Discover the Real Answer to 'Is ACCA Worth It': Pros and Cons

by Sianna Shah

Is ACCA Worth It

Considering ACCA? Explore its merits and drawbacks. We outline 10 benefits, 3 drawbacks, and summarize for you. Discover: Is ACCA worth it

In case you aren't familiar, the ACCA (Association of Chartered Certified Accountants) is an internationally recognized accounting qualification. Obtaining your ACCA can help you stand out from other accountants when you're job hunting and even boost the likelihood of being hired if you're looking for work as an accountant.

It has a reputation for being one of the most challenging certification exams out there - with around only 40% of candidates passing it on the first attempt. If you feel like taking this challenge, here is a list of pros and cons that might help you determine whether it's worth applying

10 Reasons to choose ACCA

Is ACCA worth it

1. A strong foundation in financial accounting and auditing

The ACCA syllabus covers everything from financial accounting to business law and auditing. If you decide to pursue an ACCA, you'll have a much deeper understanding of the financial and accounting side of the business rather than just the marketing side. 

2. Improved employability

There is a steadily increasing demand for ACCA professionals in the job market. ACCA is used globally, so it also provides flexibility regarding job opportunities. Improved employability - From a hiring perspective, the ACCA shows prospective employers that you're committed to your career, have excellent time management skills and are open to continuous learning.

3. Get more international opportunities.

Graduates will be desirable to employers in investment banking, management consultancy and equity research sectors. If you're looking to work in international accountancy, getting your ACCA can open up many opportunities; otherwise, that would have yet to be available. If you're looking for work in international finance, an ACCA qualification can be a significant advantage.

 For example, suppose you're trying to secure a job with an investment bank in London. In that case, employers will be much more interested in hiring someone with a globally recognized qualification like the ACCA than someone without.

The ACCA is also a valuable qualification if you're thinking about working abroad. If you're trying to get a job in Asia, Australia or the Middle East, consider getting your ACCA, as it's a globally recognized qualification. The ACCA is recognized worldwide for its high-quality accounting and auditing skills.

4. Earn a higher salary

Accountants with ACCA certification are highly valued and sought-after employees in the business world. You are having your ACCA can indicate to potential employers that you are committed to a career in accounting and can work at an expert level.

This makes you a desirable candidate in the job market, as you'll have a much better chance of securing a high-paying job than accountants without your qualification. 

You are having your ACCA can increase your salary by up to 33%. These figures come from a survey conducted by ACCA in 2018, where ACCA holders earn, on average, £41,942 per year compared to those without the qualification who earn £33,260 per year.

Read our detailed analysis on ACCA salaries in India

5. Become confident

Challenging yourself by studying for the ACCA is a great way to boost your confidence. The ACCA exam is one of the most challenging certification exams available, so the sheer act of studying for it can massively improve your self-esteem and show employers that you're dedicated to your career path.

Having your ACCA shows employers that you're serious about your career. It also gives you the confidence to go for the job you want if you're looking for a promotion or to change jobs; having your ACCA will show employers that you're a dedicated and ambitious person willing to put in the hard work needed to succeed in accounting.

6. Extensive Syllabus

The syllabus for the ACCA is very extensive. It covers subjects like financial accounting, management accounting (which covers subjects like management control systems, operational performance, new age digital skills on data analytics, blockchain and the use of accounting in decision-making), and financial audit.

You have to study various subjects, meaning if you complete the ACCA, you'll feel like you've learned a lot and gained a tremendous amount of knowledge that you can apply in real-life situations. The exam is highly challenging, but the rewards are worthwhile if you're dedicated to studying.

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7. Opens Doors to Multiple Career Avenues

The ACCA is a versatile qualification that allows you to pursue multiple career avenues. Many opportunities are available to ACCA holders, as many employers are looking for accountants who have a broad knowledge of the industry and can take on a wide range of tasks.

ACCA holders can go into many career paths, like financial management, financial audit, international accounting, taxation, etc. There are lots of different types of ACCA exams that you can take depending on what area of the industry you want to work in.

