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How hard is it to do CFA and ACCA at the same time

Embarking on the journey of obtaining both the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) and Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) qualifications simultaneously can be a rewarding but demanding endeavor. In this comprehensive guide, we will delve into the intricacies of this dual pursuit, offering insights, strategies, and first-hand experiences to help you navigate the challenges and reap the rewards of achieving both designations.

The AAT level 3 is designed to equip individuals with practical skills and theoretical knowledge relevant to the field of accounting, making them valuable assets to employers in the financial sector.

How Hard Is It to Do CFA and ACCA at the Same Time?

Balancing the rigorous demands of CFA and ACCA requires a robust strategy, disciplined time management, and a strong commitment to your goals. This dual undertaking is undoubtedly challenging, but with the right approach, it is entirely achievable.

The Benefits of Pursuing CFA and ACCA Simultaneously

Simultaneously pursuing CFA and ACCA offers a unique opportunity to broaden your skill set, increase your career prospects, and enhance your professional credibility. This dual qualification equips you with comprehensive financial knowledge and expertise, making you a valuable asset in various roles across the financial industry.

Time Management: The Key to Success

Effective time management is the cornerstone of successfully completing both the CFA and ACCA programs. Here are some actionable tips to help you manage your time efficiently:

1. Create a Detailed Study Schedule

Develop a comprehensive study schedule that allocates sufficient time for both CFA and ACCA subjects. Clearly define study blocks for each qualification, ensuring a balanced distribution of effort.

2. Set Realistic Goals

Establish achievable short-term and long-term goals for each qualification. Setting realistic milestones will keep you motivated and on track throughout your journey.

3. Utilize Study Resources

Leverage study materials provided by both CFA Institute and ACCA, including textbooks, online resources, and practice exams. These resources are designed to facilitate your understanding of complex concepts.

4. Prioritize and Rotate Subjects

Alternate between CFA and ACCA subjects to prevent burnout and maintain engagement. Prioritize subjects based on upcoming exams and your proficiency in each area.

5. Stay Consistent

Consistency is key. Dedicate a specific number of hours each day to studying, and avoid procrastination to ensure steady progress.

Study Strategies for Success

Effectively mastering the content of both CFA and ACCA requires strategic study methods. Here are some strategies to enhance your learning experience:

1. Active Learning

Engage in active learning techniques such as summarizing chapters, teaching concepts to others, and participating in study groups. Active learning enhances retention and understanding.

2. Interdisciplinary Approach

Identify overlapping topics between CFA and ACCA and study them simultaneously. This approach helps you grasp shared concepts more efficiently.

3. Practice Regularly

Consistent practice is vital. Solve practice questions and mock exams regularly to gauge your progress and identify areas that need improvement.

4. Seek Clarification

Don’t hesitate to seek clarification on challenging topics. Utilize online forums, study groups, and instructor support to resolve doubts and deepen your understanding.

5. Stay Updated

Both CFA and ACCA curricula evolve. Stay informed about curriculum changes and exam formats to ensure your study materials remain relevant.

Overcoming Challenges

Undertaking CFA and ACCA concurrently inevitably comes with challenges. Here are common obstacles you might encounter and ways to overcome them:

1. Time Constraints

Balancing work, study, and personal life can be demanding. Prioritize tasks, delegate responsibilities when possible, and communicate your commitments with colleagues and family.

2. Exam Pressure

Preparing for two sets of exams can be overwhelming. Implement stress-management techniques, such as meditation, exercise, and sufficient sleep, to stay focused and composed.

3. Subject Complexity

Certain subjects may pose greater difficulty. Invest additional time in challenging topics, and consider seeking tutoring or online resources for extra support.

4. Fatigue and Burnout

Long hours of studying can lead to burnout. Take regular breaks, engage in hobbies, and maintain a healthy work-life balance to prevent exhaustion.


Can I Pursue CFA and ACCA Simultaneously?

Yes, it is possible to pursue both qualifications simultaneously. However, it requires careful planning, dedication, and effective time management.

How Long Does It Take to Complete Both Qualifications?

The duration varies based on your prior knowledge, study pace, and exam schedules. On average, individuals take several years to complete both CFA and ACCA.

Are There Any Syllabus Overlaps?

Yes, there are syllabus overlaps, especially in areas like financial reporting and analysis. Leveraging these overlaps can make studying more efficient.

Should I Enroll in a Combined Program?

Some institutions offer combined programs that integrate CFA and ACCA studies. Research these programs to determine if they align with your goals.

What Are the Career Benefits of Dual Qualifications?

Having both CFA and ACCA qualifications enhances your employability and opens doors to diverse roles in finance, accounting, and consultancy.

How Can I Maintain Motivation Throughout the Journey?

Setting clear goals, celebrating milestones, and visualizing the long-term benefits can help you stay motivated during the challenging moments. 


Pursuing both the CFA and ACCA qualifications simultaneously is undoubtedly a demanding endeavor, but it is one that can yield significant professional rewards. By implementing effective time management, strategic study techniques, and staying resilient in the face of challenges, you can successfully navigate this dual journey. Remember, the journey might be tough, but the knowledge and expertise gained will be invaluable in propelling your career forward.


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