The Association of Chartered Certified Accountants is the global body for professional accountants and was founded in 1904. Chartered Certified Accountant qualifications are available through the organisation which has over 147, 000 members and 424, 000 students in 170 countries around the world. ACCA works through 83 offices worldwide with the headquarters located in London. They have over eight and a half thousand approved employers around the world, who offer high standards of employee training and development.
To become a Chartered Certified Accountant you must be a member of ACCA and comply with their regulations such as holding a practising certificate, insurance against liability claims and adhering to inspections. ACCA ensure that their members are appropriately regulated, and promote best practise approaches to their members. They seek to increase the value of accounting through enhancing its reputation and field of influence. Candidates can greatly increase their chances of securing a relevant accounting job if they manage to attain these accountancy qualifications.
Chartered Certified Accountant (ACCA) - Professional Scheme
The Professional Scheme is the primary qualification offered by the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants, and is the result of up to fourteen examinations as well as three years of supervised accountancy experience. The syllabus includes Accounting in Business, Management Accounting, Financial Accounting, Corporate and Business Law, Performance Management, Taxation, Financial Reporting, Audit and Assurance, Financial Management, Governance, Ethics, Corporate Reporting, Business Analysis and other options.
ACCA updates the exam syllabus on a regular basis as a matter of policy, with recent changes occurring in 1994, 2001 and 2007. These updates take into account developments in the profession of accountancy and reorganise the test papers within the exam. These exams are offered twice yearly around the world, in June and December.
Certified Accounting Technician (CAT)
The CAT qualification is an introduction for accounting technicians. It can be completed as an individual qualification, but students usually study it as an introduction to accountancy before beginning the professional scheme. It can take between one and three years to complete the Certified Accounting Technician examination but there is no limit on the number of papers which can be submitted at one time.
Some individuals instead decide to study for the Association of Accounting Technicians qualification, which was previously affiliated with ACCA. The Association of Accounting Technicians also offers MBAs for full members and BSc(Hons) in Applied Accounting in association with Oxford Brookes University, as well as MScs in Financial Management, in association with Heriot Watt University. There are also diplomas in International Financial Reporting and certificates for International Auditing and International Financial Reporting.
ACCA Membership & Affiliation
Individuals can first register as student members of ACCA, before undertaking the Professional Scheme qualification. When they successfully complete their exams, they gain affiliate status. To gain membership status, they must demonstrate three years of relevant, supervised experience in an accountancy role and possess the desired level of competency. After 5 years of membership individuals are granted fellowship, depending on compliance with Continuing Professional Development requirements.
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