Confuse between ACCA and CA? Can’t decide which is better for your future career? Well, we may not be able to provide a definite solution to this problem but this short guide can help you in deciding which one will be the better option for you. If you want to pursue your education in the field of finance, auditing and accountancy then you are bound to come across the terms ACCA and CA. To decide between the two, you first have to clearly understand what the two courses are about.
Chartered Accountancy (CA) is a national certification that is renowned all over the world and every country has different but not significantly criteria for professionals to meet to pursue CA Qualification. It is one of the most sought-after and rewarding career options among commerce students. The profession involves the management of finances for an organization which includes financial reporting, audit, taxation, and financial and general management.
ACCA stands for Association of Chartered Certified Accountants, it is the leading international accounting body of successful professionals in the finance and accounting fields with the same set of criteria all around the world. It is a globally recognized qualification and the world’s largest accounting association which was established in 1904, in London. ACCA qualified professionals have training and skills in auditing, financial accounting, governance, consulting and planning, and management accounting.
Major Differences Between ACCA And CA
|Course Focus||Taxation, Auditing, Account Handling, Management Accounting, etc.||Mainly focuses on Finance and Financial Accounting|
|Eligibility|| To apply for the ACCA certificate, you need to fulfil at least one eligibility criteria mentioned below:
These should comprise five different subjects including English and Mathematics
| The eligibility criteria for CA are:
|Papers|| The ACCA consist of 13 exams:
|| The CA consist of 21 exams:
|Articleship||3 years||3.5 years|
|Flexibility||ACCA tends to be much more flexible than CA as students have a choice when it comes to how many papers they want to attempt in each attempt||The CA programme is not flexible, and students must attempt at least one group at a time.|
|Signing Authority||No, an ACCA in Pakistan can’t sign Audit Reports or even attest to any accounts of a company or the organisation.||CAs do enjoy this privilege in Pakistan. Only CAs can sign the Audit Reports of Ltd Companies.|
Which is Tougher ACCA or CA?
Comparatively, CA is considered to be harder than ACCA. If we look at the number of exams, course levels and flexibility of both ACCA and CA, it comes as no surprise that people find CA more hard. But in your case the result may vary, in the end, it depends on the person that is studying. In CA Finals, the average passing rate in a single paper in a single attempt ranges from 5% to 25%. And in the ACCA exam outcomes range from 30% to 50% in a single attempt. So, seeing all this it will not be wrong to say that a CA student needs to work really hard to complete the courses.
ACCA vs CA – Which is Better for a Career?
Both courses have characteristics that make them better in their own ways. However, when it comes to choosing a career for yourself in this field, you have to consider all aspects of these courses that were mentioned above.
Article ship Flexibility
In this category, ACCA comes up as a winner, as practical experience is mandatory in both courses. You can start your practice while pursuing ACCA right away as you learn the basic accounting techniques, the practice period for CA starts after completing a certain set of papers.
The initial salary of an ACCA qualified is PKR 40,000 and with experience of 3 to 4 years, ACCA can earn up to PKR 120,000 per month in Pakistan. And a Chartered Accountant typically earns around 71 PKR and with experience, they can earn up to 100,000 to 300,000 in a month. As CA is a national qualification and there are over 8000 CAs, the packages for CA are better in Pakistan.
Well, if you want to complete the course in a short time while also being employed, then ACCA is a better option for you. It takes about 5 to 6 years to complete CA and articleship. ACCA, on the other hand, can take a minimum of 3 years along with the articleship. This can happen only when you manage to balance between your job and studies.
As we have mentioned before, ACCA is recognized around the world, which means that candidates have the advantage of working in the 180 countries it is recognized in. While CA is a national-level qualification. Therefore, depending on where you want to work, you can choose between these two.
As ACCA is offered by the UK, it is more costly in comparison to the CA qualification. The total cost of CA qualification is between 500,000 to 550,000 PKR and ACCA could cost you 800,000 to 850,000 PKR (examination+tuition).
Whether you find the course hard or not, it truly depends on you. However, according to different surveys, the CA qualification is considered to be more difficult to get than the ACCA qualification. So what we would suggest is to look into the topic of both of the courses before committing to a course. Moreover, think about your future plans as well, do you want to live in Pakistan or if you want to move abroad. This way, you will be able to choose the better option for yourself.