What is an ACCA Qualification?

ACCA is an acronym that stands for the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants who are the international body that oversees professional accountants.

They offer the Chartered Certified Accountant qualification, often referred to as the ACCA qualification, to accountants all over the world.

With over 150,000 members and nearly half a million students, the ACCA qualification is regarded as the fastest growing diploma in the world with a worldwide professional network and around 8,500 Approved Employers. 

What Does the Qualification Mean?

The majority of local, national and international accountancy firms will expect their potential employees to either have or be studying for the ACCA certificate.

The qualification comprehensively covers all area of business from finance to accounting and also teaches organisational management, industry ethics and financial strategy to its members. You can see ACCAs on this page here and they outline where you can go once you have it as well as some of the opportunities open to you upon completion.

Companies look for prospective workers who have the qualification as it reflects a pool of people who have demonstrated strategic thinking with excellent communication and people skills.

Although there are other business and accountancy qualifications out there, ACCA has the biggest scope and prestige worldwide. With members in 170 countries and global recognition from multinational bodies, accounting giants, UN governments and corporate banks, the qualification is highly commendable.

The Syllabus

The ACCA qualification is based on in international accounting and auditing standards, compliant with IFAC standards.

There are 14 examinations that make up the ACCA syllabus which are divided into two levels – fundamentals and professional.  The modules in each section are:


F1 – Accountant in Businesss (AB)

F2 – Management Accounting (MA)

F3 – Financial Accounting (FA)

F4 – Corporate and Business Law (CL)

F5 – Performance Management (PM)

F6 – Taxation (TX)

F7 – Financial Reporting (FR)

F8 – Audit and Assurance (AA)

F9 – Financial Management (FM)

P1 – Governance, Risks and Ethics

P2 – Corporate Reporting (CR)

P3 – Business Analysis (BA)

P4 – Advanced Financial Management (AFM)

P5 – Advanced Performance Management (APM)

P6 – Advanced Taxation (ATX)

P7 – Advanced Audit and Assurance (AAA)

*P4 – P7 – only two out of the four must be completed.

There is also an ethics module which must be completed. Thus underpins your exams and dictates your overall credibility as an account. It involves a further 13 modules which must be completed before the final qualification can be awarded.

What is Required?

To finally achieve the ACCA, you must have three years’ relevant work experience in the business field, along with passing the 14 written exams in English. The exams are not just plain theory tests as practical case studies relating to the topic are also involved.

In terms of costs, the ACCA qualification requires a level of commitment financially. An initial subscription fee of £77 is required, along with an annual subscription of £77 every January 1st.

For the exams themselves, the table below details the current standard costs (correct as of June 2013).

Exam Entry Fees

Exam Level

Exam Fee

F1 – F3


F4 – F9


P1 –P3


P4 – P7


Entry for all the exams is available all year round. There are closing dates for each entry, where reduced early fees are available. Late entry is more expensive however. Look on the ACCA site for how to register yourself and find further details of closing dates.

Adam Hughes is a finance graduate and writer, working with many online and offline media outlets helping people get the most of their money, as well as advising on financial qualifications.

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