What is ACCA and its role in the accounting industry?
The Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) is the global professional accounting body, setting the highest professional and ethical standards for accountants worldwide. Founded in 1904 in the United Kingdom, it was established to open up opportunities to anyone of talent and ability to become a qualified accountant. Currently, ACCA is a global association with 219,000 members and 527,000 students supporting economic growth in 179 countries.
ACCA sees its mission in providing access to the profession and equal opportunities to people wherever they are in the world, allowing them to grow, develop their skillset and reach a new level of qualification. They also develop and support the highest professional and ethical standards for accountants.
In a number of markets, including the UK and the European Union, ACCA has the legal authority to licence and regulate its members to work in a number of regulated areas, including public practice. In other countries, ACCA qualification is recognized as an equivalent to their local qualification.
What are the benefits of ACCA qualification?
ACCA is accepted all over the world and based on international standards in accounting and finance management. Earning this qualification will enable you to do the following:
• Become part of the ACCA family
With ACCA membership you’ll get access to a variety of resources, which can be helpful during your studies as well as your professional life. There are also numerous opportunities for developing your skills, establishing connections within the industry, finding employment through the global network.
• Advance career
An ACCA qualification can improve your employment prospects and open doors to better positions, including those in senior management. The qualification will raise your status in the eyes of the employer and also your clients, will help you build more trust and professional credibility.
• Develop skills
The qualification will help broaden your perspective and obtain not only expert knowledge of accounting and finance but also acquire skills in organizational management and strategy. With ACCA qualification, you will be able to work in any aspect of finance or management in any business.
• Enhance credentials
ACCA professional qualification is widely recognized in the world of finance and business and is an equivalent of a university degree. In Canada, you can become a Chartered Certified Accountant (CPA) after obtaining the ACCA.
How to get an ACCA qualification?
The candidates’ journey towards receiving ACCA qualification may differ depending on their starting point – the level of education in finance they already have. To qualify for ACCA, you’ll need to take a maximum of 13 professional exams, with a maximum of nine exemptions depending on your prior qualification. You will also need to complete an Ethics and Professional Skills module from ACCA. Lastly, you’ll need to prove at least three years of practical work experience in a relevant role.
In order to become an ACCA, it is necessary to pass 13 examinations. The exams should be taken in the following order: Applied Knowledge > Applied Skills > Strategic Professional (Essentials + Options). We provide a detailed description of the exams below.
While getting ready for the exams, you can either enrol in course, refer to textbooks or use online resources. Free study materials for the ACCA Qualification are available on their official website and through student membership.
The exams are held four times a year – in March, June, September and December – and at each sitting you can attempt a maximum of four exams at each session or no exams at all. Normally, it takes two-three years to pass them all. However, you can even take up to a maximum of 10 years to complete all the required exams. Exams are held throughout the world, at the designated test centers.
To pursue the ACCA qualification, you will need to complete the following exams:
1.Applied Knowledge Exams
If you meet the requirements for ACCA exam registration, you will start with Applied Knowledge Exams. They offer an introduction to the field of finance and accounting with a general understanding of accounting in the modern world. The exams for these modules can be taken at a test centre certified to deliver them as per the established standards. Applied Knowledge Exams consist of the following modules:
• Accounting in Business
• Management Accounting
• Financial Accounting
These are on-demand computer-based exams that can be taken individually at authorized ACCA test centres, such as Ashton Testing Services, located in Vancouver and Abbotsford, BC. For ACCA exams registration you’ll need to proceed to the test centre website directly and book each of the exams at your convenience. ACCA exam fees must be paid for each exam you enter.
2. Applied Skills Exams
The next step to ACCA qualification is Applied Skills Exams. They build on existing knowledge and understanding to develop strong, broad and practical finance qualifications required by professional accountants.
• Corporate and Business Law
• Performance Management
• Financial Reporting
• Audit and Assurance
• Financial Management
This set of exams is offered in sessions. To register and pay the ACCA exam fees, you will need to go to ACCA global website and create an account. You will be allowed to select a suitable test centre located close to you. You will also be given a number of session options to choose from.
3. Strategic Professional
The highest level of ACCA exams is Strategic Professional, which are comprised of Essentials and Optional exams.
• Strategic Business Leader
• Strategic Business Reporting
• Advanced Financial Management
• Advanced Performance Management
• Advanced Taxation
• Advanced Audit and Assurance
Strategic Professional Exams also come in a package and can be taken only after completing the previous step and clearing the Applied Skills Exams.
If your goal is to take your career in accounting and finance to the next level, consider obtaining the ACCA professional qualification. Ashton Testing Services will be glad to help you take the computerized exams on your journey to professional success.