ACCA Syllabus
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Find out what's covered in each ACCA module and see if your previous study gives you exemptions.

From 2016, ACCA will be offering four exam sittings per year for the Skills, Essentials and Options modules. We have put together recommendations for how to use the four sittings to progress most effectively through your studies. Read our advice.

Knowledge Module

Knowledge Module

F1 Accountant in Business
F2 Management Accounting
F3 Fincancial Accounting
Knowledge Module exams
Knowledge Module exemptions

The Knowledge Module is the entry level to the ACCA accounting qualification. If you have no previous qualifications, then you should complete the final level of the AAT or FIA Diploma first, before moving on to ACCA.

Students with two A-Levels and three GCSEs in five separate subjects (including English and Maths) or with a non-relevant degree or NVQ qualification can proceed directly on to the Knowledge module.

Knowledge papers can be sat in any order.

F1 Accountant in Business (AB)

Aim of the syllabus

To introduce knowledge and understanding of the business and its environment and the influence this has on how organisations are structured and on the role of the accounting and other key business functions in contributing to the efficient, effective and ethical management and development of an organisation and its people and systems.

Topics Covered

  • The business organisation, its stakeholders and the external environment
  • Business organisational structure, functions and governance
  • Accounting and reporting systems, controls and compliance
  • The formation and constitution of business organisation
  • Leading and managing individuals and teams
  • Personal effectiveness and communication
  • Professional ethics in accounting and business.

F2 Management Accounting (MA)

Aim of the syllabus

To develop your knowledge and understanding of providing basic management information in an organisation to support management in planning and decision making.

Topics Covered

  • The nature, source and purpose of management information
  • Cost accounting techniques
  • Budgeting
  • Standard costing
  • Performance measurement

F3 Financial Accounting (FA)

Aim of the syllabus

To develop knowledge and understanding of the underlying principles, concepts and regulations relating to financial accounting and technical proficiency in the use of double-entry accounting techniques, including the preparation of basic financial statements.

Topics Covered

  • Context and purpose of financial reporting
  • Qualitative characteristics of financial information
  • Fundamental bases of accounting
  • Double entry and accounting systems
  • Recording transactions and events
  • Preparing trial balances (including identifying and correcting errors)
  • Preparing financial statements
  • Interpreting financial statements

Knowledge Module exams

Exams for the three Knowledge papers are available to sit as a Computer Based Exam (CBE) at your local Kaplan centre.

Computer Based Exams

  • Available all year round (subject to availability)
  • Multiple choice questions
  • 2 hour exam with a pass mark of 50%
  • You can sit this, with up to three other papers in any one exam sitting

Computer Based Exams consist of multi-task questions (MTQs). MTQs contain a series of tasks for students to complete, tasks which relate to one or more scenarios.

You can book your CBE online.

Exams for Knowledge papers are also available as Paper Based Exams (PBE) at ACCA exam centres four times a year. Find out more about exam entry dates.

Knowledge Module exemptions

If you are AAT, FIA or CAT qualified or hold a relevant degree (e.g. Accountancy, Finance, Law or Management) then you may be eligible for exemptions from the Knowledge Module. It is recommended that you apply for exemptions when you register with ACCA as a student.

You can check to see if you qualify for any exemptions on the ACCA website.

Skills Module

Skills Module

F4 Corporate & Business Law
F5 Performance Management
F6 Taxation
F7 Financial Reporting
F8 Audit and Assurance
F9 Financial Management
Skills Module exams
Exemptions

Papers can be sat in any order. Students can sit up to four papers in one exam sitting.

F4 Corporate & Business Law (CBL)

Aim of the syllabus

The aim of this paper is to enable you to develop knowledge and skills in the understanding of the general legal framework, and of specific legal areas relating to business, recognising the need to seek further specialist legal advice where necessary.

Topics Covered

  • Essential elements of the legal system
  • The law of obligations (contract and tort)
  • Employment law
  • The formation and constitution of business organisation
  • Capital and the financing of companies
  • Management, administration and regulation of companies
  • Legal implications relating to companies in difficulty or in crisis
  • Governance and ethical issues relation to business.

F5 Performance Management (PM)

Aim of the syllabus

The aim of this paper is to develop knowledge and skills in the application of management accounting techniques to quantitative and qualitative information for planning, decision-making, performance evaluation and control.

