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Choosing between CA or ACCA: Which is the Superior Path?

Choosing between CA or ACCA: Which is the Superior Path?

Comparison Between CA and ACCA: Which Course is Better?

Lately the debate CA vs ACCA is getting intense. CA being a time tested course and commands respect in Indian society. ACCA on the other hand is a much older institute with its increased appeal for Indian students due to its global recognition besides india.

Both CA and ACCA are from the fields of Accounts and Audit. Further, they work in similar job profiles within and outside India. There are difference makers that will make one course more suitable than the other in certain situations.

Difference Between ACCA and CA:

Eligibility :

A student becomes eligible for ACCA course post clearing class 12th provided the student gets 60% overall and 65% in Math or accounting and English. However, ACCA allows students to register in the Foundation in Accountancy course if the eligibility criteria is not met. Effectively making it possible for a class 10th cleared student or non commerce stream student to start their ACCA journey.

A student becomes eligible for CA Foundation course after they appear in their class 12th.

ACCA vs CA, a student can start ACCA early as compared to a student appearing in CA.

Cost :

ACCA costs about 4.5 Lakh including coaching fees and books and takes about INR 2.5 years to clear.CA may take INR 3.5 Lakh including coaching fees and books provided the student is able to clear in one go. However, CA takes 2 years longer than ACCA to complete adding opportunity cost which no one talks about.

Flexibility :

CA exams require students to clear subjects in groups. CA Foundation exam requires student to attain 40% marks per paper and requires to get 50% aggregate (Four papers combined). Similar rule is followed in Intermediate and Final Level as well. However, ACCA requires students to clear one paper at a time providing more flexibility to the students to plan their papers.

Pass Rate :

ACCA offers a much higher pass rate as compared to CA probably due to the flexibility of giving one paper at a time. While pass rate for every paper of ACCA may differ, around 75% of students clear ACCA knowledge level papers, around 55% of students clear ACCA skill level papers and around 40% of students clear ACCA Professional level papers. When compared with CA, only about 25% of students appearing in CA Foundation clear the exam, 13% of students appearing in CA Intermediate clear the exam and around 9% of students appearing in CA Final Clear the exam.

Training :

ACCA requires its students to complete 3 Years Practical Experience which can be completed before, after or while pursuing ACCA course. However, CA requires students to complete article ship of 2.5 years under a CA Firm or industry experience under a company.

Remote Examination :

ACCA provides the choice of remote examination to its students allowing students to attempt exams from the comfort of their homes. This is possible due to the fact ACCA exams are computer based exams. CA exams are pen paper based exams and have to be attempted at examination centers assigned to the student. This proved to be major advantage during covid for ACCA students.

Signing Authority :

CA has signing authority in India providing they are practicing. ACCA does not have signing authority within India but can form multidisciplinary firms with CA within India and have signing authority in 70+ countries including UAE, UK, Australia and New Zealand.

What is ACCA Course?

ACCA course is from the field of account and audit. Just like Chartered Accountancy it covers subjects such as accounting, auditing, Performance management, Financial Management and Taxation. ACCA or Association of Chartered Certified Accountants is a globally recognised course with recognition across 180+ countries and a community of 200,000 members across the globe.

With 600,000 students and increasing ACCA is a popular choice for students looking to build their career in accounting , auditing, corporate finance or performance management.

What is CA Course?

CA or Chartered Accountancy course is from the field of accounts and audit administered by the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India under the ICAI Act 1949. With close to 4,00,000 members within India and abroad ICAI is one of the top and most respected institutes in the world.

CAs can work in Accounting, Auditing, taxation, management consultancy and corporate finance fields and is considered the backbone of businesses within India.

Comparison of ACCA and CA syllabus

Subjects covered in both courses overlap with a slight difference. ACCA covers IFRS in Financial Reporting and CA covers Indian Accounting standards. ACCA covers a choice of taxation depending upon the country a student targets except Indian Taxation. CA covers Indian taxation. Subjects like Auditing, costing (Called performance management in ACCA) and Financial Management cover similar syllabus in both courses.

