What's the difference between ACA and ACCA?

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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,


21 April 2008 - 8:26pm Premium member

ACA, hands down.

ACA focuses on practical as well as technical aspects of being an accountant- particularly for giving advice to clients and how to deal with tricky situations. ACCA is fundamentally a technical only qualification. ACA requires you to clock up 2 years of technical work experience with a firm before you qualify, whereas for ACCA you just have sit the exams and pass and you wouldn't have to work a day in your life.

ICAEW ACA is very highly regarded and almost every financial director in a FTSE company is ACA qualified, the majority of them from the Big 4.

21 April 2008 - 8:33pm Premium member

Listen to Chris. He's spot on....

Chris, why would anyone do ACCA when ACA is so much better and why would Big 4 employers like KPMG offer employees ACCA, when they'd be better employees if they had ACA?

21 April 2008 - 8:36pm Premium member

It's a choice of routes- not everyone's up to ACA. Also, because you don't need technical work experience to do ACCA, you can do ACCA sponsored by any company (just working in their finance department) rather than an accounting company life PwC, KPMG, Deloitte etc.

21 April 2008 - 9:30pm

Thanks so much for the info, guys! :D


21 April 2008 - 9:42pm Premium member

I should point out that ACCA is still an extremely respectable qualification and nobody would ever look down upon it; I think my original post was maybe a little biased!

21 April 2008 - 10:38pm

In addition to chrism's comments: with ACA and a few years' BIG4 experience one can make easily make his way to IBs

22 April 2008 - 12:35pm Premium member

London Bloke's right... IB's would find you very appealing, and could offer you a little more excitement (and a lot more cash) ...

My consultant colleague also regrets not starting out in accounting and doing the ACA... it is a hugely respected qualification in the city. Apparently all the top consultants have ACA... and furthermore, many entrepreneurs and commercial directors/managers, etc!

If you haven't already, you might like a look at - [url=http://www.wikijob.co.uk/wiki/aca]ACA | WikiJob[/url].

Good luck :)

22 April 2008 - 1:18pm

As an ACCA studier,I would like to say that both ACCA and ACA are highly respected qualifiactions, get fully qualified either in ACA or ACCA means you would secure a job with high reward,and as London Bloke's said both qualification would lead you to a well paid position in IB .The technical area covered by both exams are similer while ACA more focuse on case study and analysis at the final stage, ACCA is more international recognised to some extent compared with ACA,if you are considering a job oversea especially in Asia I would recommand ACCA.

22 April 2008 - 3:30pm Premium member

...bring on the debate! ...If we get enough information on this then we could certainly create a ACA vs ACCA wiki page, or something similar.

22 April 2008 - 5:47pm

When I went to an Open Evening at KPMG the current trainees seemed to share the view that ACCA is more recognised internationally, however all of them agreed that they would rather have ACA.

When I applied I was torn between going for a PhD or starting on a grad scheme - the desirability of ACAs not just in accountancy but across many major business roles was a major factor in my decision to go for the grad scheme!

2 May 2008 - 1:07pm

Thanks for all the info.

I have decided to join the ACA programme. :D

2 May 2008 - 5:47pm

[QUOTE=Sushi;1307]Thanks for all the info.

I have decided to join the ACA programme. :D[/QUOTE]

wise decision!;)

2 May 2008 - 5:53pm Premium member

When do you start Sushi?

3 May 2008 - 12:39am

[QUOTE=Redsuperted;1309]When do you start Sushi?[/QUOTE]

September. :)

11 May 2008 - 8:00pm

just out of interest,
suhi, which uni did you go?

12 May 2008 - 11:08am

Hi Londonbloke,

I study at the University of Nottingham.

10 July 2008 - 11:33am

ACA rocks, ACCA rocks abit

10 July 2008 - 12:02pm Premium member

..debatably, no accounting qualifications can technically "rock" ...but I get what you mean!

29 October 2008 - 11:17am

Noticed some interesting comments here - I am an ACCA based student as are the majority of the firm I work for and I feel perhaps there are a few members of the institute making the replies here!

ACCA is a fantastic qualification to achieve and just as respected as it's intitute counterpart - infact the institute have recognised this as well and will accept ACCA members with 5 years experience in practice into the institute with no extra exams. The ACCA however does not do this as far as I know.