Topics Covered

  • Specialist cost and management accounting techniques
  • Decision-making techniques
  • Budgeting
  • Standard costing and variances analysis
  • Performance measurement and control

F6 Taxation (TX)

Aim of the syllabus

The aim of this paper is to develop knowledge and skills relating to the tax system as applicable to individuals, single companies, and groups of companies.

Topics Covered

  • The UK tax system
  • Income tax liabilities
  • Corporation tax liabilities
  • Chargeable gains
  • National insurance contributions
  • VAT
  • The obligation of the tax payer and/or their agents

F7 Financial Reporting (FR)

The aim of the F7 syllabus is to develop your knowledge and skills in understanding and applying accounting standards and the theoretical framework in the preparation of financial statements of entities (including groups). You will also learn how to analyse and interpret those financial statements.

  • A conceptual framework for financial reporting
  • A regulatory framework for financial reporting
  • Preparation and presentation of financial statements which conform with International Accounting Standards
  • Accounting for business combinations in accordance with International Accounting Standards
  • Analysis and interpretation of financial statements

F8 Audit and Assurance (AA)

The aim of the F8 syllabus is to develop your knowledge and understanding of the process of carrying out assurance engagement (and its application in the context of the professional regulatory framework).

  • Audit framework and regulation
  • Internal audit
  • Planning and risk assessment
  • Internal control
  • Audit evidence
  • Review
  • Reporting

F9 Financial Management (FM)

The aim of the F9 syllabus is to develop the knowledge and skills expected of a financial manager responsible for the finance function of a business, relating to issues affecting investment, financing and dividend policy decisions.

  • Audit Financial management function
  • Financial management environment
  • Working capital management
  • Investment appraisal
  • Business finance
  • Cost of capital
  • Business valuations
  • Risk management.

You should read through your F2 notes before you begin studying F9.

Skills Module Exams

Exams for the Skills papers are Paper Based Exams (PBE) but F4 is also available as a Computer Based Exam (CBE). Paper Based Exams are sat at ACCA centres and there are four exam sittings per year. Find out more about exam entry dates.

Exams are three hours long with 15 minutes available for reading time. Both written and computer based versions of the F4 exam are two hours long with no reading time.

The pass mark for all papers is 50%.

Skills Module Exemptions

If you have a relevant degree in Accountancy, Finance, Law or Management you may be eligible for exemptions from the Skills Module.

Essentials Module

Essentials Module

P1 Governance, Risk and Ethics
P2 Corporate Reporting
P3 Business Analysis
Essentials Module exams

Papers can be sat in any order. Students can sit up to four papers in one exam sitting.

Can overlap with papers on the Skills Module as long as the Skills Module is being completed.

There are no exemptions available for the Essentials Module so all papers must be passed to continue with your studies.

P1 Governance, Risk and Ethics (GRE)

Aim of the syllabus

The aim of the P1 syllabus is to enable accountants to apply relevant knowledge and skills (and exercise professional judgement) relating to governance, internal control, compliance and risk management in the context of an overall ethical framework with an organisation.

Topics Covered

  • Governance and responsibility
  • Internal control and review
  • Identifying and assessing risk
  • Controlling risk
  • Professional values and ethics.

P2 Corporate Reporting (CR)

Aim of the syllabus

The aim of the P2 syllabus is to enable you to apply your knowledge and skills, and exercise professional judgement, in the application and evaluation of financial reporting principles and practices within a range of business contexts and situations.

Topics Covered

  • The professional and ethical duty of the accountant
  • The financial reporting framework
  • Advising and reporting on the financial performance of entities
  • Preparing financial statements of groups of entities in accordance with relevant accounting standards
  • Explaining report issues relating to specialised entities
  • Implications of changes in accounting regulation on financial reporting
  • The appraisal of financial performance and position of entities
  • Evaluating current developments.

Read through your F7 materials, as this will be assumed knowledge.

P3 Business Analysis (BA)

Aim of the syllabus

The aim of this paper is to enable you to apply relevant knowledge and skills, and exercise professional judgement in assessing strategic position, determining strategic choice, and implementing strategic action through beneficial business process and structural change.

