ACCA vs Accounting Degree: Which Should You Pick

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08 Aug 2020

3 Min Read

Josephine Serena (Editor)


Do you have a knack for mathematics and would love to pursue a career in the world of numbers? Well, if you’re here, you’re probably wondering what’s the difference between the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) and an Accounting Degree.


Well, keep scrolling as we distinguish both of these highly sought-after accounting programmes for you!


Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA)


Awarded by a global professional accounting body, ACCA that’s based in the UK.

Accounting Degree


Awarded by a university or a partner university of the institution.

Which one should you pick? 


The ACCA institution is a prestigious accounting qualification and is widely recognised in the world with over 500,000 students. Your qualification will be accepted in 179 countries which means you’ll get to work abroad!


If you're pursuing Taylor’s own Bachelor of Arts in Accounting and Finance degree programme, you'll be eligible to receive accreditation and/or exemptions from recognised professional bodies such as ACCA, CIMA, CPA Australia, ICAEW, CTiM, FPAM, MICPA-CAANZ, MIA.




The programme typically takes 3 years to complete.

Accounting Degree


The programme typically takes 3 years to complete.

Which one should you pick? 


An ACCA qualification would be the faster route when you undertake the ACCA Foundation in Accountancy programme (1 year) immediately upon completion of SPM. 

For ACCA programme entry requirements, click here.


An Accounting Degree may take slightly longer to complete depending on which pre-university programme (eg. Cambridge A Level, AUSMATDiploma) you choose. It can take up between 1-2 years.


For Bachelor of Finance & Accounting programme entry requirements, click here.


Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA)


Find out the fees for the ACCA programme at Taylor’s here.

Accounting Degree
Find out the fees for Taylor’s Bachelor of Arts in Accounting and Finance degree programme here.

Which one should you pick? 


An ACCA programme is considerably more affordable than an Accounting Degree programme. However, you would NOT be eligible for a PTPTN loan.


On the contrary, PTPTN loan is available if you're studying an Accounting Degree programme, which it would cost more than the ACCA programme. 

Did you know you can now apply and get up to 100% ACCA Scholarships including complimentary book resources? Discover your personalised ACCA Roadmap today.


Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA)


The ACCA programme is divided into 3 stages: 


Applied Knowledge (3 papers)

  • AB: Accountant in Business
  • MA: Management Accounting
  • FA: Financial Accounting

Applied Skills (6 papers)

  • LW: Corporate and Business Law
  • PM: Performance Management
  • TX: Taxation
  • FR: Financial Reporting
  • AA: Audit and Assurance
  • FM: Financial Management

Strategic Professional Essentials (4 papers)

  • SBR: Strategic Business Reporting
  • SBL: Strategic Business Leader

And options to choose 2 out of these 4:

  • AFM: Advanced Financial Management
  • APM: Advanced Performance Management
  • ATX: Advanced Taxation
  • AAA: Advanced Audit and Assurance
Accounting Degree

Here are some of the core subjects that will be covered throughout an Accounting Degree programme: 

  • Accountant in the Global Age
  • Accounting Information System
  • Advanced Management Accounting
  • Introduction to Accounting
  • Introduction to Finance
  • Introduction to Management
  • Economics (Microeconomics and Macroeconomics)
  • Business Law
  • Audit & Assurance
  • Quantitative Methods for Business

You will also be able to select elective subjects whereby you get to study modules in a related or unrelated field through Taylor’s Complementary Studies component.

Which one should you pick? 


Completing an ACCA programme will give you a robust skill in accounting as the programme is heavily focused on the technical aspects of accounting to propel you to become a professional accountant.


An Accounting degree would cover a broader range of subjects other than Accounting itself, such as other business subjects, giving you a more comprehensive academic exposure. Depending on your interest, with the elective subject options, you can even choose to study subjects which are non-related to the accounting field as well — allowing you to gain a different perspective.

We hope that this guide helps you in selecting the best accounting programme to pursue. Don’t forget to make your own survey and find out about each programme and institution thoroughly before making your decision!


If you need help, feel free to seek out secondary opinions by speaking to experienced education advisors for more insights! Here are also some helpful questions to ask education counsellors during your appointment!

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