Do ACCA Exemptions Impact Your Degree? | Zell Education

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      Will Going for ACCA Exemptions Hinder the Value of Your Degree?

      ACCA is one of the most sought-after accounting certifications in the world. A study by the Business Research Company forecasts that the accounting services market will achieve a growth of 4.2% CAGR in 2027, making this a profitable opportunity for accounting aspirants. 

      ACCA awards exemptions to qualified candidates based on rigorous assessments. However, candidates are often faced with the dilemma of whether applying for ACCA exemptions will lower the value of the certification.

      This blog will guide you through ACCA exemptions, the criteria for ACCA exemptions and the benefits and downsides of exemptions. Read on and evaluate if you want to apply for the exemptions or take all the exams.

      What is ACCA?

      The UK-headquartered Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) confers the Chartered Certified Accountant certification. The cutting-edge skill sets of an ACCA make them valuable assets in the industry.

      The exam is split into three parts – Knowledge, Skill and Professional. Aspirants can give the Skill and Professional exams in March, June, September and December, while they can take the CBE (computer-based exam) Knowledge exam throughout the year.

      ACCA candidates get lucrative salary packages with an average base salary of Rs. 6 LPA. Cracking the ACCA exam is not easy, but your accounting career will have almost no hurdles once you do. 

      Take a look at our blog, Top 5 Benefits of Getting an ACCA Certification, to learn more about the utility of the ACCA certification.

      ACCA Exemptions

      ACCA exemptions imply that aspirants might not have to sit for all the exams if they already possess some qualifications. In other words, they can skip some levels and start at a level aligning with their current skills and knowledge. 

      The ACCA is very rigorous regarding the exemptions to ensure that an applicant’s prior learning matches the skills required for the ACCA certification. 

      Exemptions Information for ACCA Students

      ACCA offers exam exemptions to students depending upon the different qualifications of the candidates. With the ACCA exemptions, aspiring candidates will be able to complete the course within a lesser duration and with lower fees. 

      Candidates who have joined the ACCA course just after passing Class 12th will have to attempt and pass all 13 exams. But B.Com and M.Com degree holders can enjoy up to 5 exam exemptions depending upon the subjects they have studied.

      Inter-CA candidates or someone who has cleared IPCC can get an exemption from 5 exams. If the candidate has cleared the final CA exam, then ACCA offers an exemption of 9 exams. 

      Apart from the major degrees, ACCA exemptions are also for candidates with various other qualifications. For example, a US CPA certificate holder will enjoy an exemption from 8 exams. Similarly, candidates who have completed CMA in India and also have experience of 5 years in relevant fields will get an exemption of 9 exams. Candidates who have a US CMA certificate get exempted from 3 exams. An Association of Chartered Certified Accountants Exemptions Calculator helps in understanding the exemptions that a candidate can enjoy. 

      Types of Exemptions

      ACCA Exemptions

      Candidates who can apply for the exemptions must be CA-qualified candidates, commerce graduates and M.Com Inter CA graduates. If candidates have cleared their grade 12 exams, they can register for the ACCA exam using the FIA (Foundation in Accountancy) path but cannot apply for exemptions.

      The table below summarises the exemptions: 

      Qualifications Number of ACCA exams to give Exemptions
      Commerce graduate 9 papers BT, MA, FA, LW
      M.Com 9 papers BT, MA, FA, AA, TX
      CA 4 papers* BT-FM
      CA IPCC (both groups) 8 papers BT, MA, FA, LW

      ACCA exemptions for CA aspirants can include more papers if they have attained a score of 40 and above for relevant topics in their examination.

      If you want more information about the ACCA paper pattern, check out the blog, What are the 13 ACCA Papers? and Exemption.

      What is the Importance of ACCA Exemptions?

      ACCA exemptions are a great help to candidates who wish to reach the ACCA membership in a shorter time. The exemptions help the candidates to continue their training of skills and knowledge on what they have already achieved in their previous courses or programs. 

      ACCA offers exemptions based on different factors such as the candidate’s qualifications and even at times work experience. Hence, while a class 12th student may complete the ACCA course in 3 to 5 years, a CA final candidate will be able to complete the course in 2 years. 

      Also, ACCA charges fees based on levels and steps. All candidates have to pay for the initial registration and then the subscription. After this, ACCA will charge according to the Exam Level that you are appearing. So, when there are fewer exams to appear for, the fees will also be reduced. Thus, one of the best ideas is to make use of an ACCA Exemptions Calculator before enrolling for the course. 

      How to Apply for Exemptions

      You can claim exemptions for ACCA in two ways: 

      1. Submit your claim on the ACCA website when you register as a student.
      2. Submit your claim by emailing the required educational documents to ACCA.

      The documents must be in English. It must be officially translated if you have documentation in a different language. You must send a copy of both the translated and the original documents. Remember to send only scanned copies of the documents.

