ACCA, CMA, or CA: Which One Should You Choose?
Finance and accounting is the most essential part of the business. It is with money and sound management of financial reserves that help a company not just ensure profit maximisation, but also aid its expansion and growth plans. A career in accounting and financial management is not only an interesting pick but also pays handsomely to skilled individuals. If you are a person intrigued by finance and wealth management, pursuing finance and accounting certification courses will take you a long way. These finance and accounting certificate courses will pave numerous paths in diverse fields.
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An ACCA certification will open up a plethora of opportunities for you. You can not only go ahead and pursue a master’s specialisation in financial accounting but also set up your own business or consultancy to work with big business organisations for managing their accounts.
Chartered Accountants (CA) and Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) courses are extremely in-demand these days, especially among individuals who want to pursue careers in accounting and finance. It is a field held in high regard across India and the world. However, by considering that the total pass percentage for CA exams is in single digits, it is difficult to obtain a CA degree. As highly detailed and well-recognized, the CA course has an inflexible framework, making it very difficult to follow for those who want to work and learn at the same time.
On the other hand, ACCA is a global chartered accounting certification that can open up opportunities for the Big 4 accounting firms as well as MNCs in India and internationally. In this article, you will explore the difference between ACCA and CMA, the difference between ACCA and CA and the difference between CMA and CA. You will also look at some of the best online finance and accounting courses to master these certificates.
Association of Chartered Certified Accountants courses (ACCA)
ACCA is a fast-growing international accounting organization. As an internationally recognized education and updated/ Industry relevant content, ACCA certification is a great way to develop a career in accounting and finance. You can attempt this one of the finance and accounting certificate courses with your graduation. This qualification is more attractive for its flexible examination scheme.
ACCA course is the leading international accounting authority. The ACCA Certification is commonly regarded as a prestigious course in finance and accounting. It will let you learn about international accounting and auditing practices. So, it makes it simple and eligible for you to look for work outside the country.
Also read: Best Tips to get hired after completing CA
To be eligible for ACCA courses, you should be met with the following requirements:
- You can apply for ACCA after 12th with commerce and have passed subjects like English, Account, and Mathematics.
- You must have passed class 12th with two subjects by 65% and 50% for other subjects.
- You can apply after completing a bachelor's degree like B.Com, BBA, and BMS.
Duration of ACCA Course
ACCA has two exams each year and you can set up a maximum of four papers in a session so that you can finish all the exams in 2 years. Practical work will have been completed in the next 1 year. In other words, the duration of the certification will be 3 years.
ACCA Course Fees
The fee structure of ACCA classes can vary from college to college depending on numerous factors. On average, the fee would be about 3 Lakhs per annum.
ACCA Courses Online
There are multiple online finance and accounting courses that will equip you with skills for working as an ACCA-certified accounting professional. Here are some benefits of the ACCA course online.
You can study as per your own. At some time it happens that because of work you cannot give time to your study. In the ACCA course online, you can learn as per your free time.
You can save money in ACCA online classes. You can also save money and time such as communication costs and materials. Because in online classes you have multiple options for online materials.
There are also so many online resources for students and these are accessed free of cost or at some reasonable cost.
Cost Management Accountant courses (CMA)
The Cost Management Accountant (CMA) is one of the most competitive finance and accounting certification courses in the financial market. The CMA course is a perfect choice for those who dream of making it big in the management accounting field. In recent days, the course has become a very common option between commerce students or those preparing to join the field of commerce.
Cost Accounting Management is a certificate course designed to prepare students to work in various sectors and corporate functions. In India, the credential for the CMA course is provided by the Institute of Cost Accountants of India (ICAI). Read here to know all about the CMA course.
Also read: Career as Certified Management Accountant
- You must have passed 10th and 12th to apply for the CMA foundation level. If you have studied a diploma in commerce education by AICTE, you will be eligible for the CMA course.
- For the intermediate level, you must have completed class 12th education and foundation course of the ICAI. You also must have an undergraduate degree in any discipline other than fine arts.
- You must have passed the intermediate level to become eligible for the CMA Final level.
Duration of CMA course
The duration of the Cost Management Accountant course is flexible. This means that the time taken to complete the CMA program will rely on the degree of concentration and commitment of the student.
The course can be finished from 6 months to 4 years. In India, students normally take at least 3-4 years to complete the course, while in the US, the course will be completed in just six months.
