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ACCA qualifications in demand in challenging times


24 Aug 2011


Euro & Finance

The demand for a professional accountancy qualification has remained high during tough economic times as the results from the ACCA (Association of Chartered Certified Accountants) examinations in June reveal that 196,000 students sat papers, with more than 6,000 taking a major step towards membership of the global body for professional accountants.

Candidates around the world took more than 373,000 papers, with 6,294 students successfully completing their final ACCA examinations. A further 2,978 students completed the Certified Accounting Technician (CAT) exams.

At the Fundamentals level, pass rates were particularly pleasing for the tax and law papers. Students continue to find papers F5 Performance Management, F7  Financial Reporting and F8 Audit and Assurance challenging. At the Professional level the pass rate remains strong in paper P1, Governance, Risk and Ethics which tests students' professional judgement. This is the first session to place a greater emphasis on risk assessment and risk management within the exam.

The results for optional papers P4, Advanced Financial Management, P5, Advanced Performance Management and P7, Advanced Audit and Assurance were disappointing.  Generally those students failing were not able to apply their technical knowledge to real-life practical scenarios. ACCA is working on support packages becoming available for students and tutors in the optional papers.

Clare Minchington, ACCA executive director - learning and products, said: 

"We congratulate those who have succeeded in their exams – and we are delighted to see that more than 6,000 have completed their examinations, having been able to demonstrate the financial knowledge and professional skills which are needed by organisations in challenging economic conditions. We look forward to welcoming them to ACCA membership on completion of their practical experience requirements. We also congratulate the students who have completed their CAT exams at this session.

"We look forward to examining our new suite of awards, Foundations in Accountancy which replaces the existing CAT qualification from December 2011. Foundations in Accountancy offers students a choice of awards at different levels and the availability of more computer-based exams than are currently available. This is the first stage of the innovative e-assessment programme being developed by ACCA which will lead to all its examinations, across all levels, being offered online. 

"In addition to offering greater flexibility, our new e-assessment model will enable us to test students’ knowledge and skills in a way which more accurately reflects real-life workplace scenarios and activities and which meet employers’ needs, creating the e-professional."

The first papers will transition to the new system in 2012 with all papers being phased over the next few years. ACCA already offers Computer Based Exams (CBE), first introducing them in 1998, and has since implemented e-paper production and e-marking of its scripts.

June 2011 session ACCA Qualification pass rates:

Paper F1, Accountant in Business, 70%*

Paper F2, Management Accounting, 57%*

Paper F3, Financial Accounting, 55%*

Paper F4, Corporate and Business Law, 55%

Paper F5, Performance Management, 37%

Paper F6, Taxation, 51%

Paper F7, Financial Reporting, 38%

Paper F8, Audit and Assurance, 40%

Paper F9, Financial Management, 38%

Paper P1, Governance, Risk and Ethics, 52%

Paper P2, Corporate Reporting, 50%

Paper P3, Business Analysis, 47%

Paper P4, Advanced Financial Management, 30%

Paper P5, Advanced Performance Management, 35%

Paper P6, Advanced Taxation, 45%

Paper P7, Advanced Audit and Assurance, 31%

June 2011 session CAT pass rates:

Paper 1, Recording Financial Transactions, 59%*

Paper 2, Information and Management Control, 56%*

Paper 3, Maintaining Financial Records, 57%*

Paper 4, Accounting for Costs, 60%*

Paper 5, Managing People and Systems, 57%

Paper 6, Drafting Financial Statements, 76%

Paper 7, Planning, Control and Performance Management, 45%

Paper 8, Implementing Audit Procedures, 43%

Paper 9, Preparing Taxation Computations, 64%

Paper 10, Managing Finances, 47%

* Combined pass rates for paper-based and computer-based exams.

For further information, please contact:

Colin Davis, ACCA Newsroom

+44 (0)20 7059 5738

+44 (0)7720 347713

Notes to Editors

ACCA (the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants) is the global body for professional accountants. We aim to offer business-relevant, first-choice qualifications to people of application, ability and ambition around the world who seek a rewarding career in accountancy, finance and management.

We support our 147,000 members and 424,000 students in 170 countries, helping them to develop successful careers in accounting and business, with the skills required by employers. We work through a network of over 80 offices and centres and more than 8,500 Approved Employers worldwide, who provide high standards of employee learning and development. Through our public interest remit, we promote appropriate regulation of accounting and conduct relevant research to ensure accountancy continues to grow in reputation and influence.

Founded in 1904, ACCA has consistently held unique core values: opportunity, diversity, innovation, integrity and accountability. We believe that accountants bring value to economies in all stages of development and seek to develop capacity in the profession and encourage the adoption of global standards. Our values are aligned to the needs of employers in all sectors and we ensure that through our qualifications, we prepare accountants for business. We seek to open up the profession to people of all backgrounds and remove artificial barriers, innovating our qualifications and delivery to meet the diverse needs of trainee professionals and their employers.