The CA vs ACCA comparison is a common dilemma among students of the Commerce stream. ACCA, which is easier to crack and is globally recognized, has rapidly emerged as a strong alternative for CA, which was the only choice earlier. Hence aspirants are often in two minds about which course is best suited for them.   

CA vs ACCA : A Tale of Two College Buddies…

Karan and Rohan, both school friends, finish their 10th exam together and seek admission to 11th Commerce at the same college. Being talented and ambitious, they plan their career paths well on time.  Karan decides to pursue ACCA whereas Rohan opts for CA.

Today Karan works as a Finance Manager for an MNC based out of Dubai. It suits him fine, because he had always aspired to work and live abroad. On the other hand, Rohan is now a junior partner in his family CA practice firm, founded by his dad and uncle 30 years ago. He is happy, too, as he always wished to live close to his family and wanted to be his own boss…

Depending on your inclination and aptitude, you too can build a successful career in accounting and finance by making the right choice. This article will help you with this crucial decision making.

Also Read – 6 reasons why ACCA with Bcom is the best choice for your graduation

CA vs ACCA: Comparative Fact File




 Basic Info

Full Form Association of Certified Chartered Accountant Chartered Accountancy
Professional Body Association of Certified Chartered Accountants Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI)
Course Duration 2 to 3 years including 36 months’ ‘Practical Experience Requirement’ (PER) as mandated by ACCA


3 to 5 years with an additional year of training
Course Focus Taxation, Auditing, Accounts Handling, Management Accounting Finance and Financial Accounting
Course Fees INR 2 Lac to INR 3 Lac INR 1 to INR 2 Lac
Course Levels
  • Knowledge Level
  • Skills Level
  • Professional Level
  • CA Foundation
  • CA Intermediate
  • CA Final
Papers Total 13 papers Total 20 papers

 Advanced Details

Who Should Do It?
  • If you wish to learn international accounting standards
  • If you aspire to work and settle abroad
  • If you are gifted with strategic thinking and have the passion to learn new skills and abilities
  • If you want to work and live only in India
  • Best suited if you have a running Practice in the family or are somehow associated i with a CA firm and would like to work in the team
Migration Scope Global recognition; can work and settle abroad in any of 180 countries, including Australia, the UAE, the UK, and India, among several others Valid only in India
Flexibility More flexible; consent to attempt a single paper in each go Less flexible; candidates have to attempt at least one group comprising 4 papers at a time
Pass Rate 40 to 45% success rate in the first attempt Approximately 14% pass in the first attempt
Exemptions Commerce graduates or postgraduates can be exempt from a maximum of 9 papers out of the total 13 Commerce graduates or postgraduates are exempt from the Foundation Course that comprises 4 papers
Signing Authority An ACCA does not have the signing authority in India but is authorized to do so in many other countries viz Australia and New Zealand, the UK, the UAE, Dubai, Canada, and Malaysia A practicing CA has the signing authority in India only
Employment Scope and Opportunities Big 4, MNCs, and Indian blue chip companies Indian corporate houses, Indian government establishments, and PSUs
Remuneration Average salary falling in the range 6 to 10 LPA Average salary in the range 6 to 10 LPA
Program Popularity Rapidly growing demand in recent years Demand is steady
Exam Mode Remote and computer-based exam Physical or In-class, pen-n-paper style exam

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CA vs ACCA: Each Course is a Gateway to Great Careers…

Both qualifications open doors to various career opportunities in accounting, finance, and business. However, both the courses have their own strengths and peculiarities that make them one of the most valued professional qualifications. Each course is indeed a gateway to great careers for Commerce students. 

Read on to know the key points of difference in detail:

  • Relocation Possibilities

ACCA, as a widely recognized program, serves as your passport to an exciting international profession. It opens doors to employment and relocation in 180 countries, including Australia, the UAE, the UK, India, and many more. However, CAs are restricted to working and residing solely within India.

