According to Paul Clarke of eFinancialCareers, there is so much overlapping syllabus content between the Associate Chartered Accountant and Association of Chartered Certified Accountants programs that neither designation is likely to affect a candidate's overall career path or desirability during the hiring process. Both accreditations are comprehensive and highly respected in the industries of finance, accounting and banking.
Clarke notes that when determining which course to embark upon, students may want to consider the structure of the qualifications. The ACA program is more rigorous, which makes it difficult to work while obtaining the qualification. The ACCA allows for more flexibility, and the coursework can be broken up into individual sections over time to better fit into a student's schedule. Clarke explains that some firms may express an affinity for one accreditation over the other, but this is a somewhat antiquated occurrence in modern finance. It used to be that the ACA was thought to be the more prestigious of the two certifications due to the difficulty of the course, and some seasoned partners and managing executives may still hold this belief. However, Clarke contends that the true determining factor for a financial professional's level of success lies in the work experience gained within a developing career.