Founded in 1904, the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) is the global professional accounting body offering the Chartered Certified Accountant qualification (ACCA). It has 233,000 members and 536,000 future members worldwide. ACCA's headquarters are in London with principal administrative office in Glasgow. ACCA works through a network of over 110 offices and centres in 51 countries - with 346 Approved Learning Partners (ALP) and more than 7,600 Approved Employers worldwide, who provide employee development. The ACCA also works in Nepal, India, China and Pakistan.
|Formation||30 November 1904|
|Purpose||Education and training of members|
|Headquarters||London, United Kingdom|
|£ 206.07 million (2019)|
|Expenses||£ 230.66 million (2019)|
The term 'Chartered' in ACCA qualification refers to the Royal Charter granted in 1974.
'Chartered Certified Accountant' is a legally protected term. Individuals who describe themselves as Chartered Certified Accountants must be members of ACCA and if they carry out public practice engagements, must comply with additional regulations such as holding a practising certificate, carrying liability insurance and submitting to inspections.
The Association of Authorised Public Accountants (AAPA), one of the British professional bodies for public accountants, has been a subsidiary of ACCA since 1996.
ACCA works in the public interest, ensuring that its members are appropriately regulated. It promotes principles-based regulation. ACCA actively seeks to enhance the value of accounting in society through international research. It takes progressive stances on global issues to ensure accountancy as a profession continues to grow in reputation and influence.
ACCA traces its origin to 1904, when eight people formed the London Association of Accountants to allow more open access to the profession than was available through the accounting bodies at the time, notably the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW) and the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Scotland (ICAS). As of 2020, the vision of ACCA is to develop the accountancy profession the world needs.
Key dates in ACCA history include:
ACCA offers the following certifications:
Chartered Certified Accountant is the professional body's main qualification. Following completion of up to 13 professional examinations, three years of supervised, relevant accounting experience and an ethics module, it enables an individual to become a Chartered Certified Accountant. The ACCA professional examinations are offered worldwide four times yearly in March, June, September and December as paper-based and computer-based exams. On-demand computer-based exams (CBE) are also offered for the first four exams (BT, MA, FA, LW), and Session CBEs for the rest (PM, TX, FR, AA, FM) which are available to be taken at ACCA licensed exam centres. A Bachelor of Science (Honours) degree in Applied Accounting (after completing the Fundamentals level of the exams, the Ethics and Professional Skills module and submitting a Research and Analysis project), is offered in association with Oxford Brookes University.
From September 2018 onward, the syllabus comprises 13 examinations and an Ethics and Professional Skills module (EPSM), although some exemptions are available. In April 2019, a Data Analytics unit was added in EPSM .
The qualification is structured in three modules, plus an Ethics and Professional Skills module and a Professional Experience Requirement (PER).
The Applied Knowledge level consists of 3 examinations:
The Applied Skills level consists of 6 examinations:
The Strategic Professional level involves 4 examinations: 2 from Essential and any 2 from Options.
Essential (or Compulsory):
ACCA offers a range of foundation-level certificates and diplomas - collectively referred to as Foundations in Accountancy (FIA) - which provide an entry point for anyone new to accounting and finance and who doesn't meet the minimum entry requirements for the ACCA Qualification (which is three GCSEs and 2 A Levels or equivalent, in five separate subjects). Students can start at any level within the Foundation level, but it is recommended that students without any formal academic qualifications start with the Introductory Diploma in Financial and Management Accounting and complete exams Recording Financial Transactions (FA1) and Management Information (MA1); then progress to the Intermediate Diploma in Financial and Management Accounting and complete exams Maintaining Financial Records (FA2) and Managing Costs and Finance (MA2); before progressing to the Diploma in Accounting and Business and completing Accountant in Business (FAB), Management Accounting (FMA) and Financial Accounting (FFA). Students can use the Foundation-level awards as an entry route onto the ACCA Qualification. Students who complete the Diploma in Accounting and Business will be given exemption from the first three exams of the ACCA Qualification (AB, MA and FA) and can start their studies on the ACCA Qualification with Corporate and Business Law (LW).
