CA vs ACCA – Which One is Better?
Q – Is ACCA better than CA?
Well, I wish to yell “Yes” but let’s look into some reasons to justify
Number of Papers / Stages
CA – 4 stages (21 Papers)
AFC – Assessment of Fundamental Competencies 4 Papers
CAF – Certificate in Accounting and Finance 9 Papers
CFAP – Certified Finance and Accounting Professional 6 Papers
MSA – Multi-Subject Assessments 2 Papers
ACCA – 3 Stages (13 Papers)
– Applied knowledge 3 Papers
– Applied skills 6 Papers
– Strategic professional 4 Papers
(2 Essentials and 2 Optional from 4)
Difficulty Level & Passing Ratio
CA is quite tougher comparatively than ACCA, the reasons are as under:
– Consistency in paper difficulty level – ICAP examiners often find it harder to maintain the same difficulty level from one attempt to another and that is also evident from their volatile passing ratio (discussed below). A few years back, there was an exam which yelded only a 2% passing result.
– Area and depth in the syllabus. For instance, Corporate Law, it includes all the laws you have ever heard of (Companies Act 2017) or not (Modaraba Act) and sometimes you end up wondering if you are pursuing a Lawyer Degree.
-In CA Finals, the average passing results in a single paper in a single attempt vary between 5%-25%. Whereas, in ACCA Professional Papers exam results vary between 30%-50% in one sitting.
Affiliation with Other Institutions
– In addition to ACCA certification, you can simultaneously get a foreign Bachelor’s degree of Oxford Brookes by just passing two tests, read more.
– Both (CA qualified and ACCA members) are equivalent to the Master’s Degree (M.COM) equivalency in Pakistan, read more.
– Similarly, both can become a member of ICAEW by passing 3 additional papers.
– In Pakistan
ACCA members in Pakistan get less than they deserve. The starting salary of an ACCA affiliate without any experience usually starts from PKR 20 to 30 thousand. However, if you have 2-3 years’ experience from the Big Four firms you can get up to PKR 70 to 100 Thousand.
Whereas if you are a CAF Qualified – you can get PKR 25 to 35 Thousand even if you have no experience.
P.E. Above comparison is between CAF & ACCA Qualified, as they both comprise 13 papers.
In Middle-East and Europe, the pay gap between the two isn’t much and both are considered as almost an identical qualification in the eyes of the employer. The main thing that counts to the employer is the experience (Big 4 audit firms > Other than Big 4)
What About CA?
Q – Do CA worth more than ACCA?
I would like to answer this as, in Pakistan, Yes.
Reasons to opt for CA rather than ACCA is.
- Initial Investment and Duration
The whole CA qualification cost around somewhere between 500,000 PKR to 550,000 including tuition and exam fees. Whereas, ACCA will cost around 600,000 to 650,000 including tuition fees and exam fees.
The calculation assumes PKR to GBP rate at 200 and assumes if you clear the papers in first attempt.
It takes on average two to three years to clear all 13 ACCA papers and further three years of work experience to become an ACCA member. On the other hand, it takes an average student 6 years to 7 years to become a CA member (3.5 years Article ship included)
- Reputation / Class of Accountants
As we have heard, Scarcity increases the value and class of a particular item, accordingly.
For instance, there are only around Ten thousand (10,000) Chartered Accountants since 1947, out of which many are no more with us. In comparison, around Two Hundred And Fifty Thousand (250,000) members operating globally.
Q- What is the difference in the package offered to ACCA than CA?
Starting Salary for ACCA and CA Qualified with 3 years of experience
Cost of Living
* These are rough estimates which vary from employer to employer (Audit firm, MNCs, PVT-Companies) and nature of the department (Finance, Internal audit, etc).
Best institutes for ACCA / CA.
It is not necessary to register with an Institute, you can opt for self-study and get a Qualified Home Tutor at your convenience and in a reasonable price. However, if don’t mind the untimely classes and few hour breaks in between, few notable institutes are:
- KnS Institute of Business Studies
- ARTT business school
- Tabani’s school of accountancy TSA
- Mirchawala’s Hub of Accountancy
In conclusion, if you want to live abroad and don’t want to keep grinding yourself for 5 to 6 years in CA, then ACCA will be a far better choice.