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

acca vs ca

ACCA represents the Association of Certified Chartered Accountants. Those enrolled in the program are mainly responsible for navigating corporate regulations, policy implementation, and ensuring compliance with auditing and taxation requirements within companies. In India, the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India awards the CA degree. Chartered Accountants (CAs) collaborate both with government bodies and private enterprises, often holding the rank of Gazette Officers. Both CA and ACCA are esteemed educational paths tailored for finance and accounting experts who hold a strong interest in forging careers in finance, taxation, auditing, and accounting.

The main difference between ACCA and CA is their geographical scope and focus. ACCA is a global professional accounting body, while CA is a designation specific to certain countries. ACCA is a global qualification that focuses on providing a broad range of accounting and finance knowledge. The ACCA qualification is divided into two parts: the Applied Knowledge and Applied Skills exams, which are designed to provide a solid foundation in accounting and finance, and the Strategic Professional exams, which focus on advanced financial management and professional skills.

In the comparison between ACCA vs CA courses, it’s important to note that both pathways place a significant emphasis on instilling professional ethics and standards. Furthermore, both qualifications mandate candidates to accumulate relevant work experience as a prerequisite for achieving full qualification status. However, the focus of this article is to elucidate the distinctions that set apart the ACCA and CA courses..

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?

No magic lamp works here. Both the CA and ACCA qualifications are equipped to provide the necessary skills and knowledge you need to join the workforce. However, both have their pros and cons. It is up to you to choose the course that is most suitable for your career. Once you’ve decided, focus on getting certified. Then you are ready to enter and find your place in the big, lucrative world of accounts and finance.


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