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ACCA or MBA – Which is better? 

May 15, 2024 - 10:20
ACCA or MBA - Which is better?

The world of finance beckons, but choosing the right credential to enter its gates can be a head-scratcher. This guide tackles the debate between the ACCA (Association of Chartered Certified Accountants) qualification and a Master of Business Administration (MBA) degree. We’ll specifically focus on MBA or ACCA for accounting, highlighting the differences between ACCA and MBA. We’ll help you answer the burning question: “Should I do ACCA or MBA?” Are you wondering “Which is better for finance – ACCA or MBA?” We’ll shed light on that too! Considering both career options with ACCA vs MBA and the potential salary after ACCA vs MBA. 

This guide will equip you to make an informed decision. Are you a working professional? We’ll explore the flexibility of the ACCA for working professionals. Thinking about a complete career shift that too in MBA in finance vs ACCA for investment banking? We’ll delve into how an MBA can be used for a career change. By the end, you’ll be well on your way to choosing the perfect stepping stone for your dream career in accounting and finance. 

What is ACCA for working professionals? 

The ACCA (Association of Chartered Certified Accountants) qualification is ideally suited for working professionals seeking to advance their careers in accounting and finance.Is ACCA a recognized qualification?the answer is yes.Absolutely! The ACCA (Association of Chartered Certified Accountants) qualification is a highly recognized credential! It’s not just accepted in one country, but enjoys global recognition.   

  • Flexible Learning: The ACCA for working professionals allows you to study at your own pace, making it ideal for juggling work and studies. You can choose how many exams to take per session and schedule them around your existing commitments. 
  • Reduced Cost: Compared to an MBA, the ACCA involves lower upfront costs. You’ll primarily pay for exam fees and study materials. 
  • Faster ROI: The potential for salary increases often comes quicker with benefits of ACCA qualifications as you progress through the exams. 
  • Career Advancement: The ACCA equips you with specialized knowledge and skills that are highly sought-after in accounting and finance roles. It opens doors to promotions and senior positions like Financial Accountant, Auditor, or Financial Analyst. 

This prestigious qualification is even considered equivalent to a UK master’s degree in accounting by the UK NARIC and Department for Education. So, possessing the ACCA signifies not only your dedication to the field but also equips you with a recognized qualification valued by employers worldwide.Is ACCA a recognized qualification? Is better answered comparing its different parameters through this article.Benefits of ACCA qualification are as follows. 

Which MBA course is best for working professionals? 

The value of an MBA depends on your career goals and financial situation. Here’s a breakdown of Is an MBA worth it?Is ACCA a recognized qualification?Consider combining an ACCA with an Executive MBA program designed for working professionals. This can offer a strong skillset and leadership training without a full-time commitment.Ultimately, the best path depends on your individual circumstances and career aspirations. Carefully weigh the pros and cons of both options before making a decision. 

Should I do ACCA or MBA?Ia an MBA worth it?Which is better for finance – ACCA or MBA are all questions that comes to your mind before getting into aq top MBA program.Getting into a top MBA program needs careful consideration ,you must definitely come to a conclusion to the question is an MBA worth it?. The career options with ACCA vs MBA is addressed in the progressing of the article. The benefits of ACCA qualification are as follows. 

  • Broad Business Knowledge: An MBA offers a well-rounded understanding of various business functions like marketing, finance, operations, and leadership. This prepares you for diverse management roles.
  • Networking Opportunities: Full-time MBA programs provide opportunities to build valuable connections with classmates and professors, which can benefit your bright future or MBA for a career change. 
  • Higher Earning Potential: MBAs can lead to higher salaries, especially in leadership positions. 

It depends. If you aim for senior management or leadership roles outside of accounting and finance, and you’re willing to make the significant upfront investment, an MBA can be a valuable asset. 

Specialization in MBA programsin Amrita AHEAD.There are many specialization in MBA programs .The specialization in MBA programs are as follows. 

