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After completing my A levels, like every other student out there, it was time for me to make the most important decision of my life. I was sure I wanted to pursue a career in accounting and finance but it was this one question that divided the world into two for me. WHAT IS BETTER? ACCA or CA?
While half the people I knew suggested ACCA to be the best career choice, others doubted its credibility in Pakistan and preferred CA to be the safer option. After receiving an overwhelming response of mixed reviews, I felt more confused than ever.
I decided to take the decision in my own hands and search what both these, very similar yet different professional qualifications had to offer. 2.5 years later, here I am, an ACCA affiliate and when I look back, I can confidently say that I took one of the best decisions of my life.
I chose ACCA and here is why:
1. GLOBAL MOBILITY
Recognition in 180 countries around the world! That’s something you don’t hear often. This also meant if ever decide to relocate, I won’t have to worry about finding a job or study a local qualification. The world is now at my disposal, well most of it. And so if that isn’t enough, being a part of a global community is surely a good feeling to have.
The chance to plan your own path is an opportunity you don’t get easier with other qualifications. Let’s be honest here, there was no way I could have completed CA in just 2.5 years. When it comes to ACCA, you have exam sessions 4 times a year and can give up to four exams at a time. This meant I didn’t have to wait an entire year to plan my next step. ACCA gave me the chance to enter the professional world before my batch mates even graduated as BBAs. This certainly gave me an edge over others when it came to climbing the corporate ladder.
3. IT’S-A MYTH!
Things like ‘ACCAs don’t get jobs in Pakistan’ or ‘ACCA has no worth in Pakistan’ or ‘One should only do ACCA if they want to travel abroad’ were things I heard a lot and I’m sure you’ll find many who still say the same things. Guys! If you ever come across such people, the first thing you should do is turn a deaf ear, zone out, pretend you’ve got an important call and escape right away. ACCAs don’t get jobs in Pakistan is a big myth and it’s a high time we take an action to erase this delusional idea. I can proudly say you will find ACCAs working (at good posts, of course) in different sectors all over Pakistan.
4. ACCA Is Not A Degree!
Two golden opportunities. Along with my ACCA qualification, I could opt for the Oxford Brooks University’s BSc programme and the University of London’s MSc programme. After discovering this piece of information, I was sold! And no, I did not have to attend any extra classes. All I had to do was submit project work voila! I had two extra brownie points on my CV. Why work so hard and end up with just one degree when you can have three in one if you just think a bit smart.
So yes, ACCA is not a degree but a professional qualification that makes your work-ready but by completing your ACCA, you can end up earning two world-class degrees in addition to being a member of world’s leading body for professional accountants. Three in one, anyone? Well CA is not a degree and you have to do a degree programme separately!
5. FAIR AND SQUARE!
The fact that drew a line between ACCA and CA for me was how fair ACCA’s examination system is. Unlike in CA, there is no quota system involved. There is simply not a chance for any kind of human error when you’ve got your trusted computers doing the work for you. Things like ‘luck’ and ‘fate’ do not determine your examination result but your hard work solely. Another thing worth mentioning is CA’s long and tedious route to enter their articles. If you weren’t already aware of it, let me shed some light.
The process goes somewhat like this; you complete your initial 4 foundation papers, enter CAF level, complete 9 of those ( very similar I know, but there’s more ) and only now will you be eligible to apply for your article-ship. This period of experience is of about 2-3 years roughly and you’ve still got papers to give.
Hectic! Isn’t it? I know, to each his own but in my case, to keep up with the fast-paced world, constant new developments and the digitally advanced technology, I needed to step into the professional world as soon as possible and ACCA was my answer! With ACCA I had the option to start working from day one, making me a member by the time I gave my last paper. I believe I have made my point loud and clear and provided you guys with a solid argument to back it up. For all the future professional accountants out there, opt for ACCA, think ahead.
And thank me later!