What are the 13 ACCA Papers? and Exemption

The Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) is a global professional accounting body that offers the “Chartered Certified Accountant” qualification. It was founded in 1904. ACCA is a rapidly expanding worldwide accountancy body with over 200,000 members and 500,000 learners in 180 nations.

The ACCA qualification is a wonderful way to start a career in accounting and finance because it is an internationally known course with updated/industry-relevant information. This is something that students can do in addition to graduating. This qualification is more appealing due to its flexible examination scheme.

ACCA is a competitive exam that further qualifies you for Chartered Accountancy (CA), and it is not an easy one to crack. ACCA provides exemptions to students who have previously studied the relevant subjects through a particular course. Such exemptions help students continue their studies without wasting their time taking exams.

Before deciding to take the ACCA exemption exams, one needs to focus on some factors:

  • Students should claim an exemption if they have recently achieved the required qualification or are working in a similar field
  • To decide on the exemption exam, one should go through the previous ACCA papers and answer them
  • Another consideration is the cost, which includes coaching fees and other charges
  • Time is also a crucial factor to be considered

Listed below are some of the required qualifications for CA applicants:

  •  A CA final student is eligible for exception from 9 ACCA papers out of the 13. 
  • A CA final student who has already cleared IPCC with or without B.Com can claim exemptions for anywhere between 4 to 9 papers. 
  • The ACCA Exemptions Calculator is a great resource that can help you determine how many exemptions you are eligible for based on your individual qualifications.

The Ethics and Professional Skills module, as well as the Practical Experience Requirement (PER), are among the 13 ACCA papers that students must take on the ACCA exam. Those who have been granted an exemption must take nine papers, three of the knowledge level and six of the skill level.

In total, there are 13 coursework modules divided into two categories – fundamental and professional. The former has nine papers, and the latter has four. Students must attempt eight papers in a year. 

The Ethics and Professional Skills module helps students learn about different perspectives and enhance other skills such as communication and accounting.

Here are all the 13 ACCA papers explained in detail:

Fundamental Level Courses

The fundamental level consists of nine courses. Three are of the knowledge level, and six are of the skill level. Students who have relevant skills and knowledge need not take this course. However, undergraduate students or students without relevant professional qualifications for CA must clear all the ACCA papers. 

Knowledge Level or Applied Knowledge Papers 

This course enhances the understanding and practice of accounting by providing a broad introduction to accounting and finance. It consists of three papers:

  1. Business and Technology (BT): This course covers governance, management of the organization, the role of the accountants in the business, specific functions of financial control and accounting, team management, individual management, and the structure of the key environmental factors of accounting.
  2. Management Accounting (MA): This course covers computer spreadsheets, business mathematics, natural cost management, the purpose of management accounting, classification of behavior, and the ability to make decisions.
  3. Financial Accounting (FA): Besides covering all the topics in MA, this course covers standard costs and budget.

Skills Level or Applied Skills Papers

This course aims to create a deeper understanding of the application and development of the financial skills required in the industry.

  1. Corporate and Business Law (LW): This course covers the understanding of the legal systems. It contains all references related to the law, which are the essential elements of the legal system – law of obligation, employment law, formation and constitution of business organization, management and the regulation of the companies with the administration, insolvency law, corporate fraud, and criminal behavior.
  2. Performance Management (PM): This course covers information and technologies of systems, management accounting techniques, decision-making techniques, budgeting and control, and performance measurement.
  3. Taxation (TX): This course covers the UK Tax system and administration, income tax liabilities, chargeable gains for the individual, inheritance tax, corporation tax, and value-added tax.
  4. Financial Reporting (FR): This course covers the conceptual and regulatory framework, preparation of the financial statement, accounting for transactions, and analysis and interpretation of the financial statements.
  5. Audit and Assurance (AA): This course deals with audit framework and the regulations, planning and risk assessments, internal control and review and reporting, and audit evidence.Financial Management (FM): This course teaches the functions and management of the financial environment, business valuation, and management of cost capital and business. Students will also learn about business risk assessment.

