Changes to the ACCA Qualification

From September this year, ACCA students across the world will be examined within a redesigned professional level qualification structure, designed to better prepare them for what the future holds for professional accountants.

In 2016, the ACCA released their report on ‘Drivers of Change and Future Skills’. This report combined their insights from two years of research, involving over 2,000 professional accountants, into what the future could look like for accountants, and how the profession would need to respond.

The research led the ACCA to determine the seven key skills that will be essential for the accounting professional of the future:

  • Technical and Ethical
  • Intelligence
  • Creative
  • Digital
  • Emotional Intelligence
  • Vision
  • Experience

Many would agree that these seven skills cover an interesting range of competencies. It may seem surprising, for instance, that ‘creativity’ would be an essential skill for an accountant. However the ability to use their knowledge in new situations to generate innovate solutions to problems is surely a skill that a professional accountant should possess now and in the future. In acknowledging these skills, ACCA are embracing the future and changes that face accountants and using their knowledge to shape the future of accountancy training.


So, what are ACCA doing?

The ACCA have decided to use this research to inform their syllabus changes for this year, and to take the opportunity to rework the structure of the ACCA Qualification, paying particular attention to the needs of students studying the higher level professional level papers. As well as removing the references to ‘F’ and ‘P’ papers, to create a more fluid and distinct student journey based around topics rather than paper titles, there are two big changes this restructure includes.

The first big change is the ACCA’s decision to replace the ‘Professional’ level with the new ‘Strategic Professional’ level. This acknowledges the importance of strategy to future accountants, and ties in the need of ‘vision’, ‘emotional intelligence’ and ‘creativity’.

Within the new professional level is the new Strategic Business Leader exam. ACCA have taken the opportunity to combine the key learning from the P1 and P3 exams, and create a new, practical case study. This is an exciting opportunity for ACCA students to put their years of study to the test and apply it in a real-world example to prepare them for the working world.


What does this mean for you?

At AVADO we’re all about learning that works. We set you up for success from day one with an award-winning Virtual Learning Campus and the support of the very best Tutors.

Our ACCA courses have been built and are delivered by industry and teaching experts – like Paul Kirkwood. Paul’s enthusiasm for the profession and learning online is infectious. And he is on hand every step of the way to engage and motivate you to succeed.

As digital experts, we are uniquely positioned to react to these insights from the ACCA and develop courses that are inherently digital, developing students into the accountants of the future.


Catherine Murphy

Posted May 24, 2018