Association of Chartered Certified Accountants

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Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA)

Logo of the ACCA
MottoThe global body for professional accountants[1]
FormationNovember 13, 1904; 109 years ago (1904-11-13)
Legal statusChartered body
HeadquartersLondon,  UK
Coordinates51°31′03″N 0°06′57″W / 51.5174°N 0.1157°W / 51.5174; -0.1157Coordinates: 51°31′03″N 0°06′57″W / 51.5174°N 0.1157°W / 51.5174; -0.1157
Region served170 countries
Member's designationsACCA, FCCA
IFAC member since7 October 1977
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Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA)

Logo of the ACCA
MottoThe global body for professional accountants[1]
FormationNovember 13, 1904; 109 years ago (1904-11-13)
Legal statusChartered body
HeadquartersLondon,  UK
Coordinates51°31′03″N 0°06′57″W / 51.5174°N 0.1157°W / 51.5174; -0.1157Coordinates: 51°31′03″N 0°06′57″W / 51.5174°N 0.1157°W / 51.5174; -0.1157
Region served170 countries
Member's designationsACCA, FCCA
IFAC member since7 October 1977
Its outdoor introduction

Founded in 1904, the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) is the global body for professional accountants offering the Chartered Certified Accountant qualification (ACCA or FCCA). As of May 2012, ACCA was one of the largest and fastest-growing global accountancy bodies with 154,000 members and 432,000 students in 170 countries. ACCA's headquarters are in London with principal administrative office in Glasgow. ACCA works through a network of 83 offices and centres and more than 8,500 Approved Employers worldwide, who provide employee development.

The term 'Chartered' in ACCA qualification refers to the Royal Charter granted in 1974 by Queen Elizabeth II in the United Kingdom.

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 claims to work in the public interest, assuring 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 and the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Scotland. As of 2006, the goal of ACCA is to become the world’s largest global professional body.

Key dates in ACCA history include:


The ACCA offers the following certifications:

Chartered Certified Accountant (ACCA)[edit]

The ACCA Qualification is the professional body's main qualification. Following completion of up to 14 professional examinations, three years of supervised, relevant accountancy experience and a professional ethics module, it enables an individual to become a Chartered Certified Accountant. The ACCA professional examinations are offered worldwide twice yearly, in June and December as paper-based exams. Computer-based exams are also offered for the first three exams (F1, F2 and F3) which are available to take at ACCA licensed exam centres throughout the year. A Bachelor of Science (Honours) degree in Applied Accounting (after completing the Fundamentals level of the exams, the professional ethics module and submitting a Research and Analysis project), is offered in association with Oxford Brookes University.

The syllabus comprises 14 examinations, although some exemptions are available. The qualification is structured in two parts. The Fundamentals level consists of 9 examinations: F1 Accountant in Business, F2 Management Accounting, F3 Financial Accounting, F4 Corporate and Business Law, F5 Performance Management, F6 Taxation, F7 Financial Reporting, F8 Audit and Assurance, and F9 Financial Management.

The Professional level involves 5 examinations. Within the Professional level three papers are compulsory: P1 Governance, Risk and Ethics; P2 Corporate Reporting; and P3 Business Analysis. Two of the following four options papers must also be completed: P4 Advanced Financial Management, P5 Advanced Performance Management, P6 Advanced Taxation and P7 Advanced Audit and Assurance.

Subjects include financial accounting, management accounting, financial reporting, taxation, company law, audit and assurance and financial management.

Foundation-level qualifications - Foundations in Accountancy[edit]

ACCA offers a range of foundation-level certificates and diplomas - collectively referred to as Foundations in Accountancy - 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 Certificate in Financial and Management Accounting and complete exams FA1, Recording Financial Transactions and MA1, Management Information; then progress to Intermediate Certificate in Financial and Management Accounting and complete exams FA2, Maintaining Financial Records and MA2, Managing Costs and Finance; before progressing to the Diploma in Accounting and Business and completing FAB, Accountant in Business, FMA, Management Accounting and FFA Financial Accounting. 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 (F1, F2 and F3) and can start their studies on the ACCA Qualification with Paper F4, Corporate and Business Law.

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 June and December or as on-demand computer-based exams throughout the year at ACCA Licensed exam centres.

