26 September 2006


By Madhur

There has always been an ongoing debate in the Indian corporate world about who is a better professional out of a Chartered Accountant and a Mba. People have put forward various arguments in this context. Some say that an Mba being better equipped with skills such as presentation, communication, analytical etc turns out o be a better professional and others argue that a CA who is more thorough, intelligent and hard working is much better. But if the recent placements and campus recruitments etc are to be seen, Mbas turn out to be the winners. Further, the

Indian Inc has over a period shown more liking towards them.They certainly have scored over the Chartered Accountants in this regard.
So shall we all start believing that Mbas are better that us Chartered Accountants???????????
I invite your comments in this subject.

Madhur Khandelia
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Posted in General, Issues Edit
29 Responses to “CA Vs Mba”

Vrinda Mathur Says: December 27th, 2005 at 2:13 pm e

This view seems to be entirely correct. The job prospects in the key banking sectors (Investment Banking, Treasury etc) are exclusively for top notch MBA intitutes(read the IIM’s). A CA’s resume will not even be shprtlisted for the same. Even though the kind of curriculum that we study is pure finance but the day to day skills of presentation, negotiation and communication are not incorporated in the curriculum itself. An MBA during his two years is taught in such a manner that the moment he qualifies, he is well equipped to enter the market with all the relevant skills (Including but not restricted to Finc

Vrinda Mathur Says: December 27th, 2005 at 2:24 pm e

This view seems to be entirely correct. The job prospects in the key banking sectors (Investment Banking, Treasury etc) are exclusively for top notch MBA intitutes(read the IIM’s). A CA’s resume will not even be shprtlisted for the same. Even though the kind of curriculum that we study is pure finance but the day to day skills of presentation, negotiation and communication are not incorporated in the curriculum itself. An MBA during his two years is taught in such a manner that the moment he qualifies, he is well equipped to enter the market with all the relevant skills (Including but not restricted to Finance unlike us)
For a plain CA, it therefore becomes necessary to supplement ur degree with either a full time MBA course or even a diatance learning programme…..
Why can’t the institute do something about this?

Gautam Khetan Says: December 27th, 2005 at 7:03 pm e

hi madhur,i totally disagree that mba’s are having an edge over the ca’s… i do agree that due to their presentation skills and the reputation, placement by their institutes they start high as compared to chartered accountants…But my dear friend let me throw a light on the fact that ca’s are the creators while mba’s just visualise and present it in a better way what ca’s create. u can visualise this with the help of any transaction entry… The ca’s enters a transactions, whereas the mba he just manipulates the figures and presents it in a better way, being entered by ca…. Thats all….Gautam Khetan

Siddarth Surana Says: December 28th, 2005 at 12:54 am e

The debate seems to be a fight similar to that which happened in between the two letters B and C. C says to B ” I am Cool and Competent, but you are Bad. You are always into Biting People, You bitch, bastard, black buffalo. Many times you have been Beaten down and still you are Barking…..” To this … B replied, ” I am beautiful and brilliant, but you are a Coward, you Cheater, you always remain Confused and have no clue why you are always Criticized…..”….the fight continued for a long time till they learnt their importance. ….Every individual has a role.. a very important role that he has to play… Be it a CA or an MBA. Both are equally dependent on each other. Without a CA, an MBA may not be able to manage the finances of his business as good as he could do with the help of a CA and yes definitely he is thorough, intelligent and hard working. On the other hand an MBA is more presentable, is good in communication and also succeeds in the analytical skill matrix. When the question arises about managing of a company and the people, processes and when talking about Motivation, Marketing, etc definitely an MBA scores far higher. ….

So it is important for us to think over the topic once again and think if it is really necessary to make one side score over the other…. What if they Move Ahead Together and benefit by sharing their complementary skills.

Siddarth Surana.IIMT- Oxford Brookes University,UK.Gurgaon.siddarthsurana@yahoo.com
rahul Says: December 28th, 2005 at 9:52 am e

I believe MBAs are in no way as competent as CAs when the criteria are of Knowledge and Skills. Though, I obviously agree that they are better placed in Corporate world because of there communication and inter personal skills.

