What do you think is common between CA, CIMA, ACCA, AAC and AAT? These aforementioned terms are some of the top accounting certificates in the world. Today, we will discuss ACCA and the various qualifications it offers.
What is ACCA?
ACCA is referred to as the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants, and is a professional accountancy body, headquartered in the UK. It is known to be one of the most prominent accountancy organizations across the world, and it boasts around 200,000 members and over 500,000 enrolled students. Being ACCA certified has its own set of advantages such as:
- Being a part of one of the top accountancy bodies worldwide: having an ACCA certification puts you into an elite group of 200,000 odd people across the world. It also shows your existing and prospective employers that you have the highest possible ethical and professional standards.
- Opens doors to prospects worldwide: possessing the ACCA qualification will give you opportunities to work in organizations across the world. In addition, it also helps you to honing your existing skills and developing new skills.
- Displays your integrity: In order to obtain your ACCA qualification, passing the Ethics module is mandatory. This is because ethics is a key aspect of the entire ACCA methodology, and it will prevent people from questioning your integrity in your future career.
- Get support throughout your professional career: being ACCA certified gives you access to excellent professional advice, forums and top-notch resources. Also, the ACCA body might help you in finding a job as per your profile.
Exams in the ACCA certification
There are four ACCA levels that are explained below in detail:
- Applied Knowledge: this stage gives students an introduction into the world of accounting and finance, and gives them a comprehensive understanding of crucial accounting techniques. There are three units in this module, namely Accountant in Business (AB), Management Accounting (MA) and Financial Accounting (FA).
- Applied Skills: this module helps increase your knowledge of practical finance and it consists of units such as Corporate and Business Law (LW), Performance Management (PM), Financial Reporting (FR), Taxation (TX), Financial Management (FM) and Audit and Assurance (AA).
- Strategic Professional: this stage of the ACCA exam teaches students essential skills and knowledge that they will require in their future careers as professional accountants. This exam comprises compulsory and optional units. Strategic Business Leader (SBL) and Strategic Business Reporting (SBR) are the compulsory modules, while Advanced Financial Management (AFM), Advanced Performance Management (APM), Advanced Audit and Assurance (AAA) and Advanced Taxation (ATX).
- Ethics and Professional Skills: this module equips students with professional and ethical skills that will be of great help to them in their professional careers and encompasses units like Ethics and Professionalism, Personal Effectiveness, Innovation, Commercial awareness, Leadership and teamwork and Communication skills.
Types of ACCA qualifications
When you are working your way to obtaining ACCA membership, there are a number of qualifications you can acquire throughout your journey. Take a look at some of these qualifications:
ACCA Diploma in Accounting and Business (RQF Level 4): you can earn this qualification upon completion of the Applied Knowledge module and the online module of Foundations in Professionalism. By the time you earn this qualification, you should have an understanding of:
- The importance of accounting in business and the ideologies of team management within an ethical framework;
- Preparing accounting systems and management reports;
- Organizing accounting information and preparing key external financial reports for regulatory purposes.
ACCA Diploma in Financial and Management Accounting (RQF Level 3): In order to obtain this qualification, you have to complete and pass additional modules that include Managing Costs and Finance and Maintaining Financial Records.
Other from these, completing the Foundations in Professionalism module is also mandatory. At this level, you should be able to process key cost and financial accounting information in the requested format and comply with the legal requirements.
ACCA Certificate in Taxation (RQF Level 4): this qualification can be earned by successfully completing the Taxation unit from the Applied Skills module, the Advanced Taxation unit from the Strategic Professional module and the Foundations in Professionalism module. Obtaining this certificate is suitable for those who are interested in specializing in taxation or those who want to add it as a skill while pursuing a broader accounting qualification. Upon earning this qualification, you should be able to prepare and analyze critical taxation calculations and comprehend knowledge in the entire taxation domain.
ACCA Certificate in Audit (RQF Level 4): If you want to earn this qualification, you have to pass the Foundations in Audit exam and the Foundations in Professionalism module. Upon passing this exam, you should be able to understand:
- The purpose and nature of an audit;
- The responsibilities of auditors and the rules they must adhere to;
- The method of auditing financial statements;
- How to find audit evidence and prepare the subsequent audit report.
ACCA Certificate in Financial Management (RQF Level 4): this qualification can be earned upon successfully completing the Financial Management unit from the Applied Skills module, the Advanced Financial Management unit from the Strategic Professional module and the Foundations in Professionalism module. At this stage, you should be able to manage cash flow in the short-run and the long-run, control working capital and handle trade credit in a manner that helps in efficient cash flow in the organization.
BSc (Hons) degree in Applied Accounting: ACCA in collaboration with Oxford Brookes University gives students an opportunity to earn a BSc (Hons) Degree in Applied Accounting. In order to obtain this degree, you need to earn the ACCA qualification, pass the Ethics and Professional Skills module and successfully complete the Oxford Brookes University Research and Analysis Project.
MSc in Professional Accountancy: ACCA is the first professional accountancy body in the world that allows its students to earn an integrated master’s qualification, which is awarded by the University of London. You can apply for this degree if you have completed your ACCA qualification or are a current ACCA student.
If earning any of these qualifications inspires you to study ACCA, the Toronto School of Management offers a preparatory program for the ACCA examination.