  • MBA General Management: Build a well-rounded business acumen with a comprehensive curriculum encompassing marketing, finance, operations, and leadership. This versatile specialisation empowers you to tackle diverse challenges across industries.Amrita AHEAD offers MBA General Management course with the initiative to nurture  individuals that aspire to become future leaders in the business realm.
  • MBA Artificial Intelligence: Lead the AI revolution! This cutting-edge program equips you with the expertise to apply AI principles to strategic decision-making, marketing, and product development. Gain a competitive edge in the age of intelligent machines.The MBA AI course will open a new avenue to the world of technology and business.
  • MBA Marketing: Become a master storyteller and brand strategist. Hone your skills in digital marketing, consumer behaviour, and brand management to captivate audiences and drive business growth.MBA Marketing course  that Amrita AHEAD offers is the most enterprising manner unlike any other online platforms as we cater to the needs of the ongoing advancements in the field of business.
  • MBA Finance: Unleash your inner financial wizard! Master financial analysis, investment strategies, and risk management to navigate the world of finance with confidence.Candidates who wish to contribute in the financial sector need  not haste in applying for your MBA Finance course with Amrita AHEAD .
  • MBA Operations: Optimise systems and streamline processes. This specialisation delves into supply chain management, logistics, and quality control, ensuring your organisation runs like a well-oiled machine.Amrita AHEAD  gives right guidance to unleash your desired success in business administration and its  operations.
  • MBA Human Resources: Shape the future of work! Master HR practices, talent management, and employee engagement to build high-performing teams and foster a positive work environment.There is always a great demand for MBA Human Resource management  both abroad and in India,Amrita AHEAD program gives ample exposure to cater to managing human resources.
  • 7.MBA in International Finance and Accounting:A (MBA) with electives in International Finance and Accounting offers a powerful combination for ambitious business professionals. This program equips you with a strong foundation in core business areas like marketing and management, while allowing you to specialize in the dynamic world of international finance and accounting.  By delving into courses on foreign exchange, international trade finance, and global accounting standards, you’ll gain the expertise to navigate complex financial landscapes and excel in a globalized business environment. 

Skills learned in an MBA program are valuable for various business careers. You’ll develop strong analytical and problem-solving abilities through coursework in finance, accounting, and marketing.  

Additionally, Skills learned in an MBA program cultivate leadership and communication skills, essential for motivating teams and effectively conveying ideas. Finally, you’ll gain Skills learned in an MBA programto strategic thinking, allowing you to develop long-term plans and make sound business decisions. Here are some   

ACCA vs MBA:Difference between ACCA and MBA 

The key difference between ACCA and MBA lies in their focus. The ACCA offers a deep dive into the world of accounting, equipping you with expertise in areas like financial reporting, auditing, and taxation. This specialization makes it ideal for those who want to excel in technical accounting roles. In contrast, an MBA provides a broader business foundation alongside accounting knowledge. This prepares you for a wider range of opportunities, including leadership positions within the accounting field, or even MBA for career change paths outside of accounting altogether due to the broader business skills gained.Here is a table substantiating what exactly is the difference between ACCA and MBA. 






Broad-based business education 

Specialized accounting & finance 


Full-time, 2-year program (usually) 

Flexible, self-paced exams 

Entry Requirements 

Bachelor’s degree, work experience (ideally in a management role), GMAT/GRE scores 

No formal degree required 


High (program fees, living expenses) 

Lower (exam fees, study materials) 

Estimated Monthly Salary (Starting) 

₹4.0 – ₹6.0 Lakhs (varies) 

₹3.0 – ₹4.0 Lakhs (varies) 

Estimated Monthly Salary (Experienced) 

₹7.5 – ₹10.0 Lakhs+ (varies) 

₹5.0 – ₹7.5 Lakhs+ (varies) 

ROI (Return on Investment) 

Potentially high, but requires significant upfront investment 

Potentially good, with a faster payback period 


ACCA vs MBA:Career options with Monthly Salary  

While both ACCA and MBA (Finance) can lead to successful careers in finance, they offer different paths with varying salary ranges. Here’s a breakdown based on Glassdoor India data.Below is table showing Career options with ACCA vs MBA with Salary after ACCA vs MBA defining how to choose MBA for career change.The Salary after ACCA vs MBA is given on monthly basis with reference to glass door website. 




Ideal Career Options (Finance) 

Average Monthly Salary (Glassdoor India) 


Deep accounting & finance 

Financial Accountant, Auditor, Financial Analyst, Investment Banking Analyst (Valuation, Due Diligence) 

₹3.0 Lakhs – ₹5.0 Lakhs 

MBA (Finance) 

Broad business knowledge with finance specialization 

Investment Banking (various roles), Corporate Finance, Portfolio Management, Financial Consulting 

