What is ACCA? - Association of Chartered Certified Accountants


Meridean Overseas

Updated On 26 June 2024 & Read Time 18 minutes


Due to accountants' binding role and the thriving job market, ACCA has extended its reach to over 180 countries. Nowadays, there are over 200,000 ACCA members and around 500,000 ACCA students in these 180 countries.




ACCA full form Association of Chartered Certified Accountants, is a respected accounting qualification acknowledged in various countries. A student with this certificate can be appointed a Chartered Accountant, opening doors to roles like Auditor, Financial Manager, Accountant, Lawyer, and more.


Its global recognition, particularly in the UK, makes the certification highly sought after. Indian students prefer ACCA universities in the UK as they promote swift job prospects after completing their higher studies. In this blog, we will offer detailed insights into what is ACCA (Association of Chartered Certified Accountants), its scope, eligibility criteria, fees, and job opportunities after this course.

What is ACCA?

You must be well aware that the economic development of any country depends on its transparency and sound reporting about its finances, as this environment makes people feel confident about investing and attracts international investment opportunities.


This coordinated investment-based environment and transparency of the country’s economic progress keep the financial system stable and prevent corruption and the chances of misusing the country’s resources. To ensure everything is in order, we need skilled accountants trained to handle the financial side of businesses. These accountants play a crucial role in building strong and growing companies that are transparent and accountable.


The Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) is the world’s oldest and most credible qualification, starting in the UK in 1904. This certification is the gold standard for accountants and is the quickest way to become an expert in financial and management accounting- two essential aspects of running a business.


ACCA is not just about local recognition; it has a massive global presence as well, with offices in many countries and over half a million members and students worldwide. Once you finish the qualification, you earn the title of Chartered Certified Accountant, making you a highly qualified and respected professional.


Also, Read: Study in UK without IELTS


Scope of ACCA in India

Now that you know about ACCA and ACCA meaning, let’s take a look at its scope in India. Many ACCA-qualified professionals in India work for Big 4s or MNCs. Indian employers now recognise the value of ACCA qualifications and actively hire these professionals. Notable employers in India include Ernst and Young, Deloitte, KPMG, TATA Communications, and Embassy Group.


When you think about what is ACCA salary, you will be surprised to know that CA and ACCA members' job profiles, designations, and salary packages are increasingly similar. India also embraces globalisation by aligning its work with international financial reporting standards. The introduction of Ind-AS, closely resembling IFRS principles, is a significant step.


ACCA's comprehensive coverage of IFRS in its syllabus gives ACCA members in India a competitive advantage. Thus, India has become a hub for outsourcing accounting and financial functions, especially with numerous financial KPOs.


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Subjects in ACCA

The following points are necessary to qualify for an applicant to be an ACCA member:

  • Attempt and clear 13 exams (ACCA does provide up to 9 paper exemptions depending upon the candidate’s previous qualification)

  • Record 36 months’ experience in a relevant role. The candidate can acquire the experience before/ during/ after completion of the qualification. Complete the Ethics and Professional Skills module.

  • The 13 subjects and exams are divided into three levels: Applied Knowledge, Applied Skills, and Strategic Professional.


Now let’s take let’s discuss each level of ACCA in detail

  1. Applied Knowledge Level:

  • Business and Technology (BT)

  • Management Accounting (MA)

  • Financial Accounting (FA)


After passing the Foundations in Professionalism course and the Business and Technology (BT), Management Accounting (MA), and Financial Accounting (FA) exams (at least one of which must have been taken and passed), students are awarded the ACCA Diploma in Accounting and Business (RQF Level 4).


  1. Applied Skills Level:

Applied Skills Level subjects include

  • Corporate and Business Law(LW)

  • Performance Management

  • Taxation (TX)

  • Financial Reporting (FR)

  • Audit and Assurance (AA)

  • Financial Management (FM)


When students pass or are excused from the Applied Skills exams, they are granted the Advanced Diploma in Accounting and Business. These tests must have been taken and passed in at least two cases.


  1. Strategic professional Level:

Out of the six disciplines, four require proper student preparation. They are separated into modules that are required and optional.



  • Strategic Business Leader(SBL)

  • Strategic Business Reporting(SBR)


Options: (Any 2)

  • Advanced Financial Management (AFM)

  • Advanced Performance Management (APM)

  • Advanced Taxation (ATX)

  • Advanced Audit and Assurance (AAA)


After passing each of the Strategic Professional tests required for the ACCA Qualification, students are given a Strategic Professional Certificate. This includes the Strategic Professional Options examinations or the two Strategic Professional Essentials exams.


  1. Ethics and Professional Skills Module

The Ethics and Professional Skills Module covers the entire range of skills companies seek and requires 20 hours from the students.


