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The two most reputed and sought out courses in the world are the CA and the ACCA courses. But, knowing which one is better can be a little difficult for the average user.
The average user also doesn’t know about the toughness of each course and the main differences between them as well.
There are also other factors such as the flexibility of each course and also the duration.
In case these above aspects are bothering you, then you’ve come to the right place. This article guide will cover every bit of detail between the two courses so that you can get a clear cut idea between the two.
This guide will help you choose between the CA and ACCA course for your future career opportunities.
About ACCA Course
ACCA stands for Association of Chartered Certified Accountants. It is a global organization whose degree has been recognized in almost 180 countries all over the world.
The organization is also the world’s largest accounting association, which was set up in London, in the year 1904.
The course has over 4 lac students all over the world. The course help students to mainly focus on the finance and accounting profession, by giving knowledge of the UK GAAP along with the laws and also IFRS, which is the main advantage of doing ACCA.
Countries that recognize the ACCA degree are Ireland, Australia, UK, Canada, and other countries as well.
About CA Course
CA stands for Chartered Accountant. It is one of the sought after and rewarding career propositions one could have.
The course is very popular among the commerce students and is the only authorized professionals in the country of India who can audit the financial statements of any company or entity.
A typical CA can work on various domains, such as accounting, auditing, laws, and taxation, etc. It is one of the toughest courses in India and there is no such age limit to become a CA as well. There is no such reservation system and has more than 2.8 lac students currently in India.
Comparison Parameters of ACCA vs. CA
There are various eligibility factors for registering into the course of ACCA. They are as follows,
For 10 + 2 / Pre-University Course / India School Certificate / Higher Secondary Certificate / Intermediate Certificate / Higher School Certificate Students
Students can register only if he/she passes in 5 subjects, with 3 being in Class 12, which includes subjects such as Mathematics, English, and Accounts and with a percentage of 65 in at least two of the subjects and also over 50 percent on the other subjects.
Therefore, if the exam marks are out of 200 marks, then obtaining 130 marks would fulfill the criteria of 65 percent and over 100 marks would comply with the 50 percent rule.
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The breakdown of the various grades:
- 50 – 60 per cent: Satisfactory / C1
- 60 – 70 per cent: Good / B2
- 85+ percent: A1 – A2, B1
For Senior Secondary School Examination / All India Senior School Certificate Students
Students can register if he/she passes in 5 subjects which include subjects such as Accounts or Mathematics along with English. The marks should be 65 percent in at least 2 subjects with 50 percent in the rest of the subjects.
CA Course Eligibility
To qualify to sit for any CA exams, the following eligibility norms should be applied,
- The students who are planning to sit for the CA exams should pass the 10th and 12th standard exams from a recognized education board of studies or any other equivalent examinations as well.
- If the student if planning to sit for the CA entrance examination, then he/she must be registered with the ICAI, which is the main body conducting the CA exams, by June of that respective year or December of the previous year.
For example, if the student is planning to sit for the 2020 May exams, then he/she must be registered by December of the year 2019. Similarly, if the student is planning to sit for the November 2020 exams, then registration should be done by June 2020.
- An aggregate of at least 50 percent marks is required to be admitted into the CA course.
- Students who have passed from any open university with a qualified graduate or post-graduate degree, then he/she can register regardless.
- Students who have an undergraduate degree or post-graduate degree in the field of commerce, from a recognized university, with at least 55 percent aggregate marks, can register regardless.
- Students who have an undergraduate or post-graduate degree in any other field other than commerce, from a recognized university, with at least 60 percent aggregate marks, can also register regardless.
Registration and Subscription Fees: To enroll for the exams, you have to register yourself as an active ACCA student, with a one-time payment charge of 79 the UK Pounds (Rs. 6774) and also an annual subscription charge of almost 105 UK Pounds (Rs. 9003).
If in the first you already pay both these charges, then from the following year, you only need to pay the annual subscription charges, which will be due before January 1st of every year.
