ACCA vs. CMA: Which is the Right Option for You?

This guide is crafted for all the finance aspirants who are confused between ACCA and CMA. This article will delve deeply into the worlds of ACCA (Association of Chartered Certified Accountants) and CMA (Certified Management Accountant), the two most esteemed degrees in accounting and finance.

Whether you want to grow in your career or are just starting out, choosing between ACCA and CMA is a major decision. This blog will dissect everything from the basic curriculum and exam format to career opportunities and international recognition in the parts that follow. We recognize that choosing a career in finance is much more than just picking a job; it’s about determining your future.

A Brief Overview of ACCA and CMA

The ACCA is a route towards becoming a chartered accountant with international recognition. ACCA is well-known for its extensive curriculum and adaptable style, and it provides a program that suits a variety of finance professionals, from recent graduates to seasoned accountants. The ACCA course is designed to ensure a solid foundation in both the academic and practical facets of accounting and finance.

The CMA certification, focused on financial management and strategic decision-making, is widely renowned. accounting and finance professionals pursuing proficiency in financial planning, analysis, control, decision support, and professional ethics. The CMA curriculum covers important topics necessary for advanced financial management responsibilities in a clear and thorough manner. Mirchawala’s Hub of Accountancy offers both courses with an expert team of teachers online as well as offline.

ACCA vs. CMA: Key Differences

Eligibility Criteria:


Candidates who have successfully passed their 10+2 (higher secondary) from an accredited board are eligible to apply for the ACCA qualification.

 Candidates must have passed in five subjects, including English and Mathematics/Accounts, with 65% in at least two subjects and over 50% in the others.


Candidates for the CMA program must have earned their 10+2 from an accredited board or an equivalent.

 Examination Structure:


ACCA consists of 13 exams, divided into three levels: knowledge, skills, and professional.

The knowledge level has 3 exams, the skills level has 6, and the professional level includes 4 exams (two of which are optional).


The CMA program consists of two parts, each containing a computer-based exam.

These exams cover various aspects of financial planning, analysis, control, and decision support.

 Professional Experience:


It requires 36 months of relevant experience, which can be gained before, during, or after the exams.

This practical experience requirement adds an additional layer to the qualification process.


Requires two years of professional experience in management accounting or financial management.

Passing Rates:


Historically, ACCA has had lower pass rates for some of its papers, especially at the professional level.

The lower pass rates often reflect the comprehensive nature and difficulty level of the exams.


CMA exams generally have higher pass rates than ACCA.

However, this does not necessarily mean the exams are easier, as it could also reflect the focused preparation and the background of the candidates.

 Study Duration:


With 13 exams, the time commitment for ACCA is significant.

The extensive syllabus requires long-term commitment and consistent study habits.


The CMA program is shorter, but the depth of study required for each exam is substantial.

Balancing work and study can be challenging, given the level of detail needed in each part of the exam.

ACCA vs. CMA: Which is the Right Option?

Whether you go for ACCA qualification or choose CMA, both titles are highly respected and are gaining international recognition. Your choice actually depends on your goals and location. If your goal is to work in a Commonwealth nation or the United Kingdom, the ACCA might be a better fit. There is no doubt that the CMA is the best option for you if your dream is to live and work in the Americas, Asia, or the Middle East.

However, there is no right or incorrect response. The decision of whether to choose CMA or ACCA is entirely your own.

Still in confusion about which one to choose? Contact us. As a renowned training institute for ACCA, CMA, IFRA, and other courses, we always strive hard to empower and educate aspirants with the right information.




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