Students are prepared to shine with recruiters and be accepted in the industry by being exposed to realistic business circumstances and a broad range of advanced ethical and professional abilities.


  1. Practical Experience Requirement

To become an ACCA member, the candidate must meet nine performance goals and have at least thirty-six months of relevant work experience.


An employer with practical expertise is required to verify the candidate's time in a relevant function and performance goals.


Who Should Pursue the ACCA Course?

After understanding about ACCA course and its scope, you must ensure whether you should go with this certification or not. So, the ACCA course is an excellent choice for students at different stages:

  • High Schoolers: Flexible learning and student-friendly exams; prepare for accounting roles and beyond for a long-term career.

  • Undergraduates: Fast and cost-effective with exemptions; Opens doors to multinational companies.

  • Professionals: Refreshes concepts for strategic roles, enhancing career prospects.


ACCA Eligibility Criteria:

  • One must pass 12th standard with 65% in English and Mathematics/Accounts and 50% in other courses.

  • 10th standard pass can join through FIA (Foundation in Accountancy).



An exemption requires a qualification within the last 10 years; only recognised qualifications count, and you get credit points for covering similar topics in exemption requirements.


Exams to give 


12th standard completion



Commerce graduate






CA IPCC (Both groups)






Why Should You Pursue the ACCA Course

Completing the ACCA course has several advantages. The ACCA certification is the gold standard in accounting, earning you thrilling exposure to the world and a competitive remuneration package.


Let's discuss some compelling arguments for completing the course:


Alternative to CA

A significant advantage of ACCA is that it's a great worldwide substitute for CA. With an ACCA degree, you can find employment prospects in over 170 countries thanks to its global recognition. The CA, on the other hand, specialises in India's accounting and tax systems. These might not hold up well when applying for employment outside of India.


There's also the perception that the CA course is more difficult than the ACCA. The worldwide passing percentage for CA is often between 8 and 10 per cent, but the ACCA's is between 55 and 60 per cent.


Students stand out in the crowd

The fact that you will graduate from this course with essential information and abilities is one of the biggest reasons it is worth your time. The most current and valuable topics in corporate accounting, finance, company law, and other areas are covered in your training.


In addition, the course enhances your communication, leadership, and strategic thinking abilities, helping you become a more well-rounded professional.


It gives the potential to earn more

The fact that the ACCA certificate demonstrates to a potential employer that you have the abilities necessary to fulfil industry standards is another benefit of having it. You can easily secure a larger compensation package if you are more valued than non-ACCA applicants.


Students get to be a part of a niche community

Joining ACCA instantly connects you to thousands of current members throughout the globe. These like-minded people significantly broaden your horizons and give you their skills. This helps mould your thoughts and keeps you updated on the most recent developments in your field. 

ACCA Universities in UK

Now that you know what is ACCA course is, you should have an eye on a few ACCA universities in UK. Take a look at them below:

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ACCA Qualification

Now that you have complete knowledge about who should pursue the ACCA Course, you should have a look at the ACCA qualification. To qualify as an ACCA member, you must do the following:

  • Depending upon your previous qualification, attempt to clear 13 exams with up to 9 paper exemptions. 

  • Accumulated 36 months' relevant experience and completed the Ethics and Professional Skills module for membership.

  • ACCA's 13 subjects and exams are divided into three levels: Applied Knowledge, Applied Skills, and Strategic Professional.


Now, let’s dive deep into each of the modules of the ACCA course.


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Modules of ACCA

The ACCA course is divided into three primary modules: Applied Knowledge, Applied Skills, & Strategic Professional. After completing these subjects and modules, you will complete your ACCA course and get your certificate.


However, prior to proceeding further, you must complete the Ethics and Professional Skills Module, which is 20 hours long, and gain 36 months of work experience with 9 performance objectives for ACCA membership.

Exam Level


Passing Marks

Total Marks

Foundations Level

2 hours



Applied Knowledge Level

2 hours



Applied Skills Level

3 hours



Strategic Professional Level

4 hours



When are the ACCA Exams Held?

ACCA offers two different kinds of computer-based tests and a flexible study plan.

  • On-demand CBEs: BT, MA, FA and LW: You can take these tests at any time of the year.

  • Session CBEs: PM-FM: Four tests are scheduled for these: March, June, September, and December.

  • Strategic professional CBE exams: Essentials and 2 options: Four tests are scheduled for these: March, June, September, and December.


How difficult is ACCA?

The ACCA is not tough exam; passing it is simpler than passing other professional finance and accounting exams, such as the CFA and CA. However, it is more difficult than the exams most students are used to taking in school and during their undergraduate studies.


