Comparative analysis of CA and ACCA course

Accounting is one every of the foremost famous and dynamic disciplines within the commerce field and being a commerce student, you need to be versed with the career options like CA and ACCA. 

What are CA and ACCA? 

CA stands for Chartered Accountancy, one of the distinguished and rewarding career options available for commerce students.

CA from ICAI is the only qualification that permits an individual to practice as an accountant in India, and with time, the demand for CA is rapidly increasing. 

The Association of Chartered Certified Accountants also refers as ACCA is a globally recognized chartered certified accounting qualification spreading over 104 offices and centers in 52 countries, one of the World's largest Accounting associations. 

Both CA, moreover as, has their benefits. CA is a far more prominent course in India and garners respect. So it's hard to narrow it right down to one, thanks to misconceptions because of many similarities and few differences. 

Now, let us pinpoint the similarities and differences of both the courses:- 

  • Course structure

    • The course structure of ACCA is almost just like CA as both the courses have 3 levels and the subjects are quite similar with some of the differences. 

    • The exams happen quarterly unlike, CA exams that take place yearly or after every 6 months.

  • Ease of doing the course 

    • CA is perceived as comparatively a harder course to try and do as a CA course generally includes a group system.

    • Whereas for ACCA, the course is very vast but, no group system makes it easy compared to the CA curriculum, also the scholars won't have the pressure to jot down a full group again as they didn't clear one subject. 

  • Time taken 

    • Becoming an Indian CA requires a minimum of 4.5-5 years. 

    • ACCA takes a minimum of 4-5 years both CA and ACCA features the internship process. 

  • Cost 

    • Being a UK qualification, ACCA can be a very costly affair because it costs around 3-4lakhs. 

    • However, CA is cheaper in terms of cost incurred because it costs around 1-2 lakhs maximum. 

  • Articleship / Practical Experience 

    • When it involves experience, ACCA accepts your work experience of 36 months in an exceedingly relevant role whether you twig through a chartered accountancy firm or from the industry. 

    • On the other hand, CA requires 36 months of relevant work experience but, you wish to achieve that only through the firms recognized by the CA authorities that provide them with plenty of exposure, different scenarios, and an opportunity to figure with clients of various backgrounds. 

  • Flexibility 

    • There is more flexibility in ACCA. You will be able to write 1 paper or 4 papers or any number of papers in between as long as the exams don't overlap and it's all up to you unlike CA, where you need to appear for groups.

  • Career Prospects

    • ICAI is the Statutory Institute of the land and has certain powers that the foreign parties cannot have. 

    • As we all know that ACCA is a globally recognized profession so, it talks about global scenarios, and CA is well versed about local scenarios, and thereby CAs win when operations are in India. 

    • Opportunities for ACCA would be limited to large corporates or MNCs unlike CA or other local courses, ACCA doesn't have many options. 

  • Earning Potential 

    • The average earning of someone with an ACCA degree in Indian currency is around 6-7 Lakhs and 7-8 Lakhs with a CA degree. It is going to vary with location and currency value.


  • Applicability in INDIA

    • ACCA is comparatively newer in India and, MNCs in metros would fathom it, whereas CA could be a well-known and revered profession in India. 

    • ACCA doesn't have signing authority for audit reports and, an identical situation is with tax. In ACCA, you'd study UK tax. So, if you want to be within your geographical boundaries and wish to practice in India, then CA would be the higher option for you. 

No doubt ACCAs are equally competent, but the scope is proscribed in India. When courses like CA in India exist, there is not much preference left for an ACCA. They do not have any domain of their own entirely and so would always remain second preference after Chartered Accountants. 

But let me tell you one thing. ACCA course is easily completed after finishing CA because you may get handsome exemptions within the ACCA course. 

  • If you're a qualified CA:- 

    • For a CA, there's a quick track option available for you. You're directly into the professional level as you are in no need to do the articleship and, you will be just 5 papers away from being an ACCA. 

  • If you've qualified CA Intermediate:- 

    • ACCA gives you exemptions in line with the papers you've got cleared in CA whether individually or in the group doesn't matter, that specific cleared paper would be exempted in ACCA. 

Both CA and ACCA have their value within the business field. While CA is an evergreen course, mostly preferred by students, ACCA has been recently introduced in India that can be a cherry on the top for you if you pursue it after CA to form yourself rise above the horizon!

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