ACCA Career, ACCA Course in Nepal, ACCA in Nepal, ACCA Online, Accounting

Choosing Accounting Career – A Complete Guide

Looking to start your Accounting Career? If so, the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI), the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA), and the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nepal (ICAN) are all great options to consider. In this informative article, we’ll provide you with an overview of each institution, including what resources and curriculum they offer, how long it takes to complete their programs, job opportunities, and average salaries.

Not only that, but we’ll also compare and contrast the advantages and disadvantages of each institution, giving you a better idea, of which one is the best fit for you. By the end of this article, you’ll have a clear understanding of what each institution can offer you and be well-equipped to make an informed decision about your future career in accounting. So, let’s get started!

Overview

Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI)

While there are many institutions that offer chartered accountancy programs in India, the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI) stands out as a particularly renowned and well-respected institution. Since its establishment in 1949, ICAI has played a significant role in shaping the accounting field in India, and its reputation has extended beyond national borders. 

Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA)

In contrast to the primarily Indian focus of the ICAI, the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) has a more global outlook. With a history dating back to 1904 in the UK, ACCA has established itself as a highly respected international accountancy institution, operating in over 180 countries worldwide.

Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nepal (ICAN)

For those seeking to work and reside in Nepal, the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nepal (ICAN) is a highly esteemed institution. Founded under the Nepal Chartered Accountants Act in 1997, ICAN provides individuals with the education and skills needed to excel in the Nepali accounting industry. However, ICAN’s recognition outside of Nepal is currently limited, and those looking for opportunities abroad may need to consider other options.

Accountancy Program Curriculum and Exams

ICAI

The curriculum of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI) is comprehensive and designed to prepare students for the chartered accountancy profession. The ICAI curriculum is divided into the Foundation, Intermediate, and Final levels. Each level has a specific set of papers that students are required to complete.

Accounting Career

The Foundation Level

The Foundation level consists of four papers: Principles and Practice of Accounting, Business Laws and Business Correspondence and Reporting, Business Mathematics and Logical Reasoning and Statistics, and Business Economics and Business and Commercial Knowledge.

Accounting Career

The Intermediate Level

The Intermediate level is divided into two groups. Group I include four papers: Accounting, Corporate and Other Laws, Cost and Management Accounting, and Taxation. Group II consists of three papers: Advanced Accounting, Auditing and Assurance, and Enterprise Information Systems and Strategic Management, and Financial Management and Economics for Finance. 

Accounting Career

The Final Level

The Final level is also divided into two groups. Group I consists of four papers: Financial Reporting, Strategic Financial Management, Advanced Auditing and Professional Ethics, and Corporate and Economic Laws. Group II includes four papers: Strategic Cost Management and Performance Evaluation, Elective Papers, Direct Tax Laws and International Taxation, and Indirect Tax Laws.

Accounting Career

In addition to the above papers, students are also required to complete a practical training program and pass orientation and IT training before being eligible for membership as a chartered accountant.

ACCA

The Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) curriculum is designed to prepare students for a career in accountancy and finance, with a focus on developing technical knowledge, professional skills, and ethical values. The ACCA curriculum is divided into two levels: Fundamentals and Professional.

Accounting Career

The Fundamentals

The Fundamentals level includes two modules: Knowledge and Skills. The Knowledge module comprises three papers: Business and Technology, Financial Accounting and Management Accounting. The Skills module consists of six papers: Audit and Assurance, Corporate and Business Law, Financial Reporting, Financial Management, Performance Management and Taxation.  

Accounting Career

The Professional

The Professional level is also divided into two modules: Essentials and Options. The Essentials module includes three papers that are mandatory: Strategic Business Leader, Strategic Business Reporting, and Ethics and Professional Skills. The Options module consists of four papers, of which students are required to choose two: Advanced Financial Management, Advanced Performance Management, Advanced Taxation, and Advanced Audit and Assurance.

Accounting Career

Furthermore, students are required to complete a minimum of three years’ relevant practical experience before being eligible for ACCA membership.

ICAN

The curriculum of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nepal (ICAN) is designed to prepare students for a career in accountancy and finance, with a focus on developing technical knowledge, professional skills, and ethical values. The ICAN curriculum is divided into three levels: Foundation, Intermediate, and Final.

Accounting Career

The Foundation Level

The Foundation level comprises four papers: Fundamentals of Accounting, Mercantile Laws and Fundamentals of Economics, and Fundamentals of Management and Commercial Mathematics and Statistics. 

