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ACCA Vs. CA: Is it better to pursue ACCA or CA?

acca vs ca

ACCA vs CA: Which is the Better Choice?

The Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) and the Chartered Accountancy (CA) certification in India are two prominent pathways for individuals aspiring to excel in the fields of accounting and finance. Both have their merits, but the choice between ACCA and CA largely depends on your career goals and the region you plan to work in.

ACCA, known as the global body for Accounting and Finance Professionals, offers a comprehensive qualification that is rapidly gaining recognition worldwide. It provides a business-relevant curriculum designed for ambitious individuals seeking rewarding careers in accounting, finance, and management. The ACCA qualification is relatively new in India, and many students are curious about its career prospects in the country.

In India, CA (Chartered Accountancy) remains a prestigious and widely recognized qualification, but it is renowned for its rigorous examination process. Attaining a CA designation is considered essential if you aim to work in Indian firms, start your own business, or become a partner in a CA firm. This is because Indian CAs possess in-depth knowledge of local tax regulations, laws, the Indian economy, and related policies.

On the other hand, if you have aspirations to work internationally, ACCA becomes a vital qualification. ACCA offers job opportunities in countries like Australia, the UK, Singapore, Dubai, and beyond. It equips you with the expertise required to thrive in the global financial arena.

For those seeking expert guidance on how ACCA can open doors to international job opportunities, organizations like Finplan ACCA Institute can provide valuable insights. Additionally, if you desire a comprehensive understanding of the finance domain, ACCA can be a significant asset on your career journey.

Comparison between CA and ACCA

Signing authorityIn IndiaOverseas
Salary packages₹5 – 8 lacs p.a.₹5 – 8 lacs p.a.
Companies hiringAll companiesBig 4, MNCs
SyllabusMajorly Overlapping
Internship / Articleship Duration3 years
Exam patternGroup systemOne paper at a time
Frequency of attempts6 monthly3 monthly
Duration5 years2.5 years
Fees2.5 lacs3.5 lacs

ACCA vs CA: Which is tough and better to pursue?

If you consider the number of papers and the time required to prepare for the exam, CA seems to be tough, but that doesn’t mean ACCA is easy and easy to do. Just based on pass percentage, ACCA has a better pass rate than CA. However, ACCA is recognized in 180 countries, giving you wider and better career prospects and helping you gain global job opportunities.

For those seeking CA Classes, a common question arises: ACCA vs CA – which one is more advantageous and challenging? A comparison of the ACCA and CA Curriculums reveals distinct differences. The most significant contrast lies in CA being a local qualification, whereas ACCA is recognized worldwide. Here are key distinctions between the two:

Meaning and Recognition:

    • CA stands for Chartered Accountancy and is recognized locally.
    • ACCA stands for Association of Chartered Certified Accountants and holds global recognition.


  • Both ACCA and CA programs encompass a broad spectrum of accounting and finance subjects.
  • Variation exists in the subjects covered and their sequence within the curricula of ACCA and CA.
  • CA studies emphasize tax law and regulatory adherence.
  • ACCA studies place a stronger emphasis on financial management and strategic aspects.

Requirements for Chartered Accountant (CA) Eligibility:

  1. Attainment of a minimum percentage in Class 10:
    • A score of at least 60 percent in the subject of mathematics.
    • An achievement of 65 percent or higher in the subject of English.
  2. Fulfillment of Class 12 percentage criteria:
    • A minimum of 65 percent in both English and Accounts.
  3. Absence of mandatory work experience:

Requirements for ACCA Qualification:

To be eligible for the ACCA (Association of Chartered Certified Accountants) qualification, you need either a senior secondary level education with a focus on Mathematics or an undergraduate degree in Commerce. Additionally, some work experience is also required.

The ACCA curriculum is structured into two levels: Fundamentals and Professionals. Within these levels, there are a total of 20 papers that an ACCA aspirant needs to attend.

Comparatively, the CA (Chartered Accountant) qualification consists of three levels: Foundation, Intermediate, and Final. The CA curriculum includes a total of 14 papers.

In terms of flexibility, the ACCA course offers more versatility than the CA course. While CA students are typically required to attempt a minimum of one group of papers at a time, ACCA students can take a more adaptable approach, attempting individual papers with each exam attempt.

