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CFA VS ACCA – A Comparison Of The Two Courses

If you plan to work in the financial services industry then it is an absolute necessity that you get the relevant qualifications required to work in this industry. This qualification will help you to get the entry level job and thereafter you can work hard and move up the corporate ladder. The CFA and ACCA courses are two of the most well known and respected finance courses that can get you the mileage that you want. However, choosing between the two is not easy, especially because both are powerful finance courses in their own right. So let us discuss CFA vs ACCA to understand which course is going to be right for you.

CFA vs ACCA: A Comparison

1. Background

CFA: The CFA courses offered by the CFA Institute and is a power-packed qualification for anyone who wants to build a career in investment management and financial analysis. It is a very broad-based course and will give you an idea about how to apply financial analytics for taking a company forward. Globally many reputed investment banks and financial services companies recruit CFAs in key positions.

ACCA: The ACCA course is another highly respected global qualification offered by the Association Of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA). This course is right for accounting professionals as it covers the areas of accounting, auditing, and taxation.

2. Qualification requirements:

CFA: To be eligible to apply for registration in the   CFA course you will need to:

  • Possess:
    • A bachelor or equivalent degree or currently be in the final year of a bachelor degree program. However, in case the candidate is in the final year of the bachelor degree, he/she will not be allowed to sit for the level II examination unless the degree is completed.
    • At least four years of work experience which may not be necessarily in the investment sector, or
    • A combination of education and professional work experience, adding up to a total of 4 years. The 4 years will be calculated prior to enrollment and will not include any part time experience.
  • Pass all the relevant certification examinations
  • Hold a valid international travel passport.

ACCA: The candidates must meet the following requirements to be eligible to get the ACCA certification:

  • Pass in at least 5 of the 14 exams prescribed in the course. If the candidate holds a certificate of an equivalent professional examination of the same level, then they are exempted from appearing in the remaining examinations.
  • Gather an experience of 36 months in a job role related to accountancy, finance, audit, taxation or assurance.
  • Pass the professional ethics module of ACCA.

3. Employment opportunity

CFA: The holders of the CFA charter command a lot of respect among companies in the financial services industry. They get instant recognition across the globe, and hence their scope of employment is quite high. Hedge funds, asset management companies, investment banks, wealth management companies actively recruit CFAs in several key positions. The designations that get offered to the CFAs include private bankers, portfolio managers, fund managers, financial advisor, relationship managers, financial strategists, financial analysts, investment analysts, etc.

ACCA: The demand for ACCA certified candidates is also very high among the employers across the world. Companies of all sizes look for them to fill entry level to senior level positions in their organizations. Some of the companies which employ ACCAs belong to financial services, accounting and public practice, global business services, management consultancy, shared services and outsourcing, management consultancy and public practice.

4. Salary:

CFA: The global average salary drawn by a   CFA can vary from $44,000 per annum to $167,000 per year. In India, the average salary ranges from Rs. 340,000 to Rs. 2,505,359.


As per day salary survey done by ACCA, the average salary drawn by their members in the UK range between £28,000 – £40,000. As per, the salary of ACCAs in India range from Rs. 3,87,000 to Rs. 18,50,000.

CFA vs ACCA: Which one should you choose?

If you are looking to specialize in finance, specifically in the areas of research, equity analysis, and financial analysis then you should choose the CFA certification. However, if you are looking for a much broader qualification which will give you employment opportunities in the wider range of companies then you must go for ACCA, which focuses on accounting and auditing, two very broad areas of operation.

In terms of global recognition, both of these qualifications are recognized by companies across the world. However, from a popularity perspective, the CFA course is much widely recognized and it might be much easier for you to get recognition for the qualification in any country across the world.

Hope this information makes it easier for you to compare between CFA vs ACCA. Please feel free to browse the course details of CFA and ACCA to get additional information.