A vast majority of commerce students tend to gravitate towards Chartered Accountancy after completing their class 12. If you are one of the select few who wants to try something different, here are some alternatives to Indian CA in the field of accounting and finance. Many of these courses are internationally recognized and give you the opportunity to work outside India.
Here are some alternative courses to CA that you can pursue in India.
ACCA is a course that is a direct alternative to Chartered Accountancy that has similar eligibility criteria and offers similar job prospects after completion. ACCA stands for Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) which is a UK-based accounting body that conducts the ACCA exams. The ACCA course is the UK equivalent of CA and is also referred to as Global CA. You can also attempt ACCA after completing your CA and you will be eligible for up to 9 exemptions.
This qualification is recognised in 180 countries and some of the well-known companies in the world in their list of Approved Employers with the potential for Trainee Development and Professional Development.
These companies include Barclays, Accenture, Credit Suisse, and IBM. ACCAs often get hired at similar positions as that of a CA and have the potential to earn an average starting salary of anywhere between INR 6 to 8 lpa. You can work with accounting firms like KPMG, Deloitte, EY and PwC.
2. US CPA
Another alternative to CA that allows you to work in India and the US is US CPA. The Certified Public Accounting course is offered by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) and can now be taken from outside the US
US CPA is considered to be the highest accounting qualification in the US and is known to be equivalent to CA. Since US CPA and CPA Canada have a Mutual Recognition Agreement (MRA), you will be eligible to become CPA Canada directly if you have pursued US CPA. This course can also be done after CA if you are planning to move to the US or Canada and wish to work as an accounting professional there
In addition to the US and Canada, a US CPA can also work in other countries in North America as well as Australia and New Zealand
3. US CMA
For those who are interested in the strategic aspects of accounting and finance, US CMA might be a great course option to consider. Certified Management Accounting, is a short term course conducted by the Institute of Management Accountants (IMA) in the US.
This course is quite similar to the Indian Cost and Management Accounting course, however, this one can be completed in under a year as opposed to Indian CMA which needs 3 years to complete. Moreover, with US CMA, you can work as a management accounting professional in India and countries such as the US, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and the Middle East.
With enough experience and the US CMA qualification, you could possibly become the CFO of a company> The scope for US CMA is more in consumer-focused companies like Amazon, Apple, Google, and Coca-Cola
Speaking of courses in the field of business management, you could also consider pursuing an MBA degree. A Master’s in Business Administration is an excellent course to pursue if done so from the right college or university
Instead of MBA, you can definitely pursue an MBA in Finance or MBA in Accounting to get an advanced degree in accounting and finance. The only thing to note is that an MBA degree only matters as much as the college or university does. So if you are unable to get into one of the top colleges or tier-1 universities, the value of your qualification will be much lower in your professional career
However, if you are able to score well in entrance exams like CAT, GRE and GMAT, or if you crack the entrance exams to any of the universities, you should definitely go for MBA. After MBA you will be able to claim an average salary of INR 7 to 9 lpa which can go up to INR 15 to 12 lpa if you pursue MBA from colleges like IIM Ahmedabad, IIM Bangalore and IIM Chennai
If a career in investment banking or portfolio management sounds appealing to you, another course that you can pursue is the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) course. This course is offered by the CFA Institute in the US and allows you to work as an expert in financial markets
The CFA charter is recognised in various countries across the world including the US, UK, Canada, Australia and New Zealand. After completing CFA, you can work in some of the most reputed companies in the world such as Blackstone, Morgan Stanley, Grant Thornton, BDO and EY.
After completing CFA, you can expect a starting salary of anywhere between INR 6 to 8 lpa.
If you are having some second thoughts about pursuing the CA qualification or if you wish to pursue a course in addition to CA, you can explore any of the above courses. If you need some help figuring out which course is the right for you or if you would like some further information about any of the above courses, you can check out the Zell Education website and contact us.
Can I do CFA after CA?
Yes, you can do CFA after CA. In fact, this combination of courses can prove to be quite beneficial in upskilling yourself and becoming an expert in finance as well as accounting.
In which countries can I work after completing CA?
After becoming an Indian CA, you can work in countries like Bahrain, the UK, Ireland and Dubai.
Are there any exemptions in US CPA after CA?
No, you do not get any exemptions after CA in US CPA. You have to attempt all papers.