CMA Online course
Thanks to the Internet, you can access online CMA classes at your own convenience. You do not even have to wait for your teacher or class to start like you would in a traditional classroom environment. Plus, there is no way to suck up more of your precious time. Bonus: No traffic!
CMA online course services are often completed more slowly than their classroom equivalents owing to lower operating costs. Classroom teachers tend to pay rent for the space they use, meaning that lessons are frequently hurried and not longer than 6 to 8 weeks.
CMA Course Fees
CMA coaching fees in India can range from 1.25 Lakhs to 1.50 Lakhs including CMA training and exam fees. CMA USA course fees are different for both students and professionals.
In recent years, the CMA course has gained great attention worldwide. A professional CMA has great job prospects in firms such as the ‘Big Four’ and even government departments. Therefore, one must consider pursuing the CMA course.
Chartered Accountant Courses (CA)
Chartered Accountant is a very renowned course for commerce graduates. The Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI) is the only authority to hold CA exams and offers a CA degree. ICAI is the second largest accounting organization in the world.
Chartered Accountant is a well-known profession for earning high salaries in the finance industry and also responsible for managing the company's financial and legal matters. The occupation is difficult as a CA always needs to be updated with the latest laws and case studies. A person who is an expert in Chartered Accountant is aware of different domains, such as accounting, auditing, taxation, finance, corporate law.
Also read: Taxation Law Course
To be eligible for CA courses, you must meet the following criteria:
- If you have passed 10+2 in any stream with at least 55% marks, you are eligible for CA common proficiency course (CA CPC), which is a Level 1 or Foundation course and sit for CA CPT.
- After completing Level 1 or UG/PG qualification, you are eligible for CA IPCC or Level 2 (Intermediate) course.
- Once you cleared Level 2 and 2.5 years of articleship or trained under officially practising for CA, you will be qualified for the CA final.
Duration of CA Course
The duration of the CA course is scheduled to be completed 4.5 years.
CA Certification Fee Structure
The CA certification training is the first step to be cleared in the CA courses. Registration for these courses can be made twice a year in June and December. The total cost for the foundation course is Rs 10,900, which includes application fees, membership fees for the journal, and exam fees.
CA Online classes
Online Chartered Accountancy courses can be as beneficial (or even more so) as a typical CA coaching class. There was a time when studying for CA or, for that matter, any competitive exam would require students to visit multiple cities and centres, participate in big-banner coaching courses, and pay large fees. Two decades ago, there was hardly any other option. Online CA classes did not exist and had no idea of the kind of revolution they might trigger. However, with digital resolution, it has become reality. Online CA classes will give you the freedom to learn at your own pace.
Difference between ACCA and CA
If you are planning a career in ACCA or CA, it is necessary to understand the difference between ACCA and CA in the Indian context. The chart below will help you better understand whether CA or ACCA is better for you on a set of characteristics for your consideration:
|Full-Form||Association of Chartered Certified Accountants||Chartered Accountants|
|Recognition||Internationally Over 180 countries||Internationally Over 25 countries|
|Exam Structure||Two levels: Fundamentals and Professional||Three levels: Foundation, Intermediate and Final|
|Fees Structure||2-3 Lakhs per annum||1 Lakh per annum|
|Major Focus||Reporting, Performance Management, Financial Management, Global Audit, Leadership, International Taxation, Corporate and Commercial Law.||Financial Management, Indian Corporate Laws, Taxation, Reporting, Auditing Cost Management, and Expertise in multiple domains.|
|Eligibility||Class 12 with commerce and a bachelor’s degree such as BBA, BCom, BMS||10+2 and CA CPT and CA IPCC (based on the levels)|
|Course Duration||2 years||4.5 years|
|Exam Papers||14 papers||20 papers|
|Articleship||There is no requirement for article ship in ACCA. In the financial department, 3 years of experience are required for ACCA.||In CA, 3 years of articleship is required under practising as a chartered accountant.|
|Flexibility||ACCA provides great flexibility to students as they can give 4 exams every quarter.||In the CA course, students have to pass the 4 papers in the group.|
|Career Prospects||Chief Financial Officer (CFO), Forensic Accountant, Auditor,|
Tax Specialist, etc.
|Accountants, Accounting Managers, Auditing Experts, Taxation Experts, etc.|
If you want to build a career in India or set up your own business, you should go with CA courses, but if you are planning to set up outside India, then ACCA would be a better choice. But as far as today's scenario is concerned, CA is better than ACCA in every aspect, whether it is industry demand, reach, credibility, earnings, etc.
