Certificate Level

Module aim
To ensure that candidates have a sound understanding of the techniques of double entry accounting and can apply its principles in recording transactions, adjusting financial records and preparing non-complex financial statements.
On completion of this module, candidates will be:
  • proficient in the use of double entry accounting techniques and the maintenance of accounting records.
  • able to identify and correct omissions and errors in accounting records and financial statements.
  • able to specify the components of financial statements and prepare and present non-complex accounts for sole traders, partnerships and limited companies.
Module aim
To ensure that candidates understand the assurance process and fundamental principles of ethics, and are able to contribute to the assessment of internal controls and gathering of evidence on an assurance engagement.
On completion of this module, candidates will be able to:
  • explain the concept of assurance, why assurance is required and the reasons for assurance engagements being carried out by appropriately qualified professionals;
  • explain the nature of internal controls and why they are important, document an organisation’s internal controls and identify weaknesses in internal control systems;
  • select sufficient and appropriate methods of obtaining assurance evidence and recognise when conclusions can be drawn from evidence obtained or where issues need to be referred to a senior colleague; and
  • understand the importance of ethical behaviour to a professional and explain issues relating to integrity, objectivity, conflicts of interest, conflicts of loyalty, confidentiality and independence.
Module aim
To provide candidates with an understanding of how businesses operate and how accounting and finance functions support businesses in achieving their objectives.
On completion of this module, candidates will be able to:
  • identify the general objectives of businesses and the functions and tasks that businesses perform in order to meet their objectives;
  • specify the nature, characteristics, advantages and disadvantages of different forms of business and organisational structure;
  • identify the purpose of financial information produced by businesses, specify how accounting and finance functions support business operations, and identify sources and methods of financing for businesses and individuals;
  • specify the role of the accountancy profession and why the work of the profession is important;
  • identify the role that governance plays in the management of a business and specify how a business can promote corporate governance, sustainability, corporate responsibility and an ethical culture; and
  • specify the impact on a business of the economic environment in which it operates.
Module aim
To provide candidates with an understanding of the principles of English law
On completion of this module, candidates will be able to:
  • explain the nature of contractual agreements, the agency relationship and the consequences of negligence;
  • understand the legal implications of incorporation, including the roles of shareholders and directors, and the main implications of insolvency law;
  • identify instances of criminal behaviour that may be encountered by professional accountants; and
  • identify other key areas in which the law affects the role and work of the professional accountant.
Module aim
To enable candidates to prepare essential financial information for the management of a business.
On completion of this module, candidates will be able to:
  • establish the costs associated with the production of products and provision of services and use them to determine prices;
  • select appropriate budgeting approaches and methods and prepare budgets;
  • identify key features of effective performance management systems, select appropriate
  • performance measures and calculate differences between actual performance and standards or budgets; and
  • identify and calculate relevant data for use in management decision making.
Module aim
To enable candidates to understand the general objectives of tax and to calculate income tax, national insurance contributions, capital gains tax, corporation tax and VAT in straightforward scenarios.
On completion of this module, candidates will be able to:
  • explain the general objectives of tax, the influences upon the UK system of tax, the different types of tax in the UK and recognise the ethical issues arising in the course of performing tax work;
  • identify the obligations the UK system of tax imposes on taxpayers and the implications of noncompliance;
  • calculate the amount of income tax owed by or owed to individuals and the amount of national insurance payable;
  • calculate the amount of capital gains tax payable by individuals and the chargeable gains subject to corporation tax;
  • calculate the amount of corporation tax payable by companies; and
  • calculate the amount of VAT owed by or owed to businesses.

