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All the world loves an accountant

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Bottomline: The accounting profession is not just an instrument for preparing financial statements. It involves evolving steps for reducing costs, adopting technologies for enhancing efficiency and managing quality.
Bottomline: The accounting profession is not just an instrument for preparing financial statements. It involves evolving steps for reducing costs, adopting technologies for enhancing efficiency and managing quality.

B.S. WARRIER

To make a mark in the accounting profession at the global level, the membership of the U.K.-based ACCA can be helpful.

We had briefly discussed the merits of the accounting profession in the wide world of careers. The significant aspects of CPA (The Certified Public Accountant) had also been mentioned. Accountancy offers fascinating challenges in the competitive world of business.

The vibrant professional has to be sensitive to the constantly changing needs of the market. He has to update his knowledge and skills. The remuneration is handsome. If you have to succeed in the profession at the global level, a qualification you can keep in mind is the membership of the U.K.-based ACCA (Association of Chartered Certified Accountants).

The ACCA provides accounting knowledge and skills that are essential for success in the profession through serving in diverse sectors such as private, public, and government, or through building your own private practice.

The exam structure

For qualifying as an ACCA member, you should pass 14 papers — nine at the fundamental level and five at the professional level.

Fundamentals

• Knowledge

F1 Accountant in Business (AB)

F2 Management Accounting (MA)

F3 Financial Accounting (FA)

• Skills

F4 Corporate and Business Law (CL)

F5 Performance Management (PM)

F6 Taxation (TX)

F7 Financial Reporting (FR)

F8 Audit and Assurance (AA)

F9 Financial Management (FM)

Professional

• Essentials

P1 Professional Accountant (PA)

P2 Corporate Reporting (CR)

P3 Business Analysis (BA)

• Options (any two can be opted)

P4 Advanced Financial Management (AFM)

P5 Advanced Performance Management (APM)

P6 Advanced Taxation (ATX)

P7 Advanced Audit and Assurance (AAA)

Out of the 14, a maximum of nine fundamental papers are eligible for exemption. You should also acquire at least three years of relevant practical experience. The qualification has a focus on ethics and values.

Entry Qualifications

There are different levels of entry, and corresponding qualifications. The levels depend on the age and academic qualification of the candidate. Those who have passed Class XII examination in India can apply for registration. You should have studied English and Mathematics / Accounts in Class XII, and scored 65 per cent marks in at least two subjects and more than 50 per cent in other subjects.

A diploma of at least two years from a polytechnic college is also adequate for the purpose of entry. The details of entry qualifications can be summarised as follows.

Minimum qualification: The minimum entry requirements include two A Levels and three GCSEs or equivalent in five separate subjects, including English and Mathematics as well.

MSER: Those who are above 21 years can opt for the Mature Student Entry Route. They need not fulfil any academic requirement. This is meant for students who have the maturity and skills to deal with the ACCA Qualification instead of first undertaking the Certified Accounting Technician (CAT) qualification. MSER students must pass the equivalent of Paper F2 Management Accounting and Paper F3 Financial Accounting within two years of registration.

Graduate entry: Those with the relevant degree from ACCA-accredited institutions may be exempted from all nine papers of the Fundamentals. They can register directly at the Professional level. Degrees in most of the Indian universities stand accredited for this purpose. The details of accreditation are available at the ACCA web site.

Via CAT qualification: No academic qualification is necessary. Get the Certified Accounting Technician (CAT) qualification first, and then transfer to the Skills module of the ACCA Qualification by claiming exemption from the three papers F1, F2, & F3 in the Knowledge module.

Exemptions

We mentioned the nine papers in the Fundamentals segment of the examination. You can get exemption from appearing in some or all of the nine papers if you have approved qualifications for such exemptions. Your qualifications have to be in tune with the ACCA syllabus. There is however, no exemption from the papers at the Professional level.

The details of exemptions you can get may be found out by visiting the ‘related documents’ link on the ACCA site. You will have to pay an exemption fee for each paper, the amount being the same as the examination fee concerned. You should submit evidence for your qualifications enabling you to get the exemptions.

Preparing for the exam

There is an online ACCA’s Tuition Provider Directory, which may be used to confirm the availability of a tuition provider, helping to prepare for any of the ACCA qualifications. There are more than 440 tuition providers worldwide. The study option includes full-time courses, part-time day or evening courses, correspondence / distance learning, weekend courses and revision courses. There are ‘Approved Learning Partners - Student Tuition.’ Details may be drawn from the ACCA web site www.accaglobal.com.

Kaplan Publishing is an Official Publisher for ACCA. It helps individuals achieve their educational and career goals, by providing targeted study materials. For clarification on any point relating to training by Kaplan, you may contact esupport@kaplan.co.uk.

There are virtual classrooms which may be used by students from any part of the globe through the Internet. ACCA is developing innovative styles of learning facilities. You can have a blended approach to learning, by combining different types of learning, using facilities such as face-to-face, CD ROM, e-learning, online tutorials, textbooks, and so on.

Practical experience

As part of the training, you have to complete three years of relevant practical experience. You should, through the practical experience, achieve 13 of the performance objectives listed below: all nine Essentials and any four from the 11 Options.

Essentials (all nine to be completed)

Professionalism, ethics and governance

1. Demonstrate the application of professional ethics, values and judgment

2. Contribute to the effective governance of an organisation

3. Raise awareness of non-financial risk

Personal effectiveness

4. Manage self

5. Communicate effectively

6. Use information and communications technology

Business management

7. Manage ongoing activities in your area of responsibility

8. Improve departmental performance

9. Manage an assignment

Options (four to be completed)

Financial accounting and reporting

10. Prepare financial statements for external purposes

11. Interpret financial transactions and financial statements

Performance measurement and management accounting

12. Prepare financial information for management

13. Contribute to budget planning and production

14. Monitor and control budgets

Finance and financial management

15. Evaluate potential business/investment opportunities and the required finance options

16. Manage cash using active cash management and treasury systems

Audit and assurance

17. Prepare for and collect evidence for audit

18. Evaluate and report on audit

Taxation

19. Evaluate and compute taxes payable

20. Assist with tax planning

The duration for finishing the ACCA training depends on your choice. ACCA recommends completion of practical experience along with passing the examination. But you can make your own scheduling to suit to your convenience. You can take a maximum of four exams every six months. A person with the minimum qualification would normally take three to four years to gain the ACCA qualification. A graduate with prior relevant experience may finish the programme earlier.

Fees

The current rates of essential fees are as follows: Initial Registration £66, Subscription £66, Exam / Exemption: a) Knowledge £50 b) Skills £60 c) Professional £70

The rates of fees may change. The cost of preparation depends on your learning option. For the June examinations, you have to register by December 31 of the preceding year. For the December examinations, you have to register by August 15 of the same year. There is facility for online registration.

Exam centres in India: Ahmedabad, Bangalore,Kolkata, Chennai,Cochin,Mumbai, andNew Delhi.

Certified Accounting Technician

This is an option that helps those who wish to gain recognition for the wealth of skills and experience they have already achieved. ACCA’s CAT qualification provides you with a solid foundation in finance and accounting. It offers you exemptions from the ACCA examinations. You have to complete a set of exams and one-year’s practical experience in the workplace, to get the CAT status.


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