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is an ACCA qulaification worth much more than a Bachelor's degree?

acording to most ACCA tuition providers , an ACCA qualification is equavilent to a Master's degree. How true is this in market value. For sure the standard the latter is very tough but is it worth it when the nkt value is similar to a degree. I mean isnt it better to persue a degree that is easier ?

Chung Cher Shen

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ACCA compare with a Master/Bachelor Degree
If you are looking for accounting job in UK it is no doubt that ACCA qualification is better since most of the employers don't need a degree holder to perform the role but all require some accounting qualifications such as part-qualified CCAB or AAT/CAT. But if you are working in USA than a degree is mandatory whether seeking accounting job or register with AICPA for uniform CPA examinations. It is mandatory to have a four years (150 credits) Bachelor Degree in order to qualify for registration as student with AICPA. I guess the Oxford Brook degree don't qualify for studentship in US since it is obtained by doing a project work only.


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ACCA certificate stage
Does anyone know what is the equivalent standard of the old syllabus of the ACCA Certificate stage. No doubt, the current ACCA Level 2 is equivalent to a degree, then what about the old Certificate stage? The difference between the old and current Certificate stage is effectively one 'Financial Reporting' paper. Would that make alot of difference between the old and new Certificate stage?

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Contributing more than enough is OK
If I am not wrong professional accountancy bodies tries to "compete" with the master's degrees. The final papers of the recognised professional bodies' subject titles/contents are found in courses conducted at master's level. The questions set are equally demurring too. Graduates from these bodies will no doubt sail through the master's degree programmes as they possess some good foundation coverage. But the master's programme's emphasis is different from the professional examinations and this is possibly the only "unlearn" grounds.

An interesting point noted here is different members from different professional bodies will have their different opinions which makes this site very interesting too.

If would be better to have academics writing to this site, preferably those holding both professional and master's degrees.

The title of this thread compares ACCA with a Bachelor's degree whilst the contents talk about ACCA and a Master's degree. I think the word "latter" means ACCA and not master's degree am I right, CCS?

Contributors have posted extra information and I see this as beneficial. The point of the strengths of ACCA as compared to an accounting degree and a master's degree has been addressed. It would be more conclusive to have academics's postings here to englighten us further.

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Ms Booth
Are you asserting the superiority of that institution, or correcting my spelling?

Asylum, taken over, etc?

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Pointless
At the risk of incurring the wrath of some of the contributors, this is another one of those pointless debates about the relative merits of qualifications.

I believed that the original question was a genuine enquiry about an accountancy student considering the competing options of a masters or the ACCA qualification.

The thread has turned into a replica of other exchanges where the debate seems to be more about ego and defending one's own qualification. What is the point? Does the world turn on the relative merits of a masters in Reflexology from Rekjavik University or associate membership of the council of bean counters of Easter Island?

Millenium Hand and Shrimp.

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All very interesting but ...
Some very interesting points have come through this thread now. I'd like to address a few of them.

Before I start, let me say that I have a great deal of respect for the ACCA qualification.

Oxford Brookes gives a degree part way through the ACCA programme ... for their own ends. I don't see that as proof that the rest of the ACCA curriculum is consequently of Master's degree standard. Far from it. Take a look at why OB does this, not at whether this is the be all and end all of quality confirmation for the ACCA qualification.

You can't equate the ACCA qualification with an MBA programme. Someone said that ACCA questions in the later papers would floor MBA students ... the converse is also true: a good MBA finance case study could leave many ACCA's standing absolutely flummoxed. As someone else said, we are not comparing like with like.

Compare papers 12, 13 and 14 with a good MAcc and see what you find. At Master's level you should find very high quality academic work that may or may not have direct practical relevance.

Are you aware that the entire USA does NOT recognise the ACCA qualification as being good enough?

Prem Sikka has a problem that he needs help with!

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ACCA is more or less or like Master's degree
That's true. When I compare the management subjects of ACCA's to MBA's, the contents are more or less similar. Further, the ACCA questions are of a very high standard just like the rest of the recognised accountancy bodies in the UK. I guess the coverage of the accounting and finance contents are at the hightest level too.

Because of the broad-based coverage of management like subjects, all graduates from the recognised accountancy bodies in UK should do fairly well in MBA or MFin courses.

