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What is difference between ACCA and ICA?

If you want to practice finance, auditing and accounting, then you may need a professional certification of practice. To get to the top in accounting and finance, you may be wondering of the difference between ACCA and ICA, and which is the better choice.

This article is for you, if that has been your worry. Institute of Chartered Accountants – Ghana (ICAG), Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) and Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA) are the well-recognized options in Ghana.

Candidates with high school certificate, HND, Bachelor’s or Master’s degree seeking a professional accounting certification can look at these objective analysis of ACCA and ICA and make a choice.

I have already compared ICAG vs CIMA, now let me get you up to speed with the points of difference between ACCA and ICA ;

1. Cost

2. Difficulty Level

3. Recognition

4. Convenience

5. Career Prospects

Now let’s discuss ACCA and ICAG;

1. Cost

ICAG charges GH₵200 for registration and an annual subscription of GH₵200. A student will pay a maximum of GH₵ 370 per paper to sit for the exams. Also, the exemption fee per paper is at a ceiling of GH₵420.

For ACCA, an applicant will pay a registration fee of £45 (GH₵442.74) and an annual subscription of £116 (GH₵1141.29).

The maximum exemption fee charged per paper by ACCA is £144 (GH₵1121.61), and a maximum of £240 (GH₵2361.38) as an exam entry fee per paper.

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So if you are a Ghanaian student, ICAG looks more affordable; however, your choice will depend on your career aspirations and which one you can afford.

2. Course Difficulty

Both ACCA and ICA are not an easy path to charter as an accounting professional. But the difficulty level can be subjective.

The investment of time in preparation, and the quantity of work can be overwhelming.

So, if you wish to register and sit for ACCA or ICA papers, you must know that both require a lot of time and practice to pass.

3. Convenience

ACCA has 13 papers and ICAG has 14 papers, both structured in 3 levels. ICAG papers can now be written three times a year; April, August and December.

A successful applicant can write ACCA papers, four times a year as well as write some computer-based papers on-demand. This makes ACCA more flexible.

4. Career Prospects

There are numerous career opportunities for holders of professional certificates in accounting and finance.

If you’ve a job already, ACCA or ICA qualifications could boost your earnings and chances of promotion.

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If you’re at the entry level, having either of these can offer you equal benefits and opportunities. In the end, having either of these will not necessarily decide the path your career will take.

5. International Recognition

ICAG is a member of the International Federation of Accountants (IFAC), and has a close affiliation with ICAEW, so it’s globally recognized.

However, ACCA still has the advantage of being more recognizable outside Ghana. This would prove useful especially when you need to work abroad.

So on international recognition, it depends on the career path you wish to take.

If you have an ACCA, you will be required to apply to ICAG and write some papers in order to be admitted into the practice.

I hope these differences help ease your worries.

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