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Should I choose CA or ACCA?

CA vs ACCA – Which one is better?

Q – Is ACCA better than CA?

Well, I wish to yell “Yes” but lets look into some reasons to justify

  1. 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

    ACCA3 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 same difficulty level from one attempt to another and that is also evident from their volatile passing ratio (discussed below). Few years back, there was an exam which yielded only 2% passing result.

    – Area and depth in 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 single attempt varies between 5%-25%. Whereas, in ACCA Professional Papers exam results vary in 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 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 gets less than they deserve.
    Starting salary of ACCA affiliate without any experience usually start from PKR 20 to 30 thousands. However, if you have 2-3 years’ experience from Big Four firms you can get upto 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 comprises of 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 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 particular item, accordingly.
    For instance, there are only around Ten thousands (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




Saudi Arabia

United Kingdom

CA Qualified

PKR 130,000

AED 14,000

SAR 18,000

GBP 3,500


PKR 100,000

AED 13000

SAR 15,000

GBP 3,500

Cost of Living




Very High

* These are rough estimates which varies from employer to employer (Audit firm, MNCs, PVT-Companies) and nature of 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 reasonable price. However, if don’t mind the untimely classes and few hour breaks in between, few notable institutes are:

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.


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  • JamesShork - April 27, 2020 reply

    I appreciate the data on your web sites. Thanks for your time.

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