As someone wishing to pursue a professional career as a certified accountant, you might be at a crossroad on how to get certified. The common ways are either through ICAN or ANAN. But also there is the ACCA pathway.
The Association of Chartered Certified Accountants, ACCA, is recognized worldwide as the most prestigious chartered accounting body. With your ACCA qualification, you are instantly recognized all over the world as an accountant of repute.
This is because, since 1904, ACCA has been in the business of training accountants around the world to meet the demands of the increasingly sophisticated business environment.
With headquarters in London, the organization now has over 100 centers worldwide with thousands of staff to help aspiring professional accountants.
That said, it becomes immediately clear that people consider ACCA as the most prestigious. But the concern for most people is the cost of the exams and how to deal with foreign exchange fluctuations.
However, if you can overcome those twin problems and decide to become a certified accountant thorough the ACCA pathway, you can be assured that you are going for the best.
This article would give a general overview of how to become a chartered accountant through ACCA. The website has all the information you might need. It is a very detailed, with some helpful videos to guide you on your way.
Choosing the level to start
There are 2 levels involved here and each depends on your educational qualifications and choice.
This level is designed for those who have no academic qualifications whatsoever. So no matter your educational status of career path, you can choose to start your journey here.
If you start at the foundation level, it is assumed you have no prior experience in accounting and finance.
You can read more about the necessary qualification for this level here.
To start at this level, the least academic qualification is a combination of 3 GCE O’Levels and 2 A Levels in 5 separate subjects including English and maths.
However, since A Levels is not a part of our curriculum in Nigeria, your bachelor’s degree or its equivalent is what you would need to register at this level.
Other necessary qualifications include at least 3 years of work experience.
When you register at this level, it would take you 3 or 4 years to complete after writing at most 14 exams. Exemptions can reduce the number of exams you have to write though.
Get further information here.
Registering as a student
So, basically, as a Nigerian, your pathway to ACCA certification would start at the professional level.
There are consultants all over the place with ads promising to help you register as a student. The ads promise heaven, but the only thing they want is your money.
The point here is, registering as a student is not rocket science. As a graduate, the ACCA online registration portal is very easy to navigate. To put it bluntly, you don’t have to pay any consultant to do it for you. It is quite easy.
This-easy-to-grasp online application page has everything you need to know before you start the process. All the documents you would need are also listed out for you.
Once you click on start, be sure to specify whether you are registering at the foundation level or at the Professional level (ACCA qualification).
Here are some points to note about registration:
- Registration can take up to six weeks
- Ensure you register close to the exam you wish to take because if you register too early, you might have to pay extra money as part of your annual subscription fees. So you better note that as you would not be allowed to take the exams until you’ve cleared all subscription fees.
After you registration/application is accepted, you would be given your myACCA login details. It is in your myACCA dashboard that you would now view and update your details, and pay all relevant fees
As a foreign organization, paying the fees might pose a challenge to intending applicants in Nigeria. How much you pay is not the issue here as this page has a comprehensive and detailed list of all fees.
If you are not in Nigeria, you can click the drop down menu on the page to select your country so you can see the equivalent fee for your country.
The most difficult part is transferring your money to ACCA in London from your own base. Forex exchange restrictions could be a big issue.
But that shouldn’t be difficult in most cases. With your local bank’s debit card (MasterCard or Visa) you can effect the payment directly on the ACCA payment portal.
Again, if the credit card option is not available to you, for one reason or the other, there is even a simpler option for those living in Nigeria.
Payment in the local Nigerian currency is now possible. Just send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. You would get a reply detailing
- Payment instructions in Naira
- Bank account details where to make the payment
- How much you need to pay.
You can claim Exemptions from writing certain exams at the foundation level and the ACCA professional level. This works if you think have already gained qualifications in relevant subjects.
What this means is that you can start your exams at a higher level. There are several exemptions offered by ACCA and many people take advantage of them to expedite their attainment of the full professional status as an ACCA-certified accountant.
However, be aware that in applying for exemption, you would have to pay some fees. Thus, the exemption only grants you a faster route but doesn’t exempt you from paying far less money.
To get more details about the exemption, you can check here. While this page would give you details of the courses eligible for exemptions and how they apply in your own case.
ACCA organize four exams each year in March, June, September, and December. This makes it easier to plan the exam to fit your own schedule. The examination calendar can be downloaded here.
Finally, the ACCA website should be your complete resource once you decide to register. Even information on where to get credible tutors can be found there. Take time to navigate the site and you won’t have to pay any consultant extra money to get your ACCA certification.