The examination technique between the two bodies is slightly different. The ACA require a 55% pass mark on their exams, but have a number of open book examinations (such as a book of th ISAs), the final exams you are allowed to take in whatever books you feel are approprate to the case studies. The first few stages of the ACA also have multiple choice questions.

The ACCA, require a 50% pass mark, but allow no books into their examination. The examinations are split into 2 parts, Section A which will be a long written question, and section B with tend to be four 25 mark questions with the option of answering two of four.

Furthermore, if you have achieved the AAT qualification the ICAEW will allow you to sit top up papers of 1.5 hours each, rather than fully fledged exams. Both bodies offer exemptions for relevant degrees.

The ACCA requires 3 years worth of relevant experience in the accouting field, but to gain a practicing certificate it has to be practice based experience. Without this practicing certificate you cannot be an RI and sign off audit reports etc.

I would suggest that anyone should consider where they want to go with their career. If they want to stick in the UK then go ACA, if they want the option of a more global horizon then go ACCA.

If you are qualifying in a firm that labels themself as "Chartered accountants" or "Chartered Certified accountants" you should consider carefully the option as the partners in a firm have to be weighted towards the ICEAW or the ACCA to retain the use of that title.

In reality though, all of the regulatory bodies regularly consider merging together so one day we all may fall under the same wing.

There is a lot of talk about the big 4 - They will recognise any official regulatory body - Last year they were pushing the ICAS qualification, the year before ACCA - they change their mind more times than the weather and are looking for quality of person with experience, not with the ability to pass a set of exams.

13 January 2009 - 9:54pm

i am looking to get into accountancy, with a long term view to set up a private practice, which is the best qualification for this ACA or ACCA?

2 March 2009 - 9:04pm

I almost fell of my chair when I read the comments of that wise sage Chrism2671. In reality he would appear to know nothing about anything!

'ACA requires you to clock up 2 years of technical work experience with a firm before you qualify, whereas for ACCA you just have sit the exams and pass and you wouldn't have to work a day in your life' he states with relish. WRONG! With the ACA qualification you need three years practical experience before you can call yourself an ACA, exactly the same criteria applies to the ACCA.

He further states: 'It's a choice of routes - not everyone's up to ACA'. The implication being that only those who are too stupid to study for the ACA qualification take the ACCA route. Wrong again Mr Know It All. I don't want to sound a braggard but I gained 4 A Grade A Levels and then achieved a 2.1 in Accountancy and Finance from the London School of Economics, but I then chose the ACCA route at KPMG because it is more recognised internationally. If you were to state to a business person in Hong Kong that you were an ACA he would think that you missed out a C in your qualification description!

I now work as a senior manager for a mid size firm in Kent and I constantly see school leavers coming in to study for the AAT qualification with dubious A levels (CDD) and then after AAT go on to study for the ACA qualification with no difficulty at all. And I must state that gaining any qualification is no predictor of success as I have met terrible accountants with all types of qualifications (ACA/ACCA/CIMA etc.)

I don't mind it if you want to play the joker Chrism2671, but there may actually be people on this forum who believe the nonsense you spout. Which would be a shame.

The reallity is the the ACA/ACCA qualifications are both extremely good and will give anybody who takes them a superb grounding in business and finance.

24 June 2009 - 10:01pm

Hi all, I am looking at a career in accounting and currently completing my AS Levels but i cant help thinking further a field about what would be the best option after this, so I'd like some opinions and advice:

Do you think it would be best to first study an Accounting based subject at university and then move on to gaining an ACA qualification? Or would it be best to skip the university part and begin my AAT-ACA straight from school which could present me with a faster route?

At a recent university exhibition I managed to pick up an ACA booklet and it explains that either way I will be presented with the same opportunities, however I'm really not sure on what to do, I'd love to experience university but I'm not sure which is best option so feel free to comment on what you think would be best.


