ACCA or the Association of Certified Chartered Accountants as we all know is a body of qualified professional accountants which currently has over 228000+ members along with half a million students enrolled making it the largest body of such kind for accounting professionals. The ACCA is accepted worldwide in over 180+ countries for its quality of course and professional development activities and now has engaged with over 300+ institutions of learning worldwide to enhance the high standards of learning.
One may question what is it that makes ACCA a globally accepted course as there are separate courses in specific regions imparting similar financial knowledge and technical skills. The answer to this question lies in two points-
• The course of ACCA is not focused on accounting practices of a particular region but involves understanding and mastering internationally accepted accounting principles and international corporate laws
• ACCA also has a wide range of tie-ups with region-specific institutes imparting similar courses. This in itself makes it the most sought after course in the accounting domain as it easily allows a candidate having attained a similar level of expertise to perform accounting practice in a global work environment. This has been enabled with a large number of MOU’s signed by ACCA with other similar institutes providing the candidates flexibility in choosing the courses.
Membership agreements for ACCA members
In line with allowing flexibility to ACCA members to practice the accounting profession in other regions without any extra effort, ACCA has entered into MOU’s with apex institution of specific regions so as to avoid duplication of qualifications and allow ACCA members to hold dual membership. This allows for creating a joint professional task force which can work on improving the accounting practices in the region and also aligning the accounting regional accounting practices with the globally accepted accounting practices. Some of the MOU’s signed by ACCA are:-
• UAE - AAA (Accountants and Auditors Association) – ACCA members can become members of AAA (UAE)
• Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand – Both institute members can apply for dual membership
• Certified General Accountants Association of Canada (CGA-Canada) – Both institute members can apply for dual membership
• Hong Kong Institute of Certified Public Accountants (HKICPA) - Both institute members can apply for dual membership
• Malaysian Institute of Certified Public Accountants (MICPA) - Both institute members can apply for dual membership
MOU’s with other bodies to become a member of ACCA
This partnership approach of ACCA which accepts other courses in line with ACCA course and grants exemption either full or partial to appear in certain subjects, allows finance professionals to attain a dual degree and also work in a global firm without starting the course from ground zero. The ACCA apex body performs a very strict check on the courses of other accounting bodies before the agreement is signed and ensures sufficient coverage of topics and fair exemptions are given to candidates based on their competencies. Some of the indicative MOU’s signed by ACCA are:-
• Institute of Singapore Chartered Accountant – ACCA membership is awarded to members of this institute who have cleared the examinations and have three years of experience post completing the course.
• UK based institutes - ACCA membership is awarded to members of the below-mentioned institutes who have cleared the examinations and have held membership for five continuous years post completing the course.
o Institute of Chartered Accountants of Scotland
o Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy
o Institute of Chartered Accountants in Ireland
o Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales
• European Communities (Recognition of Professional Qualifications) Regulations 2015 – ACCA membership is awarded to those who are currently members of a body of professionals or is presently holding a qualification under the above Regulations.
• Joint Examinations – ACCA has tied up with institutes and have modelled the examinations in such a way that any candidate passing the examination will be eligible for membership for both the accounting professional bodies such as Institute of Chartered Accountants of Barbados, Institute of Chartered Accountants of Trinidad and Tobago and many more.
• Other accountancy bodies – Exemption of maximum 9 papers are allowed for other accountancy bodies such as Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI)
Enhancing Overall Qualification
ACCA endeavors to enhance the knowledge not only in the accounting domain but multiple other aspects of finance. To further this, it has entered into MOU with other bodies which provide both academic and professional qualifications as mentioned below:-
• Academic Qualification
o MSc (Professional Accountancy), University of London – This is allowed for ACCA students, affiliates and members and certain exemptions are allowed based on your ACCA qualification
o MBA (Global), Oxford Brookes University – They have a part time, online MBA which is only allowed for ACCA members who have completed at least three years of professional work.
• Professional Qualification – These courses allows an ACCA member to enhance their skills in a particular domain and become subject matter experts. Some of the courses on offer are as follows:
o Advanced Diploma in International Taxation (ADIT) with the Chartered Institute of Taxation (CIOT)
o Certified Internal Auditor (CIA) certification with the Institute of Internal Auditors (IIA)