In today’s world even rubbish can be sold on strength of packaging and marketing. Using there presentation skills MBAs are able to acquire better job positions with good corporates.
If CAs can develop these skills they will prove much better of than MBAs.
Sometime back, i heard that ICAI is planning to offer six months residential course at IIM, Bangalore for CAs on voluntary basis. This might turn out to be good step.

Madhur Says: December 28th, 2005 at 12:28 pm e

So my dear freind you agree that they have an edge…right?? And further you agree that CAs lack certain skills which Mbas possess…My dear freind…at the end of the day what matters is ..who is bringing home how much??? and there they are the clear winners..

Pranav Bhalla Says: December 28th, 2005 at 2:48 pm e

Yes Madhur i do agree with u. Actually we only concentrate on our syllabus our text books and acaedemics that we do not pay any attention to our presentation, communication skills and there we lack behind.We spend 3-4 years in studies only believing that its our knowledge only that counts but we forget that at the end of the day “jo dikhta hai wo bikta hai”. We lack in markeeting skills. we always have a better future prospective than MBAs but we dont know how to market ourselves. You cant compare an MBA with a CA as regards as knowledge is concerned but they definitely have an edge in confidence level and it is here only that they score.So i would like to suggest that if we pay a bit atention to PERSONALITY DEVELOPMENT we gonna have best of both the worlds.

Madhur Says: December 28th, 2005 at 4:39 pm e

There are 38 Chartered Accountants and i guess all of them agree to the fact that Mbas are better. See people, this is the difference between a CA and a Mba. Had this been a forum of professional Mbas….there would have been a war of words from them by now…..but we CAs are………………!!!!!!!!!!!!!

ankit Says: December 29th, 2005 at 12:15 am e

This has always been a debated issue!….But only in CA circuits.I wonder whether a B-school ever had such a topic for debate.The fact being,MBA is the “in” thing.The Top B-school Grads get salaries better than a Top CA.Moreover,they’ve got “brand names”(IIM being th best one),which perhaps a CA lacks.ICAI has failed to establish itself as a brand name.It has boiled down to just being a central “facilitator” for CA exams,not more than that.I fail to agree that better packaging sells MBAs more than a CA.I firmly believe that packaging gives just “an edge” and not more than that.& in this case,its more than just an edge.So,it has to be something more than the “packaging”.But,what i would also like everyone to take note of,is that there are many MBAs who are jobless,and there are many who do it for the sake of adding a degree to their “biodata”(The reason might be the sea of MBA colleges across the country).But,no one will ever come across a CA who does CA for the sake of his/her biodata.So,if we take out an All India Average,CAs might just turn out to be the winners!(will try to get statistics).Also,its a known fact that the knowledge content of a CA is better than a MBA.So,CA are the winners in this part too.In the end,I’d like to conclude that,when we talk about the Top,we dont take the averages,we just have to talk about the Top!….So,until & unless ,the top CAs command better salary than the Top MBAs ,& build a brand name for the profession & the institute….v’l always be No. 2.Its the ICAI which has to take the initiative.Are the guys listening?

Vrinda Mathur Says: December 29th, 2005 at 10:58 am e

We’ve got all that it takes, but we just need to channelise it in the right direction.
A year of post qualification experience can enable us acquire all the necessary skills that a successful manager should possess.

ankit Says: December 29th, 2005 at 1:14 pm e

Pranav said we need “Personality Development”.,and for the same reason, ICAI has launched the GMCS programmme.I hope Pranav will/has take/taken 200% benefit of the GMCS training…….wotsay Pranav…

ankit Says: December 29th, 2005 at 1:30 pm e

At present,..a Chartered Accountant might require an additional course of say 1 year (not more than that) to come at levels with a MBA….But this should not be the case in future..A chartered Accountant should not require any other course or qualification to come at par with a MBA…But once again,the onus lies on ICAI…..(V probably need some views from MBAs as well,try & get some MBAs guys.,,i’l try as well)

Uday Nair Says: December 29th, 2005 at 3:53 pm e

Hi…Madhur,Who’s better ? I think its a very relative subject/topic.There is no doubt that an individual really toils harder to become a CA than an MBA but at the same time one must also realise that an MBA aspirant works really hard to get into an a class institute and harder to get out of it with flying colours.

