to 5 years. ACCA, on the other hand, can be completed in three years along with the articleship, only if you manage to strike a balance between writing exams and articleship.
Recognition: As we have mentioned earlier, ACCA is a globally-recognised programme. Which means that candidates who have completed the course are eligible to apply in 180 different countries. CA, on the other hand, has a monopoly in India as it specialises in Indian systems. So depending on where you want to work, you can choose one of these two courses.
Course Expenses: Since ACCA is offered by the UK, it is a bit more expensive in comparison to the CA programme. CA costs around less than or equal to INR 1 lakh, whereas ACCA costs between INR 2 lakhs and INR 3 lakhs. So you can choose a course as per your budget.
Level of Difficulty: Whether you find a course tough or not is completely a subjective question. The answer to this question varies for different people. But according to the data collected through surveys, CA course is considered to be harder to pass than the ACCA programme. Now the case may be different for you. So, you must go through the topics taught in each of the courses before making a decision.
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Hope these differences drawn above help you finalise a course to embark upon your journey to becoming a professional in the field of your dream. If you have any questions or queries regarding the same, feel free to reach out to us through CollegeDekho QnA Zone. for admission related help or assistance in the CA or ACCA course at top colleges in India, please fill our CAF (Common Application Form) and avail expert guidance until the enrollment. You can also call us on our toll-free number - 1800-572-9877.