ACCA Syllabus - All Level Explained In Detail

13 ACCA subjects, 3 Levels, One prestigious accounting certification

Pass the exams, clear each level, and become the lucky recipient of one of the most renowned accounting qualifications acknowledged in over 180 countries. The ACCA course is an educational journey that requires dedication, commitment and hard work. If you can focus, keep your eye on the finish line and thoroughly prepare yourself, the rewards are immense. You get to be a globally recognised accountant, receive incredible job opportunities and earn lucrative salary packages.

However, before you start living the dream, you must work for it. The syllabus is an exhaustive study of the world of accounting, covering all the latest updates and developments in the field. 13 ACCA subjects explore relevant topics like management and financial accounting, taxation, financial reporting and audit and assurance.

So, what are the ACCA subjects? Which topics do they cover? How do I prepare for them?

The answers to all your questions start below.

All the ACCA subjects:

ACCA Level 1 

Applied Knowledge 

ACCA Level 2  

 Applied Skills

ACCA Level 3 

Strategic Professional

  • Business and Technology
  • Management Accounting
  • Financial Accounting
  • Corporate and Business Law 
  • Performance Management
  • Taxation 
  • Financial Reporting 
  • Financial Management
  • Audit and Assurance 
Mandatory subjects:

  • Strategic Business Leader
  • Strategic Business Reporting

Optional subjects (any 2):

  • Advanced Financial Management
  • Advanced Performance Management
  • Advanced Audit and Assurance 
  • Advanced Taxation 

Also Read – How Much Work Experience Do You Need to Complete Your ACCA Degree?

Breakdown of the ACCA syllabus

As mentioned earlier, there are 13 ACCA subjects across three levels within the ACCA program — Applied Knowledge, Applied Skills and Strategic Professional. The first one is the easiest, and the intensity increases with the next module. These three levels are for students who have completed 10+2 with the required marks. Commerce graduates can skip level one, while professionals with relevant degrees receive further exemptions. Students who qualify directly for Level 1 can take the ACCA Foundation in Accountancy course and then move up to the main program. Here is a closer look at all the ACCA subjects.

Level 1 – Applied Knowledge

  1. Business and Technology (F1)

The first ACCA subject teaches students how businesses work and the role of the accounting professional. The topic explores economic, legal and ethical aspects of businesses and how external influences such as the government, environment or economy can have a significant impact.

Some of the points covered:

  • The history of accounting in business
  • Business leadership, organisation and management
  • Functions of accounting
  • Team and employee management
  1. Management Accounting (F2)

ACCA holders can hold prominent profiles in management accounting. This ACCA subject helps you understand different management accounting techniques, how to support businesses, analyse performance levels and enhance productivity through better management.

Some of the points covered:

  • Business mathematics using spreadsheets
  • Understanding cost and management accounting
  • Various techniques to use cost accounting and budgeting
  1. Financial Accounting (F3)

If your goal is to be a financial accountant, the ACCA course ensures you learn the tools of the trade. This ACCA subject helps you learn all important concepts, principles and techniques in financial accounting, including creating statements and double-entry bookkeeping.

Some of the points covered:

  • Financial reporting and double-entry accounting methods
  • How to create financial statements
  • The preparation of the trial balance
  • Basic accounting principles

Also Read – Which is Better, BBA or Bcom for ACCA Exams?

How to prepare for the Applied Knowledge Level

  • Ensure you have set aside at least three to six months to prepare for the exam, depending on your existing workload.
  • Practice solving as many MCQ papers as possible. Highlight all wrong answers and redo the test till you get all the questions right.
  • Time yourself when solving the papers so you know how long you take.
  • Re-read the question so you register every word and avoid any misunderstandings.
  • Don’t leave any questions blank. There is no negative marking, so if you don’t know the exact answer, make an educated guess. You have a 25 per cent chance of getting it right.
  • There are past papers and mock exams available on the ACCA website.
  • If you study with a coaching institute or an Approved Learning partner, they will offer practice papers/mock tests and help you revise.
  • Examiners work with the ACCA study guide when preparing the questions for all ACCA subjects. So read through the guide several times.
  • Have multiple readings of the official textbooks till the material is thoroughly understood.
  • You can take the tests in any order, so choose wisely. Some students prefer taking the F3 paper first.

