So - what are the differences between ICAEW and ACCA qualifications?

Thu, 08 Feb 2018

So - what are the differences between ICAEW and ACCA qualifications?
So - what are the differences between ICAEW and ACCA qualifications?

Hello again!

This is a question we get asked lots and lots of times - so - what are the differences between the ICAEW and ACCA qualifications?

After researching the subject and speaking to our in-house tutors, who deliver both streams of courses - our answer is this - not a lot really.....see below:

ICAEW or ACA a.k.a. Chartered Accountancy:

This is a traditional UK accountancy qualification, which is highly revered and usually felt to be more prestidgious that it's other counterparts.  These guys generally work in practice (although not always) and complete their training with an ICAEW approved and recognised employer.

Chartered Accountants can generally only have 4 attempts at passing a paper, before they are excluded from continuing with their qualification and their syllabus contains slight differences.

ACCA a.k.a. Certified Accountancy:


This is becoming a very popular all round accountancy qualification, which is internationally known and respected.  These guys can be found working in any type of organisation and do not have to work for an ACCA approved and recognised employer, to complete their training.

Certified Accountants can have multiple attempts at passing a paper, but will be timebarred from continuing with their qualification, if they do not complete all of their exams by a specific timeframe (used to be 10 years) and their syllabus contains slight differences.

However; this is where the differences appear to stop.

  • BOTH - ICAEW (ACA) and ACCA can apply to be Registered Auditors.
  • BOTH - ICAEW (ACA) and ACCA can provide services to public and private companies alike.
  • BOTH - ICAEW (ACA) and ACCA are qualified accountants and their qualifications are of the same academic level.
  • BOTH - ICAEW (ACA) and ACCA take roughly 3/4 years to qualify.
  • BOTH - ICAEW (ACA) and ACCA need 36 months "work experience" to be granted full membership.
  • BOTH - ICAEW (ACA) and ACCA have Foundation Level qualifications.

So, it would seem that there is very little difference in the qualifications at the end of the day! ;-)

Until next time .....

Sarah.

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