Top 10 Facts About ACCA vs CA vs CMA USA


Many professional certifications are available for individuals wishing to pursue accounting or management as their ultimate career option. Getting advice to pursue multiple certifications from multiple places might confuse you. The most significant certificates in this regard are usually CMA USA, ACCA, and CA, which we will discuss here. You should be well versed with the possibilities of ACCA vs CMA vs CA. These top three accounting/management certifications are best for getting notable job roles and high-paying salaries.
Lets discuss some amazing facts regarding the top accounting courses, i.e., ACCA vs CA vs CMA USA.

Top 10 Facts About ACCA 

Before discussing ACCA vs CA, let us look at some amazing facts for both courses. 
The Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) is one of the highly reputed official bodies in the accounting field, which administers the Certification of the same name - ACCA. Over the last few decades, the ACCA exam has garnered recognition all over the world. It is essential to note that ACCA exams are highly challenging. Thus, candidates must put in the effort and hard work to excel in the examination.
Here are some facts regarding ACCA. So, let us have a look at them! 
  • ACCA is also known as Global Chartered Accountants because it is a globally acclaimed accounting body accepted in 180+ countries.
  • The ACCA exam is one of the toughest, and the difficulty level increases as you progress. Taking an online course will help you greatly in such a situation. It will enhance your confidence and help you pass the exam on the first attempt. 
  • It is an international accounting certification that has members all across the globe. Professionals with the ACCA certificate can work anywhere in the world. 
  • It is divided into three stages and comprises 13 exams. These three stages include Knowledge, Skills, and Professional.
  • To enter the ACCA course, candidates must have Math, English, and Accounts subjects in the 12th standard. 
  • ACCA offers various job roles to candidates like Auditor, Forensic Accountant, Auditor, Tax Accountant, Risk Manager, etc. 
  • The ACCA conducts this certification exam four times a year, i.e., in March, June, September, and December. 
  • The ACCA qualification provides the candidates with the skills, knowledge, and values to have successful future career opportunities. 
  • Today, ACCA has over 200,000 members and 500,000 students across the globe. 
  • Analytical and decision-making are the top skills that candidates need to become an accounting professional (or ACCA). 

Top 10 Facts About CA

Chartered Accountant (CA) has been Indias one of the most popular career choices in finance and accounting. CA is the most challenging degree, but you can boost your career significantly if you excel in it. A CA must manage the company's finances by undertaking auditing, budgeting, taxation, and business strategies. A CA possesses in-depth knowledge and training in the accounting and finance fields.
Here are the top facts about CA.  
  1. The Insititute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI) is the official administrative body for the CA certification.
  2. CA allows you to pursue higher education like MBA, CFA, etc. 
  3. The CA certification exam comprises three levels - Foundation, IPCC, and Final.
  4. Articleship is a mandatory part of the CA curriculum as it provides practical experience. 
  5. CA can become Tax Advisors, Forensic Auditor, Financial Consultants, etc. 
  6. A CA can easily maintain continuity in their career as they can take breaks to brush up on their knowledge regarding the new amendments and then make a comeback. 
  7. CA is recognized in India only.
  8. There is no constraint on study hours for a CA, as with the other certification programs. 
  9. CA Foundation can be done alongside a Bachelors degree. Still, Graduation in commerce is mandatory for acquiring this Certification.
  10. CA salaries range from Rs 7 LPA to Rs 10 LPA. 

Top 10 Facts About CMA USA

It is one of the prestigious qualifications that are globally recognized. CMA USA can open wide doors of opportunities for candidates in terms of job prospects, salary, etc. Suppose you are planning to take up the CMA USA course. In that case, you can work in the company's financial planning, thereby being involved in processes like forecasting, budgeting control, and reporting.
  1. To get the CMA certification, a candidate must have a bachelors degree and two years of work experience as per the standards set by IMA (Institute of Management Accountants).
  2. The CMA Exam has two parts Part I and Part II. It is essential to pass both exam parts to acquire CMA USA certification.
  3. The candidates also require a minimum of two years of work experience. 
  4. CMA USA exam is conducted by IMA thrice every year.
  5. To maintain the CMA USA designation, CPE credits are required (30 hours per year).
  6. CMA USA earns very high salaries from the myriad job opportunities at their doorstep.
  7. CMA USA can have roles such as Financial Analyst, Accounting Manager, Corporate controller, etc. 
  8. After acquiring the CMA USA credential, candidates can have mid and senior-level job roles along with many lucrative career opportunities. 
  9. The CMA USA course enables one to work in different nations with high salaries.
  10. Basic tax principles and accounting knowledge are necessary before one gives the exam. 
Before knowing the difference between ACCA vs CA, it is essential to understand the above facts.
Let us now look at some key points regarding these courses.     