8. Employer Partnerships

There are partnerships between the ACCA and employers all over the world. Over 8,500 employers approved by the ACCA offer opportunities to members and students. ACCA members benefit from working with these approved employers to increase their career prospects.

These partnerships enable the ACCA to provide its members and students with a variety of benefits, for example:

  • Job Shadowing and Employer Sessions - Enables students to understand the working environment.
  • CV Writing & Interview Preparation - Helps students prepare their CVs and practice interviews to be confident when applying for jobs.
  • Careers Fair - A platform for students to meet potential employers face-to-face

9. Continuous professional learning 

ACCA's continued professional development (CPD) is ACCA's mechanism for ensuring that its members can remain up-to-date with the latest knowledge and skills in the accounting and finance sector.

ACCAs are required to undertake CPD at least once every two years. This can either be through formal CPD courses or by undertaking self-study at home.

The learning requirement generally equates to level 4 qualifications, equivalent to A levels or undergraduate degrees.

10. Peer and Industry networking

ACCA's Lifetime Support and Networking is a unique benefit that ensures you are never alone on your global journey. Once you qualify for ACCA certification, ACCA's vast global member infrastructure supports all aspiring financial professionals. 

In addition, you will be able to find support and help from your peers in this group. ACCA members are a community of like-minded professionals like you who can offer you help, especially when looking for a change in career aspirations or international positions 

Cons of ACCA

Cons of ACCA

1.Hard to pass

As mentioned, the exam is known for being incredibly challenging, which could deter some people. It's also worth noting that while the pass rate is improving, it's still one of the most challenging exams. If you decide to go ahead, give yourself plenty of time to study! Refer to our blog on individual exam pass rates. We also publish various exam-wise tips on passing the ACCA exams.

 2. Cost of taking the exam

If you're going for ACCA Full-time, the course fees will range from a minimum of INR 150,000 (GBP 1,500) to INR 300,000 (GBP 3,000). While this isn't a costly exam, it's still worth considering when deciding if the ACCA is worth it. 

Refer to our detailed blog on how much it costs from the level you are starting at.

3. Local CA is preferred over ACCA.

ACCA is always the second go-to qualification for a recruiter. CA's from ICAI, ICAEW, CPA Australia, CPA Canada, and CPA US will always be preferred first in their country over ACCA. 

ACCA gets second priority in any country where the local Chartered Accounting body is prevalent. Most BIG 4 and local audit firms take interns from the local accounting authoritative institutes as their first preference rather than ACCA. So their chances of earning salaries are higher than an ACCA. CA's are always preferred over ACCAs due to their company exposure and name recognition.

Please read our blog on whether ACCA is worth doing after your CA.

Is the ACCA Worth It?

The ACCA could be an excellent option if you're interested in accounting. While obtaining your ACCA takes a bit of time and effort, the advantages you may gain from it are likely well worth the effort.

One of the most significant advantages the ACCA has over other accounting certifications is that it's internationally recognized. In contrast, other accounting qualifications are only recognized in the country they're offered. This can make it more difficult for accounting professionals who want to work internationally. 

If you're interested in pursuing a career in accounting, consider obtaining your ACCA. It will lead to higher salaries, more job opportunities, and a great way to build a solid financial and auditing accounting foundation.

Final Words: Should You Get Your ACCA?

The ACCA is an excellent option for anyone interested in a career in accounting. It can lead to higher salaries and more job opportunities, and it's recognized internationally. If you're interested in accounting and think the ACCA is a good fit for you, consider obtaining your ACCA. Not only will it lead to a higher salary, but it's also a great way to build a strong foundation in financial and auditing accounting.

If you want to know more about ACCA, contact us. We offer comprehensive ACCA books and training to help you pass your exams in one go. 

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Questions? Answers.

You have an unlimited number of attempts to pass the ACCA (Association of Chartered Certified Accountants) exams.

ACCA does not impose a limit on the number of times you can retake an exam.

You can keep attempting until you successfully pass each exam, which provides flexibility for candidates to learn and improve their performance over time.

Yes, ACCA offers exemptions for certain exams for candidates who have completed certain academic programs or have relevant professional qualifications.