Signing Authority

Chartered Accountants (CAs) have signatory authority in India, with ICAI as the only signatory authority. ACCA has signature authority in many countries, like the UK, Dubai, etc.

Organizations Hiring and Average Salary for ACCA and CA in India

In companies that employ both qualifications, both receive the same salary packages. As freshers, qualified persons earn between 6 and 8 lacs per year.

While CAs are hired in all companies across India, ACCAs are hired more in MNCs like Big 4 (KPMG, PwC, Deloitte, EY), Grant Thornton, BDO, etc., and also in companies like Standard Chartered, JP Morgan, BNP Paribas, Maersk, ICICI Securities, Abans, etc.

ACCAs are hired in profiles like Accounting Advisory dealing with IFRS, Risk Advisory, Internal Audit, Statutory Audit, Forensic Audit, Mergers & Acquisitions, Valuation, etc.


Most CA vs ACCA course subjects overlap, such as:

Accounting (IFRS vs Ind-AS)

Financial management

Costing (called Performance Management in ACCA)

Audit and Assurance (International Standards vs. Indian Standards)

The key difference between ACCA and CA is the subject of taxation, CA covers Indian taxation, and ACCA covers the taxation of countries like the UK, Malaysia, Singapore, Hong Kong, etc. We always advise our students to opt for UK taxation as it is the closest to Indian taxation.

Exams Structure

CA vs ACCA course differences exists in the structure of the exam.

  1. Group system

ICAI insists that we appear for the CA Foundation, IPCC, and Final CA group level exams. Most of these exams are divided into group 1 and group 2, each containing 4 exams. ACCA does not enforce any such mandate.  At a time, students can appear for up to 4 exams depending on their choice.

  1. Aggregate system

The reason CA’s pass rate is so low compared to ACCA (40% worldwide) is because of the aggregate system. If a student fails in any CA exam by even one mark, the entire batch is considered to have failed. The student must reappear for the whole group. This makes it extremely difficult for CAs to meet the qualifications.

ACCA has no such rule. If a student appears for 3 exams and fails 1, he/she is considered to have passed the other 2. He/she can re-apply for the 1 failed with the next 2 papers. This enables students to pass these tests far more quickly.

Frequency of attempts

CA exams are held twice a year, in May and November.

ACCA exams are held quarterly in March, June, September, and December.

Internship / Articleship Duration

CA’s must finish their articleship within three years of passing IPCC Group 1 and before taking their final CA exam. For the majority of their articleship, they must work in a Chartered Accountant’s firm.

ACCAs can start their 3-year work experience before, during, or after their exams. The start and end dates are left to the discretion of the students. ACCA students are also not required to work in a CA firm, although we always advise students to do so. Additionally, we suggest that the student preferably works under a Chartered Accountant or an Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (it’s not mandatory). We encourage students to start working at the end of their skill level, but this is completely optional.

After 36 months of practice, students must complete their Performance Objectives and Ethics module to achieve a holistic experience under ACCA rules.

ACCA vs CA: Duration

On average, CA students take 6-8 years to complete their qualifications. For students who pass the exam on the first attempt, it takes 5 years including articleship.

ACCA students take an average of 2-3 years to complete the qualification. Students taking the exams together with 3 years of work experience will complete the ACCA in 3-4 years.


There are no exemptions offered by ICAI to CA students.

ACCA provides many exemptions, such as:

Graduation: 4 exemptions of 13 exams

IPCC passed + Graduate: 6 exemptions of 13 exams

CA qualified: 9 exemptions of 13 exams

Using the ACCA exemptions calculator, you may determine the exemptions you would be eligible for based on your academic background.


CA would cost ₹ 2 to 2.5 lac during the course. ACCA would cost ₹ 3.5 to 4.5 lac depending on the GBP rate and the exemptions you would be eligible for.

ACCA vs CA: Which is better?

ACCA and CA are both prestigious professional qualifications in the field of finance and accounting, each offering unique advantages for your career. The choice between them depends on your career goals, location, and international aspirations.

CA is a strong fit for individuals looking to establish their careers in India. It provides a comprehensive understanding of India’s accounting systems and regulations, making it highly relevant for the Indian market.

On the other hand, ACCA is a globally recognized qualification, making it an excellent choice for those with ambitions to work and settle abroad. Its international recognition opens doors to career opportunities in various countries, as it equips you with a broader perspective on accounting and finance practices worldwide.


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