This fee should be paid even if you are not sitting for any of the ACCA exams and in case you don’t pay, your name will be taken off the student register and you have to pay the 79 Euros (Rs. 6774) charge again.
Exemptions: If you have any kind of exemptions, then you have to pay separate ACCA fees for each type of exemption you choose. The fees are 76 UK Pounds (Rs. 6516) for the Applied Knowledge Exams and also 103 the UK Pounds (Rs. 8831) for the Applied Skills Exams.
Exam Fees: If you’re planning to sit for the Applied Knowledge exams, then the fee will start at 103 UK Pounds (Rs. 8831). In case you’re planning to sit for the Strategic Professional exams then the fee will start at 180 UK Pounds (Rs. 15433).
ACCA Affiliate Fees: The ACCA Affiliate students who have already passed his/her ACCA exams along with the ethics module, but still not have completed the professional experience requirement, then an annual subscription charge of 123 the UK Pounds ( Rs. 10546) is required. After three years, the fee will be increased to an annual subscription fee of 246 UK Pounds (Rs. 21092).
ACCA Membership Fees: An annual subscription fee os 246 UK Pounds is required to maintain your membership credentials, once you complete your ACCA exams, professional experience and also the ethics module as well.
CA Entrance Fees: For students who enter the course just after passing their 10 + 2 exams from the recognized education board.
Cost of the CA Entrance Exam Prospectus – Rs. 200
Cost of the CA Entrance Exam Registration Exam – Rs. 9000
Cost of the CA Entrance Student’s Journal Subscription Fees – Rs. 200
Cost of CA Foundation Exam Fees – Rs. 1500 (Rs. 2200 for Kathmandu Centre)
CA Intermediate Fees: For students who are taking the direct route to entry, by obtaining an undergraduate or a post-graduate degree, from any recognized university.
Cost of the CA Intermediate Registration Fees – Rs. 15000
Fee for student’s activity course – Rs. 2000
Cost of the Registration Fees as an Articled Assistant – Rs. 1000
Cost of CA Intermediate Exam – Rs. 1500 (Single Group) or Rs. 2700 (Both Groups)
CA Final Fees: For students who have passed the CA Intermediate exams.
Cost of the CA Final Registration Fees – Rs. 22000
Cost of CA Final Exam – Rs. 1800 (Single Group) or Rs. 3300 (Both Groups)
Result and Pass Percentage
ACCA Pass Percentage
As of the current date, over 96,000 students all over the world take up more than 117,000 exams. In total, 3600 students pass the final exams to be ACCA affiliated.
The Strategic Professional exam pass rate has increased in the March 2019 session. Pass percent for Strategic Business Leader and Strategic Business Reporting has also increased too.
Students from around 83 countries had taken up the exam for Applied Skills. These type of exams tries to replicate the workplace and also require the use of Spreadsheets and Word Processing skills as well.
The exam also tests the technical skills of the students. Following are the pass rates for the ACCA qualification tests:
Management Accounting – 67%
Accountant in Business – 83%
Financial Accounting – 72%
Corporate and Business Law – 84%
Financial Management – 50%
Performance Management – 46%
Audit and Assurance – 37%
Taxation – 46%
Financial Reporting – 47%
Strategic Professional – Essentials
Strategic Business Leader – 46%
Strategic Business Reporting – 49%
Strategic Professional – Options
Advanced Audit and Assurance – 30%
Advanced Taxation – 33%
Advanced Financial Management – 35%
Advanced Performance Management – 32%
CA Pass Percentage
In terms of the overall result or toughness of the exam, it can be easily seen that the higher exam level of the CA course is indeed very difficult to crack since the percentage is very less.
Comparing CA and ACCA toughness side by side, the CA course is harder to pass, due to the increased amount of students and also the vastness of the subjects.