ACCA Entry Requirements in UK Universities

There aren't many requirements for indian students to get into ACCA at a UK university. You can easily get admission if you meet the following requirements:


  • Minimum Entrance Requirements:

ACCA Minimum Qualification

Status Required

Matriculation Certificate / Secondary School Leaving Certificate / All India Secondary School Certificate / India Certificate of Secondary Education – Standard X

Insufficient for registration

10+2 / India School Certificate / Intermediate Certificate / Higher Secondary Certificate / Pre-University Course / Intermediate Public Examination

Sufficient for registration (Passes in 5 subjects, at least 3 in Year XII, incl. English and Math/Accounts, 65% in 2 subjects, over 50% in others)

All India Senior School Certificate/ Senior Secondary School Examination

Sufficient for registration (Passes in 5 subjects incl. English and Math/Accounts, 65% in 2 subjects, over 50% in others)

  • Graduate Entry Route: Any student with a BSc, B.Com, or simply a BA can easily get admission to ACCA. Previous accounting knowledge is not restricted. A graduate student can also get admission to ACCA in a UK university.

  • Via FD or CAT: If you have an ACCA Foundation Diploma or CAT certification, you can easily enter ACCA. Graduates of FD and CAT are additionally excluded from the initial three ACCA papers and start their ACCA instruction with F4 papers.


Explore, more: What is CAS Letter for UK? 

ACCA Exam Fees

ACCA students encounter two essential fees: registration fees (one-time payment during application) and subscription fees (annual, maintaining student status). Apart from this, you are also required to pay exam fees for different subjects and other exemption fees (if applicable).


Fees can be settled conveniently online through the myACCA student portal. These financial obligations are integral to the ACCA journey, ensuring your eligibility and continuous affiliation with the professional body.

Type of Fee


Price (£)

Registration and subscription fees

Initial Registration




Annual Subscription 2024


Exemption fees

- Applied Knowledge Exams


- Applied Skills Exams


Exam fees

- Applied Knowledge Exams

Fees set by Computer Based Exam (CBE) Centre 

- Applied Skills Exams 


- Ethics and Professional Skills Module


- Strategic Professional (Essentials) Exams


- Strategic Business Leader (March 2024 standard entry)


- Strategic Business Reporting (March 2024 standard entry)


- Strategic Professional (Options) Exams


Potential Job Roles After ACCA Qualification

Now that you have learnt about eligibility as well as ACCA exam fees, you can explore excellent job opportunities that the ACCA course opens up for you. Head over to some of the important roles:

  1. Accountant

  2. Finance Manager

  3. Senior Accountant

  4. Financial Analyst

  5. Management Accountant

  6. Financial Controller

  7. Audit Manager

  8. Finance Business Partner

  9. Financial Accountant

  10. Assistant Accountant


ACCA Salaries: India and Worldwide

Along with potential job roles after pursuing the ACCA course, let’s have a look at some career opportunities and their salaries. Chartered Certified Accountants with ACCA certification earn an average base salary of ₹625k per year. Check out the below table.

Job Title




₹183k - ₹710k


Chartered Accountant

₹450k - ₹3m


Finance Manager

₹495k - ₹3m



₹210k - ₹2m


Associate Auditor

₹289k - ₹721k


Financial Analyst

₹250k - ₹2m


Senior Auditor

₹559k - ₹1m


Here is a comparison of salaries in four countries with respect to the role-


Entry level


Senior Level


INR 7.00 lac

INR 11.17 lac

INR 19.00 lac


GBP 39,000

GBP 52,500

GBP 68,200


AED 60,000

AED 1,20,000

AED 2,40,000

Hong Kong

HKD 17,400

HKD 22,800

HKD 31,900

Top companies hiring ACCA professionals include EY (Ernst & Young), State Street Corporation, Deloitte, Accenture, PricewaterhouseCoopers, Grant Thornton Llp, and KPMG International.


Also, Read: Student Visa Requirements for the UK


Now that you know everything about prospects after the ACCA Course, you should also look for other qualifications like CIMA. So, let’s get started!




Organising Body

Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA)

Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA)

Recognition & Acceptance

Recognised globally with 300 Approved Learning Partners worldwide

Global Acceptance

Exam Pattern

Operational, Management, Strategic, Professional

Applied Knowledge, Applied Skills, Professional Skills

Course Duration

ACCA duration is three years

CIMA duration is three years

Course Complexity/ Pass Percentage

Hard/30% to 40%

Moderate/50% to 60%

Program Fees

Registration – £30; Applied Skills (£129 per exam), Professional Skills Exam (£71 per exam), Strategic Professional (£227 per exam), Strategic Business Reporting (£162 per exam). Total: £1500 to £2000

Registration – £85; Management Accountants Gateway – £85; CIMA Professional Registration – £425; Operational Level Exam – £120 (test) and £205 (case study) per exam; Management Level Exam – £140 (test) and £210 (case study) per exam; Strategic Level Exam – £195 (test) and £299 (case study) per exam. Total: £2500 to £3000

No. of Papers



Study Focus

Accounting, Auditing, and Taxation

Business Strategy and Management Accounting

Skills Gained

Technical knowledge of accounting and financial concepts

Strategic Decision-making and Business Management

Job Prospects

Financial Consultant, Internal Auditor, Taxation Manager, Finance Manager, Accountant, Management Consultant, Forensic Analyst, Project Manager, Finance Controller


Average Salary

6 to 8 LPA

5 to 8 LPA

Who Should Do It?

