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Certificate Level

Certificate Level

The Certificate Level subjects can be studied as an independent qualification known as the Certificate of Finance and Business (CFAB), available to study with Kaplan Distance Learning.

We recommend that you begin by studying Accounting and Assurance papers first and then complete the level in any order.

Accounting

Prepare financial statements, financial records and adjustments to accounting records and financial statements.

Exam weighting

  • Maintaining financial records - 30%
  • Adjustments to accounting records and financial statements - 35%
  • Preparing financial statements - 35%

Each 90 minute assessment will contain 25 questions in total, 1 question worth 40 marks and 24 questions worth 2.5 marks each with a pass mark of 55%.

Assurance

Learn the concept, process and need for assurance, internal controls, how to gather evidence on an assurance engagement and professional ethics.

Exam weighting

  • The concept, process and need for assurance - 20%
  • Internal controls - 25%
  • Gathering evidence on an assurance engagement - 35%
  • Professional ethics - 20%

Each 90 minute assessment will contain 50 questions in total each worth 2 marks with a pass mark of 55%.

Business and Finance

Understand business objectives and functions, the ethics and the impact of the external environment. The role of business structures, finance and accounting, the accountancy profession and governance.

Exam weighting

  • Business objectives, functions and structures - 30%
  • The role of finance and accounting - 25%
  • The role of the accountancy profession - 15%
  • Governance and ethics - 15%
  • External environment - 15%

Each 90 minute assessment will contain 50 questions in total each worth 2 marks with a pass mark of 55%.

Principles of Taxation

Grasp objectives and types of tax including income tax and other local taxes, capital gains tax and corporation tax on chargeable gains, corporation tax and VAT and consider ethics and administration.

Exam weighting

  • Objectives, types of tax and ethics - 10%
  • Administration of taxation - 20%
  • Income tax and national insurance contributions - 26%
  • Capital gains tax and chargeable gains for companies - 10%
  • Corporation tax - 14%
  • VAT - 20%

Each 90 minute assessment will contain 2 long questions worth 10 marks each and 40 short questions worth 2 marks each with a pass mark of 55%.

Law

Know the impact of civil law on business and professional services, company and insolvency law. The impact of criminal law on business and professional services and the overall impact of law in a professional context.

Exam weighting

  • The impact of civil law on business and professional services - 35%
  • Company and insolvency law - 40%
  • The impact of criminal law on business and professional services - 10%
  • The impact of law in the professional context - 15%

Each 90 minute assessment consists of 50 questions, each worth 2 marks.

Management Information

Comprehend costing and pricing, budgeting and forecasting, performance management and management decision-making

Exam weighting

  • Costing and pricing & Ethics - 25%
  • Budgeting and forecasting - 25%
  • Performance management - 25%
  • Management decision making - 25%

Each 90 minute assessment will contain 33 questions in total, 1 question worth 20 marks and 32 questions worth 2.5 marks each with a pass mark of 55%.

Certificate Level exemptions

University graduates are eligible to apply to for credits from all papers on the Certificate Level and Business Strategy and Financial Management from the Professional Level.

AAT students who have completed the Intermediate and Technician Levels, may be able to apply for credits from all papers on the Certificate Level excluding Law.

More from ICAEW about exemptions.

Professional Level

Professional Level

Professional Level papers can be sat in any order but we recommend leaving Business Planning Tax until the end and using that as a transitional paper to the Advanced Level. All papers are compulsory.

Business Strategy

Understand strategic analysis, the strategic choices open to organisations and how to use strategy.

Exam weighting

  • Strategic analysis - 35%
  • Strategic choice - 35%
  • Implementation of strategy - 30%

Each 2.5 hour exam will consist of 3 questions with a pass mark of 55%.

Audit and Assurance

Learn legal, ethical and current issues, how to accept and manage engagements, plan assurance engagements and how to conclude and report on assurance engagements.

Exam weighting

  • Legal and other professional regulations, ethics and current issues - 20%
  • Accepting and managing engagements - 15%
  • Planning engagements - 40%
  • Concluding and reporting on engagements - 25%

Each 2.5 hour exam will containing six short-form questions and three long-form questions with a pass mark of 55%. Candidates may use the appropriate Auditing Standards Open Book.

Tax Compliance

Enhance your understanding of Income Tax, Corporation Tax, NICs, VAT, Capital Gains Tax and Inheritance Tax, as well as being introduced to overseas tax implications.

Exam weighting

  • Ethics and law - 5-10%
  • Indirect taxes - 10-15%
  • Capital taxes - 20-30%
  • Corporation tax - 15-20%
  • Income tax and NIC - 35-45%

Each 2.5 hour exam will consist of 5 questions with a pass mark of 55%. Candidates may use the appropriate Tax Tables Open Book.

Financial Management

Comprehend financing options, managing financial risk, investment and financing decisions.

Exam weighting

  • Financing options - 35%
  • Managing financial risk - 30%
  • Investment decisions and valuation - 35%

Each 2.5 hour exam will consist of 3-5 questions with a pass mark of 55%.