The following are the pass percentages for the CA course exams at various levels:
CA Foundation (Level 1)
Total number of students appeared(2019) – 48702
Students passed – 21488 (40%)
Number of female students passed – 9553 (48%)
Number of male students passed – 11935 (52%)
CA IPC (Level 2)
Students appeared in Group I – 24411
Students passed in Group I – 4525
Students appeared in Group II – 8652
Students passed in Group II – 3724
Pass percent in Group I – 18.5%
Pass percent in Group II – 43%
Pass percent in Both Groups – 8.8%
CA Final (Level 3)
Students appeared in Group I – 6181
Students passed in Group I – 884
Students appeared in Group II – 3307
Students passed in Group II – 894
Pass percent in Group I – 14.3%
Pass percent in Group II – 27%
Pass percent in Both Groups – 16.4%
Number of Subjects
Number of Subjects in ACCA
When it comes to the ACCA course, the students have to study a variety of subjects in the following fields:
- Financial Management
- Strategic Management
In the ACCA Applied Knowledge exams, students have to pass three accounting subjects that deal with financial, business and management. The subjects are:
Accounting in Business – This subject deals with mainly business accounts.
Management Accounting – One can call this subject as cost accounting, as it deals with the accounting handled by the management.
Financial Accounting – In this subject, accounting-related finance is handled.
In the ACCA Applied Skills examinations, the student has to study the following six subjects:
Corporate and Business Law – Laws that are related to companies and business are studied in this subject.
Performance Management – In this type of subject, the performance of the management running a business is studied.
Taxation – Various kinds of direct and indirect taxes are studied.
Financial Reporting – This is similar to corporate accounting.
Audit and Assurance – Students study the methods of audit and also the auditing standards.
Financial Management – This subject is all about investments and capital expenditures.
The other subjects included in the essentials of Strategic Professional exams:
Strategic Business Leader
Strategic Business Reporting
The optional subjects in the Strategic Professional exams include:
Advanced Performance Management
Advanced Financial Management
Advanced Audit and Assurance
Number of Subjects in CA Course
If you’re planning to become a CA, then you have to study various types of subjects at various levels of examinations. The common subjects remain the same and quite a few subjects are added later on as well.
CA Entrance Subjects
Principles And Practice Of Accounting – This subject deals with the basic of the accounting subject.
Business Laws And Business Correspondence – In this subject, the student has to study about corporate laws.
Business Mathematics, Logical Reasoning, And Statistics – It is all about quantitative aptitude.
Business Economics And Business & Commercial Knowledge – It deals with macro and microeconomics.
CA Intermediate Subjects
- Group I
- Corporate Laws & Other Laws
- Cost and Management Accounting
- Group II
- Advanced Accounting
- Auditing and Assurance
- Enterprise Information Systems & Strategic Management
- Financial Management & Economics for Finance
CA Final Subjects
- Group I
- Financial Reporting
- Strategic Financial Management
- Advanced Auditing and Professional Ethics
- Corporate and Allied Laws
- Group II
- Advanced Management Accounting
- Information systems Control and Audit
- Direct Tax Laws
- Indirect Tax Laws
ACCA Career Scope
The main reason why ACCA professionals are preferred in India is because of the very in-depth curriculum. The course is not about studying but also gaining experience through a three year training period as well.
The ACCA degree is not only recognized in India but globally as well, therefore an ACCA professional can get recruited anywhere in the world.
The degree gives an excellent and sound indication of good accounting skills and experience in the corporate environment.
Most of the ACCAs in India are hired by the Big 4 Firms or various MNCs. Some of the top companies recruiting ACCAs in India are Price Waterhouse Coopers, TATA Communications, Embassy Group, Earnest and young, Grant Thornton, Embassy Group, KPMG, and Deloitte.
One of the biggest advantages of being an ACCA is that one can move seamlessly between industry sectors and get into new roles as well. Currently, in India, ACCA professionals who don’t have the CA degree do not have the authority to sign the books of any corporate entity.
The course not only covers Ind-AS but also IFRS standards as well, broadly in its regime.
This can provide an edge to the ACCA over a regular CA, though as of the current date, CAs are also subjected to the IFRS subject as well.
