CMA USA vs ACCA MoU:A Clear Comparative Career Choice


CMA USA is the most prestigious management accounting program across the globe. It is more prevalent in the United States and is accepted in over 100 nations. CMA USA concentrates on managerial accounting as well as money planning. 
It is practical for learners to sit for CMA USA, as it does have over 100 Prometric test locations worldwide, and you only have to pass two exam parts to be certified as a US CMA.
Talking of ACCA, this is among the top accounting certifications available. Over 436,000 individuals have previously acquired the ACCA certification and work in reputable firms with higher salaries. ACCA has a significant international footprint; the existence of ACCA is in over 180 nations, making it more widespread.
ACCA's syllabus is similarly extensive to that of CMA. It not only focuses on cost management but also on organizational and administrative elements of finance. 
Certified professionals will be acknowledged as the Top Accountants around the globe with these certifications listed in your CV/Resume. Corporations favor ACCA and CMA USA experts above others.
The debate of CMA USA vs ACCA MoU often tends to arise during career discussions.  
Let's discuss.

What is ACCA MOU?

To provide ACCA participants the freedom to practice accounting in other areas without additional work, ACCA has engaged in MOUs with peak institutions in specified countries. It minimizes credential duplication and allows ACCA members to hold dual memberships. It enables the formation of a combined expert working group to concentrate on enhancing regional accounting standards. Moreover, it aligns regional accounting practices with internationally recognized accounting practices.
This ACCA partnership strategy, which recognizes other programs in line with ACCA courses and offers a complete or partial exemption to participate in specific areas, allows financial experts to get a dual degree in a multinational business without having to start the course from scratch. Before signing the agreement, the ACCA conducts a very stringent assessment of the techniques of other accounting bodies to guarantee adequate coverage of subjects, and fair exclusions are granted to applicants depending on their skills. All these must be considered while understanding CMA USA vs ACCA MoU.

US CMA or ACCA: Which is Easy?

To determine which is easier to acquire, evaluate the pass percentage for both certifications. CMA USA pass percentages are close to 40%, but ACCA pass percentages range between 45-50% on usual. As you can see, passing CMA USA is more complex than passing the ACCA certification exam. 

CMA USA vs ACCA Certification: Which one to Choose?

You may pick several courses to work in the accounting or finance industries or business management.
Consider taking an internationally recognized course like the ACCA or CMA USA if you want to work outside of India in the future or want to be prepared in case. Here's a short glance at what each course provides if you're unsure how these courses are compared. Let's see which one takes the edge in the CMA USA vs ACCA MoU debate.
Which degree you choose is primarily determined by where you intend to work in the long run. Suppose your current plan is to break ground in India while also exploring career options in America, Canada, Australia, Africa and UAE.
In that case, the IMA's Certified Management Accounting USA program could be ideal for you. CMA USA is also an excellent place to start if you want to learn your skills directly after high school or 12th grade. Because CMA USA may finish it in less than a year, US CMA has recently gained popularity among employers.
ACCA is the preferred career route that you might follow if you want to operate in the U.K. or even in other nations in the European Union. You may wonder if the US CMA is acknowledged in the U.K. Unfortunately, it isn't as well-known as ACCA. Your selection must be based on your expertise in the relevant disciplines. If you want to participate as a management accountant and learn about marketing practices included in accounting, CIMA may be the ideal program for you in the U.K.
However, if you wish to concentrate on Accounting and have the same level of certification as a Chartered Accountant, ACCA is the way to go. Perhaps you'll be able to work overseas, but you will also be paid similarly to a C.A. or Chartered Accountant.
Finance and Accounting careers will be pretty lucrative if you follow the appropriate steps. If you want to learn further about finance and accounting programs, you may look at the training courses at NorthStar Academy (NSA).

Difference between US CMA vs ACCA Salary

For many students, CMA USA vs ACCA MoU discussions often leads to evaluating potential salaries. There is a significant gap if we analyze ACCA and CMA USA salaries. Although ACCA has far greater global recognition, US CMA still earns significantly more money. If you earn your CMA USA certification and have one to five years of industry expertise, your typical pay will be nearly U.S. $70-80k per year. 
In contrast, if you acquire your ACCA, you would typically make $50-60k a year. If you do the numbers, you'll realize that earning a CMA will be far more advantageous to you financially. Many other factors influence this scenario, but broadly speaking, CMA USA holds a higher ground in this regard.

US CMA or ACCA: Which is better?

Even though several characteristics may distinguish CMA USA from ACCA, the four fundamental differences listed below are regarded as the most crucial:
  • Worldwide Reputation: When comparing global legitimacy, ACCA tops CMA. ACCA has graduated approximately 436,000 aspirants from 180 nations to date. Conversely, CMA has just 40,000 members yet an international reach in over 100 countries.
  • Compensation Disparity: There is a significant salary disparity when comparing ACCA and CMA qualifications. As already said, ACCA is far more recognized worldwide than CMA. However, in terms of compensation, CMA is much better than ACCA. If you complete your CMA, you will earn an average income of around 70,000 USD per year if you have 1 to 5 years of expertise in the field. ACCA, on the other hand, allows you to earn an estimated $46,000 each year. When you do the math, you can see that finishing CMA is far more advantageous than ACCA regarding remuneration.
  • Passing Proportions:  The passing rate of CMA USA is around 40%, but ACCA pass percentages usually range between 45-50%. It shows that CMA USA is difficult to pass but will be more in demand. In this regard, CMA USA does edge past its counterpart in the CMA USA vs ACCA MoU discussion.
  • Utilization: If you finish CMA, you will be considered a specialist in your profession, and many opportunities will open for you. Both CMA USA and ACCA have vast options in Big4s and Fortune 500 companies.