Is ACCA better than CA?

To know about ACCA vs CA which is better, there are several factors one can look at. 
  • For instance, CA is valid only in India. It is not globally recognized. On the other hand, ACCA is globally acclaimed and provides various career opportunities to candidates. 
  • Both ACCA and CA can give a significant push to your careers by providing you with top job roles and high-paid salaries. However, ACCAs are generally offered higher salaries.
See, you can take up ACCA if you wish to make your career abroad. CA is also a great option if you want to stay in the country. Both fields are related to accounting and finance. Thus, whichever course you take, decide whether to work abroad or stay in India. 
Moreover, CA is one of the most demanding professions one can come across, and its exam is more challenging than ACCA. But excellent career prospects are why CA is preferred over ACCA. 
If you are struggling to decide which you should prefer, then it is better to look at the difference between the two given in the following section. Have a look!  

Difference Between CA and ACCA

One of the most frequently asked questions regarding ACCA vs CA is their differences. We have created a table of ACCA vs CA for your reference. Take note, analyze, and finally decide which one to go for!
Full FormAssociation of Certified Chartered AccountantsChartered Accountant
RecognitionACCA is recognized in over 180 countries across the globe,CA is not internationally recognized. (only in India and some parts of UAE)
Exam structureACCA has 3 levels, i.e., Applied Knowledge, Applied Skills, and Strategic Professional Level.CA has three levels, i.e., Foundation, IPCC or Intermediate, and Final levels.
Fee StructureRs. 2-3 lakhs per annumRs. 1 lakh per annum
Major focus of the courseACCA is primarily focused on:ReportingPerformance managementGlobal auditFinancial managementTaxationCommercial lawCorporate lawIFRS CA is primarily focused on:Financial managementAuditingTaxationReportingCost ManagementExpertise in multiple commerce domainsIAS 
EligibilityCandidates should have passed the 12th class along with a bachelors degree in BBA,, BMS, etc.Candidates must have passed the 12th class with commerce as a background.
Tenure (Approx)2 years5 years
Total number of Papers13 papers20 papers
ArticleshipThere is no requirement for articleship for ACCA. But three years of experience is required by the candidates.Candidates need to have an articleship for 2-3 years under a reputed CA.
Job RolesCFOForensic AccountantAuditorTax specialistAccountantCost AccountantTaxation ExpertsAccounting Manager
After knowing about ACCA vs CA, let us compare another excellent accounting certification- CMA USA with CA.

Difference between CMA USA and CA 

Following is a table depicting the difference between CMA USA and CA. Have a look! 
ParticularsCMA USACA
Full FormCertified Management AccountantChartered Accountant
RecognitionCMA is globally recognized in over 100 countries.CA is not internationally recognized.
Exam StructureCMA has two parts. Part 1: financial planning, performance, and analysis.Part 2: Strategic Financial Management.CA has three levels, i.e., Foundation level, IPCC or Intermediate level, and Final level.
FeeRs. 1.3 lakhs per annumRs. 1 lakh per annum
Main focusCMA is primarily focused on:Cost accountancyPerformance ManagementCost managementCorporate financeFinancial reportingOrganizational managementCA is primarily focused on:Financial managementAccountingTaxationLawAuditingFinance
Course durationCMA USA is for 6-12 months.CA is for five years.
Job RolesOne can work as a:Cost AccountantFinancial AnalystFinancial AdvisorInternal AuditorCost AuditorBusiness AnalystStrategic ManagerOne can work as a:Internal AuditorFinancial AccountantAccounting ManagerTax ManagerStatutory Auditor
Upon knowing the difference between ACCA vs CA and CMA vs CA, let us now discuss the last difference between ACCA and CMA. 

