The Value of ACCA After CA

Brief Overview of ACCA

The Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) is a global body that offers one of the most prestigious certifications for accountants. As of 2017, more than 700,000 ACCA members and students are from 178 countries. This blog will explain the syllabus and papers of ACCA. If you wish to know more, you can inquire about the course using this link, and we will be happy to answer every single query.



How Many Papers in ACCA?

The ACCA syllabus includes 13 papers. IMS PROSCHOOL’s ACCA course helps you with these 13 ACCA papers. ACCA Subjects are broadly categorised into Fundamental level(9 Papers F1-F9), Strategic Professional level (4 out of 6 papers P1 – P7. Further, the 13 papers are subdivided into the following levels: To know more about each ACCA paper, Click Here.

  • Knowledge (includes 3 papers F1 – F3)
  • Skills (includes 6 papers F4 – F9)
  • Essentials (includes 2 papers P1/P3 & P2)
  • Options (includes 4 papers P4 – P7 out of which appear for any 2)

Knowledge level

This section is the starting point for you to become an ACCA-qualified accountant and, as such, provides you with basic accounting knowledge in business. The syllabus for the ACCA knowledge level goes as follows.

Accountant in Business (Formerly ACCA F1): This ACCA paper teaches you how to effectively manage a business by understanding the current business environment and comprehending its influence on the activities of an organisation. It also emphasises your role as an accountant and your expected contribution in effectively and ethically developing the organisation. The following topics are primarily covered in this paper:

  • Structure, governance, and management of an organisation
  • Influences and constraints of key environmental factors on business and accounting
  • Role of accountants in a business
  • Specific functions of internal financial control and accounting
  • Individual and team management

Prepare yourself for ACCA F1

Management Accounting (Formerly ACCA F2): This ACCA paper provides the knowledge of preparing and processing basic quantitative information, which can eventually be used to support the decision-making processes at the management level. The following topics are primarily covered in this paper:

  • Nature and purpose of management and cost accounting
  • Classification of cost and study of its behavior and purpose
  • Computer spreadsheets and business mathematics
  • Standard costing and budgeting
  • Cost accounting techniques
  • Various decision-making techniques

Prepare yourself for ACCA F2

Financial Accounting (Formerly ACCA F3): This ACCA paper teaches you the underlying concepts and the core principles that govern financial accounting activities. It will also help you develop technical expertise in double-entry accounting, which is the foundation for preparing and interpreting all the basic financial statements. The following topics are primarily covered in this paper:

  • Background and purpose of financial reporting
  • Interpretation of qualitative financial information
  • Fundamentals of Accounting
  • Application of double-entry accounting
  • Recording of accounting transactions and events
  • Preparation of trial balance
  • Preparation of the basic financial statements

Prepare yourself for ACCA F3

Skills level

This module helps you develop technical expertise in some important ACCA subjects within the ACCA syllabus, which include taxation, law, auditing and financial management, performance management and financial reporting. In fact, as an ACCA member, you are expected to have an advanced understanding of these ACCA subjects.

Corporate and Business Law (Formerly ACCA F4): This ACCA paper helps you understand the broader legal framework by introducing you to the specific legal issues related to the business. It also teaches you to identify those situations where you should straightaway seek the advice of a specialist legal advisor. The following topics are primarily covered in this paper:

  • Fundamentals of the corporate legal system
  • Employment law
  • Constitution of a business organisation
  • Management, administration, and regulation of a company
  • Legal implications for a company in stress
  • Ethical and governance issues of a business

Prepare yourself for ACCA F4

Performance Management (Formerly ACCA F5): This ACCA paper helps you develop your skills and learn different management accounting techniques. The objective is to teach you how to use the available quantitative and qualitative information in planning, decision-making and performance evaluation. The following topics are primarily covered in this paper:

  • Cost accounting methods
  • Budgeting and forecasting
  • Performance measurement techniques
  • Standard costing and variance analysis

Prepare yourself for ACCA F5

Taxation (Formerly ACCA F6): This ACCA paper aims to provide you with more detailed knowledge of the business tax system and help you understand how it impacts individuals and companies. The following topics are primarily covered in this paper:

  • Capital allowances and profits earned from property business
  • Employment income, investment income and trading profits
  • Personal tax, corporate tax, capital gains tax and value-added tax
  • National insurance

Prepare yourself for ACCA F6

Financial Reporting (Formerly ACCA F7): This ACCA paper aims to develop your skills to understand the underlying principles of accounting standards and financial reporting. It also emphasises the theoretical principles on which the financial statements are built, which will help you analyse and interpret them better. The following topics are primarily covered in this paper:

  • Regulatory and conceptual framework of financial reporting
  • Financial statement preparation
  • Analysis and interpretation of financial statements

Prepare yourself for ACCA F7

Audit and Assurance (Formerly ACCA F8): Audit and Assurance (AA): This ACCA paper will provide the knowledge required to carry out assurance engagement, ensuring that you understand all the related professional regulatory frameworks for the same. The following topics are primarily covered in this paper:

  • The regulatory framework for audits
  • Planning and risk assessment
  • Knowledge of internal control
  • Recording audit evidence
  • Reviewing and reporting audit outcomes

Prepare yourself for ACCA F8

Financial Management (Formerly ACCA F9):  This ACCA paper teaches how financial managers use their knowledge and expertise to make investments, financing, and other decisions. The following topics are primarily covered in this paper:

  • Functions of a financial manager
  • Financial management environment
  • Investment appraisal and business valuation
  • Management of cost of capital and business finance
  • Working capital management
  • Business risk assessment

Prepare yourself for ACCA F9

Essentials level

This module provides you with some essential and specialised skills to become an excellent accountant. In fact, such skills will open doors for you to opportunities such as high-level advisory roles or consultancy.

P1/ P3 – Strategic Business Leader (SBL): These ACCA papers intend to concentrate on things you will be required to dwell upon as a part of the Board of Directors of an organisation. Basically, you will be taught how to take a big-picture approach to decide on strategies and corporate governance issues on the one hand and take a more meticulous approach to develop policies on internal controls and audits. The following topics are primarily covered in this paper:

  • Role and function of governance in the management of an organisation
  • Role of an accountant in risk assessment
  • Ethical framework for professional values and judgment

Prepare yourself for ACCA

Strategic Business Reporting (Formely ACCA P2): This ACCA paper aims to leverage your existing knowledge of basic financial reporting to develop an understanding of more complex financial reporting issues. The following topics are primarily covered in this paper:

  • Professional and ethical duties of an accountant
  • Framework for financial reporting
  • Preparation of financial statements for group entities
  • Study probable financial reporting issues
  • Implications of changes in accounting regulation
  • Evaluation of current developments

Prepare yourself for ACCA


This module allows you the choice to select 2 papers out of the available 4 papers. The objective of this module is to provide you with the ACCA subjects best suited to your field of interest and career aspirations.

Advanced Financial Management (Formely ACCA P4): This ACCA paper provides an in-depth understanding of the financial world. It also helps you develop your theoretical skills to become more suited for the roles of senior financial advisors and executives. The following topics are primarily covered in this paper:

  • Stakeholder management
  • Advanced investment appraisal
  • Corporate re-organization, acquisitions and mergers
  • Advanced risk management techniques
  • Emerging issues in the world of finance

Prepare yourself for ACCA

Advanced Performance Management (Formely ACCA P5): This ACCA paper aims to hone your skills by teaching advanced management accounting techniques. It helps you to develop your ability to assess the performance and development of global organisations more accurately. The following topics are primarily covered in this paper:

  • Assessment of strategic development and performance of an organisation
  • Evaluation of external factors
  • Performance systems and design
  • Current global developments

Prepare yourself for ACCA

Advanced Taxation (Formerly ACCA P6): This ACCA paper aims to provide the knowledge required to understand large-scale taxation’s impact on financial decision-making. The following topics are primarily covered in this paper:

  • UK tax system and its impacts
  • Tax planning methods
  •  Client communication

Prepare yourself for ACCA

Advanced Audit and Assurance (Formerly P7): This ACCA paper helps you to improve your analysis and evaluation techniques. It also develops your assurance engagement reporting and other audit and assurance-related issues. The following topics are primarily covered in this paper:

  • Conceptual and regulatory framework for audit
  • Preparation of financial statements
  • Analysis and interpretation techniques

Prepare yourself for ACCA

The time required to prepare each paper

The time required to prepare each paper depends on each individual’s skill level, and hence it is absolutely subjective. However, based on various opinions, each paper within the given ACCA syllabus for the fundamental level takes approximately 1 month, while each strategic professional-level paper takes approximately 2.5 months.

Difficulty level of each paper

Each paper’s difficulty level can vary from person to person as it is a subjective matter which depends a lot on your skill level, area of interest and perception. However, the historical pass rate is one of the most effective ways to decide on the difficulty level. The historical pass rate shows how many people could pass the exam; typically, a lower pass rate indicates that the paper is relatively more complex. As such, from the below table, it can be inferred that F1 (Accountant in Business) is the easiest paper, with the highest pass rate of 85% in June 2019, while P7 (Advanced Audit and Assurance) is the most challenging paper, with the lowest pass rate of 30% in March 2019. However, please note that this is just an opinion.

Table: Historical pass rates of ACCA papers


Overall Review of ACCA syllabus

The ACCA syllabus is extremely comprehensive and prepares you to become an efficient and ethical ACCA-Qualified accountant. The syllabus covers topics from basics, like teaching students what balance sheet maintenance to helping them run accounting operations for large organisations in an ethical manner. Therefore, if you wish to start studying for ACCA, IMS proschool should be your ideal choice.

Read more: A Day In the Life of a Financial Analyst