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What is ACCA?

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What is ACCA?

ACCA is the world’s oldest and most credible qualification for creating that much-needed strategic accounting infrastructure, which is critical for the growth of any business irrespective of its scale and industry. Standing for the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants, ACCA is the world’s largest and oldest accounting association formed in the UK in 1904. It is the world’s first and fastest entryway into the critical function of both financial and management accounting. ACCA has a network of around 117 offices and 500,000 members and students in almost 180 countries in the world. After completing this qualification, this regulatory body offers you the Chartered Certified Accountant designation. This course not just helps you prepare for any financial and management aspect of a business, but also prepares you for work in any corner of the world and qualified and valued professionals.

Is ACCA a degree?

ACCA itself isn’t the conventional undergraduate degree that you really get. But ACCA fundamental level gives you the knowledge and applied skills that could be considered equivalent to a bachelor’s degree. The professional level is considered equivalent to a master’s degree. But overall, ACCA isn’t a conventional degree. It is a professional certification.

Entry Requirements

The entry level varies depending on the university but here are some general criteria you have to meet to be eligible for ACCA in the UK. This could be one of the qualifications mentioned below along with the English language requirement.

  • A minimum of 2 A-level certifications and 3 GCSEs or equivalent in mathematics and English is mandatory.
  • An undergraduate degree in accounting, finance, or any business-related program from an accredited institution.
  • Students must have completed or should have an exemption from the Applied Knowledge and Skill Level ACCA examinations.
  • A minimum score of 6.0 in IELTS or 78 in TOEFL.

ACCA exemptions in more detail:

QualificationExams to give Exemptions
12th standard completion130
Commerce graduate94
CA IPCC (Both groups)85

ACCA Course Specifics

To qualify as an ACCA member, a candidate must do the following:

Attempt and clear 13 exams (ACCA does provide up to 9 paper exemptions depending upon the candidate’s previous qualification). Record 36 months’ experience in a relevant role. The candidate can acquire the experience before/ during/ after completion of the qualification. Complete the Ethics and Professional Skills module.

ACCA Levels

The 13 subjects and exams of ACCA are divided into three levels: Applied Knowledge, Applied Skills & Strategic Professional.

Now let’s deep dive into each of the ACCA levels.

Applied Knowledge Level:

  • Business and Technology (BT)
  • Management Accounting (MA)
  • Financial Accounting (FA)

Students are awarded the ACCA Diploma in Accounting and Business (RQF Level 4) when they have successfully completed the Business and Technology (BT), Management Accounting (MA) and Financial Accounting (FA) exams (at least one of which must have been sat and passed), plus completion of Foundations in Professionalism.

Applied Skills Level:

Subjects in the Applied skills level include

  • Corporate and Business Law(LW)
  • Performance Management
  • Taxation (TX)
  • Financial Reporting (FR)
  • Audit and Assurance (AA)
  • Financial Management (FM)

Students are awarded the Advanced Diploma in Accounting and Business when they have successfully completed (either passed or exempt) the Applied Skills exams. At least two of these papers must have been sat and passed.

Strategic professional Level:

Students need to prepare for 4 subjects out of 6. They are divided into essential and optional modules


  • Strategic Business Leader(SBL)
  • Strategic Business Reporting(SBR)

Options: (Any 2)

  • Advanced Financial Management (AFM)
  • Advanced Performance Management (APM)
  • Advanced Taxation (ATX)
  • Advanced Audit and Assurance (AAA)

Students are awarded a Strategic Professional Certificate when they have successfully completed all the Strategic Professional exams of the ACCA Qualification. These are the two Strategic Professional Essentials exams and any two of the Strategic Professional Options exams.

Ethics and Professional Skills Module

Students are required to complete 20 hrs of the Ethics and Professional Skills Module, which develops the complete range of skills that employers demand.

Practical Experience Requirement

To qualify as an ACCA member, the candidate must complete a minimum of 36 months of relevant work experience and achieve 9 performance objectives. A practical experience supervisor must sign off the candidate’s time in a relevant role and performance objectives.

Why should you pursue ACCA?

Becoming a member of the ACCA and a chartered accountant has tremendous benefits. ACCA certification is a gold standard in accountancy that rewards you with  global exposure and a competitive salary package.

Here are some great reasons to pursue the course for ACCA:

  • A great alternative to CA
  • You stand out from the crowds
  • You gain the potential to earn more
  • You get to be a part of a niche community

Potential job roles after ACCA qualification

  • Management accountant
  • Financial accountant
  • Credit controller
  • Finance manager
  • Tax specialist