In order to achieve a certificate for the exams completed students must also complete a foundation ethics module called Foundations in Professionalism, but this only has to be completed once, even if a student wishes to achieve both certificates and the diploma.
The Foundation-level exams are available as paper-based exams held in March, June, September and December or as on-demand computer-based exams throughout the year at ACCA licensed exam centres.
The ACCA also offers certain other qualifications:
ACCA students, affiliates and members are bound by ACCA rules and regulations. ACCA is able to take disciplinary action (such as revoking ACCA qualification or exacting a fine) against them if they breach ACCA rules. ACCA rules and regulations are governed by English and Welsh law and ACCA disciplinary decisions can only be challenged in England and Wales.
Launched in early 2015, ACCA-X are online courses for students starting their studies in accountancy and business. These courses are available for the first seven Foundations level exams and hosted on edX, with content developed by Epigeum.
The following courses are free and available to anyone in the world:
These courses are available in all but three countries:
Exams passed in these three modules and the completion of 'Foundations in Professionalism' module will lead to the Diploma in Accounting and Business.
Candidates register as student members to undertake the professional qualification.
Upon successful completion of the examinations, student members transfer to Affiliate status.
"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."
Fellow members of ACCA use the designatory letters FCCA in place of ACCA.
Before 2005, Continuing Professional Development (CPD) was mandatory only for holders of 'Practicing Certificate' and 'Insolvency Licence'. From 2005 to 2007, ACCA phased in mandatory CPD requirements for all members.
The ACCA or Chartered Certified Accountant qualification is fully recognised in both the United Kingdom and Ireland.
The Quality and Qualifications Ireland (QQI) assigned ACCA Qualification to 'Level 8' of the Irish National Framework of Qualifications (NFQ) in 2018. Level 8 holds Irish postgraduate qualifications, such as postgraduate diplomas and master's degrees.
In 2011, the Financial Reporting Council (FRC; then Professional Oversight Board) published information for the first time about its concerns over self-regulation by particular institutes. Press reports highlighted comments about ACCA, which had implemented recommendations to improve its examination syllabus, but needed to pay greater attention to monitoring long-time members. In 2011, 2012 and 2013 the ACCA professional body had the highest percentage of A&B (best) outcomes from FRC's Recognised Supervisory Body (RSB) visits to a sample of 'Registered UK Audit Firms'. ACCA firms tend to audit smaller and less complex clients.
At the end of 2016 there were over 88,000 members and 90,000 students in the UK & Ireland.
The ACCA qualification is legally recognized by all member countries of the European Union under the Mutual Recognition Directive. This recognition extends to the European Economic Area nations and Switzerland. For example, a holder of the ACCA could practice as an accountant in all member countries of the European Union, European Economic Area and Switzerland, describing himself/herself as ACCA or Chartered Certified Accountant. Access to local professional qualifications requires a separate test.
At the end of 2016 there were over 16,000 members and almost 60,000 students in Europe (excluding the UK & Ireland).
ACCA and the Union of Chambers of Certified Public Accountants of Turkey (TÜRMOB) signed a partnership agreement in 2004 which enables TÜRMOB members resident in Turkey to follow the ACCA Strategic Professional level and achieve ACCA membership.
At the end of 2016 there were 2,015 members in the US.
ACCA announced a Mutual Recognition Agreement with Certified General Accountant (CGA Canada) effective from 1 January 2007; renewed in 2011 for a further 5 years period until December 2017. As of 2006[update], Canadian Institute of Chartered Accountants (CICA), World Education Services and the Odette School of Business at the University of Windsor indicated that the evaluation recognized ACCA as having the Canadian equivalence of a bachelor's degree (four years) in Accounting. The Canadian branch of ACCA is pursuing recognition for statutory audit purposes in the province of Ontario under the province's Public Accounting Act of 2004.
