Where Your ACCA Qualification Can Take You: ACCA Is Valid in Which Countries?
You’re at a crossroads. Your goal is clear: to become an accounting and finance professional. You’re just unsure which path you should take to get there.
If you want a globally recognized professional credential, aim for the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants qualification. You can do this by fulfilling the program’s minimum entry requirements, enrolling in an ACCA course, and passing 13 ACCA exams while accumulating three years of professional experience.
In three to four years, you can emerge as a full-fledged accounting professional. You can then work in countries where you can use the ACCA certification.
ACCA Global Acceptance and Equivalent Qualification
ACCA is valid in which countries? To put it another way, in which countries do you need ACCA to become an accountant? The short answer is that an ACCA professional can work in any country that does not impose any restrictions on ACCA. That’s essentially all countries.
ACCA will let you work anywhere in the world where employers recognize it. The ACCA designation can even qualify you for roles that require a master’s degree.
The ACCA qualification structure is patterned after the U.K. qualification framework, which means you can earn U.K. equivalent qualifications. For instance, on the way to completing your ACCA requirements, you can earn an ACCA diploma in accounting and business, a Level 4 qualification in the U.K. regulated qualifications framework (RQF).
Finishing the applied knowledge and applied skills exams is similar to obtaining a standard U.K. bachelor’s degree. After completing all four strategic professional exams, you’ll attain something similar to a U.K. master’s degree.
The only potential roadblocks are government-regulated and protected roles. An example of such a role may be that of a high-level government auditor.
It is not that these roles disallow ACCA. They just require a specific, non-ACCA qualification, say a local accounting certification or license. If an ACCA professional is determined to get the post, they can obtain the qualification mandated by the jurisdiction.
Top Countries Where You Can Use the ACCA Certification
You can use your ACCA qualification to work virtually anywhere in the world an employer is willing to hire you.
In preparation for working overseas, consider applying for an ACCA practicing certificate and be included in the ACCA register of practitioners. Not all but some jurisdictions (e.g., the United Kingdom, Ireland, Australia, and Zimbabwe) require ACCA professionals to hold an ACCA practicing certificate.
The following are a few top global destinations for ACCA professionals.
An ACCA is an excellent qualification in the United Kingdom. ACCA traces its origin to the London Association of Accountants. This is why the ACCA qualification structure aligns with the U.K. qualification standard so well which, in turn, ensures broad acceptance for the ACCA qualification among U.K. employers.
According to Glassdoor, ACCA accountants in the United Kingdom earn GBP 28,000 to GBP 59,000. ACCA holding managerial positions make more.
ACCA members can apply for the U.K. Certified Public Accountants Association (CPAA) membership. You can also use your ACCA qualification as a stepping tool towards a master’s in accounting degree at a U.K. university.
ACCA is widely accepted in Hong Kong. According to Payscale, ACCA professionals in Hong Kong earn an average base salary of HKD 486,000 or approximately $62,000 per year.
The ACCA Hong Kong SAR of China chapter is very active in promoting the ACCA brand. Its activities include hosting and holding an annual ACCA conference, a CFO summit, a tax conference, and business competitions. The organization also provides free tax advisory services.
As a result, ACCA has an excellent relationship with Hong Kong’s government departments and business community, and the ACCA qualification is highly regarded locally. An employers survey conducted in 2019 revealed these sentiments:
100% agreed ACCA is a respected brand
98% said ACCA is a world-class organization
92% agreed ACCA is a broad-based qualification relevant to all sectors
ACCA also has recognition from the Hong Kong Institute of Certified Public Accountants, the local body in charge of licensing professional accountants in Hong Kong, also recognizes ACCA.
The excellent ACCA image and its mutual recognition agreement with HKICPA translates to great opportunities for ACCA professionals in Hong Kong and beyond, including the Chinese mainland.
Australia and New Zealand
Accountant salaries in Australia range from $70,000 to $90,000. In New Zealand, the range is $65,000 to $85,000.
If you want to work in Australia and New Zealand, obtain a practicing certificate from ACCA and apply to be a member of Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand (CA ANZ). ACCA members are eligible to become CA ANZ members if they fulfill the following conditions:
Residing in Australia or New Zealand
ACCA members in good standing
ACCA members for at least five years
Have attained at least five years of professional working experience after getting admitted to ACCA
ACCA professionals in Australia and New Zealand can also obtain subject credit when obtaining any of the following Kaplan postgraduate qualifications:
Master of Applied Finance
Graduate Diploma of Applied Finance
Graduate Certificate in Applied Finance
Graduate Diploma of Financial Planning
Countries Where You Can Use ACCA Certification
Aside from the United Kingdom, Hong Kong, Australia, and New Zealand, in which countries do you need ACCA to become an accountant?
ACCA professionals can find acceptance in Singapore, Ireland, the United States of America, Canada, Luxembourg, Switzerland, Germany, the United Arab Emirates, and many more.
As a rule, you’ll find that ACCA is valid in countries that have a local ACCA chapter. ACCA is currently in 179 countries. In these territories, there is bound to be a thriving community of ACCA professionals and a broad employer and community acceptance for the ACCA qualification.
Even in countries without an ACCA local presence, ACCA professionals can thrive as long as there are employers who know about ACCA and recognize its merit.
Phoenix FT is a financial training institute in the UAE. We offer an ACCA course, a Chartered Financial Analyst or CFA course, and a jumpstart program that leads to both a bachelor’s degree and an ACCA professional designation.
Talk to us if you’re ready to start your journey toward a successful career in finance and accountancy.