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Knowledge Update

Understanding the ACCA Qualification Structure

Understanding the ACCA Qualification Structure

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The ACCA (Association of Chartered Certified Accountants) qualification is a globally recognized and highly respected chartered certification for aspiring accountants.

To achieve this prestigious designation, candidates must navigate a rigorous examination process that assesses their knowledge and skills in various areas of accounting and finance.


In this article, we will delve into the structure of the ACCA exams and provide an overview of what candidates can expect on their journey towards becoming ACCA qualified professionals.


Knowledge Level:

The ACCA qualification structure begins with the knowledge level, which comprises three papers: Business and Technology (BT), Management Accounting (MA), and Financial Accounting (FA). These papers lay the groundwork for candidates by covering fundamental accounting principles and introducing key concepts and techniques. The foundation level is designed to provide a solid understanding of accounting and finance before progressing to the professional level.


Skills Level:

Once candidates have successfully completed the knowledge level, they can advance to the skills level, which consists of six papers in total. Corporate Law (LW), Performance Management (PM), Taxation (TX), Financial Reporting (FR), Audit and Assurance (AA) and Financial Management (FM). While PM and FM syllabus are standardized, students are free to choose their desired variant in the remaining papers.

These papers delve deeper into the respective areas, building upon the knowledge level and equipping candidates with a broader understanding of financial reporting, management accounting techniques, and legal aspects relevant to business.


Strategic Professional Module:

The Strategic Professional module is the final stage of the ACCA qualification. Based on his/her previous qualification a student is eligible to claim exemptions in up to first nine papers (Knowledge level and Skills level) but the papers in the Strategic Professional level can never be exempted under any condition.


Final level of ACCA qualification is divided into two components: Essentials and Options.

i) Essentials: The Essentials component includes two papers that are mandatory for all candidates to clear. Strategic Business Leader (SBL) and Strategic Business Reporting (SBR). These papers focus on developing strategic thinking and advanced reporting skills required by finance professionals operating at a senior level within organizations.

ii) Options: The Options component allows candidates to select two out of four available papers, tailoring their ACCA qualification to their specific career aspirations and areas of expertise. The options papers include Advanced Financial Management (AFM), Advanced Performance Management (APM), Advanced Taxation (ATX), and Advanced Audit and Assurance (AAA).


Upon completion of Strategic Professional level, a student gets an ACCA Affiliate status. However, it must be kept in mind that you are allowed to use the title “ACCA” with your name only after becoming an ACCA member by completing Practical Experience Requirements.


Practical Experience Requirement (PER):

In addition to passing the exams, candidates are required to complete a minimum of three years of relevant practical experience to obtain ACCA membership. The PER provides individuals with the opportunity to apply their knowledge in real-world scenarios and develop the necessary skills and competencies to become accomplished accounting professionals.



The ACCA exam structure follows a comprehensive and progressive approach, ensuring candidates are equipped with the essential knowledge and skills required to excel in the field of accounting and finance. From the foundation level to the professional level, the exams cover a wide range of topics and challenge candidates to think strategically and critically. By successfully completing the ACCA qualification, individuals enhance their career prospects and gain global recognition as highly competent and ethical accounting professionals.


Study ACCA in UAEACCA course at Skyline University College Sharjah - ACCA approved learning provider.