Canadian Institute of Chartered Accountants and Certified Management Accountants of Canada (CMA Canada) announced a joint qualification 'Chartered Professional Accountant or CPA Designation', but whether this designation will impinge on ACCA's application for recognition in Ontario is uncertain.
On November 29, 2012, the ACCA opened up legal proceedings against the CICA to operate in Canada, complicated by the merger of the accounting profession in Canada, incorporating CICA, CMA Canada and CGA to use 'Chartered Professional Accountant (CPA)'. A 10-year transitional period requires all CPA members to use CPA, 'legacy designation' rather than the newer designation. The merger completed in 2015.
At the end of 2016 there were 3,011 members in Canada.
ACCA has an office in Sydney and holds exams in major cities including Sydney, Melbourne, Perth, Adelaide and Brisbane.
CPA Australia and Institute of Public Accountants recognise ACCA qualification as sufficient to obtain a skill assessment as an Accountant for the purposes of immigration. The Tax Practitioners Board accredited ACCA as a recognised tax agent association and as a recognised BAS agent association on 12 May 2010.
Subject to passing exams in Australian tax and law, ACCA members may obtain the equivalent level of membership from the Institute of Public Accountants.
In June 2016, the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) and Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand (CA ANZ), announced a strategic alliance. The Alliance will:
At the end of 2016 there were 3,414 members and 1,721 students in Australia.
ACCA member, affiliate and student activities in New Zealand are managed by its office in Australia, supported by Network Panel members based in Auckland and Wellington as well as member advocates based in Christchurch.
With the merger of Institute of Chartered Accountants Australia (ICAA) and the New Zealand Institute of Chartered Accountants in December 2014, the newly created 'Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand (CA ANZ)' became the sole national accountancy body in New Zealand, which is in a strategic alliance with the ACCA.
At the end of 2016 there were 502 members in New Zealand.
The ACCA is an affiliate of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of the Caribbean. The ACCA qualification is legally recognized in the French Guiana (Part of France and hence subject to European Union regulations).
At the end of 2016 there were 4,857 members and 16,000 students in the Caribbean.
ACCA was awarded full and unconditional accreditation status as a professional body in Namibia by the statutory Public Accountants' and Auditors' Board (PAAB) on 24 November 2016. The PAAB is a statutory body established to oversee the profession and maintain a register of persons entitled to work or practise as public accountants or public auditors in Namibia.
Although ACCA holds recognition for statutory tax purposes, it has no agreement with any accountancy body in South Africa, while ICAEW, ICAS and CA Ireland have agreements with South African Institute of Chartered Accountants.
ACCA Zimbabwe is one of the constituent bodies of the Public Accountants and Auditors Board (PAAB). The PAAB is a statutory body established in 1996 to oversee the profession and maintain a register of persons entitled to work or practise as public accountants or public auditors in Zimbabwe. Only ACCA members in good standing and Institute of Chartered Accountants of Zimbabwe can register as auditors.
Major universities offer the ACCA course of study.
ACCA entered China in late 1980s, and has developed its China base rapidly in recent years. It has entered into agreements with 41 Chinese Universities, many of which are leading in the disciplines of finance and accounting as well as having excellent academic reputations in a wider range of subjects. The most well known institutions include Tsinghua University, Xiamen University, Central University of Finance and Economics, Shanghai University of Finance and Economics, Southwestern University of Finance and Economics, Xi'an Jiaotong University and Sun Yat-Sen University.
As of early 2019, ACCA had 25,000 members and 108,000 students in China, with 11 offices in Beijing, Changsha, Shanghai, Chengdu, Guangzhou, Shenzhen, Shenyang, Qingdao, Wuhan, Hong Kong SAR, and Macau SAR.
An Agreement of Recognition Arrangement (ARA) between ACCA and Hong Kong Institute of Certified Public Accountants (HKICPA; local statutory accountancy body) was put in place on 22 August 2006, backdated to 1 July 2005. This was less flexible than the previous rule.
