ACCA vs CPA: A Comparative Study of Salary and Benefits.

If you're considering a career in accounting, you're likely considering becoming either a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) or a chartered Certified Accountant (ACCA). Both of these professional qualifications have their own unique benefits, and it can be difficult to determine which is right for you. One important factor to consider is salary and benefits. In this blog, we'll take a closer look at the compensation you can expect from each of these qualifications.


The CPA is a professional certification in the United States. To become a US CPA Professional, you must pass the Uniform CPA Exam, meet education and work experience requirements, and meet ethical and licensing standards. CPAs are licensed by individual states, and their credentials are recognized nationwide.

In terms of salary, CPAs typically earn higher salaries than ACCAs. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual wage for accountants and auditors in the United States was $72,500 in May 2021. CPAs often earn more than this, with salaries ranging from $50,000 to $150,000 or more, depending on experience, location, and industry.

In addition to salary, CPAs also receive a range of benefits. These may include health insurance, retirement plans, paid time off, and professional development opportunities. Some employers may also offer bonuses, stock options, or other incentives.


The ACCA is a professional accounting organization based in the United Kingdom. To become an ACCA member, you must pass a series of exams, meet work experience requirements, and adhere to ethical standards. ACCAs are recognized globally and are highly valued by employers.

In terms of salary, ACCAs typically earn slightly less than CPAs. According to the ACCA, the average salary for ACCA members in the United States is around $75,000 per year. However, this can vary greatly depending on experience, location, and industry.

Like CPAs, ACCAs also receive a range of benefits. These may include health insurance, retirement plans, paid time off, and professional development opportunities. Some employers may also offer bonuses, stock options, or other incentives.


It's also important to consider the type of work you want to do and the industries you want to work in. CPAs are in high demand in the United States and are often sought after by public accounting firms, corporations, and government agencies. They are also well-equipped to provide tax, audit, and advisory services. On the other hand, ACCAs are well-suited for roles in finance, management, and consulting, and are highly valued by multinational corporations and international organizations.

Another factor to consider is the cost and time commitment involved in obtaining each qualification. The CPA exam is known to be challenging, and it can take several months or even years to prepare for and pass all four sections. Becoming an ACCA member requires passing a series of exams, which can also be time-consuming and costly. However, both qualifications are recognized globally and are highly respected, so the investment of time and money can pay off in the long run.

Finally, it's worth considering the ongoing requirements for each qualification. CPAs must complete a certain amount of continuing professional education each year to maintain their license, and ACCAs must adhere to ethical standards and keep up with industry developments. Both qualifications require ongoing commitment and effort, but the benefits of having a highly respected professional designation can be well worth it.

It's also important to note that both the CPA and ACCA qualifications can open doors to career advancement and higher salaries. Many senior accounting and finance positions, such as chief financial officer or partner in a public accounting firm, require a professional designation. Having a CPA or ACCA can demonstrate your expertise, dedication, and commitment to the profession and can give you a competitive edge in the job market.


In addition to the tangible benefits of salary and career advancement, both the CPA and ACCA qualifications can also provide intangible benefits. These include increased confidence, a sense of professional accomplishment, and the ability to network with other professionals in the field. The qualifications also provide opportunities for ongoing professional development, which can help you stay current with industry trends and advances in accounting and finance. Both CPA and ACCA qualifications have a positive impact on the organizations and communities they serve. CPAs and ACCAs are held to high ethical standards, and their expertise and knowledge help ensure the accuracy and integrity of financial information. This, in turn, helps build trust and confidence in the financial system and supports economic growth and stability.

It's also worth mentioning that the CPA and ACCA qualifications can provide different opportunities for specialization and career advancement. For example, CPAs can specialize in tax, audit, or consulting, and may choose to become experts in a specific industry, such as healthcare or real estate. ACCAs, on the other hand, can specialize in areas such as financial management, risk management, or sustainability, and may choose to work in fields such as investment banking or international development.

Another difference between the CPA and ACCA is the geographic scope of their recognition. The CPA is primarily recognized in the United States and is not as widely recognized outside of North America. The ACCA, on the other hand, is recognized globally and is particularly valued in the United Kingdom, Europe, and Asia. If you have international career aspirations, the ACCA may be the better choice for you.


Thus, it is worth mentioning that the CPA and ACCA qualifications can provide a sense of professional fulfilment and satisfaction. By obtaining a professional designation, you can demonstrate your expertise and commitment to the field, and have the knowledge and skills needed to make a positive impact on organizations and communities. Whether you're just starting your career or looking to advance, the CPA and ACCA can provide you with a rewarding and fulfilling professional path.

In conclusion, the CPA and ACCA qualifications offer different benefits and opportunities, and the right choice for you will depend on your individual career goals and aspirations. By researching and understanding the requirements, benefits, and career opportunities associated with each qualification, you can make an informed decision and pursue the professional path that's right for you.

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