Which is best? ICAS/CIMA/ACCA etc



I know probably a stupid question but I’m completely stressing with 4th year atm and trying to apply for jobs.
Problem is I’m not 100% sure what I want to do, ultimately I want to have the most employable qualification. I was previously thinking CIMA but speaking to my dissertation supervisor and a quick google would seem to suggest CIMA/ACCA aren’t as…good? as ICAS etc

Any advice from anyone more enlightened would be much appreciated



Your dissertation supervisor is correct, the CA qualification is the better of the 3. CIMA is different as its for management accountants. I would suggest you look further into on the internet as there is loads of info and you may be asked at an interview what you know about the qualification you are going for - I was at PwC.



Go for [[ACA]] as that’s the best. That leads to the [[CA|Chartered Accountant (CA)]] qualification, which is the most respected.

See our articles on:

  • [[ACA]]
  • [[ACCA]]
  • [[CIMA]]

…and do a search for ACA and ACCA as there are some other useful threads on this in the forums. Good luck!


yea best is ACA, from ICAEW in england/wales


i think 70% of FTSE 100 CEOs, Directors and secretarys have ACA

so i guess it is better,

I also guess it is harder becuase companies have different grade bounderies to get into their scheme which supports ACA or ACCA

but has more snob value so that’s basically why i want to do ACA haha,

i dunno is ACA is better than CA, one is England/Wales one is Scotland, same exams i think, just different revision structures


afaik AC is same as CA, ICAS equivalent to ICAEW etc

Thanks for responses guys, I had heard from my supervisor that CA is much better to go for, harder but better than CIMA etc

I started to think differently though when people were saying CIMA is more international, I don’t see how CA qualifications could be less international than it though.


Of course it does kind of depend on your own aspirations etc. - CIMA is a very good quali with lots of potential, as is the CA.

ACCA - don’t know much on, all I know is you don’t need a degree to get onto an ACCA course so I don’t think its as highly valued…


As a financial recruiter (don’t worry, I’m trying to get out of it) ACA is more respected from an Audit perspective, as it shows that you can communicate and are clearly analytical by nature. We’ve just had a role out that has demanded ACA as opposed to ACMA (CIMA qualified) or ACCA.

You CAN do ACCA in practice but it just doesn’t look as good, and you’ll always get asked in subsequent job interviews why you didn’t do ACA. Also, if you do Audit ACA, you’ll get a really broad exposure to various companies (i.e. Commerce, Industry, Financial Services, Funds etc) - make sure you choose those carefully, because if you’ve auditted Financial Services you can pretty much walk into a bank and demand a job. Commerce guys - not as much, really.


ooh really? does anyone know how much of a choice there is at kpmg for which sector of auditing you go to? i would 100000% be looking for auditing banks, but assumings its the most demanded area, not sure if it will be possible.


hey noob, you get to choose the sector you want to join, i went to an open day (after getting an offer) and they give you a form to fill in and you rank the deparments you would prefer to join but it is subject to demand. Financial Services is one of the options but as you said it is pretty popular.


have you been informed of which area you’re gonna join?


no i havent sent my form off yet to be honest, if i remember correctly they do all of that in march/april but not too sure. yeah im choosing the financial services sector of audit but hoping not to get insurance!! it is spilt into Banking, insurance and funds but you cant choose between these unfortunatley just fingers crossed you get banking or funds!


ah ok! fingers crossed for both you and i then :slight_smile:


I’m still lost guys

I’ve been applying to CA firms to do ICAS, but no joy so far, I am considering applying to Allianz, Hilton Finance, Morgan Stanley etc, but they are all CIMA

Is CIMA really that much worse than ICAS? I’ve read all the articles and I can’t really understand the difference


CIMA is for management accountancy and they do the monthly accounts for companies…

Just to provide some sort of guidance, after 5 years of being CIMA qualified (ACMA), you will then be allowed to get ACA http://www.icaew.co.uk/index.cfm?route=125720


so in short, you can do CIMA/ACCA now and after you get that, apply for ACA, and with the added experience, it should be easier to do then! in my opionion, go with the option you’ll most likely get, im planning to do ACCA / CIPFA now and in 5 yrs if my accounting spirit is still alive, ill do ACA!


Can anyone please tell me that is ACCA better or CIMA for making base for ACA or ICAEW.


making base of ACA go with ACCA …most of part get covered in ACA so my side go with ACCA