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ACCA or ACA?

LilianaLiliana Feels At HomeRegistered Posts: 39
Hi there
Can anyone clarify what is the difference between these two bodies?

Thanks
:001_smile:

Comments

  • LondinaLondina Experienced Mentor MAAT, AAT Licensed Accountant Posts: 814
    not sure, I think ACCA is more suitable to work in practice and ACA in practice and industry too. ACA should be more exclusive.

    Instead does somebody knows why AAT are not chartered? what makes an accountant chartered? what's the difference in the workplace? AAT people cannot sign Audit stuff for example?:confused1:
  • Sonny_LSonny_L Well-Known Registered Posts: 201
    ACA is a qualification offered by the Institute of chartered accountants in england and wales (ICAEW).

    ACCA is Association of chartered certified accountants.

    Check out each bodies' website for details on their syllabi, entry requirements and study conditions.

    If you wonder which is best that would depend on your criteria. Earning potential? Prestige? Flexibility of study?

    A forum is not a good place to ask that as opinions will invariably be biased.

    I was faced with the choice between these two and found speaking to careers advisors, representatives from large firms and looking at independant salary surveys invaluable.
  • Sonny_LSonny_L Well-Known Registered Posts: 201
    AAT is not a chartered body as it does not have a Royal Charter.

    The AAT syllabus is objectively (a lot) easier than the syllabi of the chartered bodies.
  • AdamRAdamR Experienced Mentor Registered Posts: 668
    Londina wrote: »
    not sure, I think ACCA is more suitable to work in practice and ACA in practice and industry too. ACA should be more exclusive.

    I think you may have them the wrong way round - I would say ACA is practice and ACCA is practice and industry. Sorry!:blushing:
  • Sonny_LSonny_L Well-Known Registered Posts: 201
    Well you will likely be training for ACA in a practice yes.

    But loads, and I mean loads of ACA's go on to occupy senior positions in industry.

    Generally, about 70% of CEO's, MD's and FD's of the FTSE 100 companies are ACA.
  • AdamRAdamR Experienced Mentor Registered Posts: 668
    I think it's 60 CEOs with ACA, yes (source: Accountancy Magazine, March ’09). I agree with that statement but if you look at the exam structure, ACA is altogether more practice based than ACCA.

    ACCA is also a global institution so although it may be more recognised overseas, what it teaches isn't as specific to this country as ICAEW. I even heard rumours that they may start examining in USD as opposed to GBP but I don't know how true that is.

    As you said in your first reply, we are all biased here. I know I wanted to do ACA because I believed it more relevant to working in practice and I managed to get by bosses to register with ICAEW to let me be a student. My bosses are both FCCA and therefore have absolutely no experience with ACA but they must've agreed with me to get signed up.
  • Sonny_LSonny_L Well-Known Registered Posts: 201
    I think the CEO statistic is more significant than how the exam structure appears, personally.

    As it shows that ACA's are succeeding in industry. Reaching the apex.

    Must be something hidden within that exam structure and training ethos that is creating so many business men (not number crunchers) of elite stature.

    As for recognition, I believe ICAEW is recognised by equivalent overseas bodies in most countries that you would actually want to go to. So a transfer is quite straight forward?

    I can't be sure on that one though.
  • AdamRAdamR Experienced Mentor Registered Posts: 668
    Sonny_L wrote: »
    I think the CEO statistic is more significant than how the exam structure appears, personally.

    As it shows that ACA's are succeeding in industry. Reaching the apex.

    Must be something hidden within that exam structure and training ethos that is creating so many business men (not number crunchers) of elite stature.

    As for recognition, I believe ICAEW is recognised by equivalent overseas bodies in most countries that you would actually want to go to. So a transfer is quite straight forward?

    I can't be sure on that one though.

    That is a good point, although those CEOs did transfer from the "Big Four" so it seems the route to take if you want to work in practice. I guess the real cream of the crop are lucky enough to get those top jobs:mad:

    And to be fair, you may be right about recognition but with ACCA being a global qualification to begin with, a transfer may be easier.

    Each to their own but I've done the right one for me. If I get qualified before I'm 23 like I hope to, who knows what the future will hold?
  • Sonny_LSonny_L Well-Known Registered Posts: 201
    Yes the big four indeed, the names carry massive market value.

    I aim to be ACA by 25 at which point I will approach the big 4 as experienced hire. Maybe to study further, something like CTA or even CF.

    So by 30 I'd have top qualifications and diverse experience. But it could easily go tits up, we shall see.
  • AdamRAdamR Experienced Mentor Registered Posts: 668
    I would like to do the same but from the backwater that is Lincolnshire, that may not be so easy. Also, we come back to the subject of other debates on whether they would actually touch us, or go for the no-experience graduate instead?
  • timhamertimhamer New Member Registered Posts: 7
    In the past the ACA was seen as the "higher tier" qualification. Nowadays I would suggest that that attitude no longer exists, and the qualifications themselves are very similar in terms of content.

    Currently big practice firms tend to favour ACA over ACCA, but consider that all of these firms will have quite structured graduate entry schemes, where they will recruit graduates on three year contracts and schedule the training into that. It does not necessarily mean that they will not look at ACCA qualified experienced hire.

    As has been said, choosing between the two is as much about finding the one which suits you, and speaking to members and getting a feel for the qualification as much as anything else.
  • It is also worth remembering that you can gain ACA membership after being a member of ACCA or CIMA for 5 years and have 3 years practical experience. You also need references from 2 other chartered accountants and you need to sit a competency simulation.

    I'm pretty sure no one on here is going to be a CEO in a FTSE 100 company within the next 10 years so I wouldn't worry too much about getting ACA completed after AAT. :001_tt2:
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