The global body for professional accountants

What syllabus changes are being introduced in F3, 'Financial Accounting' in December 2011?

The new F3 syllabus will reflect the latest amended occupational standards for accountants. The additions to the F3 syllabus are:

  • Duties and responsibilities of those charged with governance
  • Disclosure notes (explain purpose, draft non current asset, provision, events after the reporting period and inventory note)
  • Basic accounting for subsidiaries
  • Awareness of what associates are and equity accounting
  • Ratios
  • Analysis of financial statements.

The deletions from the F3 syllabus are:

  • Alternative bases used in the preparation of financial information
  • Accounting systems and the impact of information technology on financial reporting
  • Accounting for partnerships. The old syllabus did not cover detailed accounting for admissions and dissolution, only simple allocation of profits.

While the syllabus may seem broader, the paper and assessment are to be set so that they should not be any more difficult for a reasonably prepared candidate to pass than the previous F3 (pre December 2011).

When will the first computer-based exams be available for the new F3 syllabus?

CBEs for the new syllabus will be available from the start of December 2011. Anyone studying against the current syllabus should complete their exams before the end of November 2011, since all exams from the start of December onwards will be based on the new syllabus.

What is the difference between international and UK pass rates?

Unfortunately we do not publish these pass rates.

The ACCA website includes only one sample pilot paper for F1, F2 and F3. Are there plans to include more past exam papers?

No, there are not plans to publish more F1, F2 and F3 papers on our website. Please read the study guides produced by our official publishers for further examples of exam questions.

The International Accounting Standards Board (IASB) issued "The Conceptual Framework for Financial Reporting" on 28 September 2010. Given the proximity to the examinable documents cut-off date, will this be examinable in the 2011 examination session?

IASB issued “The Conceptual Framework for Financial Reporting" on 28 September 2010 (two days before the ACCA cut-off date). We will wholly rely on the existing "Framework for the Preparation and Presentation of Financial Statements" within the 2011 examinations because the new conceptual framework is incomplete and would have had a far-reaching impact on learning materials if incorporated.   

Foundations in Accountancy exams and the new ACCA Fundamentals Knowledge exams include 50 two-mark questions, which is more than the 90 marks available under the 2007 ACCA exam scheme. Will candidates taking the new exams experience a lot of time pressure during their exams?

All our exams go through a rigorous quality assurance process. Exam papers are completed by a number of exam panel members under exam conditions and with the same time constraints. We are confident that well-prepared candidates will cope with the number of questions.

Why will there be 50 two-mark questions from December 2011? Is this structure likely to change again in the near future?

These changes were introduced from December 2011 exams so that all three Knowledge module papers, F1, F2 and F3, are now structurally consistent.  When any changes in exam structure are planned in the future, students will be provided with sufficient notice of such changes well before they become effective. 

From December 2011, the Knowledge Module papers will include 50 short objective-style questions. At a later date, a new exam format will be introduced that includes longer style questions for F1/FAB, F2/FMA and F3/FFA. How much notice will ACCA give about this change in format?

We will give candidates more than sufficient notice before the change in examination format.  

Platinum and Gold learning content providers have been made aware of the upcoming changes and have included longer style questions within their materials.  Even though longer style questions will not be included in the December 2011 papers, they form excellent question practise and provide a good basis for the ACCA Skills papers should candidates continue onto these.

Why is partnership not part of the F3 syllabus from December 2011?

The FFA/F3 syllabus is designed to be suitable for candidates without any existing knowledge of the subject.  Consequently the syllabus coverage is wide.  

We felt that including detailed accounting of partnerships would make the syllabus unwieldy.  However, the basic concept of what a partnership is continues to be part of the syllabus - just not the detailed accounting.  

The impact of this on all other ACCA papers is minimal. Once candidates have understood the basic accounting principles for a business, these are easily transferrable to any business structure.

When ACCA introduce the long questions in F3/FFA, there will be a 15-mark question on both group accounting and accounts preparation. How will this be reflected in the initial 50 short objective question paper?

The areas