ACCA is one of the most coveted qualifications in finance and every year thousands of students enroll in the course with a view to becoming ACCA certified. If you are also planning to enroll for ACCA, then do you know that there are several ACCA exemptions that you can get provided you fulfill the conditions that are laid out? These exemptions are provided on a paper by paper basis and these can drastically reduce the time that you will take to become ACCA certified.

Rationale Behind The ACCA Exemptions

If you have a background in accountancy and have completed a course which is recognized by ACCA, then you can get exemptions in certain papers of the ACCA exams. ACCA will not require you to study the same topics which you have already covered in your previous course again. Therefore, you will get to start from the level which is right for you, and hence the completing the course becomes a little bit easier.

One point that you need to remember here is that you should not unnecessarily claim exemptions in papers in which you are not confident about. In fact, ACCA strongly suggests that if you are planning to claim exemptions in papers based on a course you have completed long back, then you must think twice since you might not remember the concepts well. By claiming the exemptions, you will lose the chance of getting a revision and will have problems in tackling the higher level papers of ACCA later.

The thumb rule that you should apply for exemptions in papers which contain concepts and topics that you have recently studied. Avoid claiming an exemption in papers where you have a doubt

Exemptions Available

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Several exemptions which are available to graduates, masters degree, and professional certificate holders. They can claim exemptions in up to 9 out of the total 14 papers of the ACCA course, provided they have studied concepts related to accounting and ethics in that course. These are the core areas which the ACCA course covers.

An example will make the concept clear. Let us consider the exemptions that are available to the Chartered Accountants of India.

Any chartered accountant who has completed the CA course on or after may 2003, is entitled to exemptions in 9 out of the 14 papers of ACCA. These papers are:

  • F1 – accountant in business
  • F2 – management accounting
  • F3 – financial accounting
  • F4 – corporate and business law
  • F5 – performance management
  • F6 – taxation
  • F7 – financial reporting
  • F8 – audit, and assurance
  • F9 – financial management

These are all the papers that are contained in the Foundation Level of ACCA and you will therefore only have to clear 5 papers at the professional level.

Even if you are yet to pass the final examinations of Chartered Accountancy, you can get certain exemptions, as long as you have passed the IPCC level. In that case, you can get exemptions in 5 out of the 9 papers contained in the foundation level. These are:

  • F1 accountant in business
  • F2 management accounting
  • F3 financial accounting
  • F6 taxation
  • F8 audit and assurance

How To Check The ACCA Exemptions?

The ACC website provides the ACCA exemptions calculator which is a database of the exemptions for ACCA. You can use it to check whether you qualify for any exemption.

How To Claim Exemptions?

Once you have determined that you are eligible for claiming exemption in one or more papers of the ACCA examinations, you will have to start the process of applying for the exemption. The grant of exams and is not an automatic process and the student has to expressly apply to ACCA for it.

To apply for the exemption, you will have to send the official copies of the certificates, mark sheets or transcript that you have received from the authority which granted you the earlier qualification. Please note that these have to be copies of the original certificates and not any certificate which has been downloaded from the website or from any other online sources.

The documents whose copies you will send should be signed and stamped by the official authority, otherwise, they will not be accepted. Another requirement is that if the certificate, mark sheet is not in the English language, then you will have to translate the copies and then send it.

ACCA reserves the right to grant or reject the exemption to the candidates. In case the educational authority which has granted the certification to you is not recognized by the government or equivalent authority of the country then the qualification will not be recognized by ACCA, and hence no exemption will be provided based on it.

ACCA is known to enforce strict checks in this regard and may reject the application for exemption totally. In certain rare cases if after granting the exemption it is later found out that it was granted in error then the exemption might even be cancelled by ACCA.

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