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ACCA vs CA: Which is Better & Tough? – 7 Differences to Know (Salary, Scope)

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ACCA vs CA, which one is better? Both ACCA and CA courses are popular courses after the 12th and have great future scope and salary. But which one to choose?

In this article, we’ll mention the 7 major differences between ACCA and CA courses that will help you determine which is better for you. Here, we’ll compare both courses on the basis of salary, syllabus, field of work, difficulty level, fees, tenure and more.

The article is written and reviewed by the VSI Jaipur team, having years of experience and knowledge in the Accountancy field. Therefore, you’ll get all the relevant information from the experts. Now, let’s get started.

Difference Between ACCA vs CA

Difference Between ACCA vs CA

Key Takeaway of ACCA vs CA:-

The ACCA is a global-level degree, whereas CA is a national-level degree in the Accounts and Finance field. A CA handles the taxation of India, whereas an ACCA handles the taxation work of the UK, Hong Kong, and others. The syllabus of Accounts and Finance is almost similar in both the courses.

Major differences between ACCA and CA are:

  1. Salary – The average CA salary in India is around 8 to 9 lakhs per annum. However, the ACCA is paid an average salary of 6-7 lakhs per annum.
  2. Course – The CA course has three exams that are Foundation, Inter and Final. The Foundation course has 4 papers, and the Inter and Final exam has 8 papers. On the other hand, ACCA has 2 exams: Fundamentals (9 papers) and Professionals (5 papers).
  3. Audited Balance Sheet – A Chartered Accountant can sign the audited balance sheet, but the ACCA cannot.
  4. Fees – The total CA course fee is around 2-3 lakhs per annum, whereas the ACCA total fees range between 3-4 lakhs.
  5. Scope – Both the courses have a good scope in India and worldwide.

ACCA vs CA: Comparison Table 

The table below mentions the comparative analysis of ACCA vs CA: 

Professional BodyInstitute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI)Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA)
Exam Structure Three Levels – Foundation, Intermediate and FinalTwo Levels – Fundamentals and Professionals
Total Fee Below Rs 1 LakhBetween 2-3 Lakhs
Focus CA courses focus on Accounting, Auditing, Taxation, Finance, company law etc. results in expertise in multiple domains.ACCA courses mainly focus on accounting and finance.
Toughness CA is considered the toughest course in India.ACCA is not easy but not as hard as CA.
Practical Training 3 Years Articleship Training has been a mandatory part of the CA curriculum.Similarly, ACCA has also made compulsory 3 years of practical training.
Signing AuthorityOnly Practising Chartered Accountant is qualified to sign the audit report in India.ACCA is not qualified to sign the audit report in India.
CourseCA is mainly India based course hence here students get a study base of Indian Laws and Standards.ACCA has global coverage and therefore it is based on UK tax laws and standards.
FlexibilityCA is not flexible. Here a student has to attempt at least a group at a time.ACCA is considered flexible as here students can attempt a single paper in each attempt.
ExemptionNot ApplicableACCA recognizes the other courses. Forex. If you are CA Inter Pass out, you have to appear in 9 papers out of 15, on the other hand, a Qualified CA has to appear in only 5 papers out of 14 papers.
SalaryAverage salary of CA ranges between 8-9 lakhs pa.Average salary of ACCA is 6-7 lakhs pa.
PreferenceIndian Companies prefer CA’s as they are aware of Indian Laws and related terms.MNCs handling the work of overseas clients or companies outside India prefer ACCA.
DemandRapidly Increasing with the implementation of new laws in the country.The scope is limited but expected to grow in the future.

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Overview of the CA Course

Chartered Accountants undoubtedly hold a very respected and responsible position in society. They are the only authorized professionals who can audit the Financial Statements of an organization in India. The CA course has been organized by ICAI (Institute of Chartered Accountants of India) which assures them a rewarding future and infinite career opportunities.

In order to become a Chartered Accountant, one must possess impressive analytical skills as it is a  profession where you have to play with numbers. The duration of the CA Course is around 5 years. In these 5 years, the total CA Course fees will be around Rs. 87,000.

As we know that Chartered Accountancy has been recognized only in India, therefore the course has also been designed to approach the Indian Laws and standards.

Chartered Accountancy opens up the door for many local, national, multinational, and international companies. The new laws implemented in our country over the last few years have rapidly increased the demand for Chartered Accountants and it is forecasted that the next 5-10 years will give countless golden opportunities to the fresh qualified CAs.

The CA salary in India for a fresher is 8 to 9 lakhs per annum. And it will grow as your skill, knowledge and experience in a particular domain grows.

However, unlike Doctors, Engineers, Lawyers, etc ICAI has a complete right to take back the CA degree if one has been found not following his Ethics and Principals.

