Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA)
The ACCA Qualification is your route to professional status designed to provide the accounting knowledge, skills and professional values which will deliver finance professionals who are capable of building successful careers across all sectors.
There is a strong focus on professional values, ethics, and governance. These skills are essential as the profession moves towards strengthened codes of conduct, regulation, and legislation – with an increasing focus on professionalism and ethics in accounting. These are examined at the highest level in the ACCA Qualification and are a core element of your practical experience requirements.
In order to qualify as an ACCA member, you will need to complete:
• 14 exams (nine of which are eligible for exemption)
• relevant practical experience, with a minimum of three years
• A Professional Ethics module.
ACCA (the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants) is the global body for professional accountants. It aims to offer business-relevant, first-choice qualifications to people of application, ability and ambition around the world who seek a rewarding career in accountancy, finance and management.
It supports 140,000 members and 404,000 students throughout their careers, providing services through a network of 83 offices and active centers. Its global infrastructure means that exams and support are delivered – and reputation and influence developed – at a local level, directly benefiting stakeholders wherever they are based, or plan to move to, in pursuit of new career opportunities. Its focus is on professional values, ethics, and governance, and it delivers value-added services through 57 global accountancy partnerships, working closely with multinational and small entities to promote global standards and support.
It uses its expertise and experience to work with governments, donor agencies and professional bodies such as the International Federation of Accountants (IFAC) to develop the global accountancy profession and to advance the public interest.
Its reputation is grounded in over 100 years of providing world-class accounting and finance qualifications. It champions opportunity, innovation, diversity, integrity and accountability. By promoting its global standards, and supporting its members wherever they work, it aims to meet the current and future needs of international business.
ACCA understands the real issues facing small businesses as 63,000 of its members work in SMEs or small partnerships worldwide. ACCA’s theme for 2009-2010 is Accountants for Business. This theme emphasises the important roles accountants play in both the private and public sectors, promoting their role as advocates of sound business practices, champions of sustainable business development and identifiers of value drivers which lead to high-performing organizations.
ACCA offers you various entry points into the ACCA Qualification, depending on your previous academic qualifications.
Minimum entry requirements
- Two A Levels and three GCSEs or equivalent in five separate subjects, including English and Mathematics.
- Full information on the minimum entrance criteria for each country is available in the ‘related documents’ section.
Mature Student Entry Route (MSER)
- Normally over age 21
- No academic qualifications required
- Must pass the equivalent of Papers F2, Management Accounting and F3, Financial Accounting within two years before further progression to the ACCA exams is permitted.
- Relevant degree holders from ACCA-accredited institutions may be exempted from all nine exams within the Fundamentals level and register directly at the Professional level. Degrees with some relevance may also qualify for exemptions.
Access to ACCA via CAT qualification
- No academic qualifications required
- Sit Certified Accounting Technician (CAT) qualification first and then transfer to the Skills module of the ACCA Qualification by claiming exemption from the first three papers in the Knowledge module.
- There are no formal academic qualifications necessary to register for the CAT Qualification. But your previous qualifications may entitle you to exemptions from some of the CAT exams. This means that you will start your studies at the most appropriate level according to your knowledge and skills, and, more importantly, avoid studying subjects you already know.
Up to nine exemptions are available from the Fundamentals level of the ACCA Qualification. No exemptions are available from the Professional level.
The number of exemptions you can claim will depend on how closely your previous qualifications match the content of the ACCA syllabus. For example, if you have completed a relevant degree from an ACCA-accredited university, you may be eligible to claim exemption from up to all nine exams within the Fundamentals level
The ACCA Qualification exam syllabus is divided into two levels; Fundamentals and Professional. The Fundamentals level is divided into two modules; Knowledge and Skills.
The Knowledge module introduces you to the core areas of financial and management accounting, providing the platform from which the other technical accountancy areas will be studied in greater detail. The Skills module contains six subjects which comprehensively cover the main technical areas that any accountant, regardless of their future career aspirations, is expected to have mastered.
The Professional level is divided into two modules; Essentials and Options.
Both these modules have been set at an intellectual level equivalent to that expected of a student taking a Masters degree. The focus of the syllabuses at this level is to build upon the technical skills already acquired and explore more advanced professional skills, techniques and values that are required and used by the expert accountant acting in an advisory or consultancy role at a senior level. All students have to complete the three papers in the Essentials module. The Options module contains four papers, but you only need to complete two.
Professional ethics are at the heart of the ACCA Qualification. It is covered in 11 of the 16 exam papers – including all papers at Professional level – and in three of the Essentials performance objectives. Underpinning the educational syllabus and the practical experience is the Professional Ethics module. The aim of the Professional Ethics module is to give you the exposure to a range of ethical perspectives.
You get access to the module when you become eligible to take Paper P1, Professional Accountant. Ideally, this should be completed before, at the same time or soon after completing this paper – but must be completed before applying for membership, and if you wish to complete our B.Sc degree, offered in partnership with Oxford Brookes University.
To be prepared for a challenging and often demanding career as a professional accountant, it is not sufficient to solely rely on theoretical knowledge developed through an exam process. Therefore a key component of the ACCA Qualification is gaining relevant practical experience.
The ACCA Qualification closely links practical experience to the exam syllabus, reinforcing that any capabilities you develop through the exam process will have a clear application in your workplace. And this in turn provides potential employers with an independent reassurance that you are the right person for the job. It’s up to you to choose the right employer to work for and gain your practical experience, but there are lots of resources available to you to make sure you get the right type of training and development.
You will need to complete three-year’ relevant practical experience in addition to achieving 13 of the performance objectives listed below – all nine Essentials and four from 11 Options.
Registration can take place at any time, however, if you wish to take part in specific paper-based examination sessions, the following deadlines apply:
On registration you will be asked to pay an initial subscription fee. Then on 1 January each year, an annual subscription fee will be due. As you enter for exams or claim exemptions, a payment will be requested.
The following fees are applicable in 2010 (and are subject to change without written notice)
A qualified ACCA needs to appear for the Professional Stage of Institute of Charted Accountants of Pakistan (ICAP), Foundation and intermediate stages being fully exempt.
A qualified ACCA is exempted from certain papers of the professional stage of ICAEW.
A qualified ACCA (UK) needs to appear for 7 papers of Charted Institute of Management Accountants UK (CIMA) only, remaining papers being fully exempt.
After completing Part 2 of ACCA, you just need to submit a research & analysis project to get the B.Sc. (Hons) degree in Applied Accounting from Oxford Brookes University (UK) which is recognized by Higher Education Commission of Pakistan (HEC) if students study in registered learning providers.
ACCA (UK) members are also eligible to apply for MBA from Oxford Brooks University (UK)