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Associate Chartered Accountant

Update on 2024-04-11

Associate Chartered Accountants (ACA) - Difference Between ACA Vs ACCA

Finance is the backbone of every business; whether it be a small vendor or an MNC. And therefore there is a demand for professionals who can understand the pulse of any business. They needed many technical courses and practical training that are used extensively to enhance business performance, reduce expenses, and increase profitability.

Therefore Chartered Accountants are in enormous demand and have the experience to manage many business situations and enable the company to expand. Many countries offer the degree of Chartered Accountant, and it has its own special character. We will address the degree of Chartered Accountant that the Global is provided by the global and the regional institutes.

FULL FORM of ACA- Associate Chartered Accountant.

What is ACA?

ACA means for Associate Chartered Accountants. It is the Chartered Accountant degree which can be passed in three years after completion of 15 modules plus  2-3 years of experience.

ACA course can be bifurcated into three modules -. 

  • Certified level, 
  • Professional Level, and 
  • Advanced level. 

Is ACA a Degree?

YES, This is a degree that is awarded by the Institute of Chartered Accountant of England located in Wales. The structure of the course for this degree is more or less similar to the accounting principles that are followed in the UK. It is the degree of a Chartered Accountant in which a person can qualify in 3 years after completing 15 modules and along with 2-3 years of experience.

Why Pursue ACA?

  • Even though it's one of the hardest exams in the world,  aspirants should follow this course because it eventually rewards the aspirants so well that they don't regret working harder than ever before. If you equate the annual pay to any other employee compensation, you can find that as an ACA you will get almost double or triple the pay that other professionals receive.
  • In addition to technological expertise, ACA gives you a realistic approach that other professional courses do not provide. And it is regarded as one of the world's most important finance courses.
  • ACA provides a lot of post-qualification assistance which is not provided by any other institute or board of education. Thus students can update themselves regularly & remain at the top of their profession all the time.

What is ACA Designation?

The ACA is a qualification designated by the Institute of Chartered Accountants of England and Wales (ICAEW) and stands for the Association of Chartered Accountants.

Usually, the ACA certification takes three years to complete but it can take up to five years (generally the average length of a training contract). Graduates will also find that the qualification comes in different firms as part of financial-related degree schemes, though this is not the only way in.

To obtain certification there are essentially four parts:

  • 15 ACA exam modules
  • Practical job experience (3 to 5 years, or 450 days)
  • Professional development
  • Ethics and professional scepticism training.

ACA is a chartered accountant specializing in financial accounting and strategic management. The positions that ACA can choose are Inspection, Auditor, or Accounting Management. A primary role that ACA can do is dealing with any business's finances. The task of taxation is entrusted to them and they improve internal efficiencies etc.

What does the ACA Require of Employers?

Employers must provide comprehensive health insurance that offers a fixed benefit for 95% of their full-time workers and their children before the end of the month they turn 26 or are subject to penalties. It is called the Mandate of the Employer. This refers to companies with 50 * or more full-time and/or full-time equivalent staff (FTEs). Workers working 30 or more hours a week are considered full-time workers.

How Much Does ACA Cost?

There are costs associated with training to become an ICAEW Chartered Accountant. These include tuition fees, test entry, and learning materials. Students who have negotiated an ACA training plan are normally sponsored by their employer for some or all of those expenses, and this knowledge is often useful to employers. It is up to single students to pay the fees associated with their studies.

  • Student fees
  • Tuition fees
  • ACA exam fees
  • Credit for prior learning
  • Learning materials
  • ICAEW invoices

ACA Fees:

The regular annual fee for students is £165 + VAT, if applicable. This fee is charged upon registration, and every year on 1 January. Please notice that the registration date can alter the fee charged in respect of that year:

The annual fee of £165 + VAT may apply upon registration between 1 January and 30 June.

Please note: Independent students only

A half-year fee of £82.50 + VAT will apply when you file between 1 July and 31 October.