The average salary of an ACCA professional lies between 5 – 6 lacs per annum. The salary will be higher as the candidate becomes more skilled in the field.
CA Career Scope
After passing the CA course in India, one can move towards the service sector or start practicing on his/her own. There are several options laid out for a young CA professionals in India.
After completing the training, the passed out candidates need to apply for membership from the governing body known as ICAI before the candidates can either practice or look for jobs.
After the membership has been taken, the candidate cannot work in any kind of business or occupation, without taking the necessary permission from the council. CA professionals can only work in specified CA regulations.
A qualified CA can apply for any type of government jobs or can be hired by any Big 4 firm or any other MNC. Chartered Accountants can work in the field of accounting, taxation, auditing or even finance department as well.
The starting salary for a young CA professional is between 6 – 8 lacs per annum. The demand for CAs in India has been growing at a fast rate, after the introduction of GST.
As most businesses are still figuring out the GST norms, a typical CA can easily help you file your Annual Return. Apart from that, in India, only CAs have the authority to sign the auditing papers of any corporate entity.
CA’s are also globally recognized as well, in countries like UAE, Abu Dhabi, London, etcetera. The reason behind this is because the typical CA course structure goes through a lot of amendments every year, to be a standard in the industry.
ACCA Course Duration
When it comes to the ACCA degree, the course conducts two exam sessions per year. One exam is held in June, while the other in December. A student can only sit a maximum of four papers in a session.
Therefore, all the exams can be completed in around two years, as there are 15 subjects to be passed.
Also, to pass the ACCA course successfully, you will not only need to qualify for the exams but also the training period as well, which lasts for almost three years.
Without these three years of practical training, you will not be considered as a qualified accountant.
Thus, in case you spend two years on the exams and then three years in practical training, that will take you at least five years to pass the ACCA course.
CA Course Duration
The course duration of the CA degree can also be termed as the same as well. Firstly, you have to pass the CA Foundation or the Entrance test, after you pass your 10+2 examination.
In case you’re an undergraduate or a post-graduate from any recognized university, then you can take direct admission in the CA Intermediate Exam.
Between the CA Foundation and the CA Intermediate first attempt exam for any student, there should be a gap of at least 10 months.
The CA Intermediate Exam can be passed in a single attempt in both the groups of students can appear in a single group in separate examination sitting.
After passing the CA Intermediate exam, the candidate has to go through three years of articleship training, which is compulsory.
Once you complete the articleship training, you will be awarded the first attempt in CA Final, in which you can proceed to clear either a single group or appear for both groups simultaneously.
After passing both groups in the CA Final exam, one can be a qualified CA.
ACCA vs CA What Course Is Better?
It is really hard to choose the absolute best between two of the most prestigious degrees in the word of accounts and commerce.
ACCA is a world-renowned degree that can get you a job anywhere in the world, while the CA degree is mostly preferred in the country of India.
When it comes to the eligibility factor, both courses are fairly similar, even though the CA course is a bit more lenient. The fee structure is also a lot less on the CA course side, especially the exam-related charges.
Coming to the result or the pass rate per year, ACCA has the upper hand when it comes to the result percentages.
The CA course pass percent is a lot less when compared to ACCA. Also, the overall course subjects in the CA course are a lot of vaster when compared to the ACCA course. The course duration of the courses can be termed as almost the same.
Finally, when it comes to the practical career aspects since ACCA course is world-recognized, one can get recruited in any company around the whole world. The CA course is also world-recognized, but it has more traction in India.
Chances are more in terms of the ACCA degree when going abroad. In India, the CA degree will always be preferred and will always have the sole authority to sign any corporate papers.
The ACCA degree does not have this authority. This makes CA professionals earn more than ACCA professionals in India.
If you’re a student who is planning to work outside of India, then the ACCA degree will be more suited towards your needs.
But, if you’re a student, who is planning to land a good job in India and not abroad, then the CA degree will be the best fit for your role.