The old agreement was terminated on 30 June 2005 forcing ACCA members to accept the so-called "8 unfair terms" e.g., hold a degree recognised by HKICPA, work under HKICPA authorised employers, attend workshops and pass HKICPA's Final Professional Examination (FPE), etc.
This notwithstanding, HKICPA members could join in ACCA without any further requirement.
The ACCA qualification is highly accepted by the Hong Kong employment market. Most HKICPA members qualified through a joint scheme with Hong Kong Society of Accountants (HKSA) which operated for more than 20 years. HKSA later became HKICPA.
At the end of 2016 there were 18,238 members and over 8,000 students in Hong Kong.
UK qualified students are eligible to exemption in following papers under syllabus 2012.
Foundation- Complete exemption.
Paper 5- Financial Accounting
Paper 6 - Laws, Ethics & Governance
Paper 8-Cost Accounting and Financial Management
Paper 10- Cost and Management Accountancy
Paper 12- Company Accounts and Audit
Paper 14- Advanced Financial Management
Paper 15- Business Strategy and Strategic Cost Management
Paper 17- Strategic Performance Management
Paper 18- Corporate Financial Reporting
Paper 20- Financial Analysis and Business Valuation
In 2021, ACCA India organized a nationwide 'Financial Literacy Drive' for children. The programme was delivered with the help of ACCA members in India
ACCA currently is legally recognised with the joint scheme relationships by Macau Society of Certified Practising Accountants (local statutory accountancy body) in Macau.
On 13 August 2007, ACCA and the Malaysian Institute of Certified Public Accountants (MICPA) signed an MRA that provided a route for members to join the other body. The ACCA or Chartered Certified Accountant qualification is recognised by the Malaysian Institute of Accountants (MIA). Only MIA members qualify as accountants in Malaysia under the Accountants Act, 1967.
ACCA is statutorily recognised in Part II of the First Schedule of the Accountants Act, 1967.
At the end of 2016 there were 12,521 members and 42,000 students in Malaysia.
The ACCA qualification confers the Qualified Company Secretary designation in Pakistan. ACCA and the local statutory accounting body Institute of Chartered Accountants of Pakistan (ICAP) offer partial recognition of each other.
On 4 December 2014, ACCA and ICMAP (Institute of Cost and Management Accountants of Pakistan) signed an MOU to enhance the existing academic recognition arrangements between the two accounting bodies. This MoU shall facilitate students and members of ACCA and ICMA Pakistan to earn dual qualification and membership on a fast track basis.
At the end of 2016, there were 3,843 members and over 37,000 students in Pakistan.
In Singapore, holders of ACCA had until 31 December 2016 and existing students have until 31 December 2018 to complete the ICPAS PAC and qualify for the Chartered Accountant of Singapore professional designation through the previous transitional arrangements.
According to rules 6(iii) & 9 of accountancy examination published by Taiwan government, ACCA members are entitled to obtain advanced standing in the examinations to become a Certified Public Accountant in Taiwan.
In March 2014, ACCA signed a strategic partnership agreement with UAE's national accountancy body Accountants and Auditors Association (AAA) to help the latter develop a new Chartered Accountant qualification nationwide. The exams will be held jointly, and successful graduates will gain both ACCA and UAE's new Chartered Accountants' qualifications - the UAECA (United Arab Emirates Chartered Accountant).
Skyline University College is the first ACCA Gold Approved Learning institute in the UAE. 
Through partnerships with professional institutions, ACCA offers students and members access to other related qualifications.
