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As you complete the ACCA Qualification you will have the choice to take some exams which reflect where in the world you want to work and what areas of finance you want to specialise on. You can read more about these choices on this page.

Variant exams

Tax and law variants

In a number of countries, you have the opportunity of taking exams based on national tax and law – referred to as variant exams.

Variant are available for the following exams:

  • F4 Corporate and Business Law
  • F6 Taxation
  • P6 Advanced Taxation
     

Auditing standards

You have the option of taking the accounting and auditing papers based on international standards or UK standards, or taking exams based on national standards in certain countries. 

The following exams are based on international standards for financial reporting and auditing:

  • P2 Corporate Reporting
  • P7 Advanced Audit and Assurance

Options exams - choose and specialise

ACCA is unique in allowing you to focus on the specialist areas of professional accountancy at an advanced level, giving you the chance to focus on those areas of finance which you are good at and would like to focus on in your career.

At the Professional level you must complete three Essential exams (P1 Governance, Risk and Ethics; P2 Corporate Reporting; and P3 Business Analysis) and then complete two from four Options exams (P4 Advanced Financial Management; P5 Advanced Performance Management; P6 Advanced Taxation; and P7 Advanced Audit and Assurance).

When you are choosing your Options exam choices, think about which exams best reflect your strengths and which exams best reflect the experience you have gained or the career you want to have.

To help you reflect on where your strengths, think about how well you understand the concepts in the corresponding Fundamentals exam.

You should read the Essential underpinning for Options papers document to learn more, which can be downloaded from the 'Related documents' section of this page.

You can read a brief overview of the Options papers in the following sections.

If you have work experience in financial management, or have ambitions to work in this area, this exam could be a good choice for you.

P4 Advanced Financial Management is designed to enable you to learn relevant knowledge, techniques and skills, and to exercise professional judgment, in recommending or taking decisions relating to the financial management of a business.

P4 is mainly underpinned by F9 Financial Management. We have found that if you have a good knowledge of F9 then you are more likely to pass P4.

Even if you were exempted F9 it is a good idea to look at the essential underpinning knowledge from F9 to check how familiar you are with the concepts you will need to build on for P4.

If you have work experience in performance management, or have ambitions to work in this area, this exam could be a good choice for you.

P5 Advanced Performance Management is designed to enable you to learn relevant knowledge, techniques and skills relating to strategic performance management techniques and systems.

P5 is mainly underpinned by F5 Performance Management. We have found that if you have a good knowledge of F5 then you are more likely to pass P5.

Even if you were exempted F5 it is a good idea to look at the essential underpinning knowledge from F5 to check how familiar you are with the concepts you will need to build on for P5.

If you have work experience in taxation, or have ambitions to work in this area, this exam could be a good choice for you.

P6 Advanced Taxation is designed to enable you to be able to provide clients – both individuals and businesses – with the information and advice they require regarding the impact that the major taxes have on their financial decisions and situations.

P6 is mainly underpinned by F6 Taxation. We have found that if you have a good knowledge of F6 then you are more likely to pass P6.

Even if you were exempted F6 it is a good idea to look at the essential underpinning knowledge from F6 to check how familiar you are with the concepts you will need to build on for P6.

If you have work experience in audit and assurance, or have ambitions to work in this area, this exam could be a good choice for you. 

P7 Advanced Audit and Assurance is designed to enable you to apply relevant knowledge and skills in evaluating and concluding on audit and assurance engagements.

P7 is mainly underpinned by F8 Audit and Assurance. We have found that if you have a good knowledge of F8 then you are more likely to pass P7.

Even if you were exempted F8 it is a good idea to look at the essential underpinning knowledge from F8 to check how familiar you are with the concepts you will need to build on for P7.

Further information

Additional information on the Options exams, including articles, videos and guidance on where to get study materials is available.

You can also use the ACCA Competency Framework to see how the different Options exams relate to different job roles.

Last updated: 23 May 2018

Related documents

  • Essential underpinning for Option papers

    PDF 30KB