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Difference Between CFA, CA and FCA - Full Form of CFA, CA and FCA -College Disha

Update on 30 Sep, 22

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Difference Between CFA, CA and FCA - Full Form of CFA, CA and FCA -College Disha

Difference Between CFA, CA, and FCA

1. FCA - (Fellow Chartered Accountant)

FCA stands for a Fellow Chartered Accountant, in simple words. This is a recognition of a Chartered Accountant rank. The applicant is called Associate Chartered Accountant whenever a candidate completes its CA. FCA is used to recognize those who have achieved a higher degree of professional experience.

There are two categories of chartered accountants, namely a Fellow Chartered Accountant (FCA) and an Associate Chartered Accountant (ACA) and they may both be members of ICAI (Indian Chartered Accountancy Council). A Fellow Chartered Accountant is the one that holds a professional certificate for more than five years in which an ACA has been in operation for less than five years.

That is the fundamental distinction between the two chartered accountants groups. The ACA and FCA have equal responsibilities, and so do the voting rights of both ACAs and FCAs. However, only Fellow Chartered Accountants can be elected to the Council and Provincial Councils of the ICAI. It is generally so because they have higher work experience and therefore more knowledge and skills in their field of work.

2. CFA - (Chartered Financial Analyst)

CFA (Chartered Financial Analyst) is an internationally recognized qualification issued by the CFA Institute in the area of financial accounting and investment management. Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) are trained people and are highly regarded in their profession and have in-depth expertise about financial and investment reporting, finance, wealth management, etc.

A graduate degree in any area and a minimum of 4 years of work experience is the required CFA eligibility to apply for this test.

To acquire CFA certification, students must complete the three levels of tests, i.e.

  • Level I
  • Level II
  • Level III 

This can be completed within 1.5 years to 4 years which depends entirely on the excellence of the applicant.

CFA Exam can be qualified by doing self-study as the study material is officially supplied to each registered candidate by the CFA Institute itself, either online or with a nominal fee they can get the hardcopy.

However, since the test is considered to be very difficult and demanding, a number of institutes and coaching centers in India offer CFA preparation training and CFA Books and Study Material to assist in the preparation process.

What is CFA?

  • The CFA (Chartered Financial Analyst) course is the one that engages an aspirant's financial and investment management skills.
  • This is an internationally recognized program offering a stable base for the investment analytics community.
  • The CFA course is offered worldwide by an American-based company called CFA Institute, which regularizes the CFA program's syllabus and curriculum specifics.
  • CFA offers you an outline of the real demand for investment.
  • Each year, many candidates apply for CFA, but only 40-50 percent qualify for the next level. It's one of the most challenging programs in the world, in terms of complexity.
  • The CFA Chartered destination is granted after having qualified all 3 levels of the CFA Exam.

3. CA - (Chartered Accountants)

The ICAI (Institute of Chartered Accountants of India) administers a chartered accountancy course.  In industry, the occupation is well-reputed and adequate to get you a dream career, and also to gain reputation and fame. Chartered Accountants are highly accountable people within a company whose role is to estimate, schedule, and advise the management of the most profitable ventures and investments.

When CA has been applied to your name, you can deem an expert in specific fields to say as accounting, auditing, taxes, banking, corporate law, etc. In addition to this, CA's are the only approved individuals in India who can audit an organization's financial statements.

A financial Statement, without a signature from CA, Can't be called an Audited Financial Statement.

Even P.M. Modi Ji himself said that a"CA’s signature is stronger than P.M. Signing.

The CA Course is bifurcated into three stages -

  1. CA Base, 
  2. CA Intermediate, and 
  3. CA Final, along with three years of Articleship Training designating CA studies to be beyond bookish knowledge. Here students are made aware of real-world problems and transformed into true professionals with the three years of Articleship Training in the CA curriculum.

Difference Between CFA and CA

CA vs CFA, the corporate's two most interesting and challenging career choices. Yet normally the students ask which one is better for them? Well, it's easy to choose between good and bad, but the most challenging thing is to choose between good and good, and that is where most students get stuck.

So we've prepared an article that will help you choose between CA and CFA – which one is better for you?

Now let's explore some differences between CA and CFA and see what's better from your point of view-





CA is regarded as an accounting, revenue, regulation, audit, and finance expert.

CFA has a main focus on Finance.


CA is an Indian i.e. nationwide Recognised course organized by ICAI

CFA is an internationally recognized course organized by the CFA Institute.

Duration of the Course

CA is divided into three levels along with 3 years of practical training taking at least 4.5 years after the 12th.