Comparison: ACCA vs CA Exam Structures

Both ACCA and CA cover similar subjects. However, ACCA offers flexibility to its students as there is no grouping and aggregate system as discussed earlier.

ACCA have computer based examinations with their professional level papers being 100% descriptive in nature.

ACCA vs CA : Frequency of exams

ACCA knowledge Level papers and one paper of ACCA skill level (Corporate and business law) are on Demand. Meaning they can be booked on any date and time student feels prepared providing greater flexibility. Remaining papers are conducted quarterly helping students to plan better. At A Team Commerce Academy , mentors help students decide the dates of their exams based on rigorous tests ensuring students have greater chances of clearing their papers when they attempt their exams.
CA course however have Bi-annual exams in May/June and November/December.

Comparing the Difficulty Levels of ACCA and CA

It is an obvious question in the minds of students. We believe it’s an unfair question as both ACCA students and CA students work very hard to earn their qualification.

Having that said grouping and aggregate system in CA, longer duration of the course and a low pass percentage makes CA a difficult course to clear when compared to ACCA.

Comparison: ACCA vs CA Duration

CA takes about 4.5 years to clear provided the student is able to clear every level in one go. This time can be reduced to 4 years if a student enters the qualification via the direct entry route that allows students to start CA without giving CA Foundation after graduation.

ACCA takes about 2.5 years to clear. However, this time can be reduced based on qualification a student holds prior to entering ACCA.

A Bcom graduate is exempted from 5 papers and hence requires a little over 2 years to complete ACCA. A Chartered Accountant on the other hand requires 9 to 12 months to clear getting 9 ACCA exemptions out of 13 papers.

Many universities within India and abroad also provide integrated courses that provide 9 ACCA exemptions along with graduation and post graduation programs and reduce the time it takes to complete ACCA.

ACCA vs CA: Salary and Jobs

ACCA vs CA earns a similar package with the average salary of INR 7 Lakh Per Annum. Higher package is possible depending upon the skill set and experience while ACCA PER (Practical Experience Requirement) or CA Article ship.

India has 55 ACCA approved employers who hire ACCAs in bulk every year to maintain this status.

From UK based Big 4 Audit Firms (PWC, Deloitte, KPMG and E&Y), to MNC like BDO, Infosys etc. As more and more UK taxation and accounting work is being outsourced to India, demand for ACCA is only increasing.

CA is also hired by Big 4 firms and competes directly with ACCAs for some roles like internal audit, consultancy and financial advisory. 

It is safe to say Job opportunities for both CA and ACCA are available within India. With ACCA freshers without PER preferred for their young age and CAs preferred for their rich article ship experience.

ACCA with CA

A lot of students are going for both ACCA and CA to get the best of both the worlds. Indian CA with global recognition equipped with knowledge of Indian Accounting standards and IFRS, Indian Auditing standards and international standards of auditing.

Qualified CAs get 9 paper exemptions in ACCA and are able to clear remaining papers within a Year.

CA Intermediate cleared candidates who have completed their Bcom get  paper exemptions and clear remaining 9 papers within 1.5 Years.

If you are looking forward to gain global recognition with ACCA reach A Team Commerce Academy for further guidance.


Within India both CA and ACCA are paid similar packages. However, outside India ACCA has much greater scope with recognition in more than 179 countries and higher packages abroad.
Though both courses are difficult. It is safe to say that CA is a tougher course to clear with longer course duration, grouping system and lower pass rates as compared to ACCA.
Both qualifications are from the same field of work, job opportunities and salaries within India and even have similar subjects being taught are different in terms of global recognition of ACCA and CAs ability to practice independently within India. CA is also a longer duration course and much more difficult to clear than ACCA.
ACCA is recognised in more than 179 countries. ICAI is also working towards gaining global recognition and has MRAs and MOUs in many countries like UAE and Canada. Still CA has long way to go in terms of global recognition.
ACCA takes about 2.5 years to complete and lesser if student takes exemptions. CA however, takes twice as much time as ACCA.

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