An MBA (Finance) definately commands better pay packs compared to the rival because the new stream of this professional qualification..MBA( compared to CA )overtook CA at a very crucial time when the market got overflooded with CAs(15-20yrs ago)…when this CA explosion in the market happened…it spelt disaster for the community as there were no jobs to match their qualification/salary & this happened because India had not opened its economic policy…there were hardly an corporate to accomodate the qualified CAs….at this point MBA gradually picked up & got an edge over CAs & have maintained a lead in terms of commanding a better price & position in a corporate….even though the work profile does not fall in sync with each other…at the end of the day…its who takes a better package & position…..initially when I mentioned relative….I meant every individual have their own opinion & corporates their requirement.To sum it up ….hope everyone knows WHO’s BETTER…!

Romit Says: December 29th, 2005 at 5:49 pm e

Needless to say who are better, every one knows. here are the comparisons:
MBA >> Learns the leadership from very begining.
CA >> Tought to do work under someone.
MBA >> Known for Team Work
CA >> Never work as a Team member
MBA >> A charming dude
CA >> Blood hound under gogle
Public Appearance >>
People love an MBA and fear about non performance.
People afraid of an CA because he may scrutinize every thing of him.
MBA is a degree accepted world wide. An MBA from an India is equivallent to MBA of USA
Where as
A CA of India can not be a CPA untill and unless he study again.
These are few points which should be taken under consideration
Last one very important !!!!!!!!!!!!
An MBA is more Net Savy than a CA and dont dare to present his views.

shazia khan Says: December 29th, 2005 at 5:50 pm e

CAs vs MBAs: the popping-up of this question at a site for CAs in itself makes it quite apparent that somewhere CAs themselves feel that they are in a way inferior to MBAs…but what I feel is that these are two different fields…both have got there own importance…where an MBA excels in presentation, communication etc, at the same time CAs have an upper hand when it comes to accounting, and details etc…such type of questions don’t occur to MBAs… Instead of comparing themselves to MBAs, CAs should rather work towards improving their presentation and communication skills so as to improve their overall personality…the Indian Inc requires both CAs and MBAs…Both have their own place and importance in their specific area of activity and weighing the two is not correct intellectually.Shazia KhanMBA-FORE School of Management

Naresh Vaid (ACA) Says: December 29th, 2005 at 6:47 pm e

The debate is useless because CAs have clear winning over the MBAs. They are better in the knowledge , experience ,expertness,and are hard working. They have an authority which is recognised not even by corporate world but by the world at large.No MBA has signing authority but even a new ACA having CP can sign and audit the finalcial papers of the corporate sector . These are accepted by the world at large. CAs command more respect and acceptability,and they can lend these things to the documents which they can certify by their signatures . No MBA command such authority.

Arun Says: December 29th, 2005 at 7:31 pm e

Heat is on need more inputs from CA’s…
Why not CA and MBA can work as a “Team”. My calculation is:
Determination + Hardwork + Dedication + Personality + Leadership + Teamwork = Win Win Situation for every one??

muskan Says: December 29th, 2005 at 8:23 pm e

Hello friendsI think the debate is really getting HOT… so I should also join in.See any tom,dick or harry can pass out from an MBA institute.but that`s not true in case of a C.A. Validity of our degree(related to the institute) cannot be questioned.Today MBA are one step ahead of us. But time doesnot remain same, surely after sometime we will be ahead of them.and i think our Institute has also reconized this fact. and the result is the G.M.C.S classes/(one step towards it).If some new changes incorporated then the question who is better will never be raised.“We are better than an M.B.A. but our value is not yet paid according to it“Muskan

