Complete Detailed ACCA Course Guide for Beginners

About ACCA: A short summary of the Course

The Association of Chartered Certified Accountants is a competent and a leading accounting global body. Perhaps, it gives you recognition as an employee for handling all business matters. The term Certified Chartered Accountants is protected legally as any person who claims to be a certified chartered accountant has to be a member of ACCA. ACCA was founded in 1904. Its headquarter is located in London with the principal administrative office in Glasgow. It works through a network of over 100 offices, and centers and more than 7300 approved employers worldwide, who ensure the development of each employee. Chartered Certified Accountant holds a practicing certificate, carries liability insurance and submits to inspections.

ACCA works for public interest and indulges in a lot of international research. It takes progressive stances on global issues to ensure accountancy grows in reputation and influence.
acca course

About ACCA Qualifications for great Career

ACCA offers following certifications:

Chartered Certified Accountant: It is the primary certification. A chartered certified accountant has to clear 13 professional exams, complete three years of supervised relevant accountancy experience along with a professional ethics module. ACCA professional examinations are offered four times a year: in March, June, September, and December. Computer-based exams are also provided for the first four exams which can be taken at ACCA licensed exam centers throughout the year. Bachelor of Science in Applied Accounting is offered in association with Oxford Brookes University.

The syllabus comprises 13 examinations. Qualification is structured in three parts. The Applied Knowledge level consists of 3 exams: AB Accountant in business, MA Management Accounting, Financial Accounting. The Applied skills level includes six examinations: Corporate and Business Law, Performance Management, Taxation, Financial Reporting, Audit and Assurance, and Financial Management.

The professional level involves five examinations. Within this level, three papers are compulsory: Governance, Risk and Ethics, Corporate Reporting, and Business Analysis. Two of the following four options must also be completed: Advanced Financial Management, Advanced Performance Management, Advanced Taxation, and Advanced Audit and Assurance.

Note: From September 2018 onwards, P1 Governance, Risk and Ethics, and P3 Business analysis will be merged to form single paper titled ‘Strategic Business Leader’ and P2 corporate reporting’s name will be changed to ‘Strategic Business Reporting.’

What is ACCA for Accountants?

Foundation level qualifications: Foundations in Accountancy: ACCA offers a range of foundational and certificate courses which provide an entry point for anyone new to the system of accounting and finance and who does not meet the minimum entry requirements for ACCA Qualification. Students can start at any level within the foundation level but it is recommended that students who do not have any formal academic qualifications should start with the Introductory Certificate in Financial and Management Accounting and complete exams FA1b Recording Financial Transactions and MA1 Management Information then progress to Intermediate Certificate in Financial and Management Accounting and take exams FA2 Maintaining Financial Records and MA2 Managing Costs and Finance before proceeding to Diploma in Accounting and Business and completing FAB, Accountant in Business,

FMA, Management Accounting and FFA Financial Accounting. Students can use foundation level awards as an entry route onto the ACCA Qualification. Students who have completed a Diploma in Accounting and Business will be exempted from giving first three exams of the ACCA Qualification and start their studies for ACCA qualification with P4, Corporate and Business Law.

To receive a certificate/diploma, students must also complete a foundation ethics module called Foundations in Professionalism, but this module has to be completed only once. Foundation level exams are available as paper-based exams which are held in June and December or as on-demand computer-based examinations throughout the year at ACCA licensed exam centers.

Other Qualifications of ACCA Course

ACCA also offers other qualifications like:

  • MBA (for ACCA full members), provided in association with Oxford Brookes University
  • Sc. (Hons) in Applied Accounting, provided in association with Oxford Brookes University
  • MSc in Financial Management offered in association with Heriot-Watt University
  • MSc in Professional Accountancy, provided in association with University of London
  • Diploma in Financial Management (DipFM). This certification was previously known as the Certified Diploma in Accounting and Finance (CDipAF), a financial qualification designed for managers outside of finance. This qualification was replaced with Foundations in Accountancy awards at the end of 2011
  • Diploma in International Financial Reporting (DipIFR)
  • Certificate in International Auditing (CertIA)
  • Certificate in International Financial Reporting (CertIFR)
  • Certificate in International Public Sector Accounting Standards (Cert IPSAS)
  • Certification in Business Valuation in partnership with the French Chartered Accountants Institute (CSOEC) offered both in English and French courses
  • Global Business Services (GBS) qualifications

Online courses offered by ACCA

ACCA provides online courses to students who are interested in undertaking their studies in Business and Accounting. These courses are available for the first seven foundational level exams, and and content conduct Epigeum develops these exams.