24 June 2009 - 11:12pm

Hi Jack_1111,

Here is some advice:

1) You don't need to have an accounting degree to become an accountant (infact sometimes people with a different degree do better in ACA exams as they are having a fresh start) - about 50% of the intake do not have accounting/maths/economics degrees 2) University provides a lot of other things in addition to education - it provides life experience, lets you make new friends and gain other skills 3) Sometimes companies will prefer graduates because they think they have developed skills in university that you may not develop doing AAT 4) The booklet says things will be the same but it is not always like that - some employers won't mind, some will 5) Also a degree can be a path into many different careers - AAT is not 6) The content of a degree is very different to A Levels whereas AAT is similar to Accounting A Level in some ways

What A Levels are you doing? What grades do you expect to get?

25 June 2009 - 11:05pm

Thanks for the advice, so if i chose to study accounting & finance at university would i be exempt from completing AAT and some ACA exams?

Im doing 3 A-Levels - Applied Business, History and Film Studies (Which was chosen to fill up my subjects) and i expect to get 3 B's in these, maybe a C in History is more realistic. I was also doing economics but i decided to drop it after my first year exams but im starting to realise that it would have been quite a useful subject to have kept.

26 June 2009 - 6:40pm

their isn't really any point in doing aat if you do an accounting degree

as for aca check exemptions here: http://www.icaew.com/index.cfm/route/146395/icaew_ga/en/Students/Credit_for_prior_learning_directory

27 June 2009 - 3:04pm

Jack, If you don't want to go down the uni route... take a look at PwC's non-graduate opportunities for A-level finishers. Need 280 points, which by your predictions you will get. I know of someone who joined and they found it perfect for them. Only downside is you do ACCA for Assurance route rather than ACA (which you seem to want to do, not that there is that much difference). Here is the page: http://www.pwc.com/uk/eng/car-inexp/student/non-grad.html

21 August 2009 - 3:51am

Hi, I've just been reading all the comparisons with interest. I'm an ACCA member working with a big 4 in audit. I've recently transfered over to Australia and I have found that to my horror that Australia does not recognise ACCA in any shape or form (unlike ACA). Infact to gain the australian CPA (ACA equivalent) I would not only have to start the qualification from scratch, but go back to uni to first study modules in both tax and law. So although ACCA may have the reputation of being more internationally recognised, in my case it is not. Work has suggested to me that I transfer to ACA then transfer to CPA.

However please note that for migration purposes ACCA is still recognised as a professional qualification (I think the country just has double standards)

23 August 2009 - 8:02am

Iam currently an ACCA student studying for ACCA part 3.Iam currently demotivated in my career development as an accountant in UK.It seems impossible for me to get an accounting job in this country,i cant even find the lowest accounting jobs as an accounts clerk.I have many years of accounting experience in Zambia and some charity work in finance in UK.As a matter of fact my first appointment was a cost assistant job whilest was in my final year at University.In UK am asked for the so called relevant UK experience even for basic accounting clerk work.What is the so called UK experience?How do i acquire the same UK accounting experience if am not given chance to work in the first place?I have valuable accounting skills, but i feel left out in my career development as accountant in UK.Am i the only one going through this or are there many other minority accountants who are affected?Is it some kind of segregation and if true is it ethical?What is CIMA,ACCA and ICAEW doing about it?I think its time we minorities are given equal employment and promotion opportunities without regard to race or religion.I also think that the accounting ethics in UK do not say much about discrimination compared to US CPA.What actions ACCA and ICAEW taken in response to racial discrimination allegations in some of the big 4 accounting firms?

Can somebody please help me with answers to my questions.

23 August 2009 - 4:53pm


I dont see any difference between ACCA and ACA.A choice between the two depends on where you are or where you plan to be in the near fulture.There is no difference between these two and US CPA.Any differences in global mobility are more political than professional.If for example most partners in an audit firm based in UK are ACA s they will prefer to favour ACA trainees than ACCA trainees and ACCA partners for and audit firm based in HK` will likewise tend to favour ACCA trainees.The AICPA dont recognise ACCA in US not because CPA is better but because they want to protect their market.In UK US CPA reciprocal decision is still pending because there s no such arrangement between some UK accounting bodies and AICPA. I think these politics may in near fulture lower the credibility of the accounting professional and udervalue the quality of service being offered to the client if a lower performing member is favoured on the basis of credentials rather than quality of performace.For example why couldnt accountancy see the global meltdown of economy we are going through now?