      You can use the ACCA exemptions calculator to find out if you are eligible for ACCA exemptions.

      Charges for ACCA Exemptions

      Candidates must pay an exemption fee for individual exams rewarded. The ACCA exemption fees help the ACCA accredit its worldwide network of academic bodies and professionals.

      For the Applied Skills exam, candidates have to pay an exemption fee of GBP 111 per paper; for the Applied Knowledge exam, the exemption fee is GBP 84 per paper. The ACCA determines these charges, which might change in the future. 

      Find out more about the prospect of ACCA in the international field in our blog, ACCA Career Scope and Job Opportunities in India and Abroad.

      ACCA exemptions: Are they worth it?

      If you’re wondering if ACCA exemptions will affect the credibility of your degree, then compare the pros and cons of the exemptions to decide whether you want to avail these perks:

      ACCA Exemption Benefits:

      1. Getting ACCA exemptions means you need not waste time preparing for topics you already have expertise in from your previous qualifications. 
      2. Completing all ACCA papers requires a lot of time. If you apply for exemptions, you can use the time for the remaining papers and study more thoroughly. This is most useful for graduate students juggling their graduate studies and ACCA.
      3. You will have a financial advantage since you can save the money you would have otherwise invested on tuition fees and study materials for the exempted papers.

      Advantages for Graduate and Undergraduate Students

      • Pursuing ACCA with a graduation degree is a great idea because of the benefits that ACCA offers. 
      • ACCA offers flexible timing for classes and exams so that students can pursue other degrees and courses too.
      • The ACCA module often matches the syllabus of B.Com and M.Com which is a helping hand for the students. 
      • Students can save time when they pursue ACCA after completing their B.Com and M.Com. 
      • ACCA is globally recognized and it will offer you better career opportunities than your graduation peers. 
      • The ACCA module and support team also work as a counselling session that helps you in selecting the career path. 

      ACCA Exemption Disadvantages:

      1. You must pay exemption fees for the papers you apply for.
      2. A major disadvantage of exemptions is that candidates who get exemptions might not have enough insights about the basic level topics. It could be a problem when you sit for Professional papers since these require applying basic-level knowledge. But this might not apply to all, especially candidates with a good grasp of the Professional level topics.

      If you are wondering how an MBA can benefit you in the exemptions, go through our blog, How Can MBA in Finance Help in ACCA Exemptions


      The demand for ACCA courses is high in the global market. Though the actual ACCA course is tedious and lengthy, it offers exemptions to candidates with certain qualifications and work experience. The ACCA exemptions help save time and money while achieving the goal of becoming a successful ACCA member.

      Getting exemptions can be beneficial if you already have the skills and knowledge for the exempted papers. However, your ACCA degree will not lose value due to any exemptions you apply for. It will save much of your time, which you can utilise in preparing for your other papers. 

      Zell Education offers a comprehensive ACCA course to train finance professionals in the skills required to make their mark in the accounting industry. You get to learn from ACCA-qualified faculty with personalised doubt-solving classes.


      Is it good to claim exemptions in ACCA?
      Claiming exemptions in ACCA saves time and resources. Since you don’t need to take all the papers, you can use this time for other studies. You can even save on the tuition fees you would have to invest in preparing for the exempted papers.

      Is it worth doing ACCA after graduation?
      If you are a commerce graduate, pursuing ACCA has certain benefits. You can be eligible for exemptions depending on your graduation knowledge and skills.

      Is ACCA equivalent to a master’s degree?
      Once you complete the ACCA exams, it is equivalent to a master’s degree in the UK.

      Which is more valuable, MBA or ACCA?
      MBA and ACCA each have their pros and cons. While an MBA degree will equip you with business management skills, an ACCA certification equips you with specialised skillsets for the accounting world.

      Should I take my ACCA exemptions?
      Yes, if you are eligible for any ACCA exemptions, you should take it. The exemptions shorten the ACCA duration and will reduce the fees that you have to pay for the complete course.

      What is the exemption in ACCA after graduation?
      Candidates who have completed B.Com can enjoy exemption from 1 to 4 exams depending upon the subjects that you have selected in your graduation degree.

      Can you lose your ACCA qualification?
      ACCA has three levels and these are Foundation Level, Skills Level, and Professional Level. The qualification achieved after passing the first two levels will not expire. But if you do not pass all the papers of the Strategic Professional Level within 7 years from the start of the course, then the ACCA Professional qualification of a candidate will expire.

      Can I convert ACCA to a degree?
      No, ACCA is a professional course and cannot be converted into a degree. So, it is always a good choice to complete a bachelor’s or Master’s degree before pursuing the ACCA certification course.


      Partham Barot is an ACCA-certified professional. showcasing his expertise in finance and accountancy. he’s revolutionising education by focusing on practical, real-world skills. Partham’s achievements underscore his commitment to elevating educational standards and empowering the next generation of professionals.

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