What's the difference between ACA and ACCA?

20 April 2008 - 11:03pm

Hi all.

Can anyone elaborate the difference between ACA and ACCA, please? At KPMG there are these two routes in audit, and the entry requirement for ACA is stricter than for ACCA. I am really curious and would like to know which qualification is better in terms of long term career developments.

Many thanks,

Sushi

23 February 2014 - 10:54pm

I am from Mumbai dozen of the friends & even from my family member are qualified chartered accountant from ICAI, I asked them this same question whether ACCA is been considered in India, forget about recognized but most of the people don't even know what this means and the one who knows don't give a damn! why just compare the passing rate of acca & ICAI. With all due respect to ACCA but as a accounts professional working in accountancy from more than 16 years I conclude (even if no one gives a dam, i don't care) that ACCA is far & very below ACA. Every country has it's own chartered body, for US, it is CPA, for Scotland ICAS, India ICAI & similarly for UK fundamentally it is ICAEW & not ACCA just do not forget.

27 December 2013 - 9:20am

Just to clarify. The Professional papers in ACCA ('P') comprise options depending on the route you want to go down for example advanced tax and audit. You have to choose 2 papers to specialise in then go on to take your final 3 'P' papers. You are able to take these final 3 one at a time whereas up until June 2006 you had no choice but to take and pass the 3 final papers at the same sitting. I suggest you therefore take all the 5 'P' papers in 2 sittings to differentiate and put yourselves in the top tier of people applying for accountancy roles. I now ask to see evidence of how ACCA students took their finals.

27 December 2013 - 8:58am

Not sure if you have made decision as only just come across this myself. If you are planning to come to the UK and stay then I suggest you get on an ACA or CA training contract. If you plan to work in UK For a few years then go back to Asia then do ACCA as it is the global standard in accountancy, however make sure you do all the 5 final papers in two sittings. I say this because ACCA for some bizarre reason have changed their final exam criteria whereas before you had to take and pass all your final 3 papers in one sitting they now allow you to take one at a time. I am an FCCA and feel that all the hard work we went through to get our chartered status back in 1996 and raising the bar for membership has been totally lost now. Go for ACA or ICAS as they have now gone back ahead as a much harder and better qualification to have.

27 December 2013 - 8:33am

In 1997 the Privy Council which governs all professional bodies in the UK and Commonwealth gave members of the CACA (certified association of corporate accountants) the right to prefix their titles with the word chartered.

Before this they were known as certified accountants. The change of status occurred because the Privy Council gave the CACA a royal charter and therefore its members were now fully entitled to call themselves chartered accountants in much the same way that the ICAEW and ICAS had been allowed to do for many years due to their established chartered status. The new ACCA exam syllabus and content were modelled on the other chartered bodies so they were equally as hard although ACCA have changed there final exams criteria which used to specify that all 3 final papers were taken and passed in one sitting. Unfortunately this in my mind should remove ACCA back away from a chartered status unless you qualified before the change.

This new found chartered status did not just affect the CACA but also affected members of CIMA and CIPFA who were also now allowed to refer to themselves as chartered accountants. To reflect this new status the CACA changed its name to the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) and chose to allow its members to refer to themselves as Chartered Certified Accountants in order to differentiate themselves from other chartered accountants. However, the Privy Council directive of 25 August 1996 makes it clear that all members of the CCAB bodies are equally entitled to refer to themselves as chartered accountants if they so wish.

If you become a member of one of the CCAB bodies and for one reason or another you wish to become a member of one of the other chartered accountancy bodies then it will mean that you will have to take additional exams. For example, if you are a member of the ICAEW and you wish to also become a member of the ACCA, perhaps to allow yourself to work in some jurisdictions where the ICAEW is not recognised, then you will need to take the final level exams of the ACCA in order to become a member of this body. The reverse will also apply.

However, all of the chartered accountancy bodies are deemed to be of equal standard, ie. masters degree level, and from a scrutiny of recruitment adverts in business journals you can see clearly for yourself that the remuneration which is paid to members of all bodies is of the same standard which recognises this equality of status.