The full annual charge will apply when registering between 1 November and 31 December but the first annual bill will be released after 13/14 months in this situation.

Tuition fees:

Tuition costs differ depending on the provider used & the location. Also, costs for classroom tuition may vary from those where the tuition is provided online or on a one-to-one basis. Review the different tuition options.

ACA Exam Fees:

These differ depending on which exam is taken & are payable upon registering for an exam.

  • Certificate Level exam fee: £70
  • Professional Level exam fee: £100 
  • Advanced Level exam fee: £170 
  • Case Study exam fee: £260

Can you do ACA after ACCA? 

YES, After ACCA Students can pursue ACA and they will get the exemptions of up to 12 papers of ACA,  and they will have to give 2 papers + 1 case study to complete their ACA.

How does the ACA work?

 Let me bring it to your knowledge about the world of available opportunities and CAs practising job profiles, as well as CAs in the industry.

Finances- Keeping the company's statements, regularly preparing balance sheets and profit and loss accounting, reconciling debtor and creditor, and several other things that a person with an interest in finances may do in a company.

Finance- It is a very wide field that includes not just the bond market, the money market, the finance, the capital budgeting, the stock market, the forex management, the hedging, the investment banking, the mutual fund, the asset manager and the list goes on.

Audit- This is one of the most favoured areas not only for practising CAs but also for CAs in industries as the area requires only a specialist and it is the only CA that possesses such qualifications and no one can replace a CA when it comes to Audit.

The audit consists of-

  • Internal, 
  • Statutory, 
  • Banking, 
  • Taxation under both direct & indirect and system audits.

Pricing- When it comes to the pricing of a product, CA comes into the picture and plays a critical role in determining the price of a new launch product or cost-cutting or cost reduction.

Corporate and Allied laws- Whether it is the registration of a corporation or the filing of annual reports or the registration of charges with ROC here also Chartered Accountants are doing well, although this field is mostly done by the Secretary of the Company I know few CAs who are also doing well in this area.

Taxation and others- Do you have an issue filing IT returns? And don't you know how to file for GST or to measure the advance tax? So how to assert a specific advantage, or how to make use of the financial schemes open to you? Go to CA and he'll do whatever he can for you. The field of work for CA is very vast and a person cannot cover everything here although we tried to cover the major area and hope it will help you understand what a CA does.

What is ACCA?

➦  ACCA's full form is the Association of Certified Chartered Accountants. The certified standard incorporates the following concepts as Accounting, Assurance, Company and Finance, Policy, Data Management, Taxation Theory.

➦  Business planning, corporate policy, audit and evaluation, financial accounting and reporting, financial management, and tax compliance are the technical category. The advanced level covers Financial Reporting, Company Strategic Management, and Case Study.

➦  The Association OF Certified Chartered Accountant (ACCA) is also a Chartered Accountant degree given by the London-based Chartered Accountant Association. The word charter in ACCA stands for the Royal Charter which was issued in 1974. The degree was conferred with the intent to provide a defence.

➦  They are fellow inspectors or auditors who have to go through a set of processes to carry out public service responsibilities, have to meet certain guidelines, and have to hold public inspection licenses, audits, etc. The review also involves 14 articles, which are the core principles of transparency, responsibility, diversity, creativity, etc.

➦  It is accepted in 180 countries and the degree itself is a university degree. The qualification is based on international accounting principles and is the key regulatory body of international accounting. 

ACCA has 100 years and exceeding the reputation of above 7500 satisfied employers across the Globe. The 3 stages of ACCA are-

  • Applied knowledge (Diploma), 
  • Applied Skills (Advance Diploma), &
  • Essentials.

The ACCA consists of-

  1. AB - Accountant in Business, 
  2. MA - Management Accounting, 
  3. FA - Financial Accounting. 
  4. Applied Skills consists of
  5. LW - Corporate & Business Law, 
  6. PM - Performance Management, 
  7. TX - Taxation, 
  8. FR - Financial Reporting, 
  9. AA - Audit, & Assurance, 
  10. FM - Financial Management. 
  11. The last module i.e Essential consists of SBR  (Strategic Business Reporting) and
  12. BL - Strategic Business Leader. 

