Understanding ACCA in Global Context

October 03, 2021
Last updated August 03, 2022

Today the world functions within a globally interconnected economy. ACCA, a global qualification, is created to meet the financing needs of such an interconnected economic system we function within today.

The ACCA stands for the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants. It is an association that is more than 100 years old and has more than 200,000 members and 500,000 students across 179 countries. It originated from the UK and was established in 1904. To date, ACCA has about 527 thousand members.

While studying ACCA, one can be assured of the quality in the entire process of becoming a member. The materials taught by the institutions are of the highest standards, and so are the faculties, which are often approved by the global ACCA body.

ACCA is a brilliantly flexible course. Students can choose whether they want to study full time or fit their studies around work. Students have the option to study on their own, with one of the many approved learning partners, face to face with tutors, or choose a mix of all three.

Studying ACCA means that individual professionals become part of a global network. Once they become an ACCA member, these professionals get access to thousands of finance professionals through the network platforms that promise invaluable Connections and potential mentoring opportunities.

ACCA-trained professionals are valued around the world for their strategic thinking, technical skills, and professional values. Job opportunities lie mainly within finance, but a wide range of scope is available to ACCA-certified professionals in audit, taxation, consulting, and many more. There are multiple sectors around and beyond these traditional ones that are open to ACCA professionals.

Employers actively seek out ACCA graduates as they meet the demands of this highly interconnected economic world. Since it has been around for more than 100 years, employers trust ACCA to deliver skilled professionals. The association is also linked with over 7400 employers worldwide and has a career portal and a job board with thousands of vacancies waiting to be filled.

The ACCA qualification comprises three stages of exams, an ethics and professional skills module, and a professional experience requirement. The first stage of exams is the Applied Knowledge exams. Applied Knowledge provides a great introduction to the world of finance and accounting. These modules provide you with a broad understanding of essential accounting techniques. Applied Knowledge contains three papers that can be given in any order. All of the exams at the Applied knowledge stage are computer-based and can be sat on demands. That means you can sit the exams at a time and place that suits you best. The exams are two hours long, and you must score at least 50% to pass. The next stage of the ACCA qualification is the Applied Skills exams. The Applied Skills Exams build on your existing knowledge and understanding and help you develop solid and broad technical skills alongside the professional and strategic skills valued in any sector industry. There are six applied skills exams, and they can be taken in any order. Many students start the applied skills level by completing corporate and business law.

This module is examined by a computer-based assessment and follows a similar pattern to the Applied Knowledge exams. It’s two hours long and available on demand. Once students have completed the law paper, the remaining modules are examined via three hours and 20 minutes of exams that can be given at ¼ sittings a year. The sittings are in March, June, September, and December every year. The pass mark for all papers is 50%. The final stage of exams for the ACCA qualification is strategic professional exams. The modules at this level provide you with a unique blend of skills, real-world focus, and specialization.

The strategic professional level has two components, essential papers that every student must complete and two optional papers that students need to choose from the option of four. Just like at the previous level, exams at the strategic professional level can be sat at ¼ sittings a year, March, June, September, and December. The optional papers provide great flexibility and can be selected in line with respective career aspirations.

Where to start the ACCA journey will depend on the qualifications that one holds already. Someone without any accounting background would need to start at the applied knowledge level. But if someone already has some experience in accounting, then a consultation with the local institution providing ACCA course could get them exemptions on papers that they have a better understanding of given that substantiating evidence of the same is provided.

ACCA is a practical course and is mainly based on real-world finance and accounting issues. The course’s primary focus is on the conceptual understanding of the most relevant issues within the economic sector. Although it follows a flexible modality, it demands rigorous dedication from students. It is very rightly considered one of the most demanding courses globally.

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