Free courses

These courses are available for free and can be accessed by anyone from anywhere:

  • Introduction to Financial and Management Accounting (preparation for FA1 and MA1)
  • Intermediate Financial and Management Accounting (for FA2 and MA2)
  • Online tutors teach these courses with interactive content that allows learners to gain financial literacy skills.

These courses are available in 190 countries worldwide:

  • Accountant in Business
  • Management Accounting
  • Financial management

Completion of these courses and module related to Professionalism and Ethics will lead to achieving a Diploma in Accounting and Business.

Types of memberships offered by ACCA

Affiliate: Candidates register as student members to undertake the Professional Scheme Qualification. Upon successful completion of examinations, students become affiliates. For full membership, affiliates must obtain a minimum of three years of acceptable, supervised, practical experience as an accountant and should meet the required standard of competence.

Fellowship: Fellowships are awarded since 2008 to people who have completed five years of continuous membership. Fellow members use FCCA instead of ACCA.

Continuous Professional Development: From 2005 onwards, ACCA mandated Continuous Professional Development requirements for all members.

Completion Criteria for ACCA Qualification

  • A-level with two passes and O-level with three passes in a subject including English and Maths or American higher school certificate with at least 50%.
  • Graduation, B.A., B.Sc., B.Com or equivalent bachelor qualification.
  • Foundation Diploma

Why Choose ACCA for your professional growth?

All over the world, businesses and organizations look for ACCA members because they know that we believe in producing strategic thinkers with high ethical integrity, strong financial know-how, and ACCA members have the right business acumen to analyze a range of commercial and accountancy issues. When you qualify ACCA qualification, then you are allowed to enjoy benefits like:

You become a member of the world’s most forward-thinking accountancy body which is globally, and employers understand that you have the highest professional and ethical standards.

ACCA qualification will help you to grab varied opportunities existing in different sectors. It is also flexible regarding allowing to experiment with newer areas and gain insights about the organization and gain new skills.

Ethics are fundamental to your studies and ACCA approach. Thus, when you apply for a job role then you will be able to set and maintain high standards of professionalism in the organizations you will work which will lead your career graph to rise.

ACCA believes in supporting its members throughout their journey. You will get access to world-class resources, forums, insights, and advice while you are studying and afterward, ACCA will help you to grow professionally.

ACCA is a platform wherein you can develop new skills and gain many other qualifications while completing your exams including, a B.Sc. and an M.Sc.

Why opt for ACCA Course?

ACCA provides better employment opportunities and also displays that you are an all-rounder in aspects of handling accounting in Business.

It gives you the designation of Chartered Certified Accountant which is a legal term and can only be obtained by ACCA members.

ACCA can help you to hold senior management positions as it assures employers of your performance.

A chartered certified accountant is known for his/her skills and abilities vital for sectors like banking, auditing, consulting, law and taxation.

Besides gaining knowledge about finance and accounting, a member is also acquiring various soft skills in the strategic management of an organization.

ACCA qualification is not just about imparting theoretical knowledge, but it also ensures that members are employable in practical life.

International Accounting and auditing is the base of this certification offered by ACCA.

Course Syllabus of ACCA Course

ACCA consists of 13 papers which comprises of three levels. ACCA grants certain exemptions. Students who have completed their 12th from Commerce stream can begin from knowledge level.  In the knowledge level, a student can gain additional knowledge regarding following things:

Understanding and creating a financial model template

Learning referencing framework in excel

Learning custom formatting in excel

Excel skills – shortcuts, formulas, array function, and pivot tables.

Implementing simple business modeling case in Excel.

Simple exercise/models in excel

Students who have completed BCom MBA MCom BMS can begin from a skill level. In this level, you will undertake courses for 6-10 weeks about corporate and business law, performance management, taxation, financial reporting, audit and assurance, and financial management.

CA, ICWAI, US CPA students can begin ACCA qualification from a professional level which will focus on courses like strategic business reporting and strategic business leader.