Romit Says: December 29th, 2005 at 10:17 pm e

Hello Mr. Naresh Vaid and others.
With due respect to all of you posting my next argument, let’s see the reaction now.
I still proove my point again. Your lone voice can not represent the entire community of CA’s. The difference remain the same and it will remain, because a CA act like a shield to an MBA. Read the points below:
1. An MBA can take all important decisions and have full control over the organization including a “CA”
2. Ever heard a CA represent an organisation any where else except financial matters.
Muskan for you.
Its realy sad that CA’s are undervalued and not paid high, the entire blame is on Indian system as here the wages are low.
It all depends upon the organisation chief to deciede who is the most valuable asset of the company a “CA” or a “MBA” and based on that they decide to pay.
Suggestions for all CA’s:
1. Knowledge: Does not mean that you have read many books and remember all the subjects, but it has more than that.
2. Being a sighning authority does not reflect that you can take the core decisions for the management of company.
3. Why not the institute works toward personality development of CA’s.
4. Why all CA’s carry negative attitude, I mean here only pointing out the wrong things or weak points.
Dont took me harsh, but I dont like the system where institute trained a CA in India. Life is beautiful and we should learn to enjoy it.
The core of a professional is allround development, open mind, aggressions, lively and positive.
its my 2c

shaily singahl Says: December 31st, 2005 at 2:22 pm e

hi, friendsthis is really a hot topic of debate, but there is no two opnion that CAs r 4times better than MBAs.there is no intelligence on arguging same, so dont waste time.we sould our work bcoz anything saying about the intelligence of CAs would similar to”suraj ko diya dikhana”

Gautam Says: December 31st, 2005 at 5:35 pm e

As shazia said that CA’s feel inferior to an MBA, its CA’s who have fuelled this debate.It seems that she doesnt have points to defend themselves.
It seems that Mr.Romit has underestimated Chartered Accountants in the field of Information Technology. Dear friend, our institute has launched HIGH END SPECIALISED COURSES in the field of IT. Also, it would be unfair to pin point the institute relating to their training programmes.

A CA gets exemption in various professional exams in India as well as abroad. This shows the credibility, reliability and recognition of the course contents. But, i haven’t heard any such exemption to an MBA.

To conclude, i would like to appreciate the views of Mr. Siddharth Surana, who says that instead of making it a debate, let both the professionals work together.
Gautam Khetan

shipra agrawal Says: January 1st, 2006 at 4:22 pm e

hello madhuri disagree with ur views.i no it is a debated topic but the amount of knowledge we possess mbsas dont possess even 1/3rd of it.n for the presentation skills it is a inbuilt thing of a person’s personality which gmcs will polish ne how.

Madhur Says: January 2nd, 2006 at 9:21 pm e

Shaily says Ca is 4 times better than Mba and shipra says CA has 3 times more knowlegde than MBa…m sure u people have some statistics to prove it….
But jokes apart…in todays world it realy doesnt matter who posseses more knowledge but what matters is who uses his skills the best..

Mr Naresh…it doesnt really matter who has the signing authority…as that authority has been confered by the law. Signing few papers and authenticating them does not make them a better professional. What matters is who pulls the threads and makes others dance to his tunes….
Romit has rightly pointed out that CAs are not IT savvy…i agree to it to some extent…but Mr romit…every MBA is not a charming dude…I have come across many MBA “DUDS” in my limited experience in corporate till date.

and guys…a 15 days prog is not at all sufficient to enhance all those skills which r drilled into an Mba in 3-4 years of his education.

Vrinda is right in sayin ‘We’ve got all that it takes, but we just need to channelise it in the right direction’. So freinds its upto us to groom us…accuire that charm…be suave and polised…accquire all those skills which makes one a better professional…

No degree or course can make anyone a better professional. It depends from individual to individual.

Madhur Khandelia

gaganbuttan Says: January 3rd, 2006 at 5:30 pm e

hi madhur i totally disagree with this.as it is said that exceptions are always therethats why it could be, that some mbas have done much better than ca,s but that doesn,t means that it is a general rule that mba,s are better than ca,s.Infact if compared in hardwork & intelligency we are far ahead than mba,s.yes but probably in presentation skills mba,s could be better than ca,s but thanks to institute for starting GMCS classes as it will be helpful in bridging the gap.

neeraj indoria Says: January 3rd, 2006 at 9:16 pm e

hi friends.i fail to understand that where does it comes to ur mind to compare these two professions.i wud say that each has its own uniqueness.where the profession of CA is more knowledge oriented the MBA curriculam concentrates on presentation.if at all i were to put my finger on one i wud say that CA is much better coz it is the one and only of its kind and the criteria of passing is such that only the best can clear it.mba may be tough to enter but very easy to clear as i hav been seeing.thanks.