Its only the client who can decide which one is more superior ACCA ,ACA or US CPA.In my view iam calling for a single world wide accounting designation,uniform accounting and auditing standards and increased global mobility.This may improve the quality of assurance and assurance related services like forensic accounting.For example the quality of an investigation of a money laundering fraud involving different juridictions with different accounting rules ,restrictions and presentation currences of accounts statements may be better than currently is.

23 August 2009 - 4:57pm

ACCA VS ACCA Its just one qualification being offered by different bodies.Its like 2 product brands differing only in the packaging and labelling.

11 September 2009 - 4:04pm

I am so relieved to read your professional reply relating to 'Chrism2671'; obviously he seemed to be talking complete rubbish. I am currently doing a few weeks work experience here and there at accountancy firms and am thinking of going into the profession. I think I will either do the ACA or ACCA qualification, but there are endless debates, as you know, posted all over the internet of people claiming one is better than the other. On the ACA website it states the entry requirements you need to be accepted onto the program. It seems I pass them all with flying colours, apart from my degree (ACA requires 1 or 2:1) for which I received a 2:2 from Leeds in Philosophy, a result due to social student life and its sheer difficultness. But gaining the degree has given me more incentive to work harder and concentrate more if I go into accountancy. How much at a disadvantaged am at with a 2:2? I know obviously I will be at some disadvantage, having little to no chance of working for the Big 4. But I am no way inclined to work for such a company anyway. How relevant is nepotism in today’s business world? I am privileged to have many friends and relatives who are in very good positions in major companies all around the world. Does the old saying 'who you know, not what you know still apply today?

Anyway I just wanted to write to you as you seem the only one on this blog to know what their talking about.


14 October 2009 - 1:05am

Very interesting reading all these comments about the two different qualifications. I am wanting to start an ACA qualification, how dissadvantaged do you think I'd be being 28, and a background as a musician. Any advice on books I could read to find out a much more detailed description of what I'd have to go through in qualifying, and to help me get a placement in the first place.

15 October 2009 - 4:54pm

Hi, was just interested to see if anyone had any views or advice...my son is taking a year out of Uni having done one year at Imperial College, London studying maths. We live in Jersey and he was looking for temp work. Last week he received a job offer from a trust company based in Jersey. They are offering to sponsor him through the ACCA as well as paying him a good salary which will double upon completion of the qualification,but only if he stays with them and doesn't return to Imperial to complete his degree. There are some graduates who have also applied but they have said they prefer him as his A Levels grades are so good.(As and A*s in Maths, Furthur Maths, Physics,Chemistry and Biology). Not being from any kind of maths or science background myself I really don't know how to advise him and don't really want to get involved with a decision which must really come from him...any advice from people that may have more insight into the world of accounting/actuaries/stockbroking etc...?

17 October 2009 - 10:46am

OK. Well obviously two very distinct arguments here. On the one hand a degree from Imperial College is a fantastic qualification to have and will be an excellent entry on his CV. Currently, a degree will open up many more career opportunities than just having A levels. A good degree in Maths from IC is a good entry ticket for most City/Finance jobs and of course employers visit IC to recruit the best graduates. That said, why has he taken a year out? Struggling with the degree? Student debts issues (I doubt it if you live in Jersey)? If he's not happy with Uni then why force the issue and possibly struggle to get that coveted IC maths degree? If he gets a 2.2 he will have difficulty getting interviews since most employers now insist upon 2.1 minimum. Once he has his degree he will still have to go through all the application/recruitment process. He's already got a job now. If your son is enjoying his current job and the prospects for professional qualification are good then there is a good argument for staying with the company and working for his ACCA. At the risk of starting a heated debate on this site, I personally feel the ACA qualification is the gold standard for our profession but, given the nature of his work, it may be that the ACCA is more appropriate technically. If he felt it necessary to gain the ACA he can look on the ICAEW website where there is a section which explains how you can use your ACCA qualification to gain credits etc towards the ACA qualification. I mention the ACA simply because in terms of CFO, FD of FTSE companies the tendency is towards ACA. Looking to the future, he may find that the lack of degree on his CV will be an issue when applying for jobs. Hopefully his professional qualification and by then, work experience will overcome any issues on that score. Finally, on the social side. There is a lot to be said for having a great time being a student in London. Will he miss that? Finally, take a look at the ICAEW and ACCA websites.

