As a profession, accountancy opens up many avenues. Apart from career growth in India, there is a huge demand for accountants across the world. In fact, in many countries like Canada, Australia etc., accountancy is considered a skilled profession and are often eligible for permanent residency under various immigration programs. So, if one has a head for numbers and aspires to work abroad, accountancy could be the golden ticket.
International recognition of accountancy degrees
While there are various accounting courses, for the purpose of this article we will consider the ones conferred by ICAI and ACCA.
Scope & Career Options of CA and ACCA
The Chartered Accountancy course by ICAI is recognized in almost 30 countries including the UAE, the UK, Australia and Canada. This course equips individuals with the highest accountancy standards across the world, and hence it has a pass percentage in single digits. It has been said that having a CA degree by ICAI is similar to having an international passport. However, the Indian Chartered Accountancy course focuses more on the Indian accounting, auditing standards and business taxation laws. Therefore, in at least some of these countries, you would not be able to sign the books as an auditor, and you would most likely have to complete an equivalency exam, to be qualified in that country.
On the other hand, ACCA is one of the most recognized accountancy courses in the world. Headquartered in Glasgow, London, ACCA is recognized in almost 180 countries across Europe, North America, Oceania, the Caribbean, Central and South America, Africa and Asia. While it also has significant applications and power in the Indian context (except when it comes to signing off on audit papers) there is a huge and growing demand for ACCA across the world. Unlike the CA course by ICAI, ACCA offers students with flexible study and course options with nearly 300 Approved Learning Providers for student tuition worldwide.
Combining the power of both courses
A sure-fire way to get the best shot of working internationally as an accountant is to combine both courses: CA and ACCA. While the CA course is highly accredited in India, one drawback is that it focuses primarily on the Indian standards and business laws. However, international companies consider global standards and practices in their candidates. This knowledge and global exposure can be gained by attaining the ACCA, since it focuses on a world class curriculum. For a qualified CA, adding this degree is not that tough since CA holders are entitled to exemptions in 9 out of the 13 papers contained in the ACCA examinations. On the contrary someone who has done ACCA and would like to do CA then there are no exemptions which shall be provided on the CA course.
While accountancy can be seen as a staid profession, it can be a pathway to career which would see international success and recognition. As long as there are businesses, the world will always need accountants.