Strategic Professional Level Courses

While the foundation course helps the students gain plenty of knowledge and skills, the strategic professional level courses help them develop strategic and leadership skills. Students also gain an ethical perspective and can share ideas to solve problems within the industry.

The Strategic Professional Level consists of six ACCA papers, two of which are required. Every student must choose two specialities from the four optional courses. Students might choose to focus on areas that are most relevant to their professional goals.

Compulsory Courses:

  1. Strategic Business Leader (SBL): This course covers the function of governance in the management of an organization, the role of governance and the accountant, and the ethical framework for judgement and values.
  2. Strategic Business Reporting (SBR): This covers financial statements, evaluation of the development and current status of the financial reporting, and accountancy and framework for financial reporting.

Elective or Optional Courses:

Out of these, students must choose two out of the total four elective courses. This is based on their interest and future career path. 

  1. Advanced Financial Management (AFM): This covers advanced investment and corporate reorganization, stakeholder management, advanced risk management techniques, and emerging issues in the world of finance.
  2. Advanced Performance Management (APM): This covers the performance system and design, current global developments, and assessment of strategic development with the organization’s performance management.
  3. Advanced Taxation (ATX): This covers the tax system. It also teaches tax planning and communication and its methods.
  4. Advanced Audit and Assurance (AAA): This covers the framework of the regulatory and the conceptual audit, financial statement analysis, analysis of techniques, and their interpretation.

These articles explain how the training and expertise earned from the Practical Skills tests can be put to the test in Strategy Professional.

It’s also important to note that several of the subjects addressed in Strategic Business Management underpin Comprehensive Audit, in addition to the Applied Skills tests.

Ethics and Professional Skills Module

This module helps ACCA students hone their ethical and professional skills. It aims at enhancing their employability. Students are provided with real-world case studies, and they are asked to share their views. It boosts their performance in the field of their choice. Our Ethics and Professional Abilities module is compulsory for all students, and it teaches them the full spectrum of skills that employers specifically look out for. Our students are prepared to shine with recruiters and be truly credible in the workplace since we introduce them to the whole spectrum of superior professional and ethical skills and expose them to practical business circumstances.

EPSM is one of the essential modules in the ACCA examination. EPSM is a supportive tool that improves students’ strategy towards professional exams. The students must complete this module to pass the ACCA examination.

This module does not contain any fee. One can repeat this assessment as per their wish. It takes approximately 15 hours to complete this module, after which students are awarded the certificate. It takes them one step closer to the membership of the ACCA. 

Difficulty Level of the Papers and Exemptions for CA Students

The difficulty level of the ACCA papers depends on the student’s perspective, skill set, and interest. 

However, surveys suggest that BT is the easiest paper to attempt, and students can score up to 87%. It also suggests that AAA is the most difficult paper, where students may score as low as 30%.

Preparation for the fundamental ACCA papers takes about one month, whereas it takes about 2.5 to 3 months for the other papers. The intermediate level material is more extensive, but if you prepare properly and use effective tactics, you will be able to excel in the intermediate level exam. 

The ACCA papers, especially the ethos and professional skills module, help students grow mentally and physically. It gives them an idea of business communication. 

The ACCA’s thirteen papers, as well as the Ethics and Professional Skills module, must be completed in order. Each student should take the Applied Knowledge examinations first, then the Applied Skills exams, and finally the Strategic Professional exams. After passing the Applied Knowledge tests, the Ethics and Professional Skills module could be done at any time.

The ACCA qualification is recognized in over 180 countries including Canada, Singapore, and Australia. If you’ve made the decision to become a global CA and are contemplating your next move, we can help you take a step forward. Check out our Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) course to learn more. To advance your portfolio and build professional skills, try Zell Education’s interactive courses that offer flexible training timings. Get in touch at +91 7208885600 or email us at reachus@zelleducation.com.

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