Other qualifications[edit]

The ACCA offers other qualifications:



Candidates register as student members to undertake the Professional Scheme 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".[2]


From 2008, Fellowship, or senior membership of ACCA, is awarded automatically based on 5 years' continuous membership, subject to compliance with Continuing Professional Development requirements.[3]

Fellow members of ACCA use the designatory letters FCCA in place of ACCA.

Continuing Professional Development[edit]

Before 2005, Continuing Professional Development (CPD) was mandatory only for holders of practising certificates and insolvency licences. From 2005 to 2007, ACCA phased in mandatory CPD requirements for all members.

Legal & mutual recognition[edit]


United Kingdom and Ireland[edit]

The Irish Higher Education and Training Awards Council (HETAC) assigned ACCA Qualification to Level 9 of the Irish National Qualifications Framework (NQF) in 2008. Level 9 holds Irish postgraduate qualifications, such as postgraduate diplomas and masters degrees.

In 2011, the 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.[5]

European Union (EU), European Economic Area (EEA) & Switzerland[edit]



As of 2006, there were 64,574 members and 91,379 students/affiliates in Western Europe, UK and Ireland, as well as 3,279 members and 17,273 students/affiliates in Central/Eastern Europe respectively.

North America[edit]

United States


ACCA announced a Mutual Recognition Agreement with CGA Canada effective from 1 January 2007; renewed in 2011 for a further 5 years period until December 2017.[9] As of 2006, Canadian Institute of Chartered Accountants, 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.[10] 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 (CICA) and Certified Management Accountants in 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. Already the newly formed CPA has labelled ACCA as 'advancing a global expansion strategy that targets Canada'[11] and many feel the CICA deem ACCA a threat. On November 29, 2012, the ACCA revealed its ongoing legal battle with the CICA where it inferred that the CICA, altogether, is attempting to stop it from operating in Canada. It is however arguing that the actions of the CICA infringe Canada's Competition Act and so the CA bodies will have to answer these allegations in the trademark proceedings, which are ongoing.[12]

A proposal to consolidate accounting profession in Canada, incorporating CICA, CMA Canada and CGA is to use “Chartered Professional Accountant” or CPA. A 10-year transitional period would require all CPA members to use CPA-"legacy designation" rather than the newer designation. The direction of the merger is however uncertain at this point.

There are over 3500 members and students in Canada.



ACCA has an office in Sydney and holds exams in major cities including Sydney, Melbourne, Perth, Adelaide and Brisbane.

The Institute of Chartered Accountants in Australia (ICAA), 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. On the same basis, ACCA members can obtain direct entry to the CA Program of the ICAA.

However, ACCA has not procured a mutual recognition agreement with any accountancy body in Australia, unlike CIMA and CIPFA which are recognized via MRAs with CPA Australia.

New Zealand[edit]

ACCA has one representative in Auckland and holds its exams there.

New Zealand Institute of Chartered Accountants has removed its exemptions altogether for ACCA members following the re-negotiation of mutual recognition agreement with various accounting bodies including CIPFA and CPA Australia in December 2010.

Caribbean, Central & South America[edit]

The ACCA is an affiliate of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of the Caribbean.[13] The ACCA qualification is legally recognized by the national accounting institutes with joint scheme relationships in:

The ACCA qualification is legally recognized in the French Guiana (Part of France and hence subject to European Union regulations).


South Africa[edit]

The ACCA Professional Scheme has been registered at Level 8 (equivalent to master degree level).

ACCA has no agreement with any accountancy body in South Africa, while Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales, ICA in Scotland, ICA in 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.




Hong Kong[edit]

An Agreement of Recognition Arrangement (ARA) between ACCA and 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.[15]

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, pass HKICPA's Final Professional Examination (FPE), etc.

This notwithstanding, HKICPA members could join in ACCA without any further requirement.

ACCA qualification is 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.

As of the end of 2005, there were 16,609 members in Hong Kong.


The ACCA currently is legally recognized with the joint scheme relationships by Macau Society of Certified Practising Accountants (Local statutory accountancy body) in Macau.


ACCA and the national accountancy body, Institute of Certified Public Accountants of Singapore (ICPAS), operate a Joint Scheme of Examinations. The Joint Scheme is based on ACCA examinations and allows students to qualify in Singapore law and tax. Students who complete the Joint Scheme examinations are eligible to join both bodies. ACCA's student numbers in Singapore for the Joint Scheme top 11,000. A blog assists students.[16] Singapore's government recognizes ACCA qualification to meet its immigrant skills assessment.