To request exemptions, you will need to provide documentation and submit an exemption application to the ACCA. Review our comprehensive exemptions calculator to know more.

The pass rate for the ACCA exams varies from exam to exam and from year to year. In general, the pass rate for the ACCA exams is between 35% to 50%. Read our blog on subject wise pass rates to know more.

The answer to this lies on your context and individual career objectives.

Read our detailed analysis on this topic here.

The ACCA (Association of Chartered Certified Accountants) membership provides numerous benefits, including:

- Professional development opportunities, such as access to the latest technical resources, CPD modules and e-learning tools
- A global community of like-minded professionals to collaborate and share knowledge with
- The ability to connect with employers through the ACCA Jobs service
- Eligibility for reduced rates on a range of products and services, such as insurance, stationery and more

The consequences of non-payment of the annual subscription fees are

As a member:

1) you can't call yourself an ACCA member, and you won't be able to use the ACCA name or logo. 

2) You also won't be able to use any resources, including the online resources. 

3) if you're working as an accountant, you may be unable to use the term "ACCA-qualified" or "ACCA-registered". 

4) If your membership expires and isn't renewed within three years. In that case, your name will be removed from the Register of Members.

5) If you need to apply for CPA accreditation with another accounting body like CPA Australia or Canada, you will be required to furnish a good standing certificate from ACCA for five years. If you haven't paid your membership fees, you won't be able to get your good standing letter

As a student

1) You will not be able to use the members' website or log into MyACCA. You will lose access to many resources, including past exam papers and helpful articles. 

2) You will no longer be eligible to sit the examinations or progress through the qualification.

3) You won't be able to pursue any other qualifications like the DIPIFR

If this is something that happens accidentally, then it is usually quickly resolved by simply paying the outstanding amount of 89 GBP.

If you're looking to become a chartered accountant in the United States, the value of the ACCA qualification cannot be understated.

To be accepted into one of the regional accountancy bodies that confer chartered status (such as the AICPA), you must have completed an accredited course of study from a college or university and have spent at least two years working in the accounting field.

The Association of Chartered Certified Accountants is globally recognized as one of the leading institutions for providing such accredited courses, and their stamp of approval on your degree will go a long way in getting your foot in the door with some of the top accounting firms in America.

It is a difficult question because it depends on your specific situation and goals.

However, in general, we would say that the CA (Chartered Accountant) certification is better for those interested in pursuing a career in accounting and finance.

In comparison, the CFA (Certified Financial Analyst) certification is better for those interested in investment banking or portfolio management.

The ACCA (Association of Chartered Certified Accountants) certification is more internationally recognized than the CA or CFA, so it may be worth considering if you're interested in working abroad.

Ultimately, though, the best way to decide which certification is proper for you is to speak with experts in each field and get their advice.

The decision of whether ACCA or a degree is better for you depends on your individual goals and circumstances.

ACCA is a professional accounting qualification that is recognized and respected globally and it is focused on accounting and finance. It is a good option for those who want to pursue a career in accounting or finance and do not want to spend the time and money required to earn a degree.

On the other hand, a degree program offers a more well-rounded education and provides a broader range of career options. It also provides more in-depth knowledge in specific field of study and it is good for those who want to pursue a career in a field outside of accounting and finance.

Both ACCA and a degree can be valuable qualifications, it depends on the person's career goals and what they want to achieve in the long term. It's also worth noting that in some countries, it is mandatory to have a degree in order to practice as an accountant.

The 15 subjects in ACCA are

  • Business & Technology (BT)
  • Management Accounting (MA)
  • Financial Accounting (FA)
  • Corporate and Business Law (LW)
  • Taxation (TX)
  • Performance Management (PM)
  • Financial Reporting (FR)
  • Audit and Assurance (AA)
  • Financial Management (FM)
  • Strategic Business Leader (SBL)
  • Strategic Business Reporting (SBR)
  • Advanced Financial Management (AFM)
  • Advanced Performance Management (APM)
  • Advanced Taxation (ATX)
  • Advanced Audit and Assurance (AAA)