ACCA After CA
Are you a CA (Chartered Accountant) and thinking about doing your Acca (Association of Chartered Certified Accountants)? You are not alone. Many professionals, who have passed their CA exams, are making the decision to do their Acca. But is it worth it? In this blog post, we will explore the benefits of doing your Acca after your CA and any other alternatives.
We get many Indian Chartered Accountants enquiring that they wish to take an ACCA course (UK) just after completing their CA final. The stimuli to take up ACCA primarily come from:
1) Need to differentiate the CV from other CA's
2) Career options - Attract Global recruiters
3) FOMO as their friends who are already ACCA students or are influenced by a tuition partner teaching ACCA.
Is an ACCA qualification and a CA a good combination?
It depends on the following four factors
1) Are you going to work in India?
2) Are you planning to relocate or go abroad?
3) Are you committed to time and effort?
4) Are there other courses that can enhance your career?
Let's analyse each of these individually.
1) Are you going to work in India?
If yes, adding another CA qualification will not add anything to your CV. Think of it like if you are a doctor and have done your MBBS from India, will it make any difference if you also did your MBBS from the UK. What matters most after your initial qualification and the first job is what skills you are learning on the go and which are suited to the Industry you work in.
We spoke to many CFOs and recruiting firms, and the summary of what they said is as under:
- The decision-making in India for hiring CA's are primarily the Finance Controllers or CFOs. Most of them are Indian Chartered Accountants. They understand the Indian CA methodology better than ACCA. They tend to be familiar with what an Indian CA is rather than an ACCA.
- After your first job, no one asks if you are a CA or not. What they, in fact, now look for on your CV or at the interview table is what skills and work experience you bring and what value you can add. Here are three broad category of skills that all Finance professionals must add to their CV.
b) Soft skills like your managerial, decision-making, and analytics skills. - Once you are in a managerial position or from year 5 in your career onwards, you need to start adding these skills
c) Digitial Skills like Blockchain, Data analytics, RPA etc. The change is inevitable. In the 1990s showing that you knew Excel or SAP was a must-have on your CV. These days it's the new age of fintech skills you must possess. These are to be added across all levels
- We looked at salary ranges on job portals and spoke to recruiters; there's no difference in salary, which you may get if you added an extra qualification. Higher wages are given for unique Skills and not Qualifications. So it's better to differentiate your CV from other CA's with skills rather than an extra qualification.
2) Are you going out of India?
If you are moving abroad either on a Permanent residency or your employer has asked you to move. We strongly recommend adding an ACCA qualification will enhance your job prospects.
You will be exempt from 9 out of the 13 papers, leaving you to pass the strategic professional level of ACCA. You will need to write only 4 out of the 13 exams and complete the ethics compliance training.
So if you are going to Europe Middle East, being ACCA qualified will give you 3X to 5 X better chances of a qualitative job and salary. As we have described earlier, finance Recruiters look for familiarity, and adding an ACCA qualification and becoming an ACCA member will bring you that.
Suppose you are relocating to the US, Canada or Australia. It's better to do the country-specific CPA rather than ACCA. ICAI does have an MOU with CPA Canada and CPA Australia, and they will require you to take just one or two exams to award you the CPA.
3) How committed are you?
Yes, you have gone through the grind of clearing the Indian CA. You have put in a lot of time and effort in clearing the exams, and now the thought of just passing four professional level papers in ACCA sounds tempting.
ACCA papers are tough to clear and require a lot of time and effort. They are different from the Indian marking methodology. Marking in ACCA is for a good and bad answer versus a right and wrong answer in ICAI.
Cracking the ACCA exam requires time and much understanding of the concept. It takes close to 150 to 200 hours to prepare any paper for the ACCA.
When it comes to time, do factor in the following.
- When you were a CA, you were given 90 days of holiday to prepare for the exams.
- Will you be able to carve out 150 hours in your busy work schedule per subject? That's roughly 2 hours per day if you factor in 2 months per subject. You have to replicate this effort four times.
4) Are there other courses that you can consider instead of doing the ACCA?
Many new-age skills are in demand with recruiters globally, and they attract huge salaries. You can factor these in and differentiate your CV from other CA's. These are also on the job market globally and will attract global recruiters if you take up an international certification.