Accounting Career

The Intermediate Level

The Intermediate level is divided into two groups. Group I includes three papers: Advanced Accounting, Audit and Assurance, and Corporate and Other Laws. Group II comprises four papers: Financial Management, Cost and Management Accounting, Business Communication and Marketing, and Income Tax and Vat. 

Accounting Career

The Final Level

The Final level is also divided into two groups. Group I consist of four papers: Advanced Financial Reporting, Advanced Financial Management, Advanced Audit and Assurance, and Corporate Laws. Group II includes four papers: Management Information and Communication System, Advanced Taxation, Advanced Cost and Management Accounting, and Strategic Management and Decision Making Analysis. 

Accounting Career

Moreover, students are also required to complete a minimum of three years of practical training under a practicing-chartered accountant before being eligible for ICAN membership.

Course Completion Time Period

ICAI

The course completion time period for each institution varies based on the program structure and individual factors. The Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI) has a typical course duration of 4.5 to 5 years for its Chartered Accountancy (CA) program, which depends on the student’s pace and ability to clear exams.

ACCA

The Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) has a flexible course duration, allowing students to complete the qualification at their own pace. On average, it takes around 3 to 4 years to complete all exams and practical experience requirements.

ICAN

On the other hand, the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nepal (ICAN) has a course duration of 4.5 to 5 years for its Chartered Accountancy program. It is important to keep in mind that these time periods are general estimates and may vary depending on individual factors, such as the student’s study habits, performance in exams, and practical training opportunities.

Among these three courses, in terms of the total time required to complete the full course, ACCA may have the most convenient completion period. ACCA offers a flexible schedule and allows students to study at their own pace. The course can be completed in three to four years, depending on the number of papers a student takes in each sitting.

Accounting Career

Enrollment Qualifications

ICAI

The Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI) has eligibility criteria that must be met to enroll in their program. The eligibility criteria are as follows:

  • Educational Qualification: Candidates must have completed their 10+2 examination or any other equivalent examination recognized by the ICAI.
  • Age Limit: There is no age limit for candidates to enroll in the ICAI program.
  • Registration: Candidates must register with the Board of Studies (BoS) of the ICAI to start their CA course.
  • Foundation Course: Candidates must complete the Foundation Course to be eligible for the Intermediate Course.
  • Communication and IT Training: Candidates must complete a four-week Integrated Course on Information Technology and Soft Skills (ICITSS) before appearing for the Intermediate Examination.
  • Practical Training: Candidates must complete three years of practical training after passing the Intermediate Examination.
  • Final Examination: Candidates must pass the Final Examination after completing the practical training to become a member of the ICAI.

Meeting these eligibility criteria is necessary for enrolling in the ICAI program and becoming a chartered accountant. 

ACCA

The Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) has eligibility criteria that must be met to enroll in their program. The eligibility criteria are as follows:

  • Educational Qualification: Candidates must have completed their 10+2 examination or any other equivalent examination recognized by the ACCA.
  • English Proficiency: Candidates must have a good understanding of English, as the program and exams are conducted in English.
  • Age Limit: There is no age limit for candidates to enroll in the ACCA program.
  • Registration: Candidates must register with the ACCA to start their qualification.
  • Foundation Level: Candidates with no prior qualifications or experience in accounting must complete the Foundation Level, which includes knowledge and skills in finance, accounting, and business.
  • Professional Level: Candidates must complete a minimum of three exams at the Professional Level to be eligible for the ACCA membership.
  • Practical Experience: Candidates must complete a minimum of three years of practical experience in accounting or finance to become a member of the ACCA.

Fulfilling these eligibility requirements is a prerequisite for enrolling in the ACCA program.

ICAN

The Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nepal (ICAN) has eligibility criteria that must be met to enroll in their program. The eligibility criteria are as follows:

  • Educational Qualification: To enroll in the ICAN program, candidates must have completed their 10+2 examination or any other equivalent examination recognized by ICAN.
  • English Proficiency: Candidates must have a good understanding of English, as the program and exams are conducted in English.
  • Age Limit: Candidates must be at least 16 years old to enroll in the ICAN program.
  • Registration: Candidates must register with ICAN to start their CA course.
  • Foundation Level: Candidates must complete the Foundation Level, which includes knowledge and skills in accounting, economics, and commercial law.
  • Intermediate Level: Candidates must complete the Intermediate Level, which includes knowledge and skills in financial accounting, cost accounting, and tax.
  • Final Level: Candidates must complete the Final Level, which includes knowledge and skills in advanced financial management, audit, and professional ethics.
  • Practical Training: Candidates must complete three years of practical training after passing the Intermediate Level.
  • Professional Ethics: Candidates must also complete a course on Professional Ethics before becoming a member of ICAN.