₹4.0 Lakhs – ₹6.0 Lakhs 



  • Broader Skillset: An MBA equips you with a well-rounded understanding of various business functions, making you a strong candidate for leadership roles. 
  • Career Flexibility: An MBA allows you to transition into different business areas, even if your background isn’t in accounting or finance. 
  • Networking: MBA programs provide opportunities to network with classmates and professionals, fostering valuable connections for future career advancement. 
  • Leadership Development: An MBA focuses on leadership skills, negotiation, and strategic thinking, which are crucial for senior management positions. 
  • Potential for Higher Salary: Studies suggest that MBAs can lead to higher earning potential compared to ACCA qualification alone (though this can vary depending on the industry and specific role). 
  • Cost:The decision between ACCA vs MBA cost can significantly impact your financial planning. The ACCA offers a more budget-friendly path. Exam fees, study materials, and potential tuition for preparatory courses make up the ACCA vs MBA cost equation. Generally, the ACCA represents a lower overall investment compared to an MBA program. While the ACCA vs MBA cost might seem less upfront for the ACCA, keep in mind that an MBA can potentially lead to higher starting salaries in certain roles. Ultimately, the right choice regarding ACCA vs MBA cost depends on your financial situation and career goals. 
  •  Time commitment:Deciding between the time commitment for ACCA vs MBA depends on your lifestyle and work schedule. The ACCA offers a flexible structure, allowing you to study at your own pace. You can prepare for and take exams on your own schedule, making it a good fit for busy working professionals. An MBA program, on the other hand, typically requires a full-time time commitment for 1-2 years. This can necessitate a career break or significant adjustments to your current work-life balance. So, when considering the time commitment for ACCA vs MBA, the ACCA provides a more flexible option for those who need to balance studies with work. 






Broad-based business education 

Less in-depth accounting & finance knowledge 


Full-time program (develops network and leadership skills) 

Requires career break and significant time commitment 

Entry Requirements 

May not require prior accounting experience 

Competitive application process 


Higher upfront investment (program fees, living expenses) 

Potentially higher earning potential in the long run 

Best  career path after ACCA vs MBA 


Leadership & management across industries (CEO, COO, Marketing Director) 

May require additional training for specialized accounting roles 

Salary (Estimated) 

Potentially higher starting and experienced salaries (varies) 

Salary range depends on industry, location, and experience 

ROI (Return on Investment) 

Potentially high, but requires significant upfront investment 

Longer payback period compared to ACCA 



Should I do ACCA or MBA ? need much of an evaluation before considering even applying for the program. 

  • Focus: ACCA specializes in accounting and finance, while MBA offers broader business knowledge. 
  • Experience: ACCA integrates practical work experience, making you job-ready. 
  • Cost: ACCA can be more affordable than an MBA, especially for part-time study. 
  • Career Path: ACCA targets accounting and finance careers, while MBA prepares you for management roles (potentially in a new field). 
  • Recognition: Both ACCA and MBA are globally recognized qualifications. 
blog table

Can I get an MBA after ACCA? 

Can I get an MBA after ACCA?the answer is Absolutely Yes ! Having an ACCA qualification can actually be a great stepping stone to pursuing an MBA after ACCA. Many universities recognize the value of the ACCA and may offer exemptions from certain MBA courses based on your existing knowledge, potentially leading to a faster program completion and lower overall cost. 

  • Shorter Program: Potentially earn exemptions for some courses, leading to faster completion and lower costs. 
  • Stronger Application: ACCA showcases your commitment to finance and strengthens your application. 
  • Career Advancement: Combines deep finance knowledge with broader business skills for senior roles and to adorn best career path after ACCA vs MBA 
  • Consider an Executive MBA: Designed for working professionals, offering part-time or online options. 
  • Research University Programs: Look for universities that recognize the value of the ACCA qualification. 

Can I get an MBA after ACCA?  is no more a confusing question for you. 

ACCA exams vs MBA coursework 

The paths to an ACCA and MBA qualification diverge when it comes to learning styles. The ACCA emphasizes ACCA exams, a series of rigorous assessments designed to test your grasp of core accounting and finance concepts. Successfully navigating these ACCA exams vs MBA coursework .it demonstrates your technical prowess and in-depth understanding of financial areas like auditing, taxation, and financial analysis. While supplemental courses might exist for the ACCA exams , the core learning method is self-directed study, focusing on mastering specific exam content. 

An MBA program, on the other hand, provides a more structured learning experience through MBA coursework. You’ll delve into a variety of classes, often led by experienced professors, encompassing a diverse range of business subjects beyond just accounting. This ACCA exams vs MBA coursework offers opportunities for interactive learning, discussions, and collaborative projects, fostering a well-rounded understanding of various business functions. Whereas the ACCA exams assess your mastery of specific accounting principles, MBA coursework encourages a broader business perspective alongside your accounting knowledge. 