Difference between CMA and CA
Understand the difference between CMA and CA to determine the best choice for you. The below table shows the important the difference between CMA and CA:
|Full-Form||Cost Management Accountant||Chartered Accountant|
|Recognition||India and over 100 countries||India with over 25 countries|
|Exam Structure||CMA Foundation|
|Fees Structure||1.5-2 Lakhs per annum||1 Lakh per annum|
|Major Focus||Cost Accountancy, Corporate Finance, Cost Management, Internal Controls, Economics, Performance Management, Decision Analysis, Strategic Planning, Financial Reporting, and Organizational Management.||Financial Management, Accounting, Taxation, Law, Audit, and Finance|
|Eligibility||10+2 or equivalent or Diploma in commercial finance||10+2 or equivalent or CA CPT|
|Course Duration||3-4 years||4.5 years|
|Exam Papers||20 papers||20 papers|
|Articleship||6 months of training are compulsory before applying for the CMA.||3 years of articleship is required under practising as a chartered accountant.|
|Flexibility||The CMA course is flexible for students.||Students have to pass the 4 papers in the group.|
|Career Prospects||Cost Accounting, Financial Planning, Cost Auditing, Business Analysis, Business Applications, Strategic Management, and Management Accounting||Internal Audit, Direct or Indirect Taxation, Statutory Audit, Investment Decisions, Handling Transfer Pricing, and Financial and Accounting Management|
Difference between ACCA and CMA
Land the best career in India and abroad by understanding the difference between ACCA and CMA. The table below shows the difference between ACCA and CMA that will help you decide which one is best suited for you and your career.
|Full-Form||Association of Chartered Certified Accountants||Certified Management Accountant|
|Recognition||Over 180 countries||India and over 100 countries|
|Exam Structure||Two levels: Fundamentals and Professional||CMA Foundation|
|Fees Structure||2-3 Lakhs per annum||1.5-2 Lakhs per annum|
|Major Focus||Reporting, Performance Management, Financial Management, Global Audit, Leadership, International Taxation, Corporate and Commercial law.||Cost Accounting, Financial Planning, Cost Auditing, Business Analysis, Business Applications, Strategic Management, and Management Accounting|
|Eligibility||10+2 with commerce and a bachelor’s degree in BBA, BCom, BMS||10+2 or equivalent or Diploma in commercial finance|
|Course Duration||2 years||3-4 years|
|Exam Papers||14 papers||20 papers|
|Articleship||There is no requirement for article ship in ACCA. In the financial department, 3 years of experience is required for ACCA.||6 months of training are compulsory before applying for the CMA.|
|Flexibility||ACCA provides great flexibility to the student as they can give 4 exams every quarter.||The CMA course is flexible for students.|
|Career Prospects||Chief Financial Officer (CFO), Forensic Accountant, Auditor,|
Tax Specialist, etc.
|Cost Accounting, Financial Planning, Cost Auditing, Business Analysis, Business Applications, Strategic Management, and Management Accounting|
You can pursue the courses which suit your career goals best. Once you reach a certain point after knowing all the courses and their benefits, you would definitely determine in which direction you should go.
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Frequently Asked Question (FAQs) - ACCA, CMA, or CA: Which One Should You Choose?
Question: What does ACCA mean?
ACCA stands for the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants, which is a global body of finance and accounting professionals.
Question: What is the duration of the ACCA course?
The ACCA course duration is about 2 years.
Question: ACCA or CMA, which is easier?
The ACCA certification has around 14 papers and takes about 2 years to complete. On the other hand, CMA has 20 papers that can be completed within a period of 2-3 years.
Question: Is ACCA better than MBA?
While an MBA is focused on managerial functions and administration of a company, ACCA is a more specialized skill set that covers accounting and financial management. Both have their pros and cons, and you can choose either as per your interest.
Question: Are ACCA, CMA, CA certifications required for a job in finance?
While most MNCs don’t require these certifications for a finance-related job, it is always an added advantage if you are a qualified accountancy professional with expertise in a particular field/aspect of accountancy.
Question: How can I become a CA in India?
To become a CA, you have to clear the three-phase register for CA foundation, register for intermediate, and enrol in articleship.
