The Association of Chartered Certified Accountants ACCA is one of the largest accounting bodies in the world with over 200 000 members and more than 486 000 students in 180 countries. The body is a founding member of the International Federations of Accountants (IFAC) and it is also a member of the Public Accountants and Auditors Board (PAAB) in Zimbabwe.
One can gain entry into the qualification with at least 2 A level subjects and 5 Ordinary level subjects. After which a person will have to complete 14 exams. 9 of the exams are on the Foundations level and are compulsory, these can be taken any time of the year. The other 4 exams are on the Strategic Professional level, two of the exams are compulsory (Strategic Business Reporting and Strategic Business Leader) and two of are chosen from optional papers (Advanced Audit and Assurance (AAA), Advanced Performance Management (APM), Advanced Taxation (ATX) and Advanced Financial Management (AFM). The Strategic Professional exams available on 4 window periods in March, June, September and December every year.
While completing the ACCA qualification, a student can also earn a Diploma/Advance Diploma in Accounting and Business, a BSc. (Hons) degree in Applied Accounting awarded by Oxford Brookes University and also get an MSc in Professional Accountancy awarded by University of London. While in some jurisdiction ACCA is regarded like London to be at the same level with a post graduate qualification such as a Master’s degree, in some jurisdiction it is deemed to be a substitute for a degree.
There is no stipulated minimum time one has to complete the ACCA exams however it takes an average of 4 to 5 years to complete exams with a provision for finishing earlier depending on how often one takes the exams and passes.
In studying ACCA, one can choose to study through a tuition provider or through self-study. Tuition providers in Zimbabwe include PBS Africa, Speciss College, among others. For self-studying, it is advised that one uses approved study content which can be purchased from ACCA approved content providers such as Kaplan Publishing and BPP Learning Media. As a student, one has to pay the once off registration fees, yearly subscription fees and also exam fees as and when they intend to sit for the exam. The exam fees can be found by visiting the ACCA website.
Individuals who already possess other qualifications from universities and other institutions may be eligible to up to 9 exemptions given at ACCA’s discretion. In addition to all the required exams, to become a member, one has to complete 3 years of work experience in both non-finance and finance industries as long as one is able to complete the required industrial learning objectives.
Upon qualification, as a professional accountant there are various carrier opportunities available to members both locally and on an international scale in areas such as Audit and Assurance, Consultancy, Accounting and Finance, Education and Training etc.