Ultimately, the choice between ACCA exams vs. MBA coursework hinges on your learning style and career aspirations. If you’re a self-directed learner seeking a deep dive into accounting, the ACCA exams might be a good fit. However, if you prefer a structured approach to developing a broader business skillset, then MBA coursework could be the better option. 

Which is better for Finance – ACCA or MBA? 

There’s no single “better” option between MBA or ACCA for accounting it depends on your specific  MBA for career change aspirations and circumstances. Here’s a quick breakdown to help you decide:If you envision a leadership role within accounting, an MBA with a focus on accounting might be a better fit, providing a broader business foundation alongside the technical expertise gained through the ACCA.If you envision a leadership role within accounting, as in MBA or ACCA for accountingwith a focus on accounting might be a better fit, providing a broader business foundation alongside the technical expertise gained through the ACCA. 

Choose ACCA if: 

  • You crave deep accounting & financial expertise (financial analysis, valuation, auditing). 
  • You prefer a flexible, self-paced learning format (ideal for working professionals). 
  • You’re budget-conscious and want a faster return on investment (lower cost than MBA). 
  • You target specialist accounting & finance roles (Financial Analyst, Auditor, etc.). 

Choose MBA (Finance) if: 

  • You seek leadership or management roles in finance (CFO, Investment Banking Director). 
  • You value a broad business understanding alongside finance specialization. 
  • You’re willing to make a significant upfront investment and potentially take a career break (full-time program). 

MBA in Finance vs ACCA for investment banking 


MBA in Finance 



Broad business foundation (finance, accounting, economics, leadership) 

Deep accounting & finance knowledge (financial analysis, valuation, auditing) 

Investment Banking Roles 

Financial modeling, deal structuring, M&A 

Due diligence, portfolio analysis 

Benefits for Investment Banking 

Strong business & leadership skills 

In-depth technical knowledge 

Drawbacks for Investment Banking 

May require additional training in specific investment banking technicalities 

Lacks broader business & leadership training 

Ideal Candidate 

Values broader business skills & leadership training 

Strong accounting background & wants deep finance knowledge 

ACCA vs CIMA vs MBA – Which is right for me? 

ACCA vs CIMA vs MBA – Which is right for me? Can better be understood with the help of the table given below.ACCA vs CIMA vs MBA – Which is right for me? Is exact;ly the question that every candidate that seeks the investment and accounting background seeks .






Accounting, taxation, auditing 

Operational & management accounting 

Broad business knowledge & leadership 

Investment Banking Roles 

Due diligence, portfolio analysis 

Less directly relevant 

Leadership positions, some overlap with analyst roles 

Ideal for 

Accounting & finance across industries (including investment banking valuation & due diligence) 

Financial controller, business partner within companies 

Management roles in various industries (including investment banking leadership) 

Online ACCA vs full-time MBA program 

The given below is table that clarifies Online ACCA vs full-time MBA program 

Based on various parameters. Such as focus,strusture,entry requirements,Time commitment,cost,Best career path after ACCA vs MBA.T 


Online ACCA 

Full-time MBA 


Specialized accounting & finance 

Broad-based business education 


Flexible, self-paced exams 

Full-time program (usually 2 years) 

Learning Style 

Self-directed, independent study 

Immersive, classroom-based learning 

Entry Requirements 

No formal degree required (can start after high school with preparatory courses) 

Bachelor’s degree, work experience (ideally in a management role) 

Time Commitment 

Variable, can study around your work schedule 

Full-time commitment, requires career break (potentially) 


Generally less expensive (exam fees, study materials) 

Significantly higher upfront cost (program fees, living expenses) 



Specialist accounting & finance roles (Financial Accountant, Auditor, Financial Analyst) 

Leadership & management across industries (CEO, COO, Marketing Director) 


Your journey in finance doesn’t end here! This guide has hopefully equipped you to decide between the best career path after ACCA vs MBA. For those eyeing investment banking, we’ve explored the merits of both an MBA in finance vs ACCA for investment banking. If you’re an ACCA holder considering an MBA after ACCA, we’ve highlighted the potential benefits. Not sure if ACCA vs CIMA vs MBA is the right question for you? We’ve provided a framework for making that call. Finally, we’ve weighed the flexibility of the online ACCA vs full-time MBA program. Remember, the ideal choice depends on your unique goals and circumstances. So, take a deep breath, leverage the insights from this guide, and confidently choose the path that propels you towards a fulfilling career in finance! 

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