An ACCA qualification is one of the most reputed ones in the world. A major reason for this is that ACCA (Association of Chartered Certified Accountants) qualified professionals are globally recognised. People who plan to become ACCA-qualified professionals might have doubts about its exemptions and rules. This blog will help you understand the various exemptions by breaking them down into separate modules.
What is an Exemption in ACCA?
Students often opt for ACCA exemptions when they already have certain qualifications. In this case, you might not have to take all the exams included in the ACCA curriculum. These exams, that you do not need to sit, are called “ACCA exemptions” and they allow you to start your studies at the appropriate level of your skill and technical knowledge. If you want to complete the Certified Accounting Technician (CAT) qualification and have prior practical experience, you can opt for exemptions.
Which Exemptions are Available?
Exemptions allow you to start your journey to becoming ACCA qualified from a level that is in line with the skills and knowledge you have already acquired. It should be noted, however, that exemptions are not awarded across all ACCA papers.
Depending on your prior qualifications, exemptions can be awarded across certain ACCA qualification exams, including the Foundations Level exam and various Knowledge and Applied Skills exams too.
Exemptions are not awarded in Strategic Professional exams or for any of the exams or modules that are a part of post professional qualifications. Work experience also does not count.
List of Qualifications Eligible for ACCA Exemptions:
- Certificates and Diplomas
- Foundation Degrees
- Bachelor Degrees
- Post-graduate Degrees
- Professional Qualifications
You can claim exemptions with the above qualifications, but only if you have acquired them from a recognized institute.
What are the Benefits of Exemptions in ACCA?
Whether an exemption will be beneficial for you or not depends on your prior qualifications. For example, if you achieved a qualification over a year ago but have not worked in the relevant field after that, opting for exemptions may not be a good idea. On the other hand, if you have just achieved a relevant qualification and have recent experience in that sector, you do not need to appear for the same ACCA papers again.
How to Apply for ACCA Exemptions?
Exemption applications should be submitted when you start your ACCA registration as a student. If you achieve relevant qualifications after you register, you can apply for the exemptions at any time. In order to claim ACCA exemptions you should follow these steps:
- Step 1: Determine what exemptions you can claim. This can be checked using the exemption calculator available online or on ACCA’s website.
- Step 2: Once you have confirmed the exemptions you can apply for, send the official proof of your qualification along with the registration form to ACCA. The official proof can include award certificates or academic transcripts.
You should bear in mind that: ACCA does not accept online printouts as official proof of qualifications. The official proof documents should be attested by the awarding institute.
Also, remember that ACCA awards exemptions are only awarded if your qualification is from an institute recognized by your local Ministry of Education.
How much is the Fee for ACCA exemptions?
- Exemptions can only be availed if you pay the exemption fee for each of the ACCA papers that you are awarded an exemption for.
- The exemption fee for each paper is the same as the early entry fee for that examination.
- Exemption fees should be paid before the deadline.
FAQs about Exemptions in ACCA
- What is a conditional exemption?
ACCA offers conditional exemptions to students who are studying an assessed course parallel to the ACCA course and will graduate at a later date. However, if you opt for these exemptions you need to submit valid documentary proof that supports your claim of successfully passing an exam. If the documentary proof you submit is valid as per ACCA standards, the conditional exemptions will convert to actual exemptions.
- What if there is an error in the exemptions awarded by ACCA?
The chances of this happening are slim, since ACCA employs a system of detailed checks while assessing exemption applications. However, in case you have been awarded an exemption as result of an error, ACCA reserves the right to withdraw it within 14 days of awarding the exemption. You will be notified as soon as an exemption has been withdrawn.
- What is the objective of ACCA for awarding exemptions?
The route to becoming ACCA qualified relatively is time-consuming. Exemptions are awarded keep this in mind, so you start from a point where your prior knowledge and qualifications are taken into consideration. Moreover, it helps students with prior qualifications to complete their course in less time.
- When can I pay for my exemptions?
Ensure that you pay the exemption fees only after they have been awarded to you. ACCA will issue a notification and invoice upon awarding the exemptions. Make sure you keep a track of the ‘my ACCA section’ on ACCA’s website to avoid the risk of missing the notification. You should also make sure to pay the exemption fees as soon as you receive the notification.
- Why does ACCA charge exemption fees?
ACCA charges exemption fees in order to cover the administration costs.
- Should I claim all exemptions that I am entitled to?
If significant time has passed since you received a qualification and feel that you have lost touch with the subject, you can consider forfeiting a particular exemption. You could also opt out of an exemption if you are not comfortable with a subject that you have recently achieved a qualification for. Alternatively, you can take additional courses to help you become more familiar with subjects you have a qualification in.
- What is an assessed programme?
The educational programmes fully assessed by the ACCA are called assessed programmes. ACCA evaluates the regulations, syllabus and assessments of an institute’s programmes to determine whether an exemption can be awarded based on that.
- Can I apply for exemptions if I have not completed my degree?
If you are yet to complete degree but intend to, then you should wait before applying for exemptions. This is to ensure that you do not have to sit certain ACCA papers that you might already be qualified for after the completion of your degree.
You need to be quite dedicated in order to become an ACCA qualified professional and preparatory course from a recognized institute are therefore recommended. One of the prime institutions to offer quality education to ACCA aspirants is the Toronto School of Management (TSoM). They offer a Preparatory Course for ACCA Examination to help you carve your way to an ACCA membership. Sign up today and start your journey towards becoming one of the most respected professions in the world.