To enroll in the ICAN program and become a chartered accountant in Nepal, meeting these eligibility criteria is crucial.

Tuition Fees

ICAI

The fee structure for the ICAI course includes the registration fee, annual membership fee, examination fee, and various other charges. As mentioned in the official website of ICAI, the fee for the CA Foundation course is INR 9,800, while the fee for the Intermediate and Final courses is INR 18,000 and INR 22,000 respectively. It is important to note that the fees mentioned above are approximate and may change depending on a variety of factors, including the mode of study (self-study or coaching), location, and other related expenses.

ACCA

The fee structure for ACCA exams is based on several factors, including the location of the exam, the exam level, and whether the student is a registered ACCA member or not. According to the ACCA Global website, the initial registration fee is NPR 7,262.81, while the re-registration fee is NPR 14,364. The standard annual subscription fee for 2023 is NPR 19,690.29, and a reduced first-year subscription fee for 2023 is NPR 12,911.67. The total fee for the initial registration fee, standard annual subscription fee, and reduced first-year subscription fee for 2023 would be NPR 39,864.77. It’s essential to note that the fees mentioned on the website are subject to change, and students are advised to check the official website for the latest fee structure. Additionally, students may also incur additional costs such as study materials, college tuition fees, course paper fees, and other related expenses.

ICAN

The fee structure for the ICAN diverges depending on the level of membership and other factors. As of March 2023, the registration fee for ICAN membership is NPR 10,000. The annual membership fee is NPR 8,000, and members are also required to pay a one-time admission fee of NPR 5,000. Students are also required to pay exam fees, which vary depending on the level of the exam. Besides that, students may accrue added costs for example college tuition fees, study materials and so forth.

Career Opportunities 

Chartered Accountants have a diverse range of career options available to them, ranging from auditing and taxation to investment and finance worldwide. The specialized knowledge and skills obtained during the CA course can prepare graduates for these challenging career paths and enable them to succeed in the workforce.

CA Worldwide

Chartered Accountants have a wide range of job options, including:

  • Auditing
  • Taxation
  • Investment
  • Finance

CAs possess specialized knowledge and skills, allowing them to perform the following tasks:

  • Financial analysis
  • Preparation of financial statements
  • Offer advice
  • Provide strategic guidance to businesses

The CA course provides in-depth knowledge of the following areas:

  • Accounting principles
  • Financial management
  • Taxation
  • Business laws

Additionally, graduates can either start their own practice or work for a corporation, making it a highly versatile degree.

ACCA

ACCA is a globally recognized qualification that allows individuals to work anywhere in the world. The ACCA body has a strong network of over 8,500 approved employers as listed on the ACCA website, providing numerous job opportunities to its members abroad.

With over 18 career profiles available, students are prepared for senior management positions, including the chief financial officer (CFO) role. ACCA graduates can work as:

  • Management accountant
  • Finance manager
  • Financial analyst
  • Consultant
  • Adviser

In Nepal, ACCA graduates have numerous job opportunities in various sectors such as:

  • Finance sector
  • Consulting firms
  • Banking industry
  • Healthcare industry
  • IT sector
  • Insurance sector
  • Public sector
  • Business management

CA in Nepal

A career in Chartered Accountancy (CA) in Nepal offers a diverse range of opportunities in various areas, including:

  • Entrepreneurship
  • Management consulting
  • Taxation
  • Cost accounting
  • Financial and tax accountancy
  • Trustee
  • Advisor
  • Consultant
  • Representative
  • Valuator

Employment opportunities are available in both the private and public sectors, such as manufacturing companies, trading businesses, governmental banks, governmental offices, audit firms, financial institutions, insurance companies, and corporate management. Additionally, career paths for CAs can include teaching, forensic accounting, property valuation, and political appointments.

Net Pay

India

The average starting salary for a CA in India is around INR 7-8 lakhs per annum, while experienced CAs can earn salaries ranging from INR 15-30 lakhs per annum. Top-level CAs with many years of experience can earn salaries of over INR 1 crore per annum.

ACCA

Recent ACCA graduates in Nepal can expect starting salaries ranging from NPR 15,000 – NPR 30,000 depending on the organization, while experienced ACCA professionals can earn over NPR 50,000 according to their skills, competition, and organizational demands. According to the ACCA global salary and career survey 2021, an ACCA affiliate can expect to earn the average worldwide annual salary of approximately NPR 52.5 lakhs to NPR 60 lakhs per annum including salary, bonuses, and other benefits. After gaining three years of relevant work experience and becoming a full-fledged member of ACCA, one can anticipate earning the average worldwide annual salary of approximately NPR 82.5 lakhs to 90 lakhs per annum.