Financial Accounting & Reporting (IFRS or UK GAAP variance)

Learn accounting and reporting concepts, how to prepare single company and consolidated financial statements, and how to analyse and interpret financial information.

Exam weighting

  • Accounting and reporting concepts and ethics - 10%
  • Single company financial statements - 60%
  • Consolidated financial statements - 30 %

Each 3 hour exam will consist of 4 or 5 questions with a pass mark of 55%. Candidates may use either the appropriate IFRS Open Book or the UK Accounting Standards and Company Law Open Book depending on the exam being taken.

Business Planning Tax

Build on your existing technical tax knowledge by developing your ability to add value to different types of clients with sensible tax planning solutions.

Exam weighting

  • Ethics and law - 5-10%
  • Taxation of corporate entities - 35-45%

Each 2.5 hour exam will consist of 3 questions, 1 will be scenario based and worth 40 marks with a pass mark of 55%. This is a completely open book exam so any written or printed material may be taken into the exam room.

Business Planning Insurance

Focused on the role of an ICAEW Chartered Accountant in the insurance industry. The context of questions can be set around the key sectors of the insurance industry and this will influence the context of the business planning underlying the question. Key sectors are life assurance and other long term insurance (eg term assurance, pensions), general insurance (eg motor, home, accident) and Reinsurance.

Exam weighting

  • Insurance products- 15-20%
  • Risk Management- 10-15%
  • Financial and Regulatory Reporting for insurance companies- 30–35%
  • Audit and assurance of insurance companies- 30-35%
  • Ethics- 5-10%

Each 2.5 hour exam will consist of 3 questions, 1 will be scenario based and worth 40 marks with a pass mark of 55%. This is a completely open book exam so any written or printed material may be taken into the exam room.

Business Planning Banking

Focused on the role of an ICAEW Chartered Accountant in the banking industry. Their role may be external for example audit or assurance, or working within a bank for example risk management, financial accounting or internal audit.

Exam weighting

  • Financial services products- 15-20%
  • Risk Management- 10-15%
  • Financial and Regulatory Reporting for banks – 30 – 35%
  • Audit and assurance of banks – 30 – 35%
  • Ethics- 5-10%

Each 2.5 hour exam will consist of 3 questions, 1 will be scenario based and worth 40 marks with a pass mark of 55%. This is a completely open book exam so any written or printed material may be taken into the exam room.

Professional Level exemptions

University graduates are eligible to apply for credits from Business Strategy and Financial Management papers on the Professional Level.

More from ICAEW about exemptions.

Advanced Level

Advanced Level

It is recommended that you sit Corporate Reporting and Strategic Business Management alongside or before the Advanced Case Study.

Corporate Reporting

Build on existing knowledge of financial reporting and audit and assurance by developing your ability to apply this technical knowledge and professional judgement to business scenarios in order to determine compliance solutions.

Exam weighting

  • Compliance & Financial Statement Analysis - 55-65%
  • Audit & Assurance - 30-40%
  • Ethics - 5-10%

Each 3.5 hour exam is completely open book so any written or printed material may be taken into the exam room.

Strategic Business Management

Builds on skills introduced during Financial Management and Business Strategy and applies them to complex scenarios. The exam will develop business acumen and tests technical knowledge and application to various business changing situations such as acquisitions, investment overseas and finance.

Exam weighting

  • Business and management - 35-45%
  • Financial strategy - 25-35%
  • Corporate reporting - 15-20%
  • Assurance - 10%
  • Ethics - 5-10%

Each 3.5 hour exam is completely open book so any written or printed material may be taken into the exam room.

Advanced Case Study

Produce a professional report based on your prior knowledge and analysis of a case study and additional information received during the exam. The report will require you to demonstrate and integrate number of skills developed in earlier papers, including financial statement analysis, data analysis and strategy evaluation.

Exam weighting

Marks are allocated to each of the four main elements of the report as follows:

  • Executive summary - 15%
  • Requirement one - 25%
  • Requirement two - 25%
  • Requirement three - 25%

The remaining marks are available for the following:

  • Style and content of appendices - 5%
  • Overall structure, style and language of the report - 5%

In addition to this, the marks awarded for each requirement will also be broken down into the four key skills:

  • Assimilating and using information - 20%
  • Structuring problems and solutions - 30%
  • Applying judgement - 30%
  • Drawing conclusions and making recommendations - 20%

Each 4 hour exam is completely open book so any written or printed material may be taken into the exam room.

 

Exemptions

Exemptions

Graduates

If you are Graduate, you can apply for up to eight paper credits so that you are exempt from the following ACA (ICAEW) exams:

  • Accounting
  • Assurance
  • Business and Finance
  • Law
  • Management Information
  • Principles of Taxation
  • Business Strategy
  • Financial Management

AAT students

If you are an AAT students who has completed the Intermediate and Technician Levels, you may be able to apply for credits for the following:

  • Accounting
  • Assurance
  • Business and Finance
  • Management Information
  • Principles of Taxation

 

If you are fully or partially qualified with another professional accountancy body you may be eligible to apply for credit for up to all 12 papers for which credit is available.

Visit the ICAEW website for more information.

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ACA (ICAEW) Syllabus