The route to qualification………….

The route to qualification can seem long and hard… with ACCA you have 10 years to complete your exams, but how long does it really take?

The ACCA say that the length of time it takes to complete the qualification depends on what qualifications you already have and what exemptions you are entitled to, with a ten year limit from the date of registration for you to complete the exam component of membership. But how long do most people take?

There are 14 papers to complete in order to complete the ACCA qualification, and most students will qualify in three or four years (although remember you will also need to complete 36 months practical experience and complete 13 performance objectives as well as passing all your exams in order to apply for membership).

Assuming you have no exemptions, if you were to sit the three Knowledge Module papers within six months, and then one paper at each exam sitting (June/December) thereafter it would take you six years to complete your exams.

However, if you were to sit two papers at each sitting (having done the knowledge module papers in the first six months) you would complete your exams in 3 ½ years!

In the recent salary survey by the ACCA, an accounts assistant (part qualified) can earn up to £30,000 a year, whereas as a qualified accountant can earn in excess of £40,000 a year. This means there is the potential loss of £10,000 a year, or around £25,000 over the two and a half years, by not progressing through the qualification.

Here at BPP we have a recommended route through the ACCA qualification, depending on the role you have at the moment.  The recommendation changes depending on whether you are in a management accounting role or a financial accounting role in order to enable you to make use of what you have studied in your day to day work.






Some students choose to sit three exams at a time, which enables you to complete the qualification in 2 ½ years. However, if you are studying while working full time this can be quite demanding, so you need to ensure you are prepared to work hard. Remember that it is a marathon not a sprint, and you don’t want to exhaust yourself just as you are starting your career!

So where can you end up?

The ACCA have produced a Competency Framework which links all of the ACCA exams to the technical and behavioural competencies it is possible to demonstrate through your studies, and links them to possible job roles. It can help you think about your future career path, whether you are at the beginning or near the end of your studies. Have a look here

For information about our ACCA courses visit our website

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