Why do ACCA after CA? - Top 5 Reasons


Pursuing a career in Accountancy can come with many opportunities nationally and internationally, especially with the right credentials enlisted in your Resume/CV. CA and ACCA are two of the most respected professional certifications in Accountancy and Finance. While some people opt for either of them, many do ACCA after CA, as this combination brings a lot of added benefits to the overall profile of the individual.
As advantageous as it might be, a large population of people is still unaware of the significant benefits of ACCA over CA. If you are interested in pursuing CA, you should also be aware of the perks of ACCA as a career and the benefits you get if you do ACCA after CA. Check out all the details in this article to know about the added edge the ACCA provides over CA if you choose to pursue ACCA after CA.

What is ACCA?

The Association of Chartered Certified Accountants, or ACCA, is the accounting body of Chartered Certified Accountants based in the UK. It is an internationally recognized certification offered to individuals in the domain of Finance and Accounting, validating their credentials and knowledge in the relevant fields of expertise. This means you get global exposure and recognition upon acquiring the ACCA credentials. The ACCA certification can be acquired by clearing the certification exam held at three levels - Applied Knowledge, Applied Skills, and Strategic Professional levels, along with a mandatory Professional Ethics Module. To be eligible for the ACCA certification exam, you need to:
  • complete 10+2 as a minimum required qualification
  • obtain a minimum of 65% in Accounts or Mathematics and English in the class 12 board exams
  • score 50% in the 10+2 level exam in the other subjects.
Students who have just passed their 10th standard can also apply for the ACCA course through the FIA (Foundation in Accountancy) program of ACCA.
The ACCA exams are held annually in March, June, September, and December.
Let us look at the ACCA certification exam pattern so that you get a precise idea of the ACCA exam. 
ACCA Exam Stages
  • Applied Knowledge
  • Applied Skills
  • Strategic Professional
The Knowledge module consists of 3 papers, and the Skills module consists of 6 papers, totaling nine papers in the Fundamental Level of the ACCA exam.
Professional Level:-
The Professional Level subjects are divided into two parts: 
  • Essentials
  • Optionals
Papers P1, P2, & P3 belong to the Essentials module, and the other three papers belong to the Optionals module. 
Apart from these two ACCA exam levels, candidates must also pass the Professional Ethics Module to acquire ACCA certification.
Passing Criteria: 
Candidates need to pass all the papers, and they need to score at least a 50% on each paper to pass. Among the four Optionals module subjects, only two must be passed by the candidates.

What is CA?

The Institute of Chartered Accountants of India, or ICAI, is the accounting body of India which certifies individuals as Chartered Accountants upon clearing the three levels of the CA certification exam - CA Foundation, CA Intermediate, and CA Final. There are a total of 18 exams in this certification program.
The CA certification is extremely popular in India but is valid as an Accounting credential only within India. It means ICAI-certified professionals are not eligible to work outside of India. However, certified CAs in India enjoy good vertical career growth and salary benefits as Indian companies and organizations mostly hire them.

Top 5 Reasons to Do ACCA After CA

ACCA and CA are both great choices for building an accounting career, but ACCA has more to offer when you do ACCA after CA. You can do ACCA after CA due to the Mutual Recognition Agreement (MRA) signed by ACCA, the accounting body of the UK, with the ICAI, the accounting body of India. It allows Indian CAs to be recognized internationally after completing the ACCA course while enhancing many of the professional spheres of work for CAs. Here's a list of the top 5 reasons for you to do ACCA after CA.
  1. Global Recognition
ACCA is an internationally recognized accounting and finance certification, while CA is limited only to India. It gives candidates an edge when they want to do ACCA after CA. Being a globally recognized certification, the ACCA enables certified candidates to be eligible to work at the Big 4s and most of the multinational companies and organizations in the world requiring financial and accounting services. CA-certified candidates can only work within India in firms and organizations which hire Indian CAs. ACCA's international credential in over 180 countries allows ACCA-certified professionals to find relevant job roles in many developed and developing nations like the UK, UAE, Singapore, and many more.
  1. Exemptions
When it comes to the exams when you do ACCA after CA, ACCA recognizes the skills and knowledge which you have already accumulated thus far in your years of education. Therefore, candidates need to clear fewer papers out of the total 13 papers due to the exemptions that can be availed if candidates do ACCA after CA. CA IPCC students (Foundation and Intermediate) are exempted from appearing in 5 ACCA exam papers, while CA Final students can avail of exemption for up to 9 papers. It makes it easier and faster for candidates to clear the ACCA certification exam after CA.
  1. Duration
Normally ACCA allows candidates to clear all the levels of the ACCA certification exam within ten years of registration, although it takes around 2 to 3 years to clear all three levels of the ACCA exam. However, when you opt to do ACCA after CA, the option to avail exemptions reduces the amount of time required to clear the ACCA exam by several months. You can then clear the ACCA exam well within just 18 months. If you enroll yourself in an ACCA coaching institute, you can have a holistic preparation for the exam and pass the ACCA exam within 12 months.
  1. Job Opportunities
As already discussed, the ACCA is a globally recognized certification that allows ACCA-certified professionals to work in the Accountancy domain in over 180 countries around the globe. ACCA-certified professionals are hired by the Big Fours and many of the leading accounting firms like EY, PWC, KPMG, Deloitte, Grant Thornton, etc. Many multinational companies like Accenture, IBM, Oracle, UBS, Barclays, etc. also have a higher tendency to hire ACCA accounting professionals, giving Indian Chartered Accountants the ability to work at an international level, which was nearly impossible with CA alone. There are several Indian companies that continue to hire certified ACCA professionals, including TATA Group, Hindustan Unilever, WNS, etc.
  1. Salary Benefits
The earning potential of individuals who do ACCA after CA increases manifold. As ACCA-certified professionals are hired by the Big 4s and the top MNCs and organizations worldwide, the demand for ACCAs and the salary packages offered to ACCAs are high. The demand for ACCA has skyrocketed over the past decades, giving students all the more reason to do ACCA after CA. On average, the annual salary of ACCA in Indian valuation is around INR 8 lakhs to INR 9 lakhs. On average, candidates with only CA credentials can earn up to INR 6 lakhs to INR 7 lakhs per annum.