Professional Level

Module aim
To develop candidates’ understanding of the critical aspects of managing an assurance engagement (including audit engagements): acceptance, planning, managing, concluding and reporting.
On completion of this module, candidates will be able to:
  • understand and advise on the regulatory, professional and ethical issues relevant to those carrying out an assurance engagement;
  • understand the processes involved in accepting and managing assurance engagements;
  • understand how quality assurance processes mitigate risks;
  • plan assurance engagements in accordance with the terms of the engagements and appropriate standards; and
  • conclude and report on assurance engagements in accordance with the terms of the engagements and appropriate standards.
Module aim
To enable candidates to prepare complete single entity and consolidated financial statements, and extracts from those financial statements, covering a wide range of International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS).
Candidates will also be required to explain accounting and reporting concepts and ethical issues, and the application of IFRS to specified single entity or group scenarios.
On completion of this module, students will be able to:
  • explain the contribution and inherent limitations of financial statements, apply the International Accounting Standards Board’s (IASB) conceptual framework for financial reporting and identify and explain key ethical issues;
  • prepare and present financial statements from accounting data for single entities, whether organised in corporate or in other forms, in conformity with IFRS and explain the application of IFRS to specified single entity scenarios; and
  • identify the circumstances in which entities are required to present consolidated financial statements, prepare and present them in conformity with IFRS and explain the application of IFRS to specified group scenarios.
Learning outcomes apply to non-specialised profit-oriented entities unless otherwise specified.
Module aim
To enable candidates to recommend relevant options for financing a business, recognise and
manage financial risks and make appropriate investment decisions.
On completion of this module, candidates will be able to:
  • identify capital requirements of businesses, assess financing options and recommend relevant methods of financing;
  • identify the financial risks facing a business and the principal methods of managing those risks; and
  • apply appropriate investment appraisal techniques taking into account other factors affecting investment decisions.
Module aim
To enable students to prepare tax computations for individuals and companies in straightforward scenarios.
On completion of this module, students will be able to:
recognise the ethical issues arising in the course of performing tax work and identify the obligations the UK system of tax imposes on taxpayers and the implications for taxpayers of non-compliance;
  • calculate the capital gains tax payable by individuals and trustees;
  • calculate the amounts of income tax owed by or owed to individuals and trustees;
  • calculate the amounts of inheritance tax due on lifetime transfers and transfers on death by individuals, personal representatives and trustees;
  • calculate the amounts of national insurance payable by individuals, businesses and companies;
  • calculate the corporation tax liabilities of companies;
  • calculate the amount of VAT owed by or owed to businesses; and
  • calculate the amount of stamp taxes due in straightforward transactions.
Module aim
To provide candidates with an understanding of how businesses develop and implement strategy.
On completion of this module, candidates will be able to:
  • identify and analyse the consequences of a business’s current objectives, market position and direction;
  • evaluate the likely consequences of strategic choices and recommend strategies to meet the objectives of a business; and
  • recommend appropriate methods of implementing strategies and demonstrate how management information can be used subsequently to measure and monitor strategic performance.
Module aim
To enable candidates to apply technical knowledge and professional skills to identify and resolve tax issues that arise in the context of preparing tax computations and to advise on tax-efficient strategies for businesses and individuals.
Candidates will be required to use technical knowledge and professional judgment to identify, explain and evaluate alternative tax treatments and to determine the appropriate solutions to taxation issues, giving due consideration to the needs of clients and the interaction between taxes.
The commercial context and impact of recommendations will need to be considered in making such judgments, as will ethical and legal issues.
Prior knowledge
There are no regulations stipulating the order in which candidates must attempt this module.
However candidates are strongly advised to complete both the Principles of Taxation module and the Tax Compliance module before attempting this module as the ability to prepare tax computations is required to be successful at this module.
Although technical topics by necessity flow through the three tax papers, a technical topic will not be retested in this module in a comprehensive computational question if it has already been tested in detail in either of the other two tax papers.