ACCA New Syllabus and Exam Papers

For clearing ACCA exam, you need to clear 14 papers with 50% marks.

Fundamentals of ACCA Course

F1 Accountant in Business: You will study about business organization structure, governance for management, critical environmental influences or constraints, specific functions of accounting and internal financial control, leading and managing individual teams, recruiting and developing individual employees.

F2 Management Accounting: You will learn about management, cost classification, types of costs, cost accounting techniques, absorption, and marginal costing, short-term decision making, budgeting, and standard costing.

F3 Financial Accounting: In this course, you will study about context and purpose of financial reporting, qualitative characteristics of financial information and the fundamental bases of accounting, use of double entry and accounting systems, recording transactions and events, preparing a trail, preparing basic financial statements.

F4 Corporate and Business Law:  In this course, you will understand aspects related to essential elements of legal system, law of obligations, employment law, formation and constitution of business organisations, capital and financing of the companies, management, administration and regulation of companies, legal implications relating to companies in difficulty or in crisis, governance and ethical issues relating to business.

F5 Performance Management: In this course, you will learn about specialist cost and management accounting techniques, decision-making technique, budgeting, standard costing, and variance analysis, performance measurement and control.

F6 Taxation: In this course, you will emphasis to focus on UK Tax system, income tax liabilities, chargeable gains, corporation tax liabilities, national insurance contributions, value-added tax, the obligation of taxpayers and their agents.

F7 Financial Reporting:  You will understand about conceptual framework for financial reporting, the regulatory framework for financial reporting, financial statements, business combinations, analysis and interpreting financial statements.

F8 Audit and assurance: This course will emphasize upon audit framework and regulation, internal audit, planning and risk assessment, internal control, audit evidence, review, and reporting.

F9 Financial management: This course will make you understand various aspects regarding financial management function, financial management environment, working capital management, investment appraisal, business finance, cost of capital, business valuation, risk management.

Professional of ACCA Course

P1 governance, risk, and ethics: This course will focus on governance and responsibility, internal control and review, identifying and assessing risk, controlling risk, professional values and ethics.

P2 Corporate Reporting: This course will focus on aspects about the professional and ethical duty of the accountant, financial reporting framework, reporting the financial performance of entities, financial statements of groups of objects, functional entities, implications of changes in accounting regulation on financial reporting.

P3 Business Analysis: This course will cover various aspects of the strategic position. Strategic choices, decisive action, business process change, information technology, quality issues.

P4 Advanced Financial Management: This course will focus on role and responsibility towards stakeholders, advanced investment appraisal, acquisition and mergers, corporate reconstruction and reorganization, treasury and sophisticated risk management techniques, the economic environment for multi-nationals, emerging issues in finance and financial management.

P5 Advanced Performance Management: This course will cover topics related to strategic planning and control, economic, fiscal and environmental factors, performance measurement systems and design, important performance measurement, performance measurement, performance evaluation and corporate failure, current development, and emerging issues in performance management.

P6 Advanced Taxation:  This course will help you to gain knowledge about UK tax system through study of further capital taxes, along with more advanced topics within taxes studied previously, importance of taxation to personal and corporate financial management, impact of relevant taxes on various situations and courses of action including, interaction of taxes, minimizing and/or deferring tax liabilities by using standard tax planning measures.

P7 Advanced audit and assurance: This course will discuss the regulatory environment, professional and ethical considerations, practice management, assignments, reporting, current issues, and developments.

ACCA Exams Fees Structure

The fee structure for ACCA, UK is as follows:

The fees mentioned above have to be paid by the candidate to ACCA, UK. Besides this fee structure, a student has to pay tuition fee and registration fee to the college where he/she enrolls for classes. Tuition fee per paper varies from one college to another.

How to apply for ACCA? Admission Procedure

ACCA is a highly competitive International business and accountancy organization. Thus, its papers are uniquely designed to meet both theoretical and practical aspects of business and accountancy. While taking admission into any college which gives training for ACCA Qualification, a student must keep the following things in his/her mind:

ACCA, UK administer ACCA.

ACCA, UK conduct ACCA exams.

Colleges in various cities offer ACCA Qualification. They teach subjects of ACCA according to the plan and directions directed by ACCA, UK.

