Association of Chartered Certified Accountants
ACCA stands for ‘Association of Chartered Certified Accountants’, a global body of successful professionals in the finance and accounting field. The organization has over half a million members and students in 170 countries around the world, and it only continues to grow.
Professionals with an ACCA qualification are highly sought-after by employers because the certificate represents integrity, business acumen, and financial knowledge – all of which are valuable traits for any company. It is also recognized by the European Union and the United Nations, so this certificate can help you travel all over the world.
To join their ranks, you need to take a series of computer based exams which prove you have a deep understanding of the accounting sector. The thirteen papers cover a range of topics, from business ethics and the law to technical subjects like auditing and financial reporting. They are split into four main areas: Knowledge, Skills, Essentials, and Options.
You can also study other subjects alongside your ACCA certificate. Many institutions who offer ACCA also allow you to combine it with a BSc or MSc in a similar subject, giving you a dual qualification at the end of your studies.
The exams are known to be tricky and most people do it in under three years. With the right tutors and a focused mind, you can do it even quicker.
Once you’ve qualified, you’ll also gain a network of other accountancy professionals who can offer you support and advice throughout your studies and career, as well as forums and resources to help you progress.
An ACCA certificate is a fantastic asset to have on your Resume, and can open the door to a flourishing career in accountancy.
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The minimum entry qualification to start ACCA is if you are after G.C.E O/Ls or G.C.E A/Ls, then you can start from stage 1. Your age should be more than 16 years to study ACCA. If you have already completed another qualification, then you are eligible to get exemptions.
There are five categories of fees that a student has to pay while pursuing the course.
Course fees: Students will have to pay the course fees to get the tutoring, learning materials and the support from Achievers
Registration fees: New students pay a one-time registration fee. Note: The ACCA subscription year runs from 1st January until 31st December.
Subscription fees: To study ACCA, you need to pay an annual subscription which is due on 1 January each year.
Exam Fees: The student has to pay exam fees for every examination.
Exemption fees: If a candidate is entitled to any exemptions he/she needs to pay exemption fee per paper being exempted. It is usually equivalent to the exam fees of the corresponding paper
Individuals who pursue an ACCA (Association of Chartered Certified Accountants) qualification will mostly share the same responsibilities as a CA(SL). There are many similarities between the curriculum of ACCA and CA(SL). The single most important difference between them is that a CA(SL) is a local qualification, whereas ACCA is an international qualification, or a global professional degree. ACCA’s headquarters are in London.
Following completion of up to 13 professional examinations, three years of supervised, relevant accountancy experience and a professional ethics module, it enables an individual to become a Chartered Certified Accountant.
Affiliate – For ACCA affiliates to gain admission to full membership, they must demonstrate, on the application form, that they have obtained a minimum of three years of acceptable, supervised, practical experience in an accountancy role (or roles) and have reached the required standard of competence.
Fellowship – Fellowship, or senior membership of ACCA, is awarded automatically based on 5 years’ continuous membership, subject to compliance. Fellow members of ACCA use the designatory letters FCCA in place of ACCA.
In conclusion, there is no way to say one qualification is better than the other. As noted above, they have similar responsibilities, with the odd exclusion and differences in the body of regulation. The correct question would be to ask yourself where you see your career going and which qualification will best help you get there.
While both qualifications have a slight difference in focus (finance vs strategy), accreditations in either ACCA or CIMA are still highly respected across a variety of organisations. The costs to take the exams are both similar, though the choice of which qualification you choose is probably centred around your ambitions and long-term career plans.
Although there are differences between the two, from a logistical standpoint, both share similarities. ACCA and CIMA will take a similar amount of time and cost to complete the exams, though this will entirely depend on how you choose to study, alongside any additional resit or training costs.
Both qualifications also feature an accessible route to study, with foundation/entry level qualifications available. If you have little or no previous accountancy or education experience, the CIMA Certificate in Business Accounting and ACCA Foundations in Accountancy offer progressive routes towards their respective full qualifications.
Alternatively, if you have a relevant degree qualification, both ACCA and CIMA provide exemptions towards papers on their respective qualifications, which will help you save time and money.
- If you have completed all 3 stages of AAT Sri Lanka then you can get the exemptions for the stage 1 of ACCA & Financial Reporting (FR) subject from stage 2 of ACCA (4 subjects exempted) and the exemptions fee is waived off as well but if you want to do Bsc (Hons) Degree offered by Oxford Brookes University then you need to sit for FR paper by removing the exemption for that subject.
- If you have completed 2 stages of AAT then you will get 2 subject exemptions in ACCA stage 1 which are Business & Technology (BT) and Financial Accounting (FA).
- If you have completed 1 stage of AAT then you will get 1 subject exemption in ACCA stage 1 which is Financial Accounting (FA).