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CA vs MBA Finance: What is the difference between CA and MBA Finance courses?

Abhinav Chamoli
Abhinav ChamoliUpdated On: July 14, 2022 11:06 am IST

Choosing between CA vs MBA in Finance courses is a confusing matter for many students in India as both courses share a similar ground in terms of syllabus and career options. In this article, we attempt to go in-depth in the differences between CA and MBA Finance courses to help you choose the better course.

CA vs MBA Finance

Chartered Accountancy (CA) and Master of Business Administration (MBA) are easily two of the most popular course choices of Commerce students in India. Both of these courses offer excellent career prospects and are included in the list of courses that have some of the most lucrative salary packages associated with them.

It may seem a bit odd to a student to compare CA, a course which can be taken up after class 12th, to MBA, which is a postgraduate degree. However, there are numerous reasons for doing so such as:

  • CA course can not only be taken up after Class 12th but also after graduation in India instead of postgraduation course.
  • CA and MBA Finance are very different courses in many ways but they have similarities in syllabus and areas of study.

  • Due to the similarities between CA and MBA Finance courses, they mostly attract students from a background in commerce or finance. This leads to many students being confused about which is the better course option for them.

In this article, we provide an in-depth comparison between CA and MBA Finance courses. Candidates who wish to take admission to any of these courses can go through the comparison of various course factors to make their decision.

CA vs MBA Finance: Overview

Here is a quick overview of the comparison between CA and MBA courses in India.

FactorCAMBA Finance
Full NameChartered AccountancyMaster of Business Administration in Finance
LevelUndergraduate / PostgraduatePostgraduate
StreamCommerceManagement
Eligibility

The eligibility criteria for admission to CA is given below:

  • Candidate must have completed Class 12th in any stream.
  • Candidate must register themselves with ICAI in order to complete their CA.
  • There is no requirement to enrol in any specific college or institution.
  • Candidate can also pursue CA after completing graduation. However, the admission process of CA after graduation is a little different and it requires less time to complete.
  • Graduates/postgraduates in the Commerce stream must have scored 55% aggregate marks while those from other streams must have scored 60%.

The eligibility criteria for admission to an MBA in Finance course is given below.

  • Candidate must have completed graduation from a recognized college or university
  • Candidates from any undergraduate stream of study can apply for MBA in Finance course.
  • Most of the colleges require candidates to have a minimum of 50% aggregate marks in their qualifying course. However, this requirement varies from college to college.
Duration4.5 (after Class 12)
3 years (after graduation)
18 months - 2 years
Organizer / CollegesInstitute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI)Top Colleges Offering MBA in India
Entrance ExamNot RequiredList of MBA Entrance Exams in India
Admission Process

The admission process of CA is as given below.

  • There no requirement to take admission to any college or institute for taking up CA.
  • Candidates just have to register with the ICAI for the CA Foundation Course at least 4 months before the scheduled date of the examination.
  • Candidates who have completed Class 12th are eligible to apply for the CA foundation course.
  • Candidates who are applying after graduation/postgraduation can directly register for the CA Intermediate course.

The general MBA admission process in India is as follows.

  1. Appear for an entrance exam such as CAT, CMAT, MAT etc.
  2. Once the exam score and rank have been released, apply for admission to the MBA colleges that have a cutoff lower than your score or rank.
  3. Many MBA colleges have a selection process involving GD / PI rounds for shortlisted candidates. Others may give admission on the merit of the qualifying entrance examination score or rank.
Course Fee
(approx.)
Rs. 60,000Rs. 6 lakhs
Levels

A CA course is divided into the following levels:

  1. CA Foundation
  2. CA Intermediate
  3. 3-year Articleship under a CA (Training Period)
  4. CA Final
MBA in Finance is usually divided into 4 semesters.
Syllabus

CA courses are very focused on the subjects and topics related to subjects and areas of study which involve managing the accounts and finances fo business. The subjects a CA student has to study during the course include:

  • Accounting
  • Mercantile Law
  • Economics
  • Business Law and Ethics
  • Auditing
  • Taxation and Tax Laws
  • Finance Reporting
  • Financial Account Management etc.

