ACCA – Structure of the Qualification


The Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) qualification is a globally recognised accountancy qualification. It is a badge of quality and professionalism, and ensures that your knowledge and skills are of the highest professional standard.

When you join ACCA, you have the flexibility to progress through the qualification at your own pace.
You can slow down or speed up your study time route with exam sessions hold each quarter (March, June, September and December) and the first four papers taken on-demand.

ACCA is constantly changing and developing to respond to the needs of today’s faced-paced business world. The qualification put higher emphasis on ethics and professionalism, re-organised the Essentials module and implemented a new and innovative case study exam. In 2018, ACCA removed the paper name codes and integrated new name abbreviations. It also redesigned the exam format for the Applied Skills module and they are now computer-based.

Entry requirements
You need a minimum of three GCSEs and two A levels in five separate subjects including math and English, or equivalent qualifications to start the ACCA qualification. If you don’t have the minimum qualifications you can start by registering for Foundations in Accountancy (FIA) and study for one or all of the entry-level qualifications. There are three qualifications, and you can start at any level.

ACCA levels

The ACCA qualification consists of four modules:

Knowledge Module
The Knowledge Module is made up of three papers that introduce you to the core areas of finance and management accounting and give you a platform to develop your skills at the next level. They are assessed by Computer – Based Exams (available on demand in MDV’s CBE centre).

  • Accountant in Business (AB)
  • Management Accounting (MA)
  • Financial Accounting (FA)

Applied Skills Module

The Applied Skills Module papers test you on key technical skills that you must master to become a qualified accountant including Law, Performance Management, Taxation, Financial Reporting, Auditing and Financial Management. Upon completion of all or upon passing at least two of the Applied Skills papers students will be able to receive their Advanced Diploma in Accounting and Business.
In December 2018 ACCA introduced computer-based exams in Bulgaria, held at MDV’s exam centre. Watch an introduction to session CBEs (PM-FM) video.

  • Corporate and Business Law (LW)

Develops your skills and knowledge of the general legal framework relating to business.

  • Performance Management (PM)

Teaches you how to apply management accounting techniques to quantitative and qualitative information. It builds on the knowledge gained in paper FM, so you will need to re-familiarise yourself with topics such as absorption and marginal costing.

  • Taxation (TX)

Helps you to develop knowledge and skills relating to the tax system, as it applies to individuals and companies.

  • Financial Reporting (FR)

Enables you to prepare, present, analyse and interpret financial statements which conform to UK standards. It builds on the knowledge gained in paper FA. So if you are exempt from FA, you are advised to revise double entry techniques before attending the FR course.

  • Audit and Assurance (AA)

Develops your knowledge and understanding of the process and application of undertaking an audit assurance engagement.

  • Financial Management (FM)

Gives you an understanding of what is expected of a financial manager, including issues affecting investment and financing.

For more information see the official ACCA explanatory video.

Essentials Module

Explores advanced professional skills, techniques and values that you will require to act as an expert accountant in an advisory or consultancy role at senior level. They are assessed by three-hour and twenty minutes written exams, in March, June, September and December.

  • Strategic Business Leader (SBL)

An innovative case study, that uses real-world scenarios to set challenges that require students to blend technical, ethical and professional skills in the evaluation and presentation of their responses.

  • Strategic Business Reporting (SBR)

The syllabus will retain the existing technical content of former P2 Corporate Reporting. This is significantly enhanced by giving students the skills needed to confidently speak the language of business and explain reports and the impacts of transactions to a wide variety of stakeholders.

  • Ethics and Professional Skills module (PEM)

Options Module

As the forth level set of exams in the qualification, where you choose two papers from four, allowing you to specialise according to your chosen career path. They are assessed by three-hour and twenty minutes written exams, available in March, June, September and December.

  • Advanced Financial Management (AFM)

This module gives you an understanding of what is expected of a senior financial executive, in terms of the financial management of an organisation, building on topics first visited in paper FM.

  • Advanced Performance Management (APM)

Teaches you how to evaluate business performance through the application of strategic management accounting techniques. It builds on the topics seen in paper PM.

  • Advanced Taxation

This paper teaches you how to apply relevant knowledge and skills gained from paper TX to evaluate the impact of major taxes, focusing on the financial decisions of both individuals and organisations.

  • Advanced Audit and Assurance

Teaches you how to obtain, plan, control and conclude both audit and assurance engagements, building on the topics covered by paper AA.