Founded in 1904, the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) is the global professional accounting body offering the Chartered Certified Accountant qualification (ACCA or FCCA). ACCA’s headquarters are in London with principal administrative office in Glasgow. ACCA works through a network of over 104 offices and centres in 52 countries – with 323 Approved Learning Partners (ALP) and more than 7,300 Approved Employers worldwide, who provide employee development.
The term ‘Chartered’ in ACCA qualification refers to the Royal Charter granted in 1974.
‘Chartered Certified Accountant’ is a legally protected term. Individuals who describe themselves as Chartered Certified Accountants must be members of ACCA and if they carry out public practice engagements, must comply with additional regulations such as holding a practising certificate, carrying liability insurance and submitting to inspections.
The Association of Authorised Public Accountants (AAPA), one of the British professional bodies for public accountants, has been a subsidiary of ACCA since 1996.
ACCA works in the public interest, assuring that its members are appropriately regulated. It promotes principles-based regulation. ACCA actively seeks to enhance the value of accounting in society through international research. It takes progressive stances on global issues to ensure accountancy as a profession continues to grow in reputation and influence.
ACCA offers the following certifications:
Chartered Certified Accountant (ACCA)
Chartered Certified Accountant is the professional body’s main qualification. Following completion of up to 13 professional examinations, three years of supervised, relevant accountancy experience and an ethics module, it enables an individual to become a Chartered Certified Accountant. The ACCA professional examinations are offered worldwide four times yearly in March, June, September and December as paper-based exams. Computer-based exams are also offered for the first four exams (AB, MA, FA & LW) which are available to take at ACCA licensed exam centres throughout the year. A Bachelor of Science (Honours) degree in Applied Accounting (after completing the Fundamentals level of the exams, the Ethics and Professional Skills module and submitting a Research and Analysis project), is offered in association with Oxford Brookes University.
From September 2018 onward, the syllabus comprises 13 examinations and an Ethics and Professional Skills module, although some exemptions are available. The qualification is structured in three modules, plus an Ethics and Professional Skills module and a Professional Experience Requirement (PER).
The Applied Knowledge level consists of 3 examinations:
- AB – Accountant in Business
- MA – Management Accounting
- FA – Financial Accounting
The Applied Skills level consists of 6 examinations:
- LW – Corporate and Business Law
- PM – Performance Management
- TX – Taxation
- FR – Financial Reporting
- AA – Audit and Assurance
- FM – Financial Management
The Strategic Professional level involves 4 examinations: 2 from Essential and any 2 from Options.
Essential (or Compulsory):
- SBR – Strategic Business Reporting
- SBL – Strategic Business Leader
- AFM – Advanced Financial Management
- APM – Advanced Performance Management
- ATX – Advanced Taxation
- AAA – Advanced Audit and Assurance
Foundation-level qualifications – Foundations in Accountancy (FIA)
ACCA offers a range of foundation-level certificates and diplomas – collectively referred to as Foundations in Accountancy (FIA)- which provide an entry point for anyone new to accounting and finance and who doesn’t meet the minimum entry requirements for the ACCA Qualification (which is three GCSEs and 2 A Levels or equivalent, in five separate subjects). Students can start at any level within the Foundation level, but it is recommended that students without any formal academic qualifications start with the Introductory Diploma in Financial and Management Accounting and complete exams Recording Financial Transactions (FA1) and Management Information (MA1); then progress to the Intermediate Diploma in Financial and Management Accounting and complete exams Maintaining Financial Records (FA2) and Managing Costs and Finance (MA2); before progressing to the Diploma in Accounting and Business and completing Accountant in Business (FAB), Management Accounting (FMA) and Financial Accounting (FFA). Students can use the Foundation-level awards as an entry route onto the ACCA Qualification. Students who complete the Diploma in Accounting and Business will be given exemption from the first three exams of the ACCA Qualification (AB, MA and FA) and can start their studies on the ACCA Qualification with Corporate and Business Law (LW).
In order to achieve a certificate for the exams completed students must also complete a foundation ethics module called Foundations in Professionalism, but this only has to be completed once, even if a student wishes to achieve both certificates and the diploma.
The Foundation-level exams are available as paper-based exams held in March, June, September and December or as on-demand computer-based exams throughout the year at ACCA licensed exam centres.