Those who like numbers wish to carve out a career in Accounting, Auditing, or Taxation and aim to to start their own consulting practice and work independently.

Those who nurture an interest in business strategy and management wish to carve out a career in Management Accounting and aspire to rise to top leadership positions within the organisation

How to get a UK visa on the basis of ACCA?

Getting a UK student visa for the ACCA Course is straightforward, with no special rules. You will find it quite easier to enter ACCA universities in UK as there are no unique admission requirements for ACCA Global.


While IELTS is typically required, it can be waived with an English proficiency certificate from a previous English-language institution. Follow these steps for a UK student visa (Tier 4 visa), keeping in mind that visa applications should be handled carefully:


Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS):

  • Provided by the University, granting 40 points.


Financial Proof:

  • Show evidence of funding for tuition and living expenses for an additional 10 points.

  • Liquid funds equivalent to year 1 tuition plus maintenance funds are required.

  • Funds can be from the student's or parents' savings account or an educational loan sanction letter.

  • The funds must be at least 28 days old.


Visa Application:

  • Make an appointment at the VFS.


Visa Interview:

  • Compulsory for all students at the visa application centre.


Following these steps, you will be granted a UK student visa if all goes well. Note that this information is for general understanding, and caution should be exercised when handling visa applications.


To conclude, the ACCA is a prestigious qualification that is globally recognised, offers a competitive advantage, and is a passport to a successful career. It caters to high schoolers, undergraduates, and professionals with flexible eligibility. The ACCA course structure spans three levels, emphasising technical and professional skills. Job prospects are lucrative, and the blog covers visa processes and top ACCA universities in the UK.


We hope this blog helped you learn what is ACCA. However, if you want to study ACCA and have doubts, contact our expert counsellors at Meridean Overseas Education Consultants (MOEC). You can also take free online counselling through our website. Our expert counsellors will provide you with the best support and guidance you need for admission and visa. For more information or any queries, contact application02@meridean.org or 1800-1230-00011.

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Question: Is ACCA challenging?

Answer: ACCA is considered manageable compared to other finance courses like CA and CFA. While more demanding than school exams, it offers a reasonable level of difficulty familiar to most students.


Question. Is ACCA equivalent to a degree?

Answer: ACCA doesn't confer a traditional degree. However, its fundamental level imparts knowledge and skills akin to a bachelor's degree. The professional level is regarded as equivalent to a master's degree. Thus, ACCA is a professional certification rather than a standard degree.


Question. What is the ACCA duration?

Answer: The ACCA course typically takes three years to complete. Students progress through three levels: Applied Knowledge, Applied Skills, and Strategic Professional. This structured timeline allows for comprehensive learning and skill development.


Question. Are there specific eligibility criteria for the ACCA course?

Answer: To enrol in an ACCA course, one needs a minimum of 65% in English and Mathematics/Accounts in the 12th standard. Alternatively, those with a 10th standard pass can join through the Foundation in Accountancy program. Exemptions may apply based on prior qualifications.


Question. What job opportunities are available after the ACCA course?

Answer: ACCA opens doors to diverse career paths, including roles such as Accountant, Finance Manager, Auditor, and more. With global recognition, ACCA-qualified professionals find opportunities in reputed firms like EY, Deloitte, and PwC, making it a lucrative qualification.


Question. Can a student take the ACCA qualification exams in any order?

Answer: For each exam cycle, you may take a maximum of four papers. Every year, there are two examination cycles: February 1 till July 31 and August 1 till January 30. The Knowledge, Skills, and Professional modules must be completed in the following order for papers and exams. You can try papers in any sequence within any module. Nonetheless, as the curriculum has been designed to teach the subjects in a certain order, ACCA advises that papers within a module be tried in that order.


Question. Can a student who has passed 10+2 join ACCA?

Answer: ACCA certification is available to students who achieved 65% in English and Math and 50% in the remaining courses of their 10+2 education. Through the Foundation in Accountancy Route, which is an ACCA entry-level qualification, other students can become members of the ACCA. Students who passed their 12th-grade test but scored below 65% only need to take the FBT, FMA, and FFA Foundation level examinations.

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