General Background to ACCA

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.

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Course Structure

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:


  1. AB – Accountant in Business
  2. MA – Management Accounting
  3. FA – Financial Accounting


The Applied Skills level consists of 6 examinations:


  1. LW – Corporate and Business Law
  2. PM – Performance Management
  3. TX – Taxation
  4. FR – Financial Reporting
  5. AA – Audit and Assurance
  6. FM – Financial Management

The Strategic Professional level involves 4 examinations: 2 from Essential and any 2 from Options.


Essential (or Compulsory):


  1. SBL – Strategic Business Leader
  2. SBR – Strategic Business Reporting




  1. AFM – Advanced Financial Management
  2. APM – Advanced Performance Management
  3. ATX – Advanced Taxation
  4. AAA – Advanced Audit and Assurance

Other qualifications


The ACCA also offers certain other qualifications:


  1. BSc (Hons)in Applied Accounting, offered in association with Oxford Brookes University.
  2. MScin Professional Accountancy, offered in association with the University of London.
  3. Global MBA(for full ACCA members), offered in association with Oxford Brookes University.
  4. Diploma in Financial Management (DipFM). This certification was previously known as the Certified Diploma in Accounting and Finance (CDipAF), a financial qualification designed for managers outside of finance. This qualification was replaced with Foundations in Accountancy awards at the end of 2011.


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