17 October 2009 - 11:57am

I think that's fair. Unless he's not doing well/ doesn't like his degree course he should definitely finish his degree. No idea what company is offering him the training contract but with a 2.1 from imperial he will be able to choose a firm to study with after his degree finished.

I'm doing the ACA, so can't really comment on the ACCA but objectively, the ACA probably has the edge in prestige and recognition. Not that I'm casting aspersions on the other qualifications but having researched this extensively - that's simple the wider perception. I'm probably biased but if he's not sure about what he wants to do - there's few places better to start off than doing the ACA at a big 4 firm in London. It keeps your options as wide as possible whether that is to remain in public practice, work in industry, or move into investment management.

19 October 2009 - 11:29am

For those who enjoy stats: A recent survey of FDs of the FTSE top 100. Qualifications. ICAEW 56; CIMA 9; ICAS 7; ACCA 5; Other 10; none 14. Yes, the total is 101 because the FD of Friends Provident is ACCA, CIPFA. The FD salaries make more interesting reading. Page 29, Accountancy magazine, October 2009.

4 December 2009 - 5:04pm

hi... thanks to all sages who have enriched my knowledge on this topic. i really appreciate the comments of "pagreen". Of late i came across some info from wikipedia.org which i felt would be relevant here.

The British Government's Department of Trade & Industry (DTI), implementing the Companies Act 1989, allows members of six bodies to act as auditor to a limited company. These are the member bodies of CCAB & Association of International Accountants (AIA) excluded CIMA. In the European Union, under the EU mutual recognition directive, members of these six bodies may practise auditing in other EU member states, with absolute equal status.

The Consultative Committee of Accountancy Bodies (known as CCAB), formed in 1974, is an umbrella group for the major British qualified accountancy bodies. All six British and Irish professional accountancy bodies with a Royal Charter are members of the CCAB. These six are also the British professional bodies that belong to the International Federation of Accountants (IFAC). They are:

Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA) Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy (CIPFA) Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW) Institute of Chartered Accountants in Ireland (ICAI) Institute of Chartered Accountants of Scotland (ICAS) All full members of these bodies are deemed to hold equivalent-level qualifications

i think, based on the above information there should be no difference in either of this qualification. I guess this must be the reason for why KPMG recognising both the qualifications at par.

thanks to all....

11 December 2009 - 11:48am

Very interesting read and I have some opinions on the subject. I am an ACCA within Big4 audit and there is a mix of a ACCA / ACA (ICAEW) / CA (ICAS) within my department.

Currently the Big4 firm I work for have completely abandomed ICAEW and all new grad's now sit ICAS (or ACCA). I know a few years ago ACA was the trend but this changes all of the time.

Just to clear up a few incorrect comments further up:-

1) "Practical Experience" - You can independantly sit the ACCA exams without working should you wish, but you cannot become a full member until you have 3 years experience. Like all 3 bodies listed above, you have to collect evidence of competencies and log 3 years worth of experience before they will accept full membership.

2) All qualifications (including others such as CIMA) have the same legal rights to sign audit reports etc and there is no statutory difference amongst the bodies (only opinions differ).

3) There is no legal requirement to have an accountancy qual to be a CFO/FD of a company or any other director role. The reason that the majority of UK CFOs are ACA is that historically ICAEW carries more prestige / has more members in the UK (so obviously the 'UK based' FTSE100 will have more ACAs).

From my experience, any differences in the 'value' of these qualifications lie purely in the opinions of the people you are dealing with and the regional variations:-

E.g. I had a colleague (ACA) who applied for a job in Hong Kong and was actually asked by the employment agency...'is that a spelling mistake on you cv?'. In Asia this is by far the more respected qual. However I know (from personal experience) that ACCA is not held in anywhere near as much regard as ACA / CA in Australia. This highlights the regional variations.

Some people have opinions over which is the 'harder' qual to obtain, but again this is down to opinion. The ICAS students at my firm like to joke that their exams are harder than ACCA, however they sit twice as many exams per sitting. I know a tutor who left my firm to teach ACCA having studied ICAS and she claims ACCA is much detailed. It depends on the person (whether you suit technical or practical), the number of exams you sit per sitting, pressures from work etc, but if you look at the syllabus of each body they are all very similar. Anyone who claims to say conclusively that one qual is better than another is simply stupid/ignorant, as it is purely a matter of opinion.

