The ACCA or the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants happens to be the world’s leading professional body in terms of providing you with a progressive accounting career with dozens of different opportunities; alongside the acknowledgement of the qualifications of a CA. A global body based in the UK, it chiefly operates in the interest of the public to ensure:
That all chartered accountants work in accordance with the principles established by the association.
And that all the established regulations are strictly adhered to.
Why choose the ACCA though?
The major perks of pursuing ACCA include:
Achieving a qualification that happens to be equivalent to CA.
The likelihood of completing it within a span of 2 years.
The prospect of pursuing it alongside your current job or your bachelor's degree (B.Com, BAF, BFM, etc)
What exactly is the scope of ACCA?
The ACCA qualification, like we’ve mentioned earlier, is equivalent to CA (ICAI) in India (However, if one seeks to work in an Indian firm, open and run or become a partner in a CA firm, then he must opt for CA, because the Indian economy and the tax laws work differently)
An ACCA can work as an Accountant, a Financial Consultant, a Management Consultant, a Financial Planner etc (However, an ACCA cannot practice auditing in India, since they aren’t given any signing authority, and are unable to sign audit reports or practice audit via their own firms)
An ACCA can practice auditing in the UK.
The ACCAs that work in audit firms across India (including the Big 4), can serve as part of an audit team (However, the partner with the signing authority should always be a member of the ICAI)
Further work profiles for ACCAs include Accounting Advisory, Risk Advisory, Corporate Finance, Audit and Assurance, Internal Audit, Taxation, Investment Advisory etc.
All the job offers received by ACCAs; regardless of the designation, profile, and salary packages, is the same as that of the Indian CAs.
ACCA members continue to secure professional jobs all across the country in companies such as the Big 4 - Deloitte, PwC, KPMG, and E&Y, BDO, McKinsey, Barclay's, Standard Chartered, MNCs like Pepsico, the Tata group, the Embassy Group, Grant Thornton, mid-sized audit firms etc. The list can be stretched further to include HSBC, Shalimar Paints, Accenture Etc. Hence proved that there’s no shortage of companies hiring ACCAs in India.
However, if one longs to work in countries apart from India; wants to attain further experience and knowledge in the field of finance (since ACCA offers extensive knowledge concerning IFRS, accepted globally), then they have an opportunity to spread their wings abroad in countries like the UK, Dubai, Singapore, Australia, Canada etc.
This does not imply a lack of scope in India. On the contrary, with the country’s economy shooting upwards and the consequence of widespread globalization, the industry is only becoming more aware. They seek professionals who are cognizant of all the Indian laws and standards of accounting as well as the international ones.
There’s also no basis to the thought that being an ACCA is more likely to be looked down upon; that it won’t be as welcomed as a CA qualification. ACCA professionals are treated no less and no more than the CAs across all companies. They are given the same designation, the same profile as well as a similar salary of about Rs. 6 to 8 lakhs per annum.
Generally, the salary in India tends to range from Rs. 4 to Rs.14 lakh per annum. And depending upon the presence of multiple skills and the company’s demand, it can even go higher!
Currently, there are 188,000 members and 480,000 students across 178 countries associated with the ACCA body. With such an increase in popularity, job opportunities have proportionately increased as well
ACCA opportunities in India have only just grown, and with the increase in awareness about the course as well as the expertise it brings, the demand for it has only become greater. It has been predicted that India shall become one of the world's biggest global markets, which usually means there will be an influx of international companies; which in turn means a massive demand for professional accounting and finance experts!
The Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA)
The CIMA, also identified as the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA) grants a Master’s degree in Management Accountancy and associated subjects for accountants working within the industry. Based in the UK, CIMA is considered the world’s largest, leading accounting body.
CIMA looks after the regulation of its members’ activities in order to ensure all codes are followed, and discipline maintained when setting out to meet a client’s expectations. CIMA strives to promote an accounting education via modern techniques and puts in the effort to promulgate as many new practices as possible, by any means possible - all to guarantee that development is never compromised.
Why choose CIMA though?
The benefits to pursuing CIMA include:
An international qualification.
Career prospects spread across the globe.
And a greater chance of securing the top job.
What is the scope of CIMA?
There’s an increasing demand for accountants all across the world, and a CIMA qualification is a bonus because it is valid in most countries.
A rapidly evolving economic scenario and the complexity of the business environment means there is a growing demand for CIMA professionals, especially in India.
As a CIMA member, one of the more widely available options is that of a management accountant; where you’ll focus on strategizing, liaising with internal and external stakeholders, and an optimization of cash flows.
If you’re into problem-solving and advice-dispensing, then management consulting is the path for you.
CIMA allows you the chance to work as a business analyst; with a chance to provide valuable insights to the management in making strategies.
If you’ve got the investigative skills to verify the authenticity of transactions, detect white collar crimes such as asset misappropriation, embezzlement of funds, securities fraud, etc then CIMA allows you the chance to hone those skills as a forensic analyst.
As a finance controller, you’ll be able to take all the financial decisions of the company: procuring funds, buying assets, producing financial and accounting reports, etc.
As project managers, you’ll be responsible for the timely execution of a project as well as analyzing and amassing all the requirements of the said project.
CIMA members get to bag senior level roles across different sectors.
The average annual salary for an operation-level CIMA employee is around Rs. 10.58 lakh, while comprehensively qualified members can expect anywhere around Rs. 30 lakh or more per annum!
A CIMA certification only enhances your professional stature and opens up the way for you to work with eminent clients across the globe.
When it comes to the field of accounting, there is a significant need for well-trained, highly qualified accountants accompanied with a keen business acumen. Opting for either the ACCA or the CIMA shouldn’t be a problem, at least not on account of their scope. Currently, the professional wind blows in the direction of specialists, which means candidates with very specific skills sets are now preferred over everyone else. if you see yourself falling in that specific skill set category, then maybe it’s time to up the ante by embracing and enhancing those strengths!