Did you know, Proschool refunds you your ACCA Registration Fees once you enroll with them

Level 2 – Applied Skills

  1. Corporate and Business Law (F4)

Corporate and Business Law gives you a clear, comprehensive of specific and relevant business legalities. The ACCA subject offers in-depth knowledge and skills required to deal with legal issues.

Some of the points covered:

  • Aspects and features of the law
  • Regulation and management of businesses
  • Law of Obligations and Employment
  • Legal ramifications of companies in crisis mode
  • Ethical issues
  1. Performance Management (F5)

This ACCA subject teaches you to incorporate management accounting techniques when analysing quantitative and qualitative financial data. It is a very crucial topic as it tackles decision-making and future planning.

Some of the points covered:

  • Decision-making methods
  • Creating predictions and forecasts
  • Analysis of standard costing and variance
  • Cost accounting techniques
  1. Taxation (F6)

This ACCA subject deals directly with the tax system and how it applies to people and affects organisations.

Some of the points covered:

  • Corporation tax
  • Value added tax
  • Income from investments
  • Income from employment
  • Capital allowances

Also Read – Countries where ACCA holders have the signing authority

  1. Financial Reporting (F7)

Every accountant must be proficient in financial reporting. This ACCA subject offers an intensive study and analysis of accounting standards and financial statements.

Some of the points covered:

  • Writing financial statements
  • Analysing and decoding financial reports
  • Conceptual framework
  • Regulatory framework
  1. Financial Management (F8)

This topic helps you learn how to be a finance manager. The ACCA subject includes skills, concepts and knowledge essential in management, including policy-making decisions, investment options and other financial matters.

Some of the points covered:

  • Financial management
  • Analysing business risks
  • Investment valuations
  • Managing working capital and capital costs
  1. Audit and Assurance (F9)

The course has included this ACCA subject to help students understand and grasp auditing methods within a company. Students also learn to carry out the assurance process accurately.

Some of the points covered:

  • How to evaluate a business
  • The nature of financial management
  • Investment assessment
  • Risk management
  • Business Finance
  • Capital costs

Also Read – The Best Advice Before ACCA Exams And Order To Follow

How to prepare for the Applied Skills Level

  • If you plan correctly, you can take the exams for all six ACCA subjects in one year (in four attempts).
  • First, sit for the F4 and F7 papers, as you can prepare for them within three months (if you are a full-time ACCA student).
  • The F4 paper is two hours long and is 100 per cent MCQ-based, so it makes sense to finish this paper first.
  • For the next three months, work on the F5 paper as it will need more preparation.
  • The F6 and F9 exams can be taken after the following three months.
  • F8 should be your final paper, as you will need three months of studying before you are ready.
  • Ensure you cover all sections of the subject material, leaving time for revision.
  • The exams are 60 per cent MCQs and 40 per cent long answers. So ensure you work on both.
  • When solving practice papers or mock tests, write down the long answers at least twice and time yourself.
  • If there are errors or changes, rewrite the answers.
  • A good coaching class will help you plan and prepare for the exams.

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Level 3 – Strategic Professional

  1. Strategic Business Leader (P1)

The Professional level of the ACCA course means serious business. At this stage, students begin to transform into specialists. The ACCA subject presents students with real-world scenarios where they can optimise their technical skills and professional expertise.

Some of the points covered:

  • Learn the importance of management governance
  • Risk management
  • Ethical and professional skills
  1. Strategic Business Reporting (P2)

This ACCA subject teaches you how to make decisions based on strategic business reporting. You learn accounting principles, concepts and advanced knowledge that can help you adapt to work-based situations.

Some of the points covered:

  • Professional and ethical practices in accounting
  • The framework of financial reporting
  • Challenges that occur during financial reporting
  • The outcome of changing regulations

(Please note that the P3 paper (Business analysis) has been discontinued)

Optional papers (choose any 2)

  1. Advanced Financial Management (P4)

This ACCA subject is perfect for budding financial managers. You have already covered the basics in Applied Skills, but now you will learn how to work as a senior professional. A part of the course is learning how to make the right financial decisions for the company.

Some of the points covered:

  • Mergers and acquisitions
  • Advanced risk management techniques
  • Understanding how to deal with stakeholders
  • Enhanced investment evaluations
  • New challenges in financial management
  1. Advanced Performance Management (P5)

This ACCA subject helps students learn how to exercise professional assessment. You study how to use strategic management accounting methods in different business scenarios and evaluate the level of performance within a company or business.

