There is no doubt that getting an Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) qualification is one of the hardest things you can do to become an accomplished finance or investment professional.
Getting an ACCA certification involves completing an ACCA course and passing 13 exams out of 15.
The ACCA runs four exam sessions every year. You can take up to four tests at each session and a maximum of eight different ones each calendar year.
According to the ACCA, you can complete 13 exams in two years with this setup.
However, you need at least three years of practical experience to become an ACCA member and be considered a qualified accountant.
Because of this, it can take you a minimum of three years to obtain this qualification.
If you can’t complete all the required exams, particularly the Strategic Professional exams in three years, you are given seven years to pass them.
If you can’t pass the Strategic Professional exams and reach affiliate status within seven years, you’ll lose any Strategic Professional passes you gained. You have to retake them to get the ACCA qualification.
With these things in mind, gaining an ACCA certification requires plenty of hard work and investment.
However, obtaining this qualification is worth all your time, effort, and money since it will help you stand out as a finance and investment professional. It is also an excellent reputation and career booster that can open many windows of opportunities for you.
The Path to Obtaining an ACCA Qualification
Although the journey to getting an ACCA certification seems daunting, there are ways to make it less challenging.
One of the first things you can do is to know the key factors that can affect the time you need to complete all the requirements.
These factors can also influence the types and levels of difficulties you have to go through as you work on getting your ACCA certification.
If you are thinking of obtaining an ACCA certification now, be aware of these five major factors that can affect your journey and tips for dealing with them:
1. Your educational background
Your academic background can have a bearing on how demanding or easy your ACCA certification journey can be.
If you have a bachelor’s degree in accounting or finance, you’ll likely find the ACCA course unchallenging since you already have some knowledge about the covered topics. Because of this, you’ll have an easier time understanding them.
On the other hand, if you don’t have any background in accounting, you might need extra time to understand all the topics covered. And this can affect the timetable you require to prepare sufficiently for the ACCA exams.
But even if you don’t have an academic background in accounting and finance, you can’t let this factor hinder your goal of achieving an ACCA certification.
If you are passionate about being an accomplished accounting or investment professional, you’ll work hard to get the qualification you need, even if you’re starting from scratch.
2. Your professional experience
Aside from your educational background, your experience in accounting, finance, and investment, or lack thereof, can also affect your journey towards gaining an ACCA certification.
If you are new to accounting and finance and have minimal experience, you’ll probably need more time to gain mastery over most of the topics.
Any work experience you have in accounting, finance, and investment can put you at an advantage when you’re taking an ACCA program. Your knowledge, skill set, and background can make it easier for you to learn and understand all topics covered in the course.
However, if you are a practising accounting or finance professional, don’t expect smooth sailing all the way. You might have to unlearn some concepts, practices, and processes, which can make mastering new ones somewhat challenging.
Whether you are already in the accounting, finance, and investment field or not, your perseverance and openness to learning can make it easier or harder for you to understand the concepts covered by your ACCA course and pass the exams.
3. Your timetable for obtaining your ACCA qualification
You can obtain an ACCA certificate in as little as three years. However, you have up to seven years to get it.
If you’re aiming to get your qualification in three or four years, you have to study to pass the exams and work to meet the practical experience requirement at the same time.
Also, you need to take one exam every year to get your qualification within three or four years.
If you don’t pass a test, you have to retake it during the year as well.
Your timetable for getting your ACCA qualification will also dictate the number of hours you have to spend studying for the exams.
The ACCA recommends students preparing for the exam to spend at least 120 to 150 hours of study per paper. This can vary depending on your level of knowledge and mastery of the topics.
The number of hours you must spend studying and working on your professional experience requirements may seem daunting, especially if you have a family to look after and another job.
Creating a study plan ensures you put in the right amount of time reviewing for the exams.
Additionally, you have to manage your time well so that you meet your practical experience requirements and handle your other responsibilities.
4. Your ACCA revision provider
Since passing the ACCA exams is crucial to getting the qualification, you need to devote enough time preparing for these tests.
Enrolling with the right ACCA revision and tuition provider ensures you put in the recommended study time for each exam. This is because you have to attend formal classes where you’ll learn and review topics covered by the tests.
Additionally, you’ll learn from qualified tutors who have years of experience teaching the covered topics. You also have access to various materials you can use for your self-reviews and join mock exams, which can help you get passing scores.
A good ACCA revision and tuition provider can give you studying tips to reduce your tendency to procrastinate and maximize your preparation time and test-taking strategies that can boost your chances of acing your exams.
If you want to experience these benefits, choose your program provider smartly.
5. Your exam day performance
Finally, your performance on your test day will make or break your goal of passing the exam and getting a step closer to obtaining your ACCA certification.
Reviewing well for your exams is a huge part of passing them. However, you also have to learn how to manage your anxieties to ensure you perform your best on test days.
Also, make sure you have a plan for managing your time and a strategy for answering the exam questions.
One of these techniques is to try answering all the questions, but avoid rushing so much that you end up choosing the wrong answers even if you know the correct ones.
When you know how to manage these factors, you can turn your dream of gaining an ACCA certification into reality and reap the benefits of having this qualification.
Do you want to take your career in accounting to the next level? Gain a competitive edge and enhance your knowledge with an ACCA qualification! This globally recognized and highly sought-after certification will demonstrate your expertise in the field and open up new opportunities for career advancement.
Regardless of whether you're starting out or trying to change careers, an ACCA certification can help you succeed in the competitive world of finance and accounting. So why wait? Start your journey to an ACCA qualification today and invest in your future!