A student who is willing to pursue ACCA Qualification must visit colleges offering ACCA qualification.

Then they must fill a registration form to get admission in the college as well as to register with ACCA, UK.

Flexibility in ACCA Program: ACCA Benefits

ACCA qualification is a flexible program.  A student can have full control over the pace of the course. So, you can choose four papers in one exam. You can attempt first three papers as paper-based examination or computer-based exam depending on your choice. Remaining papers are to be attempted as a paper-based exam. You can choose to appear in the paper-based exam in March, June, September, and December. The computer-based exam can be attempted during any month of the year.

Minimum duration of completing ACCA is two years. The maximum length of the exam depends upon the performance of the student in ACCA.

ACCA is a highly competitive examination. Thus, you must ensure that you must get 50% to clear all the levels of ACCA qualification.

How to get ACCA certification?

Planning is important for clearing any exam or to meet challenges with confidence. Firstly, you need to plan how many papers would you like to clear in one sitting and then prepare about studying them in depth.

It is essential to know about the syllabus and the structure of the course to plan your studies accordingly.

You need to be extra careful while writing your exams and must assess what an examiner wants as an answer.

You must only study the textbooks approved by ACCA. They have a defined and planned syllabus that they want you to study and understand. Thus, you must ultimately rely on the study materials approved only by ACCA.

Always set a target while studying to complete your syllabus on time with the higher rate of accuracy.

It is essential to understand the concepts so don’t try to memorize them as ACCA is a conceptual exam. For more hold on yourself about giving ACCA exams, solve previous years question papers.

You need to check examiners reports uploaded on the website to understand their marking schemes and to understand how much time you need to give to each subject.

Analyse exam papers, examiners’ interviews, and technical parts of the material and revise accordingly.  Revision is an essential part as it will help you to recollect everything you have studied.

ACCA Careers

Financial services industry offers a wide range of employment opportunities including, fund management, retail, and private banking, insurance, pensions, and investment. Employers include large multi-national companies like HSBC, Santander, Barclays and Zurich Insurance.

Consultation services include a wide range of changing positions and people in these positions can help companies to improve their performance by analyzing current practices and operating models of companies. So, you can use your skills to save costs, generate revenue, and secure benefits.

After completing ACCA qualification, you can also work with government and non-government organizations and help them to reach out to more people in communities and provide services to them.  You can work in public security agencies, central or local governments, social security agencies, and non-profit organizations. Positions in these institutions may include, large capital inflows, a large number of human capital resources, and significant budget analysis.

The fastmoving consumer goods industry is growing significantly. For a financial professional in these industries, it is essential to understand all aspects of business and accounting from a global perspective. Accounting professionals in FMCG industries face a lot of challenges as the accounting department is at the forefront for analyzing a company’s performance and for achieving maximum shareholder value. The rapidly growing financial industry of FMCG requires accounting professionals who are well-versed in functions ranging from tax planning to cost forecasting on a global scale.

The oil, gas and energy sectors offer a pool of accounting jobs. If you are interested in working on billion-dollar projects, then you may apply in this sector which will help you to work for a more significant cause as these projects are benefiting the global population. Working in such industries will not just enhance your knowledge of that industry, but you will get adequate opportunities to perform a lot of accounting practices like auditing, supervision, and management.

Manufacturing industries are different from other sectors as they are the ones who are responsible for producing goods and services. Retailers sell goods, service companies provide services and time, but manufacturers produce products. So, financial problems arising in these industries are entirely different from other sectors as manufacturers have to consider not only the cost of raw materials and processing but they also need to find the value of the product. Thus, a chartered certified accountant can help the manufacturer in cost-benefit analysis, profit analysis and help him/her in managing trade-offs, auditing, maintaining financial statements, managing cash outflows and inflows.

Global business service providers employ more than 7 lakh 50 thousand financial and accounting staff worldwide and are one of the leading industries of the world which are increasing. Since global service companies provide their services to various companies or organizations at the same time. So, you will have a varied range of opportunities to experiment with different types of accounting jobs.