Chartered Financial Accountants is also sub-divided into 3 stages along with mandatory 4 years of practical training experience requiring a minimum of 4 years after graduation.

Pass Percentage

With an average passage of 0.5 percent, CA is considered the toughest course in the world. Just 5 out of 1000 entrants are expected to qualify for the CA Final Exam.

Compared to CA the passing percentage of CFA is higher.  The avg. passing rate tends to be 10 percent, indicating that 100 students will apply for this exam out of 1000 students.


CA's demand is certainly higher, as they are only allowed to audit the company's financial statements.

Many national and multinational corporations are calling on CFA to become financial experts and handle their investments.

Paper Pattern

CA is a pattern based on a paper that is subjective. And so forget about the element of luck.

CFA is a paper pattern based on MCQ that involves a minor luck factor in making this exam clear.

Exam Pattern

Here the CA students benefit because the papers in each paper are distributed over 16 days with 1-day planning left.

CFA is very hard to prepare during the examination period because students are expected to study all 10 subjects in one day.


The approx package of a fresher CA ranges between 6-7 lakhs which increases depending on your work.

The approx earnings of a fresher CFA are estimated up to 4 Lakhs which increases with your experience and ability.

NUTSHELL - You must have an idea with the above article which path you should follow CA vs CFA. CFA is suitable for an investment banking and portfolio management profession while the CA is useful for an audit and tax profession. These are the two renowned courses, and their reach is growing increasingly, so it is important to choose a profession that sees its value and skill.

Difference Between CA and FCA

Now let us discuss the difference between the CA and the FCA courses.





It stands for Chartered Accountants.

Its full-form is the Fellow Chartered Accountants.


CA denotes the course. The CA’s are of two types-

1-FCA(Fellow Chartered Accountants)

2-ACA(Associate Chartered Accountants)

It is one of the firms of Chartered Accountants. FCA represents the CA who is ICAI Institute Fellow Member.


All those who successfully complete the 3 stages of the exams are called a CA.

On passing the CA course, that is to suggest after completing the exams, undergoing the training criteria of the college, one becomes an Associate Member (ACA) After 5 years of experience in various fields, one becomes qualified to become a fellow member by applying to the Institute with the backup of job certificates and other qualifications.

Governing Body

The CA course is regulated by the Indian Institute of Chartered Accountants also known as ICAI.

Over a period of time, FCA is a recognition systematically attached to a CA.

Title Criteria

Every person who qualifies for all the 3 exams conducted by ICAI is called a CA. So every CA need not be an FCA.

You are authorized to use the term ACA after becoming a CA which stands for Associate Chartered Accountant. You are qualified to use the title FCA which stands for Fellow Chartered Accountant (FCA), after a few years of practice and submission of certain fees and forms. FCA is a senior ICAI member, similar to ACA.

Every FCA has to be a CA.

Difference Between FCA and CFA

Now let us figure out the differences between the CFA and the FCA course.




Full -Name

Chartered Financial Analyst or CFA Chartered.

The full name of FCA is a Fellow Chartered Accountant.

How to be-

Students who wish to receive CFA certification must complete the three exam levels, i.e., level I, level II, and level III.

Participants would need to complete the chartered financial analyst courses offered by the CFA Institute to become qualified fellow chartered accountants. The course covers the areas of financial management and wealth strategy, economics, accounting, corporate finance, and equity investment studies. 


It is a global non-profit organization whose aim is to promote and establish a high quality of education in financial & investment analysis.

The primary aim of creating FCA will serve as a financial regulatory agency in the United Kingdom that functions independently of the Government of the United Kingdom and is financed by levying fees on members of the financial service industry.

An area dominated/expansion

There are about 193 locations worldwide for CFA exams in 95 countries. Over 164 countries around the world have more than 167,000 CFA Chartered.

The FCA has offices in London at 12 Endeavour Square. This focuses on managing both the retail and wholesale financial services firms. The FCA is responsible for the actions of 58,000 companies employing 2,2 million people and thus contributes about 65,6 billion euros in tax revenue to the British economy.

Attainment of the Title

After qualifying three levels of the CFA exam, the designations of the CFA Chartered can be used. Every CFA needs not be an FCA. 

To be a successful fellow Chartered Accountant, students need to successfully complete the chartered financial analyst courses provided by the CFA Institute.

Every FCA has to be a CFA.


Dear Students, Here in this blog we have tried to put forward all the necessary distinctions between the  CA, FCA, and the CFA courses. Hoping that this would help you in clearing out all your doubts and getting a clear picture of all the three courses.

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