ACCA is represented on many committees and bodies around the world, including the following:
|Americas||Interamerican Accounting Association|
|Argentina||Federación Argentina de Consejos Profesionales de Ciencias Económicas|
|Armenia||Association of Accountants and Auditors of Armenia|
|Azerbaijan||Chamber of Auditors of Azerbaijan Republic|
|Bahamas||Bahamas Chamber of Commerce and Industry
Bahamas Institute of Chartered Accountants
|Barbados||Barbados Small Business Association
Institute of Chartered Accountants of Barbados
|Belize||Institute of Chartered Accountants of Belize|
|Botswana||Botswana Institute of Accountants|
|Brazil||Instituto dos Auditores Independentes do Brasil|
|Brunei||Brunei Darussalam Institute of Certified Public Accountants|
|Cambodia||Ministry of Economy and Finance
Kampuchea Institute of Certified Public Accountants and Auditors
|Canada||Certified General Accountants' Association of Canada|
|Caribbean||Institute of Chartered Accountants of the Caribbean|
|China||China National Audit Office
Chinese Institute of Certified Public Accountants
|Cyprus||Institute of Certified Public Accountants of Cyprus|
|Czech Republic||Chamber of Auditors of the Czech Republic
Union of Accountants of the Czech Republic
|East Africa||Eastern Central and Southern African Federation of Accountants|
|Eastern Caribbean||Institute of Chartered Accountants of the Eastern Caribbean|
|Egypt||Egyptian Society of Accountants and Auditors|
|Ethiopia||Ethiopian Professional Association of Accountants and Auditors|
|Europe||Accountancy Europe (formerly Fédération des Experts Comptables Européens)
South Eastern European Partnership on Accountancy Development
|Georgia||The Georgian Federation of Professional Accountants and Auditors|
|Greece||Institute of Certified Public Accountants of Greece|
|Guyana||Institute of Chartered Accountants of Guyana|
|Hong Kong||Hong Kong Institute of Certified Public Accountants|
|Indonesia||Ikatan Akuntan Indonesia|
|Iran||Iranian Association of Certified Public Accountants|
|Ireland||Institute of Certified Public Accountants in Ireland|
|Jamaica||Institute of Chartered Accountants of Jamaica
Jamaica Business Development Corporation
|Jordan||Jordanian Association of Certified Public Accountants|
|Kenya||Institute of Certified Public Accountants of Kenya|
|Lesotho||Lesotho Institute of Accountants|
|Malawi||Public Accountants Examination Council of Malawi|
|Malaysia||Malaysian Institute of Certified Public Accountants|
|Malta||Malta Institute of Accountants|
|Mexico||Instituto Mexicano de Contadores Públicos|
|Moldova||Association of Professional Accountants and Auditors of Moldova|
|Nigeria||Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria|
|Poland||Accountants Association in Poland
Polish Chambers of Statutory Auditors (KIBR)
|Romania||Body of Expert and Licensed Accountants of Romania
Chamber of Financial Auditors of Romania
|Serbia||Serbian Association of Accountants and Auditors|
|Sierra Leone||Institute of Chartered Accountants of Sierra Leone|
|Singapore||Institute of Singapore Chartered Accountants|
|Sri Lanka||Institute of Chartered Accountants of Sri Lanka|
|Swaziland||Swaziland Institute of Accountants|
|Tanzania||National Board of Accountants and Auditors|
|Thailand||Federation of Accounting Professions|
|Trinidad and Tobago||Institute of Chartered Accountants of Trinidad and Tobago
The Business Development Company Limited
|Turkey||Union of Chambers of Certified Public Accountants of Turkey|
|Ukraine||Chamber of Auditors of Ukraine
Ukrainian Federation of Professional Accountants and Auditors
|United Arab Emirates||Accountants & Auditors Association
Dubai Financial Services Authority
|United Kingdom||Association of Accounting Technicians
Chartered Institute of Securities and Investments
Chartered Institute of Taxation
|Uruguay||Colegio de Contadores, Economistas y Administradores del Uruguay|
|Vietnam||Ministry of Finance of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam
State Audit Office of Vietnam
Vietnam Accounting Association
Vietnam Association of Certified Public Accountants
|Zambia||Lusaka Stock Exchange
Zambia Chamber of Small & Medium Business Associations
Zambia Institute of Chartered Accountants
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