The ACCA qualification can potentially advance you into the exciting world of finance and management accounting. But even chartered certified accountants have to start somewhere.
In this article, we will provide you with the minimum entry requirements for various levels of the ACCA professional qualification. Whether you starting from scratch or want recognition for previous qualifications, you can find what you need here.
Firstly, ACCA provides students with different potential entry points into the ACCA examinations because they acknowledge previous studies.
How Long Will it Take me to Complete the ACCA Qualification?
Depending on the entry point, it can take anywhere from 3 years to 10 years to complete.
You can select the entry point that applies to you by clicking on the heading from the Article Contents in the left tab of this article.
No Previous Finance and Accountancy Studies
This section is for you if you are starting your career. You need to acquire foundational level technical and business skills. The qualifications on this level are designed as stepping stones to the ACCA professional qualification and professional membership with the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants.
The exams are written online in March, June, September and December. Booking your exams takes place via the ACCA online portal:
The FIA qualifications are presented in English so there must be a reasonable competency in written English as well as an ability to work with numbers.
Finally, the Ethics and Professional Skills Module is compulsory, along with all applicable exams.
ACCA Qualification - Applied Knowledge Level
- Minimum requirements
- Foundations in Accountancy qualification (RQF Level 3) or;
- A combination of GCSE, AS, A subjects on different grade levels
This level has three exams:
- Business and Technology
- Management Accounting
- Financial Accounting
On completion of the exams you will be awarded the ACCA Diploma in Accounting and Business (RQF Level 4). This will give you access to the Applied Skills Level, discussed below.
ACCA Qualification - Applied Skills Level
- Minimum requirements
- Foundations in Accountancy qualification (RQF Level 4) or;
- Applied knowledge exams or;
- Finance and Accountancy formal qualifications at a recognised institution or;
- ACCA fully accredited university degree
There are six Applied Skills exams:
- Corporate and Business Law
- Performance Management
- Financial Reporting
- Audit and Assurance
- Financial Management
ACCA qualification - Strategic Professional Level
- Minimum requirements
- Applied Skills Level exams and;
- ACCA fully accredited university degree or an ACCA approved institution
The professional examination route at this level requires you to write 4 exams, 1 Ethics and Professional Skill Module and have 3 years practical work experience.
ACCA papers on this level are:
- 2 compulsory modules which include Strategic Business Leader and Strategic Business Reporting.
- 2 further courses that suit your career path from Advanced Financial Management; Advanced Performance Management; Advanced Taxation; or Advanced Audit and Assurance.
More about Exemptions for Previous Studies
Depending on the degree that you hold, you can receive exam exemptions from ACCA. Please check your entry point with the ACCA Exemption Calculator
They will advise you on the correct entry point according to your previous qualifications and the institution you studied at. If you have studied in a country other than the UK but now reside in the United Kingdom, Scotland or Wales, contact an ACCA programme advisor for help.
ACCA Membership - the Final Objective
It will take you a few years, but finally, you will have successfully completed all ACCA levels. You will be a full member of the ACCA association and can use the letter ‘ACCA’ after your name.
- Achieving Fellowship
When you have been a member of ACCA and completed the CPD courses for 5 years, you will be awarded the title of ‘Fellow.’ This shows employers that you have committed yourself to extensive study and gaining experience in the business world.
Further Qualifications Alongside an ACCA Qualification
When you’ve completed an ACCA qualification, you will have access to a BSc from Oxford Brookes University or an MSc from the University of London. This will further enhance your career prospects and put you on the map internationally as a sought-after Chartered Certified Accountant.
Bad Learning Provider Choices Will Cost You Time and Money
So you’ve understood where you can enter the ACCA qualification, but can we take a moment to talk seriously?
Gaining this qualification is going to cost you time and money. It’s also going to have an impact on your personal life. Chances are you want to complete it in the shortest time possible.
Honestly, we could all do without the additional stress of changing learning providers because they can’t provide what you need. Rather make sure you don’t need to do that from the start of your studies.
So, can we just help you get on the right track now?
VIVA received a Global Pass Rate Excellance Award in 2020 and since then we’ve gone from strength to strength.
We’ve taken our unique formula of delivering premium CIMA tuition to tens of thousands of students at a fraction of the cost of traditional providers, and are bringing that model to the ACCA space. Our track record speaks for itself and with our interactive learning material, top notch tutors and realistic exam scenarios, there is little doubt that we have worked out what it takes to turn you into a Certified Chartered Accountant.
You’ve got your dreams, you’ve got some time (but not forever!) and we have the strategy to get you there - fast!
Join our community today by registering for free and receiving instant access to our ACCA Subject by Subject Pass Guide. And as we roll out our ACCA online courses throughout 2023, you will receive the best Early Bird offers.