Vrinda Mathur Says: January 9th, 2006 at 5:43 pm e

You know what guys,
It does’nt matter what course you’ve done. It’s what you yourself are without the degree attched to you. Education is one but not the sole indicator of how well you turn out in the professional arena.

When an MBA passes out, he has an inbuilt level of confidence, a CA has to develop it in the initial few months.

After that, it’s just what you are from within, ur ability to handle pressure, you’re ability to meet deadlines.

Thats the time to prove your worth!!!!!

Prashant Says: January 17th, 2006 at 8:46 pm e
CA v/s MBA: A question much debated by CAs rather than MBAs. Why? As one comment here puts it: ‘CAs probably feel insecure’. But Why should they? Do MBAs have more knowledge or brains than a CA.I don’t think so. So what does an MBA have? Two things, according to me: A broader perspective & a better perception. ..hmm sounds like MBA talk.Broader perspective? It simply means ‘looking things from both micro & macro levels and from all possible angles’ (did it sound like a formula from chemistry!) An MBA course in itself is very broad based. MBA students learn things from a variety of subjects including those related to their specialisation. The case studies, team work, presentations, summer projects,etc. are a definite plus and add to the softer skills of a to-be-manager. A potato can be mixed with any vegetable. Likewise an MBA can fit in more or less any function of an organization (please excuse the example as this is the only one which crossed my mind!) Its no surprise if an MBA with Finance specialization is seen designing promotion strategy for that new product.

Better perception. This means that an MBA perceives himself and is perceived by others as one complete packaged and ready to use product. Jo dikhta hai woh bikta hai bhai. MBA institutes not only market themselves to prospective students, they also market their students to the companies. Remember, an MBA carries weight in direct proportion to his or her Institute’s ranking. There must be atleast 10 MBAs passouts every year for one CA passout. Atleast eight out of these would not get a great career start because their institute was lesser known and so were they. So, perception plays a big role! I strongly feel that perception of CAs should be changed. They should not be ’seen’ as a guy jisko itna hi ATA (audit, tax, accounts) hai. I know CAs who are razor sharp and can make top-institute MBAs sweat. Its not as if they are not doing good in their careers. They are, pretty much. But, they could have probably done better only if they carried the right perception!

Would wind up with this line by a great personality-

Does not matter if you are a CA or MBA or…If one believes in himslef, great things can be achieved!

Disclaimer: These are personal thoughts of the writer and not intended to create trouble. The last line which you read is also writer!

Rajat Says: April 3rd, 2006 at 3:51 pm e

CA’s are simply better than MBA”s……! How ?? Here the debate ends…..CA course offers SECURITY as far as the future is concerned and more than anything else it also offers FLEXIBILITY in the sense that CA’s can either practice their PROFFESSION or go for a JOB…whereas MBA’s have no other option than going for NAUKRI(JOB)…!!

Anjan Says: April 8th, 2006 at 8:50 pm e

I think the CA + MBA combination is what the corporate world today really needs. A thorough mix of knowledge and presentation skills are required to suceed. The Institute should tie up with all the IIM’s in the country or on its own start a one year MBA programme exclusively for CA’s. This one year addition can push the CA into a different paradigm and make them unmatchable. Remember that a CA +IIM(A) graduate received the highest pay package in 2005 and sets a benchmark for others to follow.

rahul sharma [rahuls003@yahoo.com]

Hi All


I think CA is much better option than MBA. First I donot like the way we guys are comparing the CA profession with MBA on the basis of the placement because we compare the overall MBA student in the Country getting placed after doing MBA compare there Job profile and salarly which they are getting. We will know the difference ( Here I am not counting the Top MBA college but every college which offer the MBA in India).
Then if we want to see the skill set match with the MBA & CA profession. I still find the CA profession more sound than the MBA profession because in order to anaylse some thing you have to know your basic which MBA donot have it. Well You see the current CA Education it is much more better than the MBA profile. The only thing which is missing is we dont have the regular CA college. If we do have them. Then I dont even dream a career option like MBA can exist because at the end of the day no matter how big or small business. It is all about the money. Well I love to write more about it. I have some work to do. Well let's have an open debate on this.


  1. DEAR SIR,
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