  • Course Flexibility

The concept of course flexibility can be compared to a tech analogy. ACCA is like ‘plug-n-play’, allowing you the freedom to tackle one paper at a time. This feature makes it highly popular among working professionals.

In contrast, the CA course and exam structure is quite rigid, giving aspirants limited options. Here, you are required to attempt at least one group at a time.

  • Difficulty Level

ACCA offers a more favorable pass rate of 40% to 45% on the first attempt, making it relatively easier to successfully complete. On the other hand, CA poses a significant challenge, as only 14% of candidates manage to pass on their initial try.

Also Read – How much should you be earning post-ACCA in Dubai

  • Exemptions

Aspirants pursuing ACCA can benefit from exemptions as mentioned below:

  • Graduation: 4 out of 13 papers
  • IPCC passed + Graduate: 6 out of 13 papers
  • CA qualified: 9 out of 13 papers
  • Studying in 1st year B.Com. : 5 out of 9 papers (as per the updated Exemption Policy)

Candidates pursuing CA can get exemption only from the Foundation Course provided they are commerce graduates or postgraduates. 

  • Signing Authority

ACCA not only equips aspirants with global accounting standards and practices, but also empowers them with the signing authority in many other countries except India.

On the other hand, a practicing CA has the signing authority only in India.

  • Job Prospects and Pay Packages

Since the ACCA course has a global edge, ACCAs are more favoured by MNCs such as the Big 4, Grant Thornton, BDO, Standard Chartered, JP Morgan, BNP Paribas, Maersk, ICICI Securities, and Abans, among others. However, ACCA candidates can’t work in government jobs.

On the other hand, CAs are employed by all firms across India, with the added advantage that they can work in government offices as well.

Both ACCA and CA earn the same average salary in the range 6 to 10 LPA. 

Also Read – How tough is it to pass the ACCA exam?

ACCA vs CA – Who Should Do What? 

ACCA is a Global Accountant. It is best suited for those aspirants who desire to learn international accounting standards; wish to work and live abroad; are gifted with strategic thinking; and have the passion to learn new skills and abilities.

CA is ideally suited for those candidates who have a running practice in the family that they aspire to lead and would not like to move out of India. CA is also the best accountancy career path if you have an inclination to work in Indian government establishments, PSUs, etc.

Still Can’t Decide What’s Best For You? Need Expert’s Help?

Proschool – the Proven Career Launchpad for ACCA Aspirants 

IMS Proschool has become the academy of choice for pursuing the ACCA qualification. 

Students in growing numbers opt for Proschool for embarking on their ACCA journey owing to the following reasons:

  1. 12000+ trained in Accounting and Finance
  2. You could save on registration fees and training costs
  3. Proschool helps in getting exemptions
  4. Classroom training available in 10 cities
  5. Exam pass commitment – Proschool offers unlimited classroom and doubt-solving sessions in case you fail ACCA Exams
  6. ACCA Demo Class Available
  7. Extensive Pool Of Questions – Students solve 600+ questions for each of the ACCA subjects which helps them ace the exams easily.
  8. Faculty from Barclays, Standard Chartered, Crisil etc., with 80+ years of combined experience
  9. Financial Modeling worth Rs 40k free
  10. The batch starts every month

ACCA vs CA – FAQs 

Q1: Is ACCA better than CA?

A1: The higher qualification rate of ACCA and its almost global acceptance make it an attractive proposition for students.

Q2: Is ACCA accepted in India?

A2: Yes, it is.

Q3: Does ACCA have value in India?

A3: Certainly. Though ACCA members don’t have the signing authority in India, they can find rewarding employment with the Big 4 and can work for the India offices of the leading MNCs as well.

 Q4: Can ACCA earn in crores?

A4: The remuneration of an ACCA professional is influenced by various factors, with years of experience being a significant determinant. Nevertheless, ACCA-qualified individuals in senior roles can potentially earn anywhere from INR 20,00,000 to as high as 1 crore.

Q5: Is CA valid outside India?

A5: No, Indian CAs are not allowed to practice outside India.