The ACCA (Association of Chartered Certified Accountants) is a British accountancy body that proffers the Chartered Certified Accountant qualification all across the world. Equipped with 131,500 members, 362,000 affiliates and students in 170 countries, it is one of the world’s major and best growing accountancy bodies. Headquartered in London, the principal administrative office is situated at Glasgow. All around the world, ACCA has a network of approx. 80 staffed offices and other centers. In addition, ACCA is a founding member body of the CCAB (Consultative Committee of Accountancy Bodies) and IFAC (International Federation of Accountants). As Chartered certified Accountant is a legal term, thus individuals who represent themselves as Chartered Certified Accountants must be members of ACCA and if they carry out public practice engagements, then they must comply with additional regulations such as having a practicing certificate, being insured against any possible liability claims and submitting to inspections.
The qualifications offered by ACCA are as follows:
- Chartered Certified Accountant (ACCA) Professional scheme – The professional scheme is the prime basic qualification required by ACCA and the following completion of up to 14 professional examinations and 3 years of supervision, appropriate as concerned with accountancy experience that allows an individual to suit a Chartered Certified Accountant. Certain other things include:
- In accord with ACCA’s traditions, there is an open access to its examinations.
- In the Professional Scheme, a Bachelor of Science (Honors) degree in Applied Accounting (after completion of Part 2 of the Professional Scheme and presenting a Research project), is accessible in association with Oxford Brookes University).
- The current syllabus is prepared up of 14 examinations, even though some exemptions are available. The papers are divided into three parts. Within Part 3, there are four optional papers (of which two must be selected).
- Subjects examined include management accounting, taxation, company law, financial accounting, financial reporting, corporate reporting and audit and assurance.
- A new ACCA qualification started from the December 2007 examination sitting. According to it, the new syllabus updates the qualification for recent developments in the accountancy profession and reorganizes the papers within the qualification. It is ACCA policy to revise the examination syllabus on a standard basis. Changes were made previously in 2001 and 1994.
The ACCA Professional examinations are offered worldwide twice yearly, in June and December.
- CAT (Certified Accounting Technician) – It is like an introductory accounting technician qualification. It can also be done as standalone qualification, but in some cases candidates study for CAT as an introduction which is prior to begin professional scheme. Usually, it takes 1.5 years to complete the CAT exams. Though, there is no as such restriction on the number of papers that can be sought in one attempt. Other options to the CAT qualification involve Association of Accounting Technicians qualification. At present, CAT is placed on the QCA (Qualifications and Curriculum Authority) National Qualification Framework and publicly funded educational institutions are now entitled for funding to train towards the qualification in UK.
- Other qualification – ACCA also offers some other qualifications like MBA, BSc (Hons) in Applied accounting, MSc in Financial management, Diploma in Financial management, Diploma in International auditing, Diploma in International Financial Reporting and many more.
- ACCA affiliate versus members – At the first instance, candidates register as student members to undertake the professional scheme qualification. After successful completion of the examinations, student members are involuntarily transferred to the affiliate status.
- Fellowship – Senior membership of ACCA or fellowship or Chartered Certified Accountants above 3 or 5 years are awarded on certain defined criteria’s. In fact, ACCA had decided that from January 1, 2008, fellowship will be awarded on the basis of 5 years continuous membership and with compliance of continuing professional education requirements.
- Continual Professional Development – Before year 2005, CPD was mandatory for the holders of practicing certificates and insolvency licenses. From year 2005, ACCA has extended CPD to all members on a phased basis.