Question: What are the fees for the CA course?
The ideal fee for pursuing the CA course in India is around Rs 1-2 lakhs per annum, including intermediate, foundation, or articleship among others.
Question: What is the duration of a CMA course after completing an undergraduate/bachelor’s degree?
After completing a bachelor's degree like B.Com, BBA or BMS you can complete CMA within 2-3 years.
Question: How much can CMA professionals earn after completing the course?
After completing the CMA course, you can earn around Rs 3-4 lakhs per annum, with certified employment.
Question: I want to work as an accounting professional in European countries, which one amongst ACCA or CMA should I opt for?
If you wish to work as an accounting professional in European countries, you should opt for the ACCA certification.
Question: Which course has more value - ACCA or CMA?
CMA is an India-focused accounting certification that can be beneficial for aspirants who wish to work as cost or management accountants in a manufacturing firm/ manufacturing industry. In comparison, ACCA is a lot more diverse and offers employment opportunities in audit, taxation, finance among others, and enables you to work as an accountant/consultant with companies outside India.
Chartered Accountancy Updates and Articles
Questions related to Chartered Accountancy
what is ACCA and what is its eligibility? Full form of ACCA?
- Full form of ACCA is Association of Chartered Certified Accountants.
- It is an institute, formed in 1904 that offers the “Chartered Certified Accountant” qualification.
- It is an international accountancy organization with 2,00,000 members and 4,86,000 students in 180 countries.
- Eligibility - You should have completed 18 years of age and qualified the 10+2 exams with an aggregate of 65% in Mathematics/Accounts and English and a minimum of 50%in other subjects.
- Job Opportunities -
Education & Health departments
Local government organizations
- Non-Profit Organizations
- Financial Services
- Public Sector
Hope this helps!
Is there any disadvantages of doing while youre from pcm stream?
Hope you are Doing well!!
PCM stream students also eligible for Chartered Accountancy(CA). There is no such disadvantage to doing CA while you're from PCM. You need to learn accountant, law such subjects. Those who take commerce steam they can learn Accounts , law and such subject in 12th so, they can easily understand the CA Subjects while those who take PCM in 12th they are very new for these subject But if they tried to learn and practice they are also familier with these subjects. You may start your journey of becoming CA by appearing for CPT conducted by ICAI.
I hope this information will help you.
Feel free to ask any query.
All the best for your bright future ahead.
after bachelor degree what is the duration of CA and CS?
You will be given designation of CA after completing all the three levels of CA which are foundation level exam, Intermediate level and articleship, and final level. This course of Chartered accountacy is completed in 5 years roughly. Company Secretary (CS) course is a 3 years professional level undergraduate course. And you can pursue CA and CS simultaneously.
Im currently in 1st year of BBA and Im planning to do MBA, now my question is what else i should do to add more weight to my CV as i guess doing MBA only would not be a Very wise choice because of the competition these days so what else should i do while i have the time?
It's true that today a degree won't be suffice for career advancement, there are other things also which are required such as developing soft skills, you can explore your interests by doing courses through MOOCs if you feel that's relevant to your area of job profile that you wish to explore, you can do internships as this will also give you a more clarity on what kind of job roles you enjoy, maintain a profile that also goes beyond academic, and I'm not talking only in terms of extra-curricular activities but even volunteering for certain causes that close to your heart, for example education if you wish to reach out to needy people and help them, you can teach them, and today with digital reach things too are quite different, basically diversity is the key here, you have to go beyond your academics, develop critical thinking, problem-solving skills etc as these won't just help you in corporate world in future, but it becomes an intrinsic part of one's personality, and now company do look beyond academics, hence the emphasis is so much more on developing soft skills, you can also follow people in the field that you want to be a part of, being well-read also helps a lot, as the world is changing at such a fast pace, be updated with the latest information.
chartered accountancy course full details
CA course focuses on accounting and taxation procedures. These are the people who can take care of the accounting and the taxation for a business or a firm. This course is minimu of 4 years duration if you choose foundation path. But if you choose direct path then it can be completed in 6 months only. The three levels of this course are designed by ICAI( Institute of chartered accountancy of India ). And kindly note that direct entry path is for the candidates who have completed their post graduation degree. There is a wide scope of this course not only in India as well as foreign countries. And the professionals of this course mainly works in business, cooperatives or in firms.
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Hope this helps. All the best.