As for what your friend has told you, I can only assume that he/she is getting confused with the Association of Accounting Technician (AAT) exams which are of a much lower level that those of the chartered accountancy exams which are promoted by the CCAB bodies.

Once qualified as a chartered accountant you will not need to take exams every year but you will need to undertake Continuing Professional Education (CPE) which could take the form of attending courses or reading magazines in order to ensure that your technical knowledge is kept up to date. This is because accountancy and taxation legislation changes frequently and it is very important that you keep abreast of developments.

12 June 2013 - 10:26pm

Dave - Im reading this comment late but your comments hit some. Is it preferred to do the ICAS for the CA if you're a finance professional with no previous accounting qualification? If you could email me a response to mattcherian"at"lycos.com, Id appreciate a confidential answer. Thank you,

24 March 2013 - 1:12pm

The big 4 also hire students and people looking for short term work experience so just apply - they won't kill you, they can only say no and you can reapply at any time.

24 March 2013 - 1:09pm

Oh dear - some inacurate comments here regarding ACCA so let's clarify. ACCA is a little more flexible with entry requirements however, if you do not meet their specified criteria you will be required to do all of their rigorous exams without exemption. You are required to do a minimum of 3 years practical experience. If this is gained pre-qualification and you want to gain a practice certificate you must do a further 18-24 months practical experience with a recognised organisation. In addition you must complete the Practical Experience Objectives and have these records signed off by your workplace mentor to certify that you have achieved the minimum amount of competences. I chose ACCA as I was working fulltime and able to study therefore with BPP and Kaplan distance learning. The qualification is well recognised in Europe where I am currently based and the big 4 seem to look upon it favourably. I have just qualified and was immediately offered a choice of 2 jobs within international companies, one of which I have accepted. This was great for me as I have experience in accounting and taxation in Europe, but also have the Tax and Audit papers for the UK. Are you UK or Europe based/focused? It's up to you.

23 January 2013 - 5:59pm

Hey guys, bit of advise needed here. I'm currently doing my ACCA exams after finishing my FIA papers, I have work experience in many service sectors but no accounting experience. I have my GCEs and a diploma in an unrelated field.
I intend to finish and pass all my fundamentals by this dec 13. I heard big4 only hires ACCA grads if they have finished all fundamentals. Which by my planning is ok because I was thinking of continuing my professional papers while working at big4 and I need 3 years experience to grad with an ACCA qualification so it's a 2-for-1.
I'm not in the UK in fact I'm in Singapore but I'm worried that my lack of experience and lack of qualifications might render it hard for me to find a job at the big4 before i've completed my professional papers.

pls advise!

4 January 2013 - 10:50am

Hi,
I have read all the comments. I have noticed some things that people are highlighting their own body and finding out the faults of others. It's bad and very bad. This is not expected from the professional person like you. OK your body may be greater than ACCA or ICAEW or AICPA or CIMA but that doesn't mean that you should criticize them. Criticism from the educated person like you represents that you are educated but very narrow minded. And people realize that your body is the best accounting body in the world but it has some narrow minded people. it's bad

4 January 2013 - 10:47am

Hi,
I have read all the comments. I have noticed some things that people are highlighting their own body and finding out the faults of others. It's bad and very bad. This is not expected from the professional person like you. OK your body may be greater than ACCA or ICAEW or AICPA or CIMA but that doesn't mean that you should criticize them. Criticism from the educated person like you represents that you are educated but very narrow minded. And people realize that your body is the best accounting body in the world but it has some narrow minded people. it's bad.

ICAEW shows respect to ACCA and vice-verse.
They have a very good relation to each other.

Do you know this?
1. If you are a member of ACCA, you can join ICAEW without any types of exam.
2. If you have a UK-practicing license of ACCA, you can gain ICAEW practicing license by just an application.

If ACCA is worse. So why a body like ICAEW will recognize.