Some people I have worked with (particulary older people) tend to form opinions based on what qual they hold. I personally think this is quite narrow-minded, however you will occasionally see job adverts stating 'CA only' etc, however in general all accountancy quals will open up doors and ensure you earn a decent salary in a respected job.

The 'right' qual for a particular person depends on their own ambition/situation. If you want to work in the public sector then CIPFA (accountancy body specialising in public sector finance) is more suitable. If you want to travel and work in the emerging markets in Asia then prob ACCA. If you want to work for a large UK FTSE company, then prob ACA/CA. It all depends on the person/situation.

In response to MANDAs post re the IC student. Without knowing the circumstances of why he is considering dropping out, I would defo recommend he completes his course (especially if he thinks he can get a 2:1). He shouldnt jump ship purely for the security of a job as he will not struggle for opportunities post graduation and his c.v. will initially look like it has a 'hole' where a degree should be (this year it is estimated that about 50% of 18yrs will apply to uni).

I personally agree with a post further up, that the industry needs standardising across the world. Moves are being made for global convergence of accountancy standards etc, however we are a long way off one accountancy qual to fit all.

So to conclude, I don't believe that there is significant difference between all 5-6 accountancy options, however consider you own ambitions and what options are available to you.

11 December 2009 - 1:15pm

well, dont wanna go off-topic, but there is a basic difference - ACCA has 1 more C than ACA!



  • ICAEW gives ACA
  • ICAS gives CA
  • ACCA gives ACCA
11 December 2009 - 3:03pm

Very comprehensive answer from stehitchen. One comment I would add is that historically ACA (and 10 years after qualifying it becomes FCA) has been seen as the superior qualification because it is mainly graduate entry to train whereas ACCA is mainly non graduate.

11 December 2009 - 4:35pm

A few more comments worth mentioning. ICAEW=Institute. Members are "Chartered" ACCA=Association. Members are "Certified" Please don't ask me to define the differences but there are. I believe (but someone can help here please) to be an Institute suggests an organization needs to demonstrate a more rigorous application of standards and byelaws? Interestingly an ACCA may apply to become an ACA after completing 5 years post qualifying ACCA, getting proposer, sponsors etc and satisfying CPE requirements. Why do ACCAs want to join ICAEW as indeed many do. Why don't ACAs join ACCA? Interestingly when answering the "which is better?" question, ACAs say "Ours is superior" but ACCAs only argue that they are as good as ICAEW but never try to say they are better. Historically all the top accountancy firms in the UK used to include "Chartered Accountants" in their name and you could only be a partner in the firm if you were a Chartered Accountant (ICAEW OR ICAS). Clearly that has changed and anyone can be a partner now, even HMRC inspectors!!

12 December 2009 - 1:36am

Can't say conclusively, but I think ACCA, CIPFA and CIMA can all call themselves Chartered Accountants if they wish (however only ICAS can use the actual abbrevation 'CA') as they are all 'chartered' bodies. It does tend to be ICAS/ICAEW who have used that phrase for longer as they have held charters for much longer. However, all bodies within the CCAB (Consultative Committee of Accountancy Bodies UK) hold royal charters (the other C in ACCA and the C in CIMA/CIPFA all stand for 'chartered').

I do agree, that 'Institute' sounds better than 'Association' but don't really know the legal difference - anyone have any input? ICAS/ICAEW do hold more prestige and people often mistakenly think that they are the only 'chartered' bodies, however in my opinion this is an old fashioned view point as I can't think of any practical differences between the two in todays business world.

Re the point about graduates v non-graduates. You can't simply study ACCA straight out of school, you must either hold a degree for direct entry or first study AAT (which can also allows entry to study ACA or CA???). Therefore there isn't a great deal of difference currently as you can gain entry to all 3 as a school leaver via AAT and I know a CA who doesn't have a degree (the division of graduate v non-graduate is again a historical difference which has driven the 'prestige' element).

