CAREER ADVANCEMENT / OCT. 12, 2014
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How to Acquire an ACCA Qualification

Direction

First and foremost, to become ACCA certified you must have a strong focus on professional values, ethics, and governance. This is due to the fact that the accounting profession has become centered on individuals maintaining a strong set of ethics regarding new regulations and legislature. Applicants should come into the ACCA certification program understanding that studies are more rigorous, examinations are more ethics focused, and each individual’s character can come into question before ACCA certification is granted. If you think you have what it takes to become ACCA certified, here are some tips to help you reach your goals...

Minimum Requirements

To apply for ACCA certification you must first secure two A-Levels and three GCSEs, these must be five separate subjects including English and Math. If you do not yet have these qualifications, you can still begin studying and working toward ACCA certification by securing your Foundation Level Qualification.

The Foundation Level Qualifications can also be referred to as Foundations in Accountancy. To ease your journey, you should begin working toward your ACCA certification by securing a degree in finance, business management, or accounting. 

The ACCA Practicum

Exams

Exams are broken down into two levels, professional and fundamental. Those with little or no experience in the field will be required to take the fundamental exams, those already working in the field will be required to take the professional exams. If you have acquired a relevant accounting degree or you have additional accounting certifications, you may be eligible for several exam exemptions. There are no exemptions available at the professional level.

You will need to complete a total of 14 exams to become ACCA certified, nine of which are eligible for exemption. To find out if you are eligible for exemption, you must send inquiry to an ACCA representative. An inquiry form can be found on the ACCA Exemptions Database site.

Experience

A total of 36 months of experience in a relevant role must be completed before you can be determined eligible for certification. A relevant role means that you have worked as an apprentice or assistant with an ACCA certified accounting firm. Your work with the firm for the 36 month period must be documented using a Practising Certificate Training Record. 

Ethics

You must successfully complete the Professional Ethics Module. This module gives the ACCA an inside look at your personal and professional ethics by providing you with specific ethical situations which you must successfully navigate. Your response to these situations will affect whether or not you can become ACCA certified. Once you apply for ACCA membership, you will be eligible to take the module online. This module takes about 3-4 hours to complete and consists of nine units. The test can be accessed once you have been given permission to use the myACCA link. 

Once you become ACCA certified, you will be eligible for a wealth of positions within the accounting industry. If you are starting out on the fundamental level, ACCA qualification should take from 4-5 years to complete. Learning programs which grant ACCA certification are extremely flexible since they can be taken both online or at an ACCA certified facility.

It is not an easy certification to attain by any measure, but it opens up so many positions to you that all the work is certainly worth the extra effort. Good Luck!

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