You will also learn about coordinating knowledge systems and information technology and how to effectively managing quality processes, projects, and people within financial and other resource constraints.

Topics Covered

  • The strategic position of an organisation
  • The strategic choices available to an organisation
  • Strategic action
  • Modelling and redesigning business processes
  • Information technology solutions
  • Quality technology solutions
  • Quality initiatives to implement and support the organisation’s strategy
  • Project management.

Essentials Module exams

Exams for the Essentials papers are Paper Based Exams (PBE), which are sat at ACCA centres and there are four exam sittings per year. Find out more about exam entry dates.

Exams are three hours long with 15 minutes available for reading time.

The pass mark for all papers is 50%.

Options Module

Options Module

P4 Advanced Financial Management
P5 Advanced Performance Management
P6 Advanced Taxation
P7 Advanced Audit and Assurance
Options Module exams

Can overlap with papers on the Essentials Module as long as the Essentials Module is being completed.

There are no exemptions available for the Options Module. You only need to complete two out of the four papers.

P4 Advanced Financial Management (AFM)

Aim of the syllabus

To apply relevant knowledge, skills, and exercise professional judgement as expected of a senior financial executive or advisor, in taking or recommending decisions relating to the financial management of an organisation.

Topics Covered

  • Role and responsibility towards stakeholders
  • Advanced investment appraisal
  • Acquisitions and mergers
  • Corporate reconstruction and re-organisation
  • Treasury and advanced risk management techniques
  • Economic environment for multinationals
  • Emerging issues in finance and financial management.

P5 Advanced Performance Management (APM)

Aim of the syllabus

To apply relevant knowledge, skills, and exercise professional judgement in selecting and applying strategic management accounting techniques in different business contexts and to contribute to the evaluation of the performance of an organisation and its strategic development.

Topics Covered

  • Strategic planning and control
  • Economic, fiscal and environmental factors
  • Performance measurement systems and design
  • Strategic performance management
  • Performance evaluation and corporate failure
  • Current development and emerging issues in performance management.

P6 Advanced Taxation (ATX)

Aim of the syllabus

To apply the relevant knowledge and skills and exercise professional judgement in providing relevant information and advice to individuals and businesses on the impact of the major taxes on financial decisions and situations.

Topics Covered

  • The UK tax system
  • Income tax liabilities
  • Corporation tax liabilities
  • Chargeable gains
  • Inheritance tax
  • National insurance contributions
  • Value added tax
  • The obligations of taxpayers and/or their agents

P7 Advanced Audit & Assurance (AAA)

Aim of the syllabus

To apply relevant knowledge, skills, and exercise professional judgement in analysing, evaluating, concluding and reporting on the assurance engagement and other audit and assurance issues in the context of best practice and current developments.

Topics Covered

  • Regulatory environment
  • Professional and ethical considerations
  • Practice management
  • Assignments
  • Reporting
  • Current issues and developments

Options Module exams

Exams for the Options papers are Paper Based Exams (PBE), which are sat at ACCA centres and there are four exam sittings per year. Find out more about exam entry dates.

Exams are three hours long with 15 minutes available for reading time.

The pass mark for all papers is 50%.

 

Exemptions

Entry requirements and exemptions

The ACCA Accounting qualification is open to everyone, although your starting point will be different depending on your previous qualifications.

You haveYour starting point
No previous qualifications You should complete the final level of the AAT or FIA Diploma first and then move on to your ACCA accounting qualification
Two A-Levels and three GCSEs in five separate subjects including English and Maths Knowledge Module
A non-relevant degree/NVQ/Other Knowledge Module
AAT qualified Skills Module
FIA Diploma or CAT qualified Skills module
Degree in Accountancy, Finance, Law or Management Skills or Essentials module (subject to any exemptions)

ACCA grant exemptions (only from the Knowledge or Skills modules of the Fundamentals level) if you hold a relevant degree or professional qualification. It is recommended that you apply for exemptions when you register with ACCA as a student.

You can check to see if you qualify for any exemptions on the ACCA website.

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*Based on ACCA P4, P5, F6, F8, P7, F4, P3, P1 papers for part-time students across 12 Kaplan UK Centres, at the June 2015 sitting.


ACCA Syllabus