Advanced Level

Module aim
To enable candidates to apply technical knowledge, analytical techniques and professional skills to resolve compliance and business issues that arise in the context of the preparation and evaluation of corporate reports and from providing audit services.
Candidates will be required to use technical knowledge and professional judgement to identify, explain and evaluate alternatives and to determine the appropriate solutions to compliance issues, giving due consideration to the needs of clients and other stakeholders. The commercial context and impact of recommendations and ethical issues will also need to be considered in making such judgements.
On completion of this module, candidates will be able to:
  • formulate, implement and evaluate corporate reporting policies for single entities and groups of varying sizes and in a variety of industries. They will be able to discern and formulate the appropriate financial reporting treatment for complex transactions and complex scenarios.
  • analyse, interpret, evaluate and compare financial statements of entities both over time and across a range of industries.
  • explain the processes involved in planning an audit, evaluating internal controls, appraising risk, gathering evidence and drawing conclusions in accordance with the terms of the engagement.
  • evaluate corporate reporting policies, estimates and disclosures in a scenario in order to be able to assess whether they are in compliance with accounting standards and are appropriate in the context of audit objectives.
  • Identify and explain ethical issues. Where ethical dilemmas arise, candidates will be able to recommend and justify and determine appropriate actions and ethical safeguards to mitigate threats.
Module aim
To enable candidates to demonstrate quantitative and qualitative skills, in order to make realistic business recommendations in complex scenarios. Business awareness will need to be demonstrated at strategic, operating and transactional levels.
To achieve this aim, candidates will be required to use technical knowledge and professional judgement to apply appropriate models and to analyse data from multiple sources, including corporate reports, in order to evaluate alternatives and determine appropriate solutions.
On completion of this module, in a national or global context, and for a range of different business structures and industry scenarios, candidates will be able to:
  • analyse and identify the external environment and internal strategic capability of an entity; evaluate the consequences of strategic choices; recommend strategies to achieve stakeholder objectives, recommend appropriate methods of implementing strategies and monitoring strategic performance; manage business risks; and advise on corporate governance.
  • identify and advise upon appropriate finance requirements; evaluate financial risks facing a business and advise upon appropriate methods of managing those risks; provide valuations for businesses and securities; and advise upon investment and distribution decisions.
  • identify and explain ethical issues. Where ethical dilemmas arise, candidates will be able to recommend and justify and determine appropriate actions and ethical safeguards to mitigate threats.
  • interpret and apply corporate reporting information in evaluating business and financial performance; recognise and explain the corporate reporting consequences of business and financial decisions; apply corporate reporting information in appropriate models to determine asset, equity and entity valuations, demonstrating an understanding of the usefulness and limitations of accounting information in this context.
  • appraise and explain the role of assurance in raising new equity and debt funding and in the subsequent monitoring of such funding arrangements; understand, explain and evaluate the role of assurance in selecting and implementing key business decisions including acquisitions and strategic alliances; understand and explain the role of assurance in financial and business risk management.
Module Aim
To ensure that candidates can provide advice in respect of complex business issues in the form of a written report.
The objective of the Case Study is to assess candidates’ understanding of complex business issues and the ability to analyse financial and non-financial data, exercise professional and ethical judgement, and develop conclusions and recommendations. The limited class time available with a tutor, even when supplemented by extensive home study, is insufficient for success in the Case Study.
Candidates must bring work experience into their preparation and development programme. Success at the Case Study requires an integration of the technical knowledge and skills acquired from all of the ACA modules, namely:
  • the core technical knowledge and skills and practical application acquired at the Certificate and Professional level;
  • the technical, analytical, evaluative and integration skills from the Corporate Reporting and Strategic Business Management; and
  • the advisory, judgemental and communication skills acquired through practical work experience undertaken during the training contract.
All areas of the syllabus may be tested over time.
The Case Study is designed to reproduce a typical situation in which chartered accountants find themselves. This will involve using information arising from meetings and communicated in memoranda, letters or reports from a variety of business and professional advisors and stakeholders. The situation will generally relate to a business plan or transaction and will require preparation for the submission of a report.