The course is popularly recognized across the globe & holds an edge over ACA.

Main Differences between ACA vs ACCA:

 ACA vs ACCA  both are famous options in the market; let us discuss some of the big comparisons Between ACA and ACCA:

  • ACA is a grade designed only for the United Kingdom. Whereas ACCA is designed for all counties around the globe, more or less. ACCA is an international graduate assistantship.
  • ACA was founded in 1974 and the ACCA Course is over 100 years old. All ACA and ACCA apply to Accounting and Auditing and Public Taxation etc.
  • ACCA is accepted internationally, as the course material is very advanced and relevant to international accounting standards, whereas ACA only deals with England's accounting principles.
  • A job experience of 2-3 years is mandatory in ACCA whereas,
  • The Work experience needed by ACA is not compulsory.

Neck To Neck Comparison between ACA vs ACCA

Here are a few of the Comparison between ACA vs ACCA:




Related to

ACCA means the Association of Certified Chartered Accountants and the degree is awarded by the Association of Chartered Accountants. Passed candidates are provided with jobs like

  • Auditing, 
  • Taxation, 
  • Management Accounting,
  • Handling accounts, etc.

ACA means Associate Chartered Accountant which specializes in Financial Accounting & strategic management & the Degree is awarded by the Institutes Chartered Accountant of England. The profile which can be chosen by ACA are

  • Inspection,
  • Auditor or 
  • Management Accounting,

Field of Work

The role of the job is related to scrutinizing accounting services to the public, private entities, etc. They need to qualify for the certifications before the inspection. Other than Auditing; taxation etc. An ACCA can mark its presence across the globe across the Field of finance like

  • Finance Controlling,
  • Accounting,
  • Financial Analysis, etc. 

They deal with the International Accounting Standards.

A primary job that ACA can perform is to deal with the finance of any business. The role of taxation is assigned to them and they boost internal efficiencies etc. They're limited to Uk alone. We treat the United Kingdom accounts only.


The duration of the course Three years + training of 2-3 years.

The duration of the three years.


Deals primarily with the rules and regulations and policies enforced within a corporation and compiles with the Auditing and Taxation portion.

ACA deals with the government & private audits & inspection of Non-profit-making organizations etc.

Experience required

Minimum of 3 years of work experience with graduation or its equivalent degree and complete 3 stages.

The minimum criteria needed are a Graduation degree with Work Experience of 2 years of Financial Management.

What are the ACA Requirements? 

Only after registering for the ICAI Associate Membership, applicants are entitled to be named as Chartered Accountants after clearing CA Final. ICAI members with less than 5 years of experience are called Associate Chartered Accountants (ACAs). ACAs who have been in continuous service for five years are qualifying for a Fellowship from ICAI. They are called Chartered Company Accountants (FCAs).

What is ACA designation?

Often qualified  ACAs who have been in government service, or conducting accounting, audit, finance, taxes, etc. job at other organizations, or have been in the continuous job as full-time paying assistants under any CAs or CA firms for five years.

Although both ACAs and FCAs have the same duties and voting rights, only FCAs can be elected to Council and District Councils of the ICAI. FCAs also typically enjoy a higher status because they have more expertise and professional experience.

Is ACA better than ACCA?

The short form for the Association of Certified Chartered Accountant is ACCA and the candidates pursuing this course will gain expertise in accounting management, auditing, accounting, taxation, etc. while the short form for Associate Chartered Accountant is ACA and the candidates pursuing this course will gain expertise in financial management, tax compliance, accounting, and reporting.

