After graduation, accountancy graduates have many choices in terms of professional courses. And among those, many go for ACCA or CPA. The Association of Chartered Certified Accountants and Certified Public Accountant course both have their base in accounting, finance, and other similar subjects. But which course is best suited to take up after graduation? Let’s have a fair comparison, and you can be the judge at the end of it.


CPA certification is granted by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and is given to candidates who are entitled to auditing, management accounting, taxation, financial management, etc. ACCA is granted by the Royal Charter and the Association of Chartered Accountants. Candidates here are entitled to an accounting, taxation, auditing, and finance.


The maximum duration to complete CPA course is 1 year to 1.5 years, and for ACCA it is 2 to 3 years.


ACCA is present in more than 180 countries, giving the students a comparatively larger scope than CPA, which is present in just a few.


CPA requires 1-2 years of work experience with a licensed CPA and a graduation degree and 40 hours of continuing education degree. And the minimum criteria of experience to complete ACCA is 3 years.


The core work role of CPA is related to license the accounting service to the public. They also help firms, individuals and corporates to maintain and understand law and procedures related to them. CPA can also work as a Finance controller/manager/analyst, etc. The prime duty of an ACCA is to inspect, analyze, and check accounting procedures of public and private entities. They take care of the International Standards of Accounting.


ACCA has 3 levels to cover, Knowledge, Skills, and Professional, and you have to complete 13 papers to clear it. CPA has only 1 level to clear with 4 papers to cover. ACCA papers are 3 hours long and are conducted in March, June, September, and December. CPA exams, on the other hand, have a 14 hour sitting with exams in 10 months in a year.

So in comparison, we can see the different sides of the two courses. Everyone has a different choice to make, different skillset, different preference, so research well, and choose wisely. But is all fairness, both ACCA and CPA have immense scope for students, and will help them reach great heights. All the best!

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