Financial Education: What is an ACCA Qualification?

Anyone who holds an ACCA qualification is a member of the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants, a global organisation which issues qualifications in the field of accountancy, auditing and taxation. The company itself is approved by a British Royal Charter and has influence all over the world. With over 160,000 current members and around 425,000 students, ACCA provides special privileges and services to its associates through 89 international offices.

To attain membership with ACCA and become a charted certified accountant, a student must pass 14 examinations and attain practical experience in the relevant areas. Additional training can also be given for them to gain specialist knowledge. For businessmen and women, the ACCA qualification will provide everything you need to build and maintain a prosperous career in the financial world.

Background to the ACCA Diploma

Anyone can apply to study for the ACCA qualification. However, there is a minimum educational requirement of 2 A-Levels and 3 GCSEs (or their equivalent) in five separate subjects, including Maths and English.

Don’t worry if you don’t have these credentials as ACCA foundation level courses can be completed to ensure your entry. When the ‘Diploma in Accounting and Business’ has been completed, you will be able to begin the course and will even be exempt from the first three exams (F1, F2 and F3).


Course Details

Applying online is the easiest way to enrol on an ACCA course. Visit their site and use the Online Application Guide to direct you through the process.

How fast it will take to achieve your ACCA credentials depends on any previous qualifications and also which route you take. Working within the business arena and studying at the same time will allow you to complete the course quicker, roughly taking around 3-4 years overall.


Study options are flexible however and allow you to commit to the course in your own time and at your own pace. These include:

–          Full time courses

–          Part-time day or evening courses

–          Distance learning

–          Weekend courses

–          Revision course

Although ACCA does not insist on a strict learning programme, there is a 10 year time limit you have to complete the course from the moment you initially register.


Course Syllabus

This section will look at the rota which students will face when they come to take the ACCA exams. Initially, a 9-exam Fundamental course needs to be completed, which introduces you into basic areas of accounting. The exam titles here are:


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


After all of these papers have been successfully completed, the Professional level comes next. This will look at more complicated accountancy figures and advanced techniques required for consultancy positions. ACCA claims that this level requires similar expertise as a Masters Degree exam.


P1 – Governance, Risk and Ethics

P2 – Corporate Reporting

P3 – Business Analysis


P4 – Advanced Financial Management

P5 – Advanced Performance Management

P6 – Advanced Taxation

P7 – Advanced Audit and Assurance


.*Only two exams need to be completed from the final four papers (P4 – P7)


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