Is ACCA qualified for CPA Australia

Difference Between CPA and ACCA

CPA versus ACCA

Since the CPA and ACCA are both accounting terms and conditions pertaining to professional accounting qualifications, it may be useful at some point to know the difference between CPA and ACCA. Especially for those interested in pursuing a career in accounting, it is important to find out the difference between CPA and ACCA before enrolling in a degree in accounting. Anyone with a CPA or ACCA qualification is able to become a professional accountant in their stated field. These two qualifications are considered important qualifications and are essential for those considering a career in accounting.

What is CPA?

CPA, also known asAuditors, has legal status in the United States and has several offices in the United States. The history of CPA, based in the United States of America, dates back to the 19th century when it began. To work as a Chartered Accountant in the United States, you must have a CPA license. The license is provided by the state of residence of each state, and the requirements vary from state to state. In general, however, CPA licensing is a 3-step approach. Education, testing and experience. To become a Certified Public Accountant, you must first meet the training requirements, then pass the CPA exam and gain relevant hands-on experience. The CPA exam is administered by the American Institute of Chartered Accountants (AICPA). It's a 14-hour CPA uniform exam. The exam consists of 4 sections; Audit and certification, business environment and concepts, accounting and reporting, and regulation. To qualify, you have to score over 75% in all four areas. The exam includes MCQ, simulation, and written questions. Eligibility to take the CPA exam depends on the state for which you wish to obtain the license. Anyone wishing to become a certified auditor must also have relevant professional experience, which in turn depends on the state. As a rule, however, it is 1 to 2 years under an auditor.

However, CPA denotes different bodies in different countries. In Canada it's a professional accountant. CPA Canada is an integrated body of the CPA, CA, CGA and CMA. In Australia, it means accountants. To become a member of CPA Australia, you must follow the CPA program they run and pass the exam. You also need 3 years of relevant practical experience. CPA Australia is also internationally recognized. In Ireland it is again accountants. CPA Ireland offers its own CPA qualifications and has mutual recognition agreements with auditors in countries such as Australia, Canada and India. The study program is flexible and has various pathways that lead to CPA qualification.

What is ACCA?

ACCA (Association of Auditors) was initiated in 1904 and is based in the United Kingdom. This organization, which started out with just eight accountants, has grown significantly since then and has members in countries around the world. Those wishing to become members of the ACCA must take the exams leading to a module for ACCA qualification and professional ethics, in addition to at least three years of decent work experience in the field concerned. The ACCA study program focuses on corporate reporting, leadership and management, strategy and innovation, financial management, sustainable accounting, taxation, audit and assurance, governance, risk and control, stakeholder relationship management, and professionalism and ethics. The course is very flexible. You can join ACCA at any level depending on your existing qualifications.

1. ACCA Foundation Level

Do you want to become an accountant but are concerned that you don't have any prior qualifications? You don't need to worry. You can participate in the Foundation-level ACCA program as no entry is required. It is open to everyone who wants to get into the field of accounting.

2. ACCA Professional

The prerequisite for joining this level is a pass in GCSE 3 subjects and A-Levels 2 subjects; All 5 must be different subjects and include math and English.

The competence framework at the professional level is in turn divided into three levels.

1. Level 1 basics - knowledge

It has 3 modules: Accountant in Business, Management Accounting and Financial Accounting.

Completion of the level 1 exams leads to a degree in accounting and business administration.

2. Level 2 Basics - Skills

It comprises 5 modules: corporate and corporate law, performance management, taxes, financial reporting, audit and assurance, and financial management.

Completion of the level 2 exams leads to a degree in accounting and business administration.

3. Level 3 Professional - Basics and Options - After completing Level 3 and passing the exam, you are qualified as an ACCA Professional.

It consists of 5 modules - 3 basics and two electives. The essentials are governance, risk and ethics, company reporting and business analysis.

The duration of the entire course averages 3 to 4 years, and you have to take around 14 exams if you are not exempt from any subject.

To become an ACCA member, in addition to the ACCA Professional qualification, you will need at least 3 years of relevant work experience and complete a Professional Ethics module which is conducted online.

What is the difference between CPA and ACCA?

CPA and ACCA are crucial requirements for all auditors as they bring their expertise to bear in relation to the topics being dealt with. However, the CPA and ACCA have different requirements for applicants seeking to qualify for these qualifications. This is one of the many things that make them stand out.

CPA was initiated in the USA. ACCA was initiated in the UK. The CPA exam is divided into tests on exam and certification, business environment and concepts, financial accounting and reporting, and regulation. The ACCA is divided into Fundamentals and Professional, with the basic focus on knowledge and skills and the Professional on essential aspects and options. CPA is a professional organization, while ACCA also offers training. Although CPA is internationally recognized, the CPA license is specific to a state in the United States, while ACCA is an internationally recognized qualification.


CPA versus ACCA

• Both CPA and ACCA are accountant qualifications for professional accountants.

• CPA is based in the US while ACCA is based in the UK.

• In contrast to CPA, ACCA offers educational programs that lead to professional bookkeeping.

• The CPA license is specific to one state in the US, while ACCA is global.

• CPA also refers to various professional associations of accountants in different countries.

Photos by: CPABC (CC BY 2.0)

Further reading:

  1. Difference Between CPA and Accountant
  2. Difference Between CA and CPA
  3. Difference between CPA and CIMA
  4. Difference between ACA and ACCA