A big debate in every student’s head before going for a professional course is to choose between CA and ACCA. Where both are equally beneficial and have their own benefits and advantages in the industry, one can always choose based on what their aim is. Both courses have their own pros and cons.

So, let’s have a quick comparison between the two courses, the Chartered Accountant (CA) and the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA).

Comparison between CA and ACCA


While the CA course is restricted to Indian organizations and within the Indian law, the ACCA has its recognition worldwide in more than 180 countries. The ACCA teaches you the accounting standards and principles that are accepted globally.

Core Subjects and Focus:

The CA course focuses on Accounting, Taxation, Auditing, Finance, Company Law, etc. while the ACCA focuses mainly on Accounting and Finance.

Work Experience:

The CA course has a mandatory articleship requirement of 3 years, whereas the ACCA has a requirement of 3 years of work experience. The difference lies that when a CA does an articleship, it attracts a bare minimum stipend and the work done cannot be considered as experience in their resume. Still, in the case of ACCA, the work is seen as proper work experience, with a proper salary, and exposure to the industry before even completing the course.

Course Duration:

Including the articleship and other things, the course is extended to a duration of 5 to 6 years, whereas the ACCA might take a maximum of 4 years to complete.


Indian companies require the services of a CA as they are well versed with the Indian financial laws and the company compliances. Companies and organizations all over the globe, including Indian companies with overseas clients, require the services of an ACCA. However, both 


CA just requires a minimum requirement of passing matriculation, while ACCA requires 3 years of work experience with graduation or complete 3 stages of any other equivalent degree.

So, all in all, both CA and ACCA are different courses with different aims and specializations. The only key difference that stands out is that the reach of ACCA is global with a lot of opportunities in more than 180 countries! So do your research and go for what is the best in the industry.

Is ACCA better than CA?

ACCA is a modern accounting qualification that adapts to global trends. Both CA and ACCA are rewarding career options in the field of commerce. CA can be considered as a premier commerce qualification in India whereas ACCA is globally recognized in over 180 countries. The time taken to finish ACCA is lesser when compared to CA. You can get the certification as soon as you complete those 13 papers. However, in CA, you would have to work for 3 years before you could appear for your finals. 

The passing rate of CA is woefully low when compared to ACCA and the job prospects for ACCA in MNCs in India and overseas are also better than CA. If you would like to complete your qualification early, gain experience in the field of finance work overseas, you should opt for ACCA. ACCA allows you to sit one paper at a time and therefore you can focus 100% on getting that one paper cleared. The exams are done quarterly so, if you miss or don’t clear in your first attempt, you could appear again for that exam in a matter of 3 months. Hence for these 2 reasons we see the rate of clearing ACCA is as high as 50%. 

Moving to opportunities and salaries, the ACCA professionals are making the same salaries if not more when compared to CA qualified along with the option of entering whatever field of interest they may have in Finance and Accounts. Therefore, they don’t have to work in audits for 3 years. So, the entire course is very flexible, and we are seeing a big uptick in interest from students as well as an industry towards the qualification.

 If you’re solely aiming to become a professional accountant, CA would be your choice. But if you want to consider other professions like Finance director, Investment manager, etc, you should consider ACCA which addresses most of the business functions related to accounting, finance, business management, etc. ACCA has a greater scope if you want to work abroad.

Advantages of ACCA Over CA:

  1. Globally Recognised: ACCA is a globally recognized qualification which allows you to work and practice in 100+ countries.
  2. International Laws and IFRS: The additional knowledge of UK GAAP, Laws and IFRS helps considerably when it comes to dealing with foreign clients and MNCs.
  3. Flexibility: The course is flexible and adaptive ; one can attempt a single paper at a time. Whereas in CA, one has to attempt minimum one group at a time comprises of 4 papers.
  4. Duration of the Course: The duration is comparatively lesser than other similar courses. Out of 14 papers, one can attempt max 8 papers in a year and in this way the course could be completed in 2 years.
  5. Exemption of Papers: ACCA recognized the skills you have already attained. Hence you will get exemption of some papers after completing B.com, M.com, CA Inter or CA Final. After completing CA Final, one has to attempt only 4 papers to get the ACCA degree.
  6. Easier compared to CA: ACCA has a higher passing percentage, the average result can be seen as 40% -50% Internationally.
  7. Articleship / Work Experience: Past Experience is counted! You can even work as you study for and pass the examinations.

 In conclusion, ACCAs are amongst the most sought-after professionals across the globe because of their technical skills, strategic thinking, and professional values. There has always been and there will always be an increase in demand for ACCA professionals. In the International job market, more than 7000 employees worldwide, including 90% of Fortune 500 companies, employ ACCA qualified individuals.

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