The coverage of first degrees in accountancy may be similar to the professional bodies. But should you wish to embark on a career in public accountancy, you had better take up a professional course. Perhaps, after passing the professional exams, you may wish to further your studies at MBA level or the final year of an accountancy degree. There are some degree courses which may lead you to the final part of the recognised accountancy bodies' exams, eg South Bank's, de Monfort's, etc.

To your question that ACCA is equivalent to a Master's, this has its truth and this depends on which subject you are comparing with at the Master's. As for market value-wise, I suggest to write the exams of a body recognised by the accountancy regulatory body (eg HK CPA for HKong, or CICPA) of your home country. You have a chinese name but you have not mentioned your home country.

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Practical experience
Note also that to qualify with ACCA you need three years of practical, on-the-job experience. A degree does not normally require this.
In cooperation with Oxford Brookes University, studying for ACCA can also lead to a bachelor degree. One must complete the first nine of the 14 exams and a research project to obtain the degree. This would suggest that the remaining five ACCA exams are at above bachelor standard.

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ACCA is the best in this world

ACCa qualification is the best in this world. You can't live without one!. Ask Professor Prem Sikka of Essex University! He seems to like them a lot.

Anon

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Basis of comparing qualifications
Sorry, I don't quite agree with R Aala's basis in concluding that the ACCA is higher than a degree just because you need to pass 9 of the 14 papers in the ACCA coupled with a project to qualify for an Oxford Brooke's.

If that being the case, please check the status of ACCA graduates when they embark on a degree course in the UK, US or some other parts of the world. No doubt the ACCA qualification is recognised for entry to Master's at most universities.

Maybe R Aala could advise us what sort of recognition is accorded to ACCA grads when they embark on a Oxford University programme or with Notingham's (or any of those top 8 in UK).

I do not think we could "exchange" a professional qualification with an academic degree as the emphasis is different, though the coverage is more or less the same.

The ACCA qualification is very good, there are others in the UK which are equally good too. However, popularity of the qualification and having a clout in the market place are some considering factors as someone had quoted.

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ACCA does not have Economic subject
I noted that in the current ACCA syllabus, the subject Economics is not found.

Pardon me for my ignorance, how is the Economic contents covered in other subjects of the ACCA?

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It depends
My comments are based on my personal experience in the UK in practice, industry and local governement.

In terms of academic achievement they probably are about equivalent, but in terms of market value, it depends which market, and indeed which part of the market you are considering.

If you want to work as an accountant in public practice you will find that any kind of degree is less useful than the ACCA. In most parts of commerce or industry the same is true in a pure accountancy role. Where the role is not pure accountancy, then a degree may be considered as equally appropriate. If the role is not accounting, then you could find that the ACCA is a disadvantage compared to a degree.

Some employers, especially large structured organisations, will expect both a first degree and a professional qualification for many roles. Increasingly, an MBA is seen as a valuable addition to any accounting qualification, regardless of the holding of a first degree.

I have not seen much practical evidence that a masters, other than an MBA, is seen as being much more valuable than a first degree.

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Not Master's level but still a good one
The ACCA qualification is a good one: certainly as good as the other Chartered bodies' qualifications. It's not Mater's degree level, though, and I don't think you'll find the ACCA saying that either.

As a matter of interest, I am working with the former Marketing Director of the ACCA UK and he was also the CEO of ACCA Ireland: he's an FCCA and he will no doubt agree with me as we are working on accounting education, testing and certification and discuss such issues a lot!

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Universities failing
The point is that the major institutes do not regard a degree as anything other than an entry qualification for professional training. Even an accountancy degree is worth very little in terms of accountancy ability. The real training starts after that.

You can leave university as a fully qualified dentist, veterinary surgeon, chemical engineer etc but not an accountant or solicitor. This is something that the universities should be addressing because they want funding from business but are not prepared to provide a proper service in return.

(Just my humble opinion.)

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I supporter Nick Farrow yours truely
No need competitions, no need study so fiercely, no need bother examination so difficult like the ICAEW, ACCA, but so easy one like AIA. No more botherance at all right away.

Thank You.


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Include ICAEW into topic too
Many still say the ACA is better than the ACCA.

WOuld it be fair to include the prestigious ACA into this topic for discussion then?

The ACA is equivalent to a Master's degree. It's high standards make it very tough.


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ignore qualifications
I ignore qualifications and set my own test - is that legal?

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