Nepal

The average salary of a Chartered Accountant in Nepal ranges from NPR 5 lakhs to NPR 15 lakhs per annum, which is comparatively lower than the salaries of experienced CAs in India and full-fledged members of ACCA. However, it is important to note that these figures are approximate and can vary widely depending on individual circumstances and other factors such as experience, skills, job performance, and company size. ICAN members also have opportunities to work in government organizations and private sector companies, which can affect their salaries.

Based on the information provided above, experienced CAs in India have the potential to earn higher salaries compared to ACCA affiliates and Chartered Accountants in Nepal.

Pass Percentage

The pass percentages of ICAI, ACCA, and ICAN vary based on various factors such as the difficulty level of exams, the number of attempts taken by the students, and the quality of study materials provided.

ICAI

The pass percentage of the Indian CA Final exams conducted in November 2021 was 13.50% for Group I and 13.25% for Group II. It is worth noting that the pass percentage for the final level exams is generally low due to the difficulty level of the exams.

ACCA

Compared to the ICAI exams, the pass rates for ACCA exams are relatively higher. The September 2021 exam session saw impressive pass rates for ACCA: 89% for Applied Knowledge exams, 80% for Applied Skills exams, and 48% for Strategic Professional exams. These figures demonstrate the effectiveness of the ACCA program’s flexibility and broad-based curriculum in accounting.

ICAN

Similarly, ICAN’s foundation-level exams have a pass percentage of around 50%, while the intermediate-level exams have a pass percentage of around 55%. The final level exams have a pass percentage of around 32%, making them more challenging to pass. ICAN’s exams are relatively difficult, but those who pass them can expect to have a strong foundation in accounting and an advantage in the job market.

Evaluating the facts given above, ACCA tends to have higher pass rates compared to ICAI, while ICAN’s pass percentage falls somewhere in between. While these pass rates can give some indication of the difficulty level of the exams, it’s important to keep in mind that they are only one factor to consider when choosing a professional accounting qualification.

Number of Total Members of Each Institutions

According to the latest available data, the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI) has over 319,000 members as of 2021. The Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) has over 219,000 members as of 2021, while the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nepal (ICAN) has over 10,000 members in Nepal. It is important to note that membership numbers can fluctuate over time and may not be fully up to date. Nevertheless, these numbers provide a general sense of the relative size and scope of each organization within the accounting profession.

Table-Wise Summation

Factors of Comparison ICAI ACCA ICAN
 
Total Exam Papers 
20 
Foundation Course: 4 
Intermediate Course: 8 
Final Course: 8
13 
Applied Knowledge: 3 
Applied Skills: 6 
Strategic Professional: 4
(2 – Essential exams and 2 – Options exams)  
18 
Foundation Course: 3 
Intermediate Course: 7 
Final Course: 8
Course Completion Time  4.5 to 5 years 
Note: Time period may vary depending on student  
3 to 4 years 
Note: Time period may vary depending on student 
4.5 to 5 years 
Note: Time period may vary depending on student 
Net Pay (Note: this may differ based on different factors such as skills, organization, location, etc.) Average starting salary of CA in India – Around INR 7-8 lakhs per annum ACCA Affiliate’s average worldwide salary -Approximately NPR 52.5 lakhs to NPR 60 lakhs per annum  
ACCA Member’s average worldwide salary -Approximately NPR 82.5 lakhs to 90 lakhs per annum  
Average salary of a CA in Nepal – Around NPR 5 lakhs to NPR 15 lakhs per annum 
Pass Percentage (As per the data of 2021) Group I: 13.50% 
Group II: 13.25%  
Applied Knowledge: 89%  
Applied Skills: 80%  
Strategic Professional: 48%  
Group I – 50% 
Group II – 55% 
Group III – 32% 
Number of Total Members (As of 2021) Over 319,000 membersOver 219,000 members Over 10,000 members 
Global Recognition Recognized in several countries, including Australia, Canada, the United Kingdom, and the United States of America  Acknowledged by employers in many countries, including Australia, Canada, the United Kingdom, the United States of America, and many countries in Europe, Africa, and Asia  Validated mainly in South Asian countries such as India, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka additionally is also accepted in countries including Australia and the United Kingdom  

Conclusion

Finding the perfect career path can be a rollercoaster ride with its own set of twists and turns. However, we believe that the information and guidance we offer can be your compass to navigate the path ahead with more confidence and preparation.

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