The United States has binding international accords with eight global accounting groups. Its participants can take the IQEX, a shortened version of the CPA Exam, to get a US CPA license.
Please be aware that ACCA is not one of these eight accountancy organizations. There is no Agreement between CPA and ACCA, and ACCA affiliates are not eligible for CPA exemptions. However, CPA Qualified students are eligible for nine papers exemption. Calculate your ACCA exemption after qualifying for CPA Exams here.
As a result, if you have an ACCA qualification, you MUST fulfill the CPA USA prerequisites, which include 150 hours of degree courses (5 years).
Many ACCA affiliates have completed the US CPA Test. ACCA representatives with higher credentials find it easier to prepare to appear for the CPA Test. ACCA individuals with master's degrees or above must take a certain amount of accounting and business programs. 
Fellows of the ACCA who do not have advanced degrees will have to acquire training from an official training partner, such as NorthStar Academy.

What are the Exemptions of CPA for ACCA members?

It is not feasible for those who are already completed CPA to join the ACCA. On the other hand, ACCA is much more lenient in this respect, granting exclusions to CPAs for some of the papers. And if you possess the US CPA certification from AICPA, you are automatically a member of the AICPA. Furthermore, AICPA affiliates may be exempt from the Foundations of Accountancy papers in ACCA. The worldwide renown of ACCA always creates a solid basis for a participant's profession. Here are the exempted papers of ACCA.
  • B.Com- Four papers
  • C.A. Specialists- There are a total of 9 papers.
  • B.Com/M.Com/BBA/MBA (Pursuing)- Upto nine papers
  • Five years of experience and a CMA USA degree- 6 to 9 papers
  • To know more- Check out ACCA Exemption Calculator to learn your exact exempted papers -
Why not choose the paper waiver if you are entering the ACCA program with a solid background in finance and accounting? The lack of knowledge about paper exclusions in the ACCA program lengthens the time of becoming an ACCA-certified professional. It is also crucial in the CMA USA vs ACCA MoU discussions. 

What is the ACCA MoU with ICAI?

On August 9, 2021, the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants(ACCA), U.K., and the Institute of Cost Accountants of India signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to collaborate on technical education, training, and assessments. The MoU (Memorandum of Understanding) was signed by Ms. Helen Brand, Chief Executive of ACCA, and CMA Biswarup Basu, President of the Institute.

FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)

1. Which is easier: ACCA or CMA USA?

Moreover, to determine which is more complex, evaluate the passing rate, and as you can see, clearing CMA USA is more complex than earning ACCA. CMA USA passing rates are close to 40%, but ACCA pass rates range between 45%-50% in general. But duration-wise, CMA USA takes much lesser time compared with ACCA.

2. Does ACCA have MOU with CPA Canada?

Suppose one is a registered member of ACCA, U.K. In that case, one could be eligible for admission to the CPA Ontario via the Mutual Recognition Agreement (the "MRA") between CGA Canada and ACCA, U.K. As a consequence of the accounting institution's merger, if individuals are accepted to CGA Ontario, they would be immediately taken to CPA Ontario. They would be able to utilize the CPA and CGA credentials there.

3. Can I do both ACCA and CMA?

A specific section of students tends to apply for both rather than entertaining a CMA USA vs ACCA MoU debate. There are exclusions accessible if you are currently an ACCA member. Anyone can register as an ACCA member in CMA USA and acquire the dual certification.

4. Which has more scope, CMA or ACCA?

The job sector and its location play a crucial role in determining which certification has a better scope. The CMA USA-certified professionals are offered higher salaries than the ACCAs. Moreover, it is better to do the CMA USA if you are interested in management accounting. If you have a background in accountants and auditors, you should do well with ACCA, which is more prevalent in Europe. There is ample scope for getting job opportunities on both career paths.


Whenever it pertains to professional certification, it is determined by two factors: wherever you wish to work and how much salary you would like to earn. The ACCA could be better if you wish to work in the U.K. or a Commonwealth nation. If you want to find employment in the Middle East, Asia, or the USA while earning a better wage, the CMA USA is the appropriate choice.
All in all, when it comes to the CMA USA vs ACCA MoU, where the professionals get the exemptions from the papers, it should become easy to crack them. Whatever the case is, you need to find a top training institute such as NorthStar Academy (NSA) for the same. They provide the well-organized CMA USA and ACCA courses and the most-preferred study material. Get guidance from the top mentors of NSA, and clear these certification exams with ease.
If you are still stuck in this confusion, be sure to reach us at NSA, where we will provide all help necessary to help you achieve your goals and aspirations.
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