Difference between ACCA and CPA

Difference between ACCA and CPA

If you are an accountant and looking forward to getting a prestigious and renowned qualification then it becomes very important for you to know the difference between ACCA and CPA. You should know that your basic bookkeeping knowledge might be enough to fulfill the accounting needs of a small business but in order to grow in the market; you will need to have a prestigious qualification. Nowadays, businesses and accounting firms prefer qualified accountants over non-qualified accountants. And this makes it necessary for you to gain experience and renowned qualification as soon as possible.

But whenever an accountant faces the situation of getting a prestigious qualification, the two main options they get are ACCA and CPA. In order to choose the best one, you will need to know about both of these accounting qualifications in a detailed manner and know how they both are different from each other. This is why, in this blog post, we will go through a detailed explanation of both ACCA and CPA and how they are different from each other.

We will try to understand the difference between ACCA and CPA on the basis of various features and parameters.


CPA degree stands for Certified Public Accountant(CPA) and it is basically given by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountant. All the accountants that pass the CPA course and get the degree to become eligible for handling accounts, taxation, auditing, etc. The candidate can perform an audit for both the federal and state levels.

ACCA degree stands for Association of Certified Charted Accountant(ACCA) and it is granted by the Royal Charter but the degree is given by Association of Charted Accountants. Some of the most common practices for a candidate passing ACCA are taxation, finance, auditing, and accounting.

Field of Work

When it comes to the field of work for CPA then we can say that it is connected with the license to give accounting services to the public. For maintaining the rules, regulations, and law, all the degree holders in the case of CPA have to guide and advise small businesses, medium-sized businesses, individuals and even MNCs on their financial and accounting operations and practices.

But in the case of ACCA, the field of work is basically related to inspection to accounting services to both private and public firms. But an ACCA candidate will need to pass the examination before conducting the inspection. In addition to finance and accounting, all the ACCA can easily widen their presence across the globe through financial controlling as well.

Period of course

In addition to the differences in the application, work practices, entities and individuals served; there is a big difference when it comes to the period of the course. But this should not be your only criteria for choosing a course as we are mentioning it only to let you know about the difference in the period of course of both Certified Public Accountant and Association of Certified Charted Accountant. When it comes to CPA, then the tenure of the course is 18 months all over the globe while on the other side, the period of tenure in the case of ACCA is 2–3 years. There are many accountants who want to get a prestigious qualification as soon as possible and this is the main reason why they go for CPA instead of f ACCA. But the tenure of the course has nothing to do with its level and recognition.


It is very much necessary for you to know about the difference in the position of both the CPA and ACCA. In the case of a CPA, the candidate is entitled to the rules and regulations of a company and they have to comply with both the auditing and taxation part. But in addition to this, CPAs also have to look after the ethical part of the organization as well. But in the case of ACCA, the candidate is delegated with implementing the required ethics in an organization. All the ethical policies are framed by the ACCA on behalf of the company. This is one of the main differences between a CPA and ACCA. The difference between the position of both the CPA and ACCA can make or break your choice.


If you are looking forward to applying for CPA and pass the exam then you will need at least 1–2 years of work experience along with 40 hours of continuing education degree. Without these things, you will not be eligible to sit in the examination for CPA.

In the case of ACCA, the candidate is required to have at least a graduation degree along with work experience of at least 3 years. In addition to this, in order to become an ACCA, the candidate will also have to pass three stages.

The author of Tektost has years of industry experience in writing and creating tech blogs for various online communities. As a tech enthusiast, the author keeps herself updated about tech innovation and converts them into her writing.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Please wait...

Subscribe to our newsletter

Want to be notified when our article is published? Enter your email address and name below to be the first to know.