MBA is a management course that is mostly preferred by experienced working professionals. Therefore the MBA Finance syllabus involves the study of not only theoretical aspects related to finance and accounting but also management subjects.
The MBA in Finance syllabus includes the following:

  • Financial Planning
  • Financial Management
  • Risk Analysis
  • Money and Banking
  • Investment Analysis
  • Financial Modelling
  • International Finance
  • Portfolio Management
  • Fundraisings etc.
Career Options

The career options or job opportunities open to a Chartered Accountant are as follows:

  • Private Practice
  • Auditing and Consulting Firms
  • Accounts and Finance Departments of MNCs
  • Banking Firms
  • Corporate Law etc.

The following areas of work and job profiles are open for MBA in Finance graduates.

  • Banking and Finance Sector
  • Finance Consulting Firms
  • Financial Analyst
  • Corporate Finance Manager etc.
Average Starting SalaryRs. 5 - 8 LPARs. 6 - 12 LPA
(in top MBA Colleges)

The table provides a quick glance at some of the major factors associated with CA and MBA Finance courses. The differences between the two courses are further elaborated below. By understanding the difference between CA and MBA Finance courses, a candidate will be able to make a decision on which of the two courses he/she wants to pursue.

Also Read:Career in Actuarial Science vs Career in Chartered Accountancy

CA vs MBA Finance: How to Choose

We have gone through the differences between the major attributes of CA and MBA Finance. However, these may not always be the defining factors when a student wishes to take admission. Both of these courses have their very own pros and cons, which may lead a student to be confused about which of the two courses to go for. And we agree, the choice can not be very simple for every student.

However, when considering which course to choose between CA vs MBA Finance, you may find it easier to make a decision when considering the following factors.

Factors to ConsiderCAMBA in Finance
ExpensesCA is an inexpensive course on its own and it seems especially pocket-friendly when compared to an MBA course. A CA course in India has an incredibly higher RoI factor.MBA is an expensive degree in general and an MBA in Finance course can set you back anywhere from Rs. 3 - 10 lakhs in 2 years. It can by no means be considered to be affordable by everyone but does promise good returns.
ScopeThe carer options for a Chartered Accountant are excellent but the scope can be said to be a bit limited as compared to the MBA course.
Many of the CAs opt to work in a CA firm and later on start their own practice.
However, a number of public-sector vacancies are released specifically for CAs, which provides it with a certain advantage over the MBA course.
MBA in Finance, being a postgraduate degree in management has a very wide scope. Graduates can find jobs in some of the top private companies of their respective fields as well as in banking and accounting firms in India.
Educational QualificationCA can be pursued by a student who has just completed Class 12th, graduation or postgraduate. So, it can accept a wide range of candidates.
Plus, many students who pursue CA do so along while also pursuing a graduation course such as B.Com.
Some students even take up CA Intermediate while pursuing their MBA course. After they complete the MBA, they go for the articleship and CA Final.
MBA in Finance requires completion of the bachelor's degree. Some colleges may even prefer candidates who have completed graduation in a relevant stream. So, this does limit the candidates who can join an MBA course.
Plus, the effectiveness of an MBA course is enhanced if a candidate has some work experience.
Many students even decide to pursue MBA Finance after they have completed CA.
Being a high-investment course, pursuing an MBA should be a calculated decision for any student.
Difficulty LevelCA is difficult to complete. While anyone can join the course, the high difficulty level of exams coupled with the requirements to clear multiple exams in one go and a high passing percentage make CA a tough nut to crack.
Only 5 - 6% of the candidates who register for CA are able to complete the course.
MBA Finance can be considered to be an easy to moderate difficulty level course, especially when pitted against a course such as CA. Most of the students who pursue MBA Finance from Tier-1 or Tier-2 B-Schools in India are able to complete the course and find good job offers with average salaries starting around Rs. 5 LPA.
AccessibilitySince there is no requirement to join a college while completing CA, any student can prepare and clear the CA examinations right from their homes. This not only makes the course more accessible to a larger number of students but further adds to the monetary benefits offered by this course.An MBA in Finance is mostly offered through Regular mode. Colleges do offer MBA Finance through Distance Learning or Online modes but they are limited in number. Plus, in any case, a candidate has to take admission to a college to pursue this course.

Both, CA and MBA Finance are excellent courses on their own. Both are well-respected courses and are a pathway to high-paying jobs and exciting career options. When choosing between CA vs MBA Finance, you should carefully consider each of the factors and measure them against your career goals and skills.

If you have any queries, feel free to post a question on the CollegeDekho QnA Zone. For help with admissions, please fill our Common Application Form (CAF) or call 1800-572-9877 for FREE student counselling.

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