ACCA or the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants is a professional accountancy organization in the UK, which has approximately 500,000 students and 200,000 members worldwide. The ACCA course is important for a variety of reasons, however in this blog we are going to focus on the advantages offered by enrolling in ACCA.
Benefits of being an ACCA member
- Become part of a professional accountancy body well-known for its high standards of ethics, integrity, professionalism and accountability;
- Freedom to work anywhere across the world due to ACCA’s reputation;
- Greater career progression and opportunities to earn higher salary packages;
- Work in any sector of your choice such as financial services, business, public and the corporate world;
- Get access to:
- Quality research and technical materials;
- Job advertisements posted by top employers;
- Audit and accounting standards;
- Online learning opportunities;
- Latest technical updates;
- Further accountancy qualifications from respectable partners (this is further explained in the sections below).
Perks of ACCA — Oxford Brookes University
As mentioned earlier, ACCA members can pursue further accountancy qualifications from academic partners. Since 2001, Oxford Brookes University and ACCA have collaborated to design a BSc (Hons) Degree in Applied Accounting, specifically for ACCA students.
Obtaining a degree alongside your professional qualification shows employers that you are ambitious and savvy enough to get two qualifications at once and that you have a desire and ability to work. Oxford Brookes University started off as an art school and over time has evolved into a business school that focuses on career fulfilment and personal growth.
This BSc program in applied accounting helps prepare students for careers as professional accountants and to provide them with skills and knowledge that will allow them to make greater contributions to organizations and society as a whole. The program achieves this by incorporating the ACCA syllabus into an academic setting. The procedure to gain admission into this program is simple:
- Registering with Oxford Brookes University for the BSc degree scheme before attempting any of ACCA’s papers;
- Possessing a recognized English language qualification certificate that has been approved by ACCA before attempting any of the following ACCA papers:
- Financial Reporting (FR);
- Audit and Assurance (AA);
- Financial Management (FM).
Furthermore, the degree must be completed within 10 years of taking your first ACCA examination.
In order to earn the degree, you must meet certain requirements, which include:
- Passing the FR, AA and FM exams and completing the remaining Applied Knowledge and Applied Skills exams by exemption or by taking them;
- Successfully complete the ACCA Ethics and Professional Skills module;
- Submit the Oxford Brookes University Research and Analysis Project (RAP)
This research and analysis project (RAP) takes approximately four-six months to complete and consists of two separate documents — a 2,000-word Skills and Learning Statement (SLS) and a 7,500-word Research Report (RR).
In the RR, students can be given one of three pass grades (A, B or C) or a fail grade (F). On the other hand, students can be either given a pass or a fail grade in the SLS. If you score either A, B or C in the RR and pass the SLS, then you will be awarded a pass in the RAP. Whatever score you receive for the RR would be your overall score for the RAP. Students have to choose one topic from 20 options on which they have to prepare the RR, which can be viewed here (the RAP assignment brief section). For the SLS section, students have to answer the following:
- Reflect on what you have learnt from the meetings with your mentor including the presentation that you gave to your mentor.
- To what extent do you think you have achieved the RAP research objectives you set?
- How have you demonstrated your interpersonal and communication skills during the project work?
- Reflect on how undertaking the RAP helped you in your accountancy studies and/or current employment role?
In order to receive this degree, students have to pay £380 as a project submission fee to Oxford Brookes University, as well as paying the ACCA membership fee. This is an excellent way for ACCA students to earn an additional degree without paying huge amounts of tuition fees.
University of London
ACCA also works with the University of London to provide ACCA members, students and affiliates with an MSc in Professional Accountancy. There are three routes to gain admission into this master’s degree which include:
- Students: in order to gain admission onto this course, students must have passed all Applied Skills and Strategic Professional Essentials exams.
- Affiliates and Members: complete the Strategic Financial Project and the Global Issues for Finance Professional module to obtain this degree.
This program is accessible through distance learning and teaching centres that are located worldwide; the duration is between six months to five years depending on your speed. The course mainly covers strategic financial issues that will help students understand methodologies and skills related to risk management and strategic management accounting. Take a look at the modules present in this program’s syllabus:
- Strategic Financial Management (PAM004): this module aims to provide students with information related to the importance of company financial officers, strategic financial issues, finance-related activities and finance-related decision-making, thus combining the principles of business strategy with financial management. Some of the topics present in this module include:
- Investment Appraisal;
- Stock Exchanges;
- Corporate Bonds;
- Financial Derivatives
- Strategic Performance Management (PAM005): this module helps students understand methodologies and issues associated with strategic management accounting, information management, performance management and financial risk evaluation. Take a look at some of the topics in this module:
- Managing Quality;
- Understanding Behaviour and Performance;
- Using IT as a Resource;
- Budget Management.
- Strategic Financial Project (PAM006): this is a capstone project which consists of developing business skills and how these skills can be applied to real world finance or accounting issues. Another aspect of this project involves recognizing and analyzing information related to business challenges and coming up with alternative solutions for these challenges.
- Global Issues for the Finance Professional (PAM100): this module teaches students about the global conditions in which accounting and finance models are applied and it includes topics like:
- Financial Risk Management;
- Global Acquisitions and Mergers;
- International Harmonization of Accounting Standards.
Earning this MSc in Professional Accounting will help students combine their ACCA qualification with a top-quality academic degree, which will help them in furthering their careers. Moreover, this is the only master’s degree that has ACCA recognition, thus providing ACCA students with another perk, and enabling them to stand out from their competition.
If you are interested in accountancy or finance and want to receive these perks, the Toronto School of Management (TSoM) offers an introductory program to the ACCA examination.