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Career Advice: Is doing the ACCA over a CA a better option?

Hey there! So good to have you back again. This blog is mainly for those who are confused regarding which career path to choose, ACCA or CA? It is also for those who wish to take a detour from CA and switch to ACCA instead. Let us first understand what ACCA is, what is the ACCA course structure and fees in India, ACCA course eligibility, and the most frequently asked question, is pursuing an ACCA course over CA a better option. Let us quickly find out and understand everything about the ACCA course.

ACCA stands for Association of Chartered Certified Accountants, and it is the largest and fastest-growing international accountancy body. It is one such qualification that opens multiple pathways. With this credential comes various other credentials as well, such as a BSc degree in Applied Accounting, MSc in Professional Accountancy from the University of London, along with other certificates offered by the ACCA body, which are of immense value. After completing each level, ACCA awards students and professionals with certificates like Diploma in Accounting and Business, Advanced Diploma in Accounting and Business, and Professional level certification. Let us now have a look at what each level is all about.

The very first level is known as the Knowledge level, which provides a very strong base for all the candidates. Students having a non-commerce background need to start from this level. This level consists of only three papers which are Business and Technology, Management Accounting, and Financial Accounting. Once this level is completed successfully, students are eligible for the Diploma in Accounting and Business certification. The best part about this level is that students can book their slot for examination at any given point in time. This level is demand-based, and the examination pattern consists of only multiple-choice questions.

After completing the Knowledge level, one can move onto the second level, which is the Skills level. The Skills level consists of a total of six papers which are Corporate and Business Law, Performance Management, Taxation, Financial Reporting, Audit and Assurance, and lastly, Financial Management. From this level onwards the examinations take place every quarter. The exams can be given in March, June, September, and December. One thing to be kept in mind here is that candidates here can also opt for one paper in each quarter and can only write a maximum of eight papers in a year. Here the examination pattern is half MCQ and half case studies. Once this level is completed successfully, candidates will be eligible to opt for the Advanced Diploma in Accounting and Business certification. Another point to be noted here is that the Ethics module also must be completed before stepping onto the final and the last module, which is the Professional level.

The last level is known as the Professional level. The Professional level consists of two compulsory papers, which must be opted by all and consists of topics like Strategic Business Leader and the Strategic Business Reporting. Apart from this, there are four optional papers which are Advanced Financial Management, Advanced Performance Management, Advanced Taxation, and Advanced Audit and Assurance, and candidates must attempt any two papers. It would be a written examination and would include complete case studies. Once all the four papers are completed, then candidates would be eligible for the Professional level certificate.

What are the Benefits of doing the ACCA course? What is the Work Experience required for getting job with ACCA Qualification?

Along with this, the major benefit the ACCA candidates have over CA candidates are as follows:

1) Candidates pursuing the ACCA course can give exams in any order. For e.g., F7 (Financial Reporting) can be given before F5 (Performance Management) and vice versa. CA candidates don’t have this flexibility. CA candidates don’t have this option of grouping, and hence clearing and passing with flying colours is much easier when it comes to ACCA.

2) Three years of relevant work experience is also required in CA which is known as articleship. But in ACCA it can be done along with Skills level or even after completing the Professional level. ACCA provides a total time of seven years. In these seven years, candidates are expected to complete the entire course and obtain relevant work experience.

3) The biggest advantage of having the ACCA credential is that the ACCA qualification is recognized globally and is valid in India and more than 180 countries. Whereas CA is only considered as the highest qualification in India. If you wish to be a part of the elite club, then pursuing an ACCA course is the best choice.

4) Why ACCAis preferred is mainly because of the pass rates. One never knows how much time it would take to complete CA, given the amount of competition. In fact, in ACCA the demand is way more than the supply. The global pass rate for the ACCA courseis 50%, which is much higher compared to CA.

5) ACCA also awards candidates with certain exemptions based on previous qualifications. For e.g., if a student has completed B.Com, they would be eligible for four papers exemption which are from F1-F4. The maximum number of exemptions are also awarded to CA’s. CA’s having a B.Com degree can be awarded nine papers exemption, right from F1-F9.

Is an ACCA over CA enough to get a good job abroad?

To summarize, both the qualification CA and ACCA have their pro and cons. It is up to you to decide which one would be more suitable for you, depending on your career goals. To know more, you can contact our counsellors who would be more than happy to guide you take the right decision. All the best and happy learning.