Some of the points covered:

  • Calculation of strategic performance
  • Strategic planning
  • Performance management methods
  • Industry developments
  • Relevant economic aspects

Also Read – How much should you be earning post-ACCA in Dubai

  1. Advanced Taxation (P6)

This ACCA subject delves deeper into understanding taxes. Students gain valuable knowledge about taxation laws and how taxes affect a company’s financial decisions.

Some of the points covered:

  • Tax management
  • Client communication
  • Effects of taxes
  1. Advanced Audit and Assurance (P7)

This final ACCA subject deals with the various issues that professional auditors face. The paper is aligned with the subject, Strategic Business Reporting, and you need to clear that exam before you sit for the AAA paper.

Some of the points covered:

  • Conducting an audit
  • Quality control
  • Professional and ethical considerations
  • International regulatory structures

How to prepare for the Strategic Professional Level

  • Set aside 100 to 150 hours of study time per ACCA subject to ensure you have enough time to cover all essential topics.
  • Candidates who repeatedly solve past practice papers are more likely to clear the exams.
  • The ACCA website offers many resources and technical articles that help students understand this level better.
  • Examiners have noted that nearly 30 per cent of students lose points because they misunderstand the question. Take the time to read the question and understand every word.
  • Time yourself when you solve a practice paper so you learn to stay within the time limits.
  • Refer to the official study books when studying for the exams.
  • Examiners are looking for more than technical knowledge. They want to test your analytical and critical thinking skills.
  • When writing an answer, identify the main points, analyse the problem and prepare suitable solutions.
  • Study with an ACCA-approved learning partner to clear your doubts and understand complex concepts.

Also Read – ACCA Step by Step Registration Process

How Proschool helps you study for the ACCA subjects 

As an ACCA Approved Learning Partner, IMS Proschool has helped many students acquire the coveted accounting certification. Proschool has experienced tutors who are also prominent accounting experts in the industry. All ACCA subjects are taught through innovative learning methods and practical training. Students also receive additional skills such as financial modelling to further boost their resumes. This program has been specifically designed to ensure students can enter the industry as full-fledged accounting professionals.

Highlights of Proschool’s ACCA Prep Course:

  • There are online and offline courses available for students across the country.
  • Proschool offers several learning resources such as practice papers, mock tests and learning videos.
  • Once the students complete the ACCA Prep program, they get access to Proschool’s placement portal, which connects them with recruiters from all the leading companies


Do my 12th-year marks matter when applying for the ACCA?

Yes. The ACCA board has set specific requirements for enrolment, one of them being the 12th-year score. You need a minimum of 65 per cent in Maths/Accounting and English. You also need a minimum of 50 per cent in the other subjects. If you have not completed your 12th year, you can apply for the ACCA Foundation in Accountancy course to improve your eligibility for the main program.

Can I do ACCA without maths?

The ACCA course requires a minimum grade of 65 per cent in either maths or accounting. If you have the latter, then you don’t need mathematics.

Are all the ACCA exams MCQ-based?

  • The first four papers – F1 to F4 have 50 multiple-choice questions, each one worth 2 points.
  • The ACCA subjects F5 to F9 are 60 per cent MCQ-based, while the remaining 40 per cent will have a long answer format.
  • All the exams at the Professional Level will have scenario-based questions and no multiple-choice.

What is the hardest ACCA subject?

It is a highly subjective question since students will react differently to each subject. It depends on your aptitude, skill set and affinity. However, many have found Audit and Assurance from Level 2 to be quite taxing. With the right coaching and study plan, you can overcome this challenging ACCA subject.

Does having an ACCA certification lead to a highly paid-career?

An ACCA qualification, along with substantial work experience, can lead to a good bump in salary. Professionals who work with leading companies such as the Big 4 or large banks stand to make more than those working in mid-level companies. However, on average, ACCA professionals make around Rs 6 lakhs a year. Senior accountants in higher positions can earn over Rs 20 lakhs per annum.


The ACCA course has been skilfully curated to help students become prominent accounting professionals across the world. As companies work towards newer developments and businesses encounter rapid changes, the corporate world needs ACCA-certified accountants to rise to the challenges. When you study all the ACCA subjects and form a clear understanding of the material, you reach a high level of expertise. This makes you a strong contender for jobs in various industries and can launch a very successful career.