I would actually argue that ICAS holds more prestige than ICAEW as it is the oldest chartered accountancy body in the world (i.e. the sole use of the abbreviation 'CA') and scotland is widely accepted to be the birthplace of modern economics/accountacy.

Is anything I have said wrong or does anyone know any situations where the different qual will cause practical problems in the workplace and not just opinion based?. I guess its just the same type of case as an Oxford/Cambridge degree....a degree is a degree on paper and it doesn't necessarily mean a better candidate, but people hold an Oxbridge degree above all others based on prestige?

12 December 2009 - 10:25am

Just to correct you: Only ICAS, ICAEW or ICAI can call themselves 'Chartered Accountant' Only ACCA can call themselves 'Chartered Certified Accountant' Only CIMA can call themselves 'Chartered Management Accountant' Only CIPFA can call themselves 'Chartered Public Finance Accountant'. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/British_qualified_accountants#Titles_of_British_accountancy_qualifications

12 December 2009 - 11:10am

stehitchen, I think pretty much what you say is correct these days. But I believe that the word Chartered was only actually introduced to ACCA when it changed its name in 1995. Previuosly it was Association of Certified Corporate Accountants. Sadly, I also believe the Scots CA is marginally better (I'm Scots but with ACA qualification). In fact the Scots Institute holds a quasi grad ceremony for newly qualified. It's perceived supremecy was in part due to it's history and until recently it was small and exclusive. Now the flood gates are opening with the English piling in. I believe also soem 10 yeras ago thatthe English firms (can't remember the exact details) didn't like the direction that the ICAEW training was taking and the Scots qualification seemed better. Is the situation changing again? On a trivial note, it is the Institute of Chartered Accountants OF Scotland, Whereas ICAEW is the Institute of Chartrered Accountants IN England. Historically you could take ACCA in industry or the profession whereas you had to train for ICAS/ICAEW with a firm of Chartered Accountants. That has changed now. However, 87% of ICAEW students are graduates and the majority train within the profession. ACCA is creeping into the professional firms but is still, for whatever reason considered not the creme de la creme.

12 December 2009 - 6:02pm

Yeah I agree with both posts from ucayman and tutor.

In response to ucayman, you are right, I think I was just trying to get at the point that alot of people mistakenly think that only ICAEW/ICAS are the only bodies which are chartered.

Whilst there has been many differences previously, i.e. entry routes, requirement for professional firms etc, as far as I know there are no actual entry/practical differences at present as all bodies under the CCAB hold equivalent status and the biggest difference is opinion based (and therefore the lack of facts means that no one body can claim to be 'better' than another).

Would be quite interesting to see the results of the FTSE100 survey in 100 years time, i would predict a lot more ICAS as it seems that a lot of the big firms have completely moved away from ICAEW to north of the border.

12 December 2009 - 7:58pm

An awful lot of non ACCAs don't even know the name was changed in 1995. Some ACAs are VERY sniffy about ACCAs and call them "mechanics".

In 100 years time?? Well, if Scotland becomes independent, they'll charge English students of ICAS as if they are overseas students, don't you think?? Or keep it stricly for the Scots.

In 100 years time it'll be the Institute of Chartered Accountants in Europe. God help us.

12 December 2009 - 9:02pm

"Would be quite interesting to see the results of the FTSE100 survey in 100 years time, i would predict a lot more ICAS as it seems that a lot of the big firms have completely moved away from ICAEW to north of the border."

I think all of the firms do ICAS for trainees in scotland

for trainees based in England only PKF and E+Y do ICAS - but lately they have started doing some students on ICAEW aswell

13 December 2009 - 10:32am

Yeah there 'Institute of Chartered Accountants in Europe' does seem possible with how things are going.

13 December 2009 - 10:59am

Don't be so sure of it

The ICAEW merger with CIMA and CIPFA failed - as did an earlier merger attempt

ICAS don't want to merge with ICAEW because then they wouldn't be able to differentiate themselves as the oldest accountanty body in the world vs ICAEW and also would have to allow ICAEW ACA members to use the CA title (only ICAS are allowed to use it per their royal charter) - a lot of it does come down to 'snobbery' but thats they way it is

13 December 2009 - 1:36pm

Aye, we hiv a mind tae keep thae English oot o oor Institute. But thanks for helping oot oor banks non the less!