What accounting qualification to study? ACCA vs ACA...
Are you interested in pursuing a career in accounting, but not sure which qualification to choose? Two of the most well-known accounting qualifications in the UK are the ACCA (Association of Chartered Certified Accountants) and the ACA (Associate Chartered Accountant). While both qualifications offer excellent training and career opportunities, there are some key differences that you should be aware of before making a decision.
ACCA vs. ACA: Key Differences
One of the main differences between the ACCA and ACA is their exam structure. The ACA exams are organized by the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW) and consist of 15 exams that must be completed in order. The exams are split into three levels: Certificate, Professional, and Advanced, with each level testing different competencies.
On the other hand, the ACCA exams are organized by the ACCA and consist of 13 exams that can be taken in any order. The exams are also split into two levels: Applied Knowledge and Applied Skills, followed by a Strategic Professional level.
Focus of Study
The ACA qualification is more focused on the theoretical and technical aspects of accounting, with an emphasis on audit, tax, and financial accounting. The qualification also includes a strong focus on business and finance management.
The ACCA, on the other hand, is more focused on the practical aspects of accounting, with a focus on financial management, performance management, and taxation. The qualification also covers a wide range of accounting areas, including management accounting, corporate reporting, and auditing.
Both the ACA and ACCA qualifications are highly recognized in the accounting industry. However, the ACA is more recognized in the UK and is often seen as the preferred qualification for those pursuing a career in the Big Four accounting firms. The ACCA, on the other hand, is more recognized internationally and is often seen as the qualification of choice for those pursuing a global career in accounting.
The ACA qualification offers a more structured route to professional development, with a clear path to becoming a chartered accountant. The ACA also offers a range of professional development opportunities, such as training courses and networking events, to help members continue to develop their skills and knowledge.
The ACCA also offers a range of professional development opportunities, but its focus is more on providing members with practical skills that can be applied in the workplace. The ACCA also offers a flexible membership structure, allowing members to choose the level of membership that best suits their career goals.
In conclusion, both the ACA and ACCA qualifications are excellent choices for those pursuing a career in accounting. The choice between the two qualifications will depend on your career goals, personal preferences, and the area of accounting you wish to specialize in. We recommend researching both qualifications thoroughly and seeking advice from professionals in the field before making a decision. All the best!