The ACCA qualification (Association of Certified Chartered Accountants) is a major achievement and highly sought after credential for accounting and finance professionals. Some companies specifically require that employees train for the ACCA qualification. The qualification is heavily geared towards the audit and assurance field. The ACCA qualification takes candidates an average of three to four years to achieve. Though not required it is wise to make sure that your university’s curriculum is approved by the ACCA. Going to an approved university may exempt you from some of the 14 required exams. The exams cover a few different topics that are further broken down. Below are the exam topics:
Knowledge (All 9 Fundamental Exams must be completed)
F1 – Accountant in Business
F2 – Management Accounting
F3 – Financial Accounting
F4 – Corporate and Business Law
F5 – Performance Management
F6 – Taxation
F7 – Financial Reporting
F8 – Audit and Assurance
F9 – Financial Management
Mandatory (P1, P2, and P3 are required)
P1 – Governance, Risks, and Ethics
P2 – Corporate Reporting
P3 – Business Analyst
Electives (The candidate must pick two to complete)
P4 – Advanced Financial Management
P5 – Advanced Performance Management
P6 – Advanced Taxation
P7 – Advanced Audit and Assurance
Completing and studying these exams allows for some flexibility for the candidate. Classes can be taken for ACCA part time, ACCA online distance learning, and even ACCA weekend study programs. Click the links to see which universities offer these types of programs.
Along with the 14 exams there are two other components to the ACCA: 36 months of relevant experience and a professional ethics module.
The relevant experience will require you to meet five performance objectives and four technical objectives.
Performance Objectives (Mandatory)
- Professionalism and Ethics
- Stakeholder relationship management
- Strategy and Innovation
- Governance, Risk and Control
- Leadership and Management
Technical Objectives (Select Four)
• Record and process transactions and events
• Prepare external financial reports
• Analyse and interpret financial reports
•Evaluate investment and financing decisions
•Manage and control working capital
•Identify and manage financial risk
Sustainable management accounting
•Evaluate management accounting systems
•Plan and control performance
•Tax computations and assessments
•Tax compliance and verification
•Tax planning and advice
Audit and Assurance
•Prepare for and plan the audit process
•Collect and evaluate evidence for an audit
•Review and report on the findings of an audit
Lastly, the professional ethics portion must be completed as well. Ethics in the accounting industry is extremely important so ethics are covered in most ever training as well as specific professional ethics module.
It is a lot of work, but anything worthwhile is not easy. Studying with ACCA will help you work nearly anywhere in the world and open many doors to opportunities in the future. I highly recommend following this path especially for UK accounting professionals.
For more information on the ACCA – click below to the organization’s site.