IFRS or USGAAP certification: This is an evergreen financial reporting skill and will last you till you become a CFO. It will cost approximately 25K INR to 30 K INR to add to your CV. With the recent number of Global IPOs, the demand for IFRS and USGAAP certified professionals has increased.
COSO Framework: With huge compliance and regulatory changes across the globe. CA's with knowledge of the COSO framework is in high demand. So if you are in the assurance department or the internal audit function, this is a great option.
Data analytics: Finance professionals with data analytics skills are in huge demand. The salaries of CA's with a data analytics qualification are higher by 20% to 50%. The complete course will cost you approximately 150K INR.
CIMA UK: If you need to add any other qualification to your CV, you can opt for the CIMA Global UK Qualification. CA's need to write one case study and are awarded the qualification. CIMA will also bring you management accounting & strategic thinking to supplement your learning from the functional & technical accounting thinking from your ICAI.
Summary of ACCA after CA:
Take an informed decision. Adding a qualification like ACCA is all about investing your time, effort and money. If you plan to go abroad, take it up and be committed to clearing it. Alternatively, many other options can make your CV look way more substantial and, more importantly, differentiate you from other CA's.
If you are seeking for advice or looking to do your ACCA or need any further certifications, do reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org or WhatsApp us at +919643308079
If you go through an ACCA partner, we estimate your costs to be around INR 150,00 which will cover the following
1) ACCA registration fees
2) ACCA Exemptions fees
3) ACCA exam fees for the four professional papers
4) ACCA ethics and professional skills module
5) ACCA annual subscription fees
To know more do reach out to the Eduyush team.
To enrol for ACCA, students will need to apply via Myacca for exemptions from 9 papers. If you are keen on enrolling, Eduyush team will help you out in this regard and also work on your scholarships on your exemptions.
For a CA, you need to write four professional-level papers and complete an ethics module.
We estimate approximately a year to eighteen months to complete the ACCA for a CA. This is after factoring in your work schedule and trends of our past students.
If you are planning to take up ACCA, its always better to start it after your CA for the following reasons
1) You will be exempt from the Applied Knowledge and Applied Skill level exams. So that's nine out of thirteen papers
2) Scholarships are better for a CA than others
3) Focus on clearing your CA first, as doing together both will take away your focus from both.
Take the ACCA during your CA only if you are planning to give up taking the CA exams altogether.
The answer is Yes and No
1) Your conceptual clarity needs to be higher
2) The ACCA strategic professional level exams are case study based. This will require skillsets in exam technique and communication
3) Rote learning will not help
4) Marks are awarded for good and bad answers rather than the solution.
1) Unlike CA, you don't need to write in groups. so you can schedule one exam at a time and clear it. You need to score 50% to clear the subject individually
2) You can schedule your papers quarterly
3) Plenty of ACCA resources on-site that will guide you on how to plan your studies.
To become a member of ACCA and qualify as a professional accountant, your must complete the Practical expereince Requirements (PER).
There are three components to the PER:
1) completing 36 months' employment in an accounting or finance-related role or roles
2) achieving five Essentials and at least four Technical performance objectives to the satisfaction of your practical experience supervisorrecording and
3) reporting your PER progress through the onlineMy Experiencerecord.
Since you are already a CA, your articleship expereince should siffuce all points especially towards point 1 and 2. If you are missing out on any of objectives in point 2, you can still gain that though work expereince.
Yes you can become a member of the Chartered Accountants Australia and Newzealand once you fulfil the following criteria.
1) You are residing in Australia or Newzealand
2) Submit a Letter of Good Standing from ACCA. The letter must be dated within 3 months of the date of your application
3) Have at least 5 years of work experience in finance and accounting post admittance to ACCA. This must be backed by your employer's attestation.
4) Two CA references from CA ANZ Members
CPA Canada signed the Mutual Recognition Agreement (MRA) with ACCA (the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants) in 2011.
In 2020, CPA Canada activated the withdrawal from the existing MRA because it intended to agree to a fresh MRA with ACCA. The withdrawal of the MRA is applicable from April 30, 2021.
No new timelines have been given for when the new MRA will come in.
We would advise Indian CA's to apply using the MRA with CPA Canada directly rather than the ACCA route