ACA and ACCA both have an international reputation and offer numerous job opportunities. ACA is more suitable for people willing to pursue their careers in auditing and accounting, 

Whereas ACCA is more widespread in nature, providing options for people wishing to seek a career in -

  • Accounting management and 
  • Management accounting and 
  • Financial management, and 
  • Financial services.

Although many students choose between ACCA and ACA, they get confused about what to choose and what not to choose. Yet there are things that Students will consider before settling on these two wonderful career opportunities.

First of all, students need to make sure they know what their career aspirations are before going into detail about these two courses. And if they don't know in case, first they need to figure it out. Start with your own likes and dislikes. Finance is an immense area and there are plenty of choices. Just because your friends do one, and they don't do another, can't be the reason why you choose one course over another.

You can't just pick one in a fluke because these two require a lot of courage, perseverance, and hard work. Grab your time. Read about each (we gave all of the details below). So then decide what would best suit you. People have different views. They also have varying biases. Read this, do your own research, find out what aligns with your career goals, and then go for the one that's right for you, instead of asking other people what they think is the best option. Everybody has no right response.

Key Differences Between ACCA and ACA:

Even if both of these courses are equally excellent, there are some important differences between the two:

  • Course duration: Many students are looking to complete the course quickly. You should pick ACCA over ACA if you want something short-lived and will give you a lot of expertise in the accounting domain. As you'll be able to complete ACCA with 3 years of signed-off experience within 2 years. Whereas you need to spend at least 3 to 4 years of your life to complete ACA.
  • World recognition: All courses have a reputation globally. Yet if you equate the two, then ACCA is more internationally accepted than the others. ACCA is internationally accepted in more than 180 countries. Yet ACA isn't regarded as a nationally recognized credential in many Asian countries. If you want to have a global impact and want to fly around the world, then you should pick ACCA as the other one has less international recognition.
  • Regulation: To become an ACA you need three and a half years of professional experience along with passing the test. Not only that, but you do need to operate in ACA licensed companies for three and a half years, and not elsewhere. ACCA does have versatility, however. Even though you need three years of working experience along with two years, you can of course have your experience in any company's finance domain. Such basic rule creates a big difference and makes ACCA more available than ACA to the students.
  • Job Relevance: Both offer multiple job opportunities across multiple areas. ACA is most appropriate for individuals wanting to pursue an Auditing and Accounting career. On the other hand, ACCA is more comprehensive, allowing people who want to pursue a career in accounting management, financial management, and financial services options. There is no better choice for this. You can choose between these according to your career aspirations and ambition for the profession.
  • Flexibility: ACCA offers you plenty of space to choose when, where, and how to finance your training. There's no place for that versatility for ACA. But many ACA students claim that after they complete their training under ACA, many post-qualification advantages help them refresh their knowledge of the industry and help them further refine their skills.
  • Toughness scale exam: Even though all certifications appear to be difficult, the fact is ACA is harder than ACCA. First, ACA is long-lived, usually 3-4 years, while ACCA is only 2 years old. In ACA too, the topics are harder to study and simpler. At the end of Advanced Level under ACA certification, one must go through a case study that is tougher than the last stage of ACCA tests.
  • Pay gap: As you would imagine these accredited practitioners would have a significant pay disparity. The average salary of professionals accredited by ACCA is 30.700 pounds per annum. ACA accredited practitioners have an average income of 78,400 pounds per annum. You can see the difference? When we judge only based on salary and the cost of opportunity, ACA is far more important than ACCA certification.

Conclusion - ACA versus ACCA

➦  Chartered accountants are required in all business spaces. The need for a Chartered Accountant is also in demand as the business world expands. Each country's rules and regulations are unique, and they differ enormously from each other.

➦  Several bodies have thus planned Chartered Accountant Course according to their suitability. ACCA includes all the new modules and is much more inclusive than ACA. It also bears global significance against ACA which is intended only for England.

➦  Business vocabulary is evolving and innovating, while both ACA vs ACCA carry their advantage over other Accounting courses as the modules are very advanced and include all aspects of finance required for the current business scenario.

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