ACCA and CA
Chartered Accountancy can easily be said to be the most renowned professional course for students with a commerce background. It is undoubtedly the first choice for most of the B. Com graduates. The difficulty of the course with a very low success rate is the major reason for its popularity and the employability of professionals with this degree. The only institution offering the CA course is the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India, which also regulates the profession as an industry. Job opportunities are always abundant for CAs. Each and every company mandatorily needs auditing and employability of CAs can never be dispensed with.
ACCA is considered to be one of the most prominent and well-known international accountancy organizations, globally. The institute provides postgraduate diploma courses in various financial and commercial fields like banking, management, taxation, investment, etc. In addition to that, there are specific certificate courses on subjects like Actuarial Science, Bank Management and so on. These courses prove to be a cherry on your cake and make your resume stand out against your competitors by giving you an edge in knowledge and specificity.
ACCA vs. CA
Though both of these courses have their own advantages and disadvantages, there are certain factors that may be taken into consideration while choosing any one of these courses. We have tried to draw a comprehensive comparison between the two taking into consideration some basic factors.
Eligibility – Both of these courses have different eligibility criteria. To be eligible for the CA course, the only eligibility criteria that needs to be fulfilled is that the candidate must have passed the 12th standard exam. The minimum age of the candidate for ACCA is 16 years. But the case is different in ACCA degrees. The ACCA does not accept students directly after bachelors' degree but the eligibility criterion requires an experience of at least three years of work. Without this experience, the applicant is not eligible to apply.
Difficulty- It can be conveniently said the ACCA degrees are one of the toughest attainable degrees in the world. It does not mean that CA is a very easy degree. In India, CA is considered to be one of the most difficult exams with a very low success rate. If looked upon from a different perspective, CA is tougher than ACCA because of the competition involved and the number of applicants who participate. The CA degree examination is highly systematized and it is very tough to crack. If the question boils down directly to which of these is more difficult, then the answer would be CA.
Technical Aspects – Both the degrees fall under the same category broadly, but there are some technical differences between them both. The CA degree is conferred upon people who specialize mainly in financial accounting, catering to all the areas of finance. ACCA, on the other hand, issues degrees relating to specific fields of finance and management. Unlike CA, which is a kind of umbrella degree, ACCA degrees are very specific and narrowed down for the purposes of specialization.
Nature of Work – As both the degrees are given in the field of commerce and finance, the field of work for both is broadly the same, i.e. finance. CAs work across various fields of finance and accounting mainly in private or government sector. They can also form their own entities under whose name they can carry on their profession. ACCA professionals, on the other hand, have the primary work of inspection of taxing and accounting for private and public entities. The ACCA courses are very specific and cater to the needs of the market with specificity. ACCA professionals can work in particular fields of finance like Finance Controlling, Financial Analysis, Risk Management, and so on.
Duration – The time period for completing a CA degree varies from three to five years, depending upon the capability of the candidate. Due to the low success rate in the CA course, many candidates are not able to clear it in the first attempt and this increases the time duration of the course. On the other hand, it takes two to three years typically to earn ACCA degrees. The ACCA degrees require less time as compared to CA and also make the candidate market ready and employable.
Employability – Both the degrees are professional ones and both of them make the candidate employable. There is not much difference between the two courses when it comes to employability. Both these courses target the market demand and generate professionals who can cater to the same. The only difference between these two is that while the CA is a broader degree which has greater versatility, the ACCA degrees are very specific and train the candidate with specialization in certain fields.
International Recognition – When it comes to being internationally recognized, ACCA degrees are the clear winners. The Indian CA degree is not globally recognized. It is not a global degree. Indian Chartered Accountants will not be able to work abroad without any foreign accountancy degree. A certified ACCA professional generally deals with international accounting standards. The ACCA degree opens the doors for professionals to step into the foreign business which is not possible merely with a CA degree.
Career Prospects – Both the degrees have enormous career growth prospects. If you want to shape your career in India, then a CA degree may provide you with greater opportunities. But if you want to settle in foreign countries like the USA, the ACCA is the key. Also, ACCA degrees have worldwide recognition. But the lack of worldwide recognition does not pose a very significant disadvantage for CA degree holders. The national business of India and the presence of MNCs and foreign player have created enough demand for CAs such that, in spite of no global recognition, CA degree holders are considered as highly employable candidates.
These were some of the factors that may help you decide which of the two is best suited for you. No degree is good or bad. The only question is what suits you best and how to choose them.
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