Difference between ACCA and CMA

Following is the difference between ACCA vs CMA. Have a look! 
ParticularsACCACMA USA
Full FormAssociation of Certified Chartered AccountantsCertified Management Accountant, USA.
RecognitionACCA is recognized in over 180 countries.CMA USA is globally recognized in more than 180 countries.
Exam StructureACCA has 3 levels, i.e., Applied Knowledge, Applied Skills, and Strategic Professional Level.CMA USA has two parts Part 1 (financial planning, performance, and analysis) and Part 2 (Strategic Financial planning)
Main FocusACCA is mainly focused on:ReportingPerformance ManagementFinancial ManagementTaxationCommercial LawCorporate lawCMA USA is mainly focused on:Cost AccountingPlanningCost AuditingBusiness AnalysisStrategic ManagementManagement AccountingFinancial Accounting
EligibilityCandidates must have a bachelors degree in BBA, BMS, or must have an IMA membership, two years of work experience, and a bachelors degree from a recognized university.
Course duration2-3 years6 months
Job RolesAdvisorForensic AccountantAuditorTax specialistCost AccountantFinancial AnalystFinancial AdvisorInternal AuditorCost AuditorBusiness AnalystStrategic Manager
We have listed the three major differences side by side ACCA vs CA, CMA vs CA, and ACCA vs CMA. Let us now look at the salary prospects for them. 

CA vs ACCA Salary in India

Now you must be wondering who earns more, CA or ACCA?
As far as ACCA vs CA salary is concerned, it is essential to note that a CA earns slightly higher than an ACCA. The average salary of a CA is Rs. 6-7 lakhs per annum, whereas the average salary of an ACCA is Rs 5-6 Lakhs. However, the earnings might flip when an ACCA earns in the USA or Europe. Interestingly, an experienced CA and ACCA make higher, but the difference remains the same. 

ACCA Exemptions for CMA USA

We have already talked about ACCA vs CMA in the above section. 
But another thing to note here is that CMA USA and ACCA are two top-notch accounting qualifications many students have taken up over the last 10-15 years. Candidates intend to pursue US CMA and ACCA courses to boost their careers. 
As far as the exemptions are concerned, it is essential to note that if a candidate is already an ACCA, then they dont require a bachelors degree for CMA USA. In simpler terms, if a candidate has acquired the ACCA course after the 12th without a bachelors degree, they can still enroll in a CMA USA course as an ACCA member. Just make sure you fulfill the eligibility criteria for the CMA USA course. 
To acquire this exemption, candidates must send an official letter confirming they are qualified ACCA members. This exemption has to be validated by the Institute of Management Accountants. 



1.Is CA more difficult than ACCA?

Yes, when comparing ACCA vs CA, the latter is more complicated. Considering the number of exams, passing criteria, years of effort, and course levels, we can clearly say that CA is an extensive and much harder course compared to ACCA.

2.Is ACCA equal to CA?

Yes, ACCA is somewhat equivalent to CA. The only difference lies in the content of the course. However, it is also important to note that a CA degree is not recognized internationally, whereas ACCA is globally accredited. Also, for ACCA vs CA, the latter is heavily influenced by Indian law and other business regulations.

3.Is CA worth it in 2023?

If you are interested in accounting and financing subjects and wish to create in India, then CA is a fantastic career choice. CA will give your career the necessary push, providing great job options and high-paid salaries.

4.Why is ACCA the best?

ACCA is based on international accounting standards, making it a global professional qualification, ending the debate of ACCA vs CA for individuals who want to work abroad. By having the ACCA credential, candidates will get a chance to work with top employers, thereby acquiring valuable skills and knowledge from them.

5.Can I do CMA after ACCA?

It might be confusing for many professionals when choosing between the ACCA vs CMA USA. However, if you have acquired the CMA USA, it is worth going for the ACCA certification. Professionals are allowed and sometimes recommended to have a dual certification and it might help them more in their career compared to single Certification.


ACCA, CA, and CMA USA are three of the top professional certifications for a candidate wishing to have a career in accounting and finance. This article has covered the differences between ACCA vs CA, CA vs CMA, and ACCA vs CMA, along with various key points. 
To gain these three certifications, candidates must crack the respective certification exams. It is essential to note that the certification mentioned above exams will be challenging; therefore, candidates can enroll in courses at the premiere institute like NorthStar Academy (NSA).
NSA provides candidates with exclusive study material, pre-recorded classes, and live sessions that help them prepare efficiently for the examination. They offer bundle discounts that make the course more budget-friendly. Also, candidates who sign up for the CMA USA, ACCA, or CA course get free demo classes to get the hang of the quality we provide.
So, what are you waiting for? Sign up now for these courses and make way for a brighter future in India and abroad. 
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