CA vs MBA in Finance: Which is Better?

Are you looking to build a thriving career in finance and contemplating what certification or degree you should pursue to get the highest returns? 

Then you must have Chartered Accountancy (CA) and an MBA in Finance on your list.

But, MBA Finance or CA, which is better? Quite an impasse.

A Chartered Accountancy qualification can provide you with a strong foundation in financial accounting and reporting. On the other hand, an MBA in Finance can give you a broader understanding of the finance industry with core knowledge of various business disciplines. Both qualifications can be helpful in a finance career, but choosing the one best suited to your professional goals and interests is essential.

If you, too, are confused about which course to pursue, here’s a detailed read on CA vs MBA in Finance to help you get insights into what is the perfect fit for you.

Chartered Accountancy (CA)

A Chartered Accountant in India is an individual who has qualified the examinations administered by the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI). Before becoming a registered member of the Institute, the individual must pass the institute-conducted tests with the requisite percentage and complete the relevant theoretical and practical training. 

As a certified professional, a CA may carry out responsibilities for various organisations to maintain effective auditing, taxation, and accounting controls in their business and operations. 

Get the complete roadmap to being a CA in our “A Complete Guide To Chartered Accountancy” blog.

MBA in Finance

A Masters of Business Administration (MBA) in Finance is a two-year post-graduate degree that provides individuals with a plethora of prospects, whether they are new to finance or have had prior expertise in the domain. 


There is no particular institute in India for an MBA in Finance since several B-schools offer this programme. Graduates can enrol in an MBA programme by clearing exams such as CAT, XAT, MAT, etc., with good scores, after which they have to sit for an interview. However, these admission rules differ from one college to another.

CA vs MBA in Finance: Job Prospects

The difference between CA and MBA in Finance mostly boils down to the different job prospects each qualification brings

  • The CA is more focused on in-house finance positions. On the other hand, an MBA in Finance has a broader range of job prospects. MBA graduates find jobs in financial institutions, stock exchanges, and industries like market research.
  • A Chartered Accountant can work as a Financial Auditor, Finance Manager, Forensic Accountant, Financial Analyst, and other job titles. 
  • An MBA in Finance is qualified for job roles such as a Financial Advisor, Investment Manager, Investor Relations Manager, and Business Analyst. They can also work in non-finance fields such as HR, sales, marketing and others. 

You can find more information in our “Career Options After MBA in Finance” blog.

CA vs MBA in Finance: Salary

Salary is also a significant factor when deciding which programme to pursue. The salary can vary depending on the job role, years of experience and the location of the job.  

A Chartered Accountant in India has an average base pay of Rs. 8.05 LPA, while a person holding an MBA in Finance in India has an average base pay of Rs. 7.64 LPA.

CA vs MBA in Finance: Eligibility

The eligibility for the CA and MBA in Finance programmes also differ. 

  • After passing the higher secondary exam, a candidate wishing to pursue a CA course must take the CPT (Common Proficiency Test).
    If candidates intend to skip the CPT, they may enrol for the IPCC (Integrated Professional Competence Course) if they have a graduate degree. Given the statistics of successful CA candidates, it is usually recommended that candidates hold at least a bachelor’s degree.
    A candidate who wants to be recognised as a Chartered Accountant in India and overseas can apply for the ACCA programme. Check out our blog on “Why you should Do ACCA after CA” to get more insights on the ACCA certification.
  • A bachelor’s degree from a recognised university or institution with an aggregate of at least 50% (45% for reserved quotas) is required for an MBA admission. The qualifying conditions differ from one business school to the next. Having relevant work experience is a plus for candidates applying for an MBA.

CA vs MBA in Finance: Course Duration

A CA course spans four years, provided candidates clear the exams on the first attempt. An MBA course lasts two years in India after the candidate enrols in a business school.

CA vs MBA in Finance: Skills Acquired

Following a Chartered Accountancy certification, a candidate:

  • Approaches accounting and auditing methodically
  • Gets a comprehensive awareness of socioeconomic realities and standards

An MBA graduate, on the other hand:

  • Develops leadership skills
  • Gains business expertise 
  • Learns how to work efficiently under time constraints with efficacy
  • Develops a strategic mindset to get businesses up and running 

Key Takeaway

The debate of which programme is better, a CA or an MBA in Finance, has been around for many years. However, the debate comes down to a few key determinants discussed in this blog. The bottom line is that the CA and MBA in Finance programmes offer different benefits and opportunities. It is important to weigh all of the factors before making a decision.

Zell Education strives to create competent individuals for the industry by providing candidates with exceptional formal training. We offer multiple globally-recognised certifications such as ACCA, CFA, CPA, and others. With such credentials, job seekers can pursue a fulfilling career in the financial business in various roles. Visit Zell Education for more details on the courses.

Which is better, MBA or CA?

There is no definite answer since the best course for you depends on your career goals and interests. However, in general, a Chartered Accountancy (CA) designation is more focused on accounting and financial reporting, while an MBA in Finance is broader in scope and covers a more comprehensive range of topics related to finance and business management.

Does an MBA earn more than a CA?

The salary of an MBA and a CA depends on factors such as job roles, years of experience, and job location, among others. However, according to Payscale, an MBA’s average base salary per year in India is slightly less than a CA’s.

Is MBA tougher than CA?

An MBA course typically spans four semesters, while a CA has to clear three levels of examination (CPT, IPCC, CA-Finals) before they can call themselves a CA. Though the difficulty level is subjective, becoming a CA is likely more challenging than getting an MBA.

Is MBA in Finance equivalent to CA?

An MBA in Finance is not equal to a CA, as the former specialises in finance and business management. On the other hand, a Chartered Accountancy course revolves around financial assessment, accounting, taxation and auditing.

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