The Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) is the 116-year-old body of professional accountants across the globe. It is made up of 219,000 members and 527,000 students supporting economic growth in 179 countries. According to the ACCA annual report for 2018-19, student satisfaction was at a huge 82.1% showing that the certification is excellent for taking your accounting career to new heights. There are many opportunities in the accounting profession right now.
Benefits of studying ACCA
- ACCA opens the door to opportunities in top firms such as KPMG, Ernst & Young, Deloitte, and PwC.
- Besides getting training in finance and accounting, students can enhance their skills in strategy and management.
- Students can work while studying for the qualification.
- Students with the ACCA certification are in high demand in areas such as banking, consulting, and auditing.
- To get a clear idea about how to start preparing for your ACCA exams, we will initially start by looking at the different modules of examination.
ACCA Exams Modules
There are three main modules:
- Applied Skills
- Applied Knowledge
- Strategic Professionals
These exams are designed to develop student’s practical and financial skills. Please note that the above skills are mandatory to become a professional accountant. Exams in this category include:
- Corporate and Business Law (LW)
- Taxation (TX)
- Financial Reporting (FR)
- Performance Management (PM)
- Financial Management (FM)
- Audit and Assurance (AA)
All of these exams are designed to develop the student’s accounting techniques. The exams in this category include:
- Accountancy in Business (AB)
- Financial Accounting (FA)
- Management Accounting (MA)
These exams prepare students for leadership roles they will undertake in the future. The exams in this category include:
- Strategic Business Reporting (SBR)
- Strategic Business Leader (SBL)
- Advanced Performance Management (APM)
- Advanced Taxation (ATX)
- Advanced Financial Management (AFM)
- Advanced Audit and Assurance (AAA)
5 Tips to prepare for ACCA exams
With the help of the syllabus, it will be easy for you to focus on specific topics. Examiners will only write questions based on the syllabus and therefore, you should go through it all thoroughly and cover everything mentioned in your revision.
- Examiner’s approach
It can also be useful to view the “Examiner’s Approach Interview” which can be found on the official ACCA website for each specific module. This will give you an idea about the type of answers they expect.
- Time management
In the knowledge module, there are 50 questions that you will have to complete in 2 hours meaning you have only 1.2 minutes per question. Therefore, timed practice will help you learn to complete the questions in the allotted time. Above all, you will need to be really fast!
- Study pattern
Set targets for each day so that you can complete your revision of the syllabus on time. Don’t just guess the answers to questions. Instead, be sure to understand the concept behind every answer you have chosen. While studying if you find it difficult to understand a particular topic, speak to your teacher, and get your questions answered.
- Analysis of exam papers
Collect past papers from the last few years and practice answering questions from them. You will get an idea about how much preparation you have done and where you might need to put in some extra work. This is the best practice for keeping a check on your preparations.
On a shorter note,
- Start early and make study and revision a regular activity
- Factor holidays, workload and other commitments into your study plan to ensure you have time to cover the whole syllabus
- Try to balance work, study and social life but be prepared for ‘short-term pain for long-term gain’
- Use past papers and answers, and examiners’ reports, to improve technical understanding and to practice exam technique
- Actively link your studies to your job – this helps your revision and your workplace performance
- Take enough time off around an exam to both study and relax
- In the exam, read the whole paper before you start, and all the question requirements before writing an answer
- Don’t forget the professional marks
- Analyse your performance and use this information for your next exam
This is a great time to pursue a career in accounting. If you decide to choose an ACCA course for a career in accounting, there is a bright future waiting for you!