All industries offer a variety of on-the-job training programs for graduates and interns which often equip them with technical knowledge and guide them to hold senior management positions in the company. Participating as an intern will help you to gain insights about a company’s business and culture which will allow you to understand the company’s work and engage in exciting projects with other interns and experienced professionals. The graduate program lasts for three years during which you have the opportunity to participate in a variety of critical projects in key business areas.

Let’s see the job roles available in various countries and regions worldwide:

In the UK, ACCA job roles are primarily within the accounting and public sector, as well as in the financial services and corporate sector. Popular roles assigned to an ACCA qualifier are business analysts, finance controllers, payroll administrators, finance directors, and trainee accountants. A vast array of employers like PwC, Deloitte, KPMG, Barclays Bank and Accenture.

Even in the Asia Pacific, job roles are quite similar to UK, and companies like Deloitte hire ACCA qualifiers. Most common job roles available are a finance manager, business analyst, and management accountant. Jobs are not just limited to accounting and public practice, but jobs are also available in sectors like financial services, consultation services, business, and outsourcing services.

In the Middle East, jobs are available in the legal sector, consultation services, financial services, accounting, and public practice. There is a considerable number of vacancies wherein you will get a chance to research and analyze accounting data.

Within Europe, jobs are available in varied sectors including, IT, manufacturing, management consultancy, property, and construction. You can find exciting job roles like that of a financial controller, management accountant, bookkeeper, business analyst at various locations like Belgium, Czech Republic, Germany, Spain, and the Netherlands. Also, you will get opportunities to work with giant MNCs like, PwC, KMPG, Deloitte EY, ABN AMRO, and Europcar.

In China, you can work in sectors like accounting, financial services, government and public sector, FMCG, Oil, gas, and energy, manufacturing, shared services and outsourcing. If you enjoy auditing, taxation, and accountancy related tasks, then join accountancy firms like PricewaterhouseCoopers, KPMG, Deloitte and Ernst & Young.

In America, you can work with varied sectors including, public sector, travel, and tourism, telecommunications, media, and entertainment. ACCA job roles include Finance Director, Business analyst, Chief Accountant, and Commercial Financial Manager.  You can select any location of your choice including, Canada, Trinidad and Tobago, Brazil and the United States.

In Africa, you can work in Nigeria, Ghana, Kenya, Egypt, and South Africa. You can find suitable job roles in which you have to undertake tasks related to auditing, financial accountancy, financial management or taxation.  You can find jobs primarily in sectors like public sector, financial and consultancy service sectors.

ACCA Average Salary related to various accounting professions

ACCA believes in the employability of its members and students. Thus, its syllabus and course address the core issues which an accountant will face in an emerging industry like FMCG, consultancy services, etc. Therefore, a chartered certified accountant is also paid well for providing his/her accounting services, and their pay might vary according to the contract they have signed and work experience they have mentioned in their CVs.

An Audit and Accounts manager can get paid from 40000 euros to 50000 euros per annum, and some companies also provide additional benefits or allowances to their employees.

An Assistant Accountant can get paid in between 10000 dollars to 17000 dollars per month.

A senior credit controller can get paid in between £23000 – £29000 per annum.

A purchase ledger clerk can get paid in between £18000 – £20000 per annum.

A corporate services manager can get paid from £28000 – £34000 per annum.

A senior accountant can earn £30000 – £35000 per annum.

A tax manager can earn £50000 – £55000 per annum.

Recent ACCA Exam Dates

On-demand CBEs offer seven Foundations level exams, all Applied Knowledge and some Corporate and Business law (LW) variant exams. All deadlines are 23:59 hrs UK time on a listed date.

For December 2018, Standard exam entry deadline is on 29th October 2018, and the last date is 5th November 2018.

Deadline to edit an existing exam entry: 29th October 2018.

Request for additional support: 29th October 2018

Date of examination: 3-7th December

Result Declaration: 14th January 2019

For receiving results, you need to opt-in to obtain results by text using myACCA, seven days before the results are released.

Conclusion about ACCA course

The ACCA qualification provides students top-notch skills they need to become an experienced finance professional. It also provides you with a much broader and more rounded approach than being just technical. It is a logical course in which students not only understand the issues about accountancy and business, but ACCA provides professional and ethical skills which will help finance professionals to grow holistically.

Jayson John

Jayson John has hands on experience in writing articles related to technology, entertainment, business, finance and many more.

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