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Foundation in Accountancy (FIS)

ACCA is pleased to announce its new entry-level suite of awards - Foundations in Accountancy - which will be first examined in December 2011.

Foundations in Accountancy consist of a suite of awards, including certificates, diplomas and a revised Certified Accounting Technician (CAT) Qualification.

It is important to note exams FAB, FMA and FFA within Foundations in Accountancy are exactly the same as exams F1, F2 and F3 of the ACCA Qualification and share identical syllabuses, study guides and assessment methods. F1, F2 and F3 of the ACCA Qualification will be updated and also first examined in December 2011. Students who complete F1, F2 and F3 of the ACCA Qualification and Foundations in Professionalism will also be awarded the Diploma in Accounting and Business.

Route 1: No formal academic qualifications

Students with no formal academic qualifications can register to take exams at any level within Foundations in Accountancy. There is no requirement to complete the Introductory Certificate in Financial and Management Accounting or the Intermediate Certificate in Financial and Management Accounting prior to completing the Diploma in Accounting and Business, although students are strongly recommended to do so. However, please note students who wish to complete the CAT Qualification will need to complete FA1, MA1, FA2 and MA2, or gain exemption from them on the basis of practical experience.

The introduction of the Diploma in Accounting and Business, with open access through Foundations in Accountancy will replace the current Mature Student Entry Route (MSER) of the ACCA Qualification for students who do not meet the ACCA Qualification minimum entry requirements.

Students who would have normally joined under MSER will now have the option of taking FAB, FMA and FFA under Foundations in Accountancy instead. This is less confusing for students, removes the time pressure of having to pass exams within a two year period and allows students to take the FAB, FMA and FFA in any order. When students have completed FAB, FMA and FFA, they will claim exemption from the F1, F2 and F3 of the ACCA Qualification and will start at the Skills module exams.

Students currently registered under the MSER on the ACCA Qualification will be notified of the changes and transition arrangements.

Route 2: Meeting the minimum entry requirements for the ACCA Qualification

For students who meet the minimum entry requirements to commence the ACCA Qualification i.e. have a minimum of 2 A Levels and 3 GCSEs or equivalent, they can either register for the ACCA Qualification and commence their studies at the Knowledge module with F1, F2 and F3; or register on the Foundations in Accountancy and complete the Introductory and Intermediate Certificates in Financial and Management Accounting if they prefer to take this route first.

ACCA recommends students register directly onto the ACCA Qualification if they meet the minimum entry requirements for the qualification instead of entering the ACCA Qualification via Foundations in Accountancy. However, the option is available to those students who wish to obtain additional certificates at introductory and intermediate levels before commencing their studies on the ACCA Qualification.

Syllabus Outline

An outline of the exam syllabus is listed below.

Recording Financial Transactions (FA1)

To introduce the basic accounting systems and documentation that will be encountered in the workplace. To develop knowledge and understanding of the operational aspects of maintaining accounting records and procedures and to learn how to record these transactions in the books of prime entry, including introduction to the principles of double entry and understanding how a computerized and a manual accounting system work

Management Information (MA1)

To introduce the student to the knowledge of basic cost information required for management accounting. To develop the knowledge and ability to recognize, collect and record basic cost and revenue information for planning and control including the use of spreadsheets in management accounting.

Maintaining Financial Records (FA2)

To introduce the fundamental principles of accounting and to develop the knowledge and understanding of the techniques used to maintain accounting records. To produce accounting records including ledger accounts, sales tax records (where applicable), control accounts, reconciliations, and extract and correct an initial trial balance also making the adjustments necessary to produce an extended trial balance. The syllabus also covers accounting for the business transactions of sole traders and partnerships.

Managing Costs and Finances (MA2)

To develop the knowledge and understanding of the principles and techniques used in recording, analyzing and reporting costs and revenues for internal management purposes. To demonstrate and develop applicable cost concepts in making short term decisions and the application of spreadsheets in management accounting.

Financial Accounting (FFA)

To develop knowledge and understanding of the underlying principles and concepts relating to financial accounting and to demonstrate technical proficiency in the use of double entry techniques, including the preparation and interpretation of basic financial statements for sole traders, companies and simple groups of companies.

Management Accounting (FMA)

To develop the knowledge and ability to apply appropriate management accounting concepts and foundations in accountancy techniques for decision making, planning and control including forecasting techniques, the preparation of budgets and standard costs and performance measurement

Accountant in Business (FAB)

To understand business in the context of its environment, including economic, legal, and regulatory influences on such aspects as governance, employment, health and safety, data protection and security. Additionally, to introduce certain aspects of the regulatory framework as they affect auditing and governance, examining the roles of internal and external auditors and introducing the importance of internal control. The syllabus also introduces key management and people issues such as individual and team behaviour, leadership, motivation, personal effectiveness and professional ethics in accounting and business

Options papers

Foundations in Taxation (FTX)

To develop the core knowledge of the underlying principles and the major technical areas of taxation, as they affect the activities of individuals and businesses, at a level appropriate for someone working at technician level. Having covered the core areas of the basic taxes, candidates should be able to compute tax liabilities, explain the basis of their calculations, complete the tax returns and identify the compliance issues for each major tax through a variety of business and personal scenarios and situations.

Foundations in Financial Management (FFM)

To examine all aspects of cash and working capital management, and to develop an understanding of the sources of short and long-term finance. To develop the knowledge and understanding of the way organizations finance their operations and plan, allocate and control resources to optimize returns.

Foundations in Audit (FAU)

To develop knowledge and understanding of external audit and the techniques used in the conduct of external audits. Additionally to demonstrate knowledge and understanding of internal control systems.

Key dates

The table below outlines the timetable leading up to the introduction of Foundations in Accountancy.

First registrations on Foundations in Accountancy Sample exams available
Conversion notices sent to existing CAT students
Last paper-based exams on current CAT Qualification
Current CAT students converted to Foundations in Accountancy
First paper-based and computer-based exams for Foundations in Accountancy

The PDF below outlines the important dates for you to remember throughout the year. We recommend you note these in your diary. ACCA Dates

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