After graduating high school, many young aspirants are keen to become chartered accountants. Through their research about the course using the internet, students are often encountered with terms like “CA / ACCA / CPA” which might muddle up the understanding for the different courses and their scope. Addressing this recurring issue often faced by the prospective students, the following information presented could assist the student in choosing their preferred course depending upon their interests.
The Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA)
ACCA was founded on 30th November 1904 in the UK. It is widely recognized as a global body for professional accountants. By increasing its influence in the accounting & finance profession worldwide, ACCA is the world’s most forward-thinking professional accounting body. Currently, there are more than 233,000 fully qualified members and 536,000 future members who are pursuing ACCA. The ACCA Nepal office is located in Trade Tower, Thapathali, which handles promotional activities and student affairs with the combined effort from fellow ALPs in the country. Similarly, NCA is the first ALP (Gold) of ACCA; also the oldest College in Nepal, which has been offering ACCA courses in Nepal since 2004, and this is one of the best ACCA colleges in Nepal.
The Institute of Chartered Accountant of Nepal (ICAN)
ICAN is the regulator of the accounting profession in the context of Nepal. The autonomous body was established in 1997 and had started to offer chartered accountancy (CA) courses in Nepal and conducted the first CA examination in 2000. There are currently more than 4600 CA members in Nepal. The regulating body ICAN is located in Satdobato, Lalitpur.
Differences between ACCA and CA
|Basis of difference||ACCA||CA in Nepal|
|Course Structure||The entire course has been classified into 3 different levels:
– Applied Knowledge
– Applied Skills
– Strategic Professional
|In CA, there are 3 different levels:
– CAP – I
– CAP – II
– CAP – III
|Total number of papers||Altogether 13 papers exams & the Ethics Module (EPSM)||In total 18 papers exams.|
|Frequency of exams in a year||Quarterly exams in March, June, September & December.||Half-yearly exams in June & December.|
|Exam format||Session CBEs (Computer Based Examination) coordinated by the British Council on behalf of ACCA UK.||Paper-based exams conducted by ICAN.|
|Time duration to complete the course||Tentatively, it takes 3 to 4 years.||It takes 5 years.|
|Exam system||The choice remains with the students on which papers and how many to opt for based on their preparations.||There is a group system of examination; students must pass all the papers under a group.|
|Practical Experience Requirement (PER) / Articleship||36 months practical experience requirement & it can be achieved before, during or after the completion of the study.||36 months of article ship training is required but must be done after completing CAP-II.|
|Recognition||Recognized in more than 180 countries throughout the globe.||Nepal & abroad where ICAN has signed the MRA.|
|Employability||Nepal Rastra Bank, Private banking, Insurance companies, MNCs, INGO, World Bank, UN agencies.||Nepal Rastra Bank, Private banking, Insurance companies, MNCs, INGO, World Bank, UN agencies.|
|Public audit practice||Need to pass 6 papers of CAP-III exams and do a one-year articleship.||CA qualified from ICAN can directly go for public audit practice.|
|Specialization||IFRS/IAS, Finance & Auditing||Accounting, Auditing, Taxation & Local laws.|
Both qualifications are unique in their own way. For those interested in building their career as a portfolio manager, financial analyst, financial consultant, or professional accountant both locally as well as abroad, ACCA would be the best-suited qualification. On the other hand, if you are interested in building your career in the audit and assurance field in Nepal, it would be better to pursue the CA qualification.