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Nikita Parmar

Updated on 05th September, 2023 , 7 min read

FCA Full Form

FCA Full Form Overview

The term "FCA" may seem like a rare and unpopular term, but it has been gaining popularity among youth. It is a designation received by a Chartered Accountant (CA). After completing a CA, a candidate is referred to as an "Associate Chartered Accountant" (ACA). An FCA is a designation for professionals who have attained a greater level of experience than a newly appointed ACA. 

FCA Full Form

FCA's full form is Fellow Chartered Accountant. The terms Fellow Chartered Accountant (FCA) and Associate Chartered Accountant (ACA) are not interchangeable because they are both members of the Indian Council of Chartered Accountancy (ICAI) at distinct levels. An ACA is someone who holds a certificate of practice for less than five years, whereas an FCA is someone who holds a certificate of practice for more than five years.


If FCA is the last step, then the first step would be to clear the CA Exam. The CA exam requires you to study the fields of business, taxation, accounting, and auditing in order to excel. Since Chartered Accountancy is a societal responsibility in which individuals are trusted by the general public, corporations, governments, and other economic pillars, Chartered Accountants (CA) are the most prestigious professionals in the world of business and finance, with a reputation for having one of the highest levels of honesty and professionalism in the country. 

CA Eligibility Criteria

The following are some of the eligibility criteria for FCA-

  1. Candidates must have passed or participated in a recognized board's Class 12 or equivalent test this year. Candidates must have completed the CA Foundation course (by December 31, for the May session and by June 30, for the November session).
  2. After completing the registration process, candidates must study for a minimum of four months before taking the foundation exam.
  3. It should be noted that if a candidate intends to take the Class 12 examination, he or she can enroll in the course. However, he or she can only apply and sit for the exam if and only if he or she has passed the 10+2 (Class 12) or a comparable exam.

CA Exam Pattern

CA is mostly made up of three levels of tests or coursework. The courses and examinations will all be more challenging as time goes on. The following is a list of CA exams and their formats.

  1. CA Foundation: The CA Foundation exam is the first level of the ICAI's ACA and FCA membership exams. The test is divided into four sections: accounting principles, business law and correspondence, business mathematics, and business economics. The CA test is conducted twice a year for students. The pattern comprises objective-type questions with no negative markings.
  2. CA Intermediate: Graduates who have passed the CA Foundation can move on to CA Intermediate. In terms of examination difficulty, CA Inter is slightly more difficult than CA Foundation. There are seven papers, with papers 2, 4, 6, and 7 having the most questions.
  3. CA Final: The CA Final is the final level of the CA examination. Before taking the CA Final exam, candidates must have 2.5 years of articleship experience and have passed the CA Inter exam. The test consists of eight papers, each worth 100 points. The questions on the CA Final test are likely to be a mix of subjective and objective questions. The examinations are only available online due to COVID-19.

Also Read: Best Courses After 12th Commerce.

CFA (Chartered Financial Analyst)

To get the credential of "Chartered Financial Analyst," or "CFA, one must pass three levels of the Chartered Financial Analyst test.

CFA Level 1

The CFA level 1 test is divided into two sessions. The FCA paper has 240 multiple-choice questions spread out across two hours. Topics covered in the test include ethics, professional standards, fixed-income derivatives, and more. The ideas and tools used in investment management and appraisal will be the focus of the questions.

CFA Level 2

The CFA level 2 test consists of 240 multiple-choice questions divided into two sessions, each lasting three hours. The emphasis is on asset valuation, and candidates will be required to use ideas and methods taught in the Level 1 CFA Exam.

CFA Level 3

 The exam pattern for level 3 is totally different from that of CFA levels 1 and 2. Portfolio management and wealth planning are the primary focuses. The morning session consists of 8-12 essay questions with numerous subparts, with a maximum score of 180 points. On test day, the point value will be provided via the exam book. In the afternoon session, there is a set of ten items to answer.

Difference between CA and CFA

The following table gives the differentiation details for CA and CFA-





CA is regarded as an accounting, revenue, regulation, audit, and finance expert.

The CFA has a main focus on finance.


CA is an Indian course i.e. nationwide Recognised course organized by ICAI

CFA is an internationally recognized course organized by the CFA Institute.


CA is divided into three levels along with three years of practical training, taking at least 4.5 years after the 12th.

Chartered Financial Accountants is also subdivided into 3 stages along with mandatory 4 years of practical training experience requiring a minimum of 4 years after graduation.

Pass Percentage

With an average score of 0.5 percent, CA is considered one of the toughest courses in the world. Just 5 out of every 1000 entrants are expected to qualify for the CA Final Exam.

Compared to CA, the passing percentage of CFA is higher. The average passing rate tends to be 10 percent, indicating that 100 students will clear this exam out of a total of 1000 students.


CA demand is certainly higher, as they are the only ones allowed to audit a company's financial statements.

Many national and multinational corporations hire CFAs as financial experts.

Exam Pattern

CA foundation exams are conducted in the computer-based mode for over four days (1 paper each day). The duration of CA exam papers ranges between two and three hours.