Jobs after ACCA

As already discussed, ACCA-certified professionals are hired by some of the top MNCs and accounting firms worldwide, including PwC, Deloitte, Accenture, and Barclay, alongside Indian companies such as TATA, HUL, etc. There are many exciting job roles that open up for CAs after doing ACCA that not only increase the earning potential of Indian CAs but also include the career growth factor. Pursuing ACCA after CA opens up a lot of avenues for the candidates to pursue. Sectors like Advisory services, public and nonprofits, corporate and finance, etc., are the industries where ACCA-certified professionals are hired.
Job roles in banking, auditing, risk management, insolvency, taxation, forensic accounting, etc., are the places where ACCA-certified professionals are hired for their expertise and professional knowledge. The following list includes the names of some of the job roles which ACCA professionals fulfill.
  • Accountant,
  • Internal auditor,
  • Forensic accountant,
  • Compliance officer,
  • Business analyst,
  • Risk manager,
  • Treasurer,
  • Insolvency practitioner,
  • Business consultant,
  • Chief financial officer, etc.


1. Can I do ACCA after CA?

Yes, it is possible to do ACCA after CA. There are two good reasons to pursue ACCA after CA. If you want to work as an Accountant at an international level, pursuing ACCA will provide you with the base. When taking the ACCA exam, CA IPCC and CA Final students get exemptions on at least five papers, reducing the load of exam papers to clear to acquire the ACCA certification

2. Can a CA become ACCA?

It is possible to become ACCA after CA. Candidates who have completed their CA course can opt for ACCA exemptions of 9 papers, which leaves them with only four papers to attempt, which can be easily managed well within a year.

3. How long does it require to complete ACCA after CA Inter?

CA Inter students are allowed exemptions for up to 5 papers. That means they have to clear the eight papers, which can be completed within 12-18 months.

4. Is ACCA with CA a good combination?

The ACCA course after CA increases the knowledge of core accounting and finance domains, suitable to the needs of international-level companies, making the combination of ACCA and CA one of the best of Accountancy, giving an edge to ACCA-certified CAs over their peers.

5. Who has more salary, ACCA or CA?

With global exposure and recognition, ACCA-certified professionals earn more than CAs. The average salary of an ACCA ranges between INR 8-9 lakhs per annum, while that of a CA ranges between INR 6 to 8 lakhs per annum.

6. Does ACCA add value to CA?

ACCA allows Chartered Certified Accountants to have global reach and increase their demand due to their knowledge and expertise, which is required at an international standard.

7. Is ACCA tougher than CA?

Considering the duration in the number of years, the number of papers to be cleared, and the number of exam levels to be completed in each course, it can be generally considered that clearing CA is tougher than ACCA

8. Is ICAI better or ACCA?

The ICAI only offers the CA certification, valid only in India, while ACCA is an internationally recognized certification. The global passing rate of ACCA lies around 40-50%, while the passing rate of CA is almost 10%.


It takes much less time to do ACCA after CA with the help of the accompanying ACCA exemptions in at least 5 ACCA exam papers. If you have decided to pursue the ACCA certification after CA, opting for the best ACCA coaching will help you prepare for the ACCA exam with a holistic approach. 
NorthStar Academy provides a comprehensive & all-inclusive ACCA certification course for effective preparation. Guidance from the expert mentors at NSA has helped thousands of students do ACCA after CA. NSA provides the most-preferred ACCA study material, in association with BPP Learning Media, which has been thoroughly researched and caters to the individual preparatory needs of the ACCA aspirants. 
You can also access online classes on Android and iOS platforms from anywhere in the world!
Get world-class coaching for the ACCA certification exam with the help of NSA today!
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