Overview of the ACCA Course

The full form of ACCA is the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants, which originated in London and mainly focuses on Accounting and Finance. This course has been recognized in 180 countries throughout the world but mainly in the UK and European countries. Thus, you can join a Chartered Firm or successfully build your career as a finance professional after completing ACCA in these countries. Although, if you are dreaming to do the audit and attestation work in India, CA is the only option.

ACCA is set to promote excellence in Accounting and Finance globally and hence covers knowledge of UK GAAP, Laws, and IFRS which opens the doors of many International and National companies handling overseas clients.

CA vs ACCA – Which is Better?

Let’s check out the major differences between the ACCA and the CA course and determine which one is better.

1. Course

The CA course is divided into three levels, whereas the ACCA course is divided into 2 levels.

The three levels of the CA Course are Foundation, Intermediate and Final. In the CA Foundation course, there are 4 subjects and in the CA Inter & Final course, there are 8 subjects each. The CA course covers areas of Accounting, Auditing, Indian Taxation, Finance, Company law etc.

The ACCA course has two levels which are Fundamentals and Professionals. The Fundamental level has 9 papers and the professional course has 4 papers. The ACCA course majorly focuses on Accounting and Finance.

The course of both CA and ACCA are almost similar except for taxation. The CA syllabus teaches you about Indian taxes whereas the ACCA syllabus will teach you about the international laws of the UK, Singapore and other countries.

The eligibility criteria for both courses are the same that is to clear the 10+2 examinations.

2. ACCA vs CA Scope in India

The scope of the CA degree is limited to India and a few other countries. However, with an ACCA degree, you can work in more than 180 countries.

3. Membership

After clearing the CA Course, one will become a member of the ICAI. In the same way, the ACCA members have to complete the ACCA course. The ACCA member has expertise in the areas of International laws of Accounting.

4. Credibility

Despite having a similar level of qualification, a CA can sign an audited balance sheet. But an ACCA cannot sign the balance sheet as an auditor.

5. ACCA vs CA Salary in India

The salary of a Chartered Accountant in India ranges from 8-9 lakhs per annum and can reach up to 50-60 lakhs per annum. However, the salary of an ACCA earns around 6-7 lakhs per annum.

6. Articleship Training

In the CA Course, it is mandatory for all the aspirants to clear at least 1 group of CA Inter to commence the articleship training of three years. Furthermore, they must complete the training of 2.5 years to be eligible for the CA Final exams.

On the other hand, students pursuing the ACCA course can do their training of 3 years before during or after completing the ACCA course. The board has left this to the discretion of the students.

7. Duration

To become a CA, it will take a minimum duration of 5 years, provided you clear all the exam levels on the first attempt. In general, a student will take 6-7 years to complete the CA Course.

However, an ACCA student will take 2-3 years to complete the course. In addition, they also need to complete the training for three years.

Which is Tougher Between ACCA and CA?

The CA course is tougher than the ACCA course considering the passing percentage, curriculum, subjects, and versatility.

The passing percentage of the CA Course is very low which makes it the most difficult course in the country. Therefore, students have to take multiple attempts to clear the exams. This also increases the duration of the CA course.

However, this does not make the ACCA course easier to crack and clear. Students have to study hard and with full dedication to clear the exams.

The ACCA course is easier because here, you will get an exemption according to your educational qualification. Moreover, if you fail in a subject that you can give another attempt for that specific subject. Unlike the CA Course, where you have to give the exams of all the subjects again.

Moreover, as you do ACCA with CA, you’ll get preference in the top CA Firms in India and your chances of selection will also increase.

ACCA after CA

Many students after completing their CA Course opt for the ACCA course. One of the most impressive things about the ACCA course is that it recognizes the other qualifications you attained. It recognizes your graduation, post-graduation, CA Inter and CA Final Qualification also.

Out of the total of 14 papers in the ACCA course, a graduate or a CA Inter pass out has to appear in only 9 papers while after becoming CA, you have to attempt just 5 papers.

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So, these are the differences between the ACCA and CA courses. Students who want to work in India should go for the CA course. However, if you want to work abroad, then we can advise students to take the ACCA course.

Students can also do both CA and ACCA courses. Here, the better option will be to become a CA first. After completing the CA, you only have to give 5 papers instead of 14 papers.

Also Check: High salary Jobs in India after CA and ACCA

Frequently Asked Questions

Q 1. Which course is tough CA or ACCA?

Ans: In comparison with ACCA, CA is a tough course.

Q 2.  ACCA vs CA, which course is worth doing?

Ans: Both the CA and ACCA courses are good for your career. However, if you want to work outside India, then ACCA will be better. Otherwise, CA is a better course in India.

Q 3.  Which professional is more valuable in India among CA and ACCA?

Ans: In India, the demand for Chartered Accountants is higher than ACCAs.

Q 4. Can ACCA become CA?

Ans. Yes, the ACCA can become CA. As the syllabus is majorly similar, it will be easier for you to crack CA.

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