The CFA exam is conducted in computer-based test mode across various centers across India

Subjects Included




Finance Management.


Strategic Management.




Alternative Investments 

Portfolio Management

Fixed Income

Equity Investment


Quantitative Investment

Ethical Standards

Starting Salary of CA and CFA

The approximate package of a fresher CA ranges between INR 6-7 LPA.

The approximate earnings of a fresher CFA range between INR 4-5 LPA.

Difference between CA and FCA

The following table gives the differentiation details for CA and FCA-




 Full form

It stands for "Chartered Accountants."

 The full form of FCA is "Fellow Chartered Accountants."


FCA(Fellow Chartered Accountants)

ACA(Associate Chartered Accountants)

It is one of the firms of Chartered Accountants. The FCA represents the CA, who is an ICAI Institute Fellow Member.


All those who successfully complete all three stages of the exams are called CAs.

After completing the exams, and undergoing the training criteria of the college, one becomes an Associate Member (ACA). After 5 years of experience in various fields, one becomes qualified to become a fellow member by applying to the institute with the backup of job certificates and other qualifications.

Governing Body

The CA course is regulated by the Indian Institute of Chartered Accountants, also known as ICAI.

Over a period of time, FCA becomes systematically attached to a CA.


Every person who qualifies for all three exams conducted by the ICAI is called a CA. So every CA need not be an FCA.

You are authorized to use the term "ACA" after becoming a CA and are qualified to use the title "FCA" after a few years of practice and the submission of certain fees and forms. FCA is a senior ICAI member, similar to ACA. Every FCA has to be a CA.

Read related Article on Chartered Accountant (CA)- CA Salary and Chartered Accountancy.

What are ACA and FCA?

Associate Chartered Accountant (ACA)

First of all, clearing the CA final is a must to reach ACA. A CA who is granted this membership has been a member of the ICAI for less than 5 years. Such a person is entitled to use the ACA initials behind his name. However, some people (especially those not practicing the profession) opt not to become fellow members.

Fellow Chartered Accountant (FCA)

A Chartered Accountant who has worked for 5 years or more in government or private commercial companies is eligible to join ICAI. FCA is the next step up from ACA. The FCA initials can be used after the name of a Fellow Chartered Accountant. Both members (Associate Chartered Accountant and Fellow Chartered Accountant) have the same responsibilities, although Fellow CA Members have a little advantage over Associate CA Members. The FCA member of the ICAI is privileged because, after meeting specific criteria, he or she is eligible to join the ICAI Council and Regional Councils. They have an advantage over ACA since they have greater experience and knowledge in the sector.

Difference between CFA and FCA

The following table gives the differentiation details for CFA and FCA-




Full Form

Chartered Financial Analyst

Fellow Chartered Accountant.

Course Details

Students who wish to receive CFA certification must complete all three levels of the exam, i.e., levels I, II, and III.

Participants would need to complete the chartered financial analyst courses offered by the CFA Institute to become qualified chartered accountants. The course covers the areas of financial management and wealth strategy, economics, accounting, corporate finance, and equity investment studies. 


It is a global non-profit organization whose aim is to promote and establish a high quality of education in financial and investment analysis.

The primary aim of creating the FCA course was to help it serve as a financial regulatory agency in the United Kingdom that functions independently of the Government of the United Kingdom and is financed by levying fees on members of the financial services industry.


After qualifying for the three levels of the CFA exam, the designation of "CFA Chartered" can be used. Every CFA need not be an FCA. 

To be a successful chartered accountant, students need to successfully complete the chartered financial analyst courses provided by the CFA Institute.

Every FCA has to be a CFA.

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Frequently Asked Questions

What is the difference between FCA and CFA?

Ans. FCA is used to recognize those who have achieved a higher degree of professional experience in the field of Accounting (CA). CFA is a program that provides regular training & education in the field of finance and also in investment analysis. CFA exam can only be cleared after the three levels, i.e., Level 1, level 2, and level 3.

Can a student from any group in Intermediate (10+2) join CA?

Ans. Any student who has finished his or her 10+2 is eligible to enroll in CA, but must first pass the CPT (Common Proficiency Test) as a first step toward attaining his or her CA ambition.

What is FCA and ACA in CA?

Ans. FCA is a Chartered Accountant (CA) who holds a certificate of practice for more than 5 years while ACA is a chartered accountant (CA) who holds a certificate of practice for less than 5 years.

What is ACA and CFA average salary?

Ans. An ACA can earn a salary of up to INR 6 lakh in a year, whereas, after completing the CFA level I, an aspirant becomes able to earn a salary ranging from INR 4.5-5.5 lakh.

What is ICAI?

Ans. The Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI) is India’s largest professional accounting organization and the world’s second-largest professional accounting body. It is owned by the Ministry of Corporate Affairs of the Indian government. The Chartered Accountants Act, 1949, was adopted by Parliament to regulate the profession of chartered accountancy in India, creating it on July 1,1949, as a statutory organization.

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