As of the end of 2005, Singapore enrolled 5,161 members.


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.


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.

As of December 2005, there were 7,417 members in Malaysia.[citation needed]


The ACCA qualification confers the Qualified Company Secretary designation in Pakistan. ACCA and the local statutory accounting body (Institute of Chartered Accountants of Pakistan) offer partial recognition of each other.

ACCA in Pakistan saw tremendous growth beginning in 2007, with thousands of students enrolling every year into ACCA programs. Local colleges and universities offer ACCA programs in all major cities.

Higher Education Commission (HEC) of Pakistan recognise ACCA members as equal to Masters in Commerce (M.Com) Also ICAP awards exemption to ACCA affiliates. ICAP reduced the exemptions to ACCA affiliates/members. Previously, ACCA affiliates or members were given exemptions up to Module D. Now ACCA affiliates/members can get maximum of seven exemptions. Now ICAP further reduced exemption for acca members up to module B ICAP discrimination behavior to ACCA student couse massive decrease in ACCA market share. Recently ICAP issued a letter to all Pakistan's firm to not give any contract to the foreign qualification like (ACCA). On January 10, 2013, Pakistan’s Apex regulatory body, Competition Commission of Pakistan ruled in favor of ACCA and ICAEW students imposing a Rs 25 million penalty on Institute of Chartered Accountants of Pakistan for the violation, and restrained ICAP from issuing similar directives to its members in the future. As per the order, the relevant course of action for affected would be to pursue compensation from courts of competent jurisdictions. Later on, on the application of ICAP, Lahore high court removed the penalty imposed by CCP saying ICAP is statutory body and is a regulator of accountancy profession in Pakistan and CCP had no right to impose such fine on ICAP. [17]


Global Partnership[edit]

Professional Partners[edit]

Through partnerships with professional institutions, ACCA offers students and members access to other related professionals.

University Links[edit]

Assessment Technologies[edit]

In 2012 ACCA bought the rights to the Computer-Based-Examination software from EDI. ACCA has used i-assess since 2001. It was created originally by Dr David Wild.

Representation worldwide[edit]

ACCA is represented on many committees and bodies around the world.[28]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Our mission, values and ethics". ACCA. Retrieved 25 December 2012. 
  2. ^ "Administering your membership | Members | ACCA". Retrieved 2011-09-17. 
  3. ^ Membership and Fellowship, ACCA. Retrieved 5 August 2011.
  4. ^ "Details". 2011-06-22. Retrieved 2011-09-17. 
  5. ^ Orlik, Rose (22 July 2011). "POB regulation report names and shames institutes". Accountancy Age. Retrieved 28 July 2011. 
  6. ^ "IMA – The association of accountants and financial professionals working in business". Retrieved 2012-07-30. 
  8. ^ "Focus – News From ACCA US" (PDF). Retrieved 2012-08-22. 
  9. ^ "CGA-Canada Mutual Recognition Agreement | Mutual memberships | Members | ACCA". Retrieved 2011-09-17. 
  10. ^ [1][dead link]
  11. ^ Controlling our destiny in a rapidly evolving professional environment, CPA Canada
  12. ^ ACCA's position in Canada, ACCA, 29 November 2012
  13. ^ "Members And Affiliates". ICAC. Retrieved 2011-07-01. 
  14. ^ "Botswana Institute of Accountants". Retrieved 2011-09-17. 
  15. ^ "Details". Retrieved 2011-09-17. 
  16. ^ "". Retrieved 2011-09-17. 
  17. ^
  18. ^ "Details". Retrieved 2011-09-17. 
  19. ^ [2][dead link]
  20. ^ Professional partners[dead link]
  21. ^ [3][dead link]
  22. ^ "Public Policy Management (PPM) offering with the School of Oriental and African Studies at the University of London | Qualifications from our partners | Members | ACCA". Retrieved 2011-09-17. 
  23. ^ [4][dead link]
  24. ^ "MSc Financial Management : Edinburgh Business School". Retrieved 2011-09-17. 
  25. ^ Blog Article about ACCA
  26. ^ Extract from ACCA website on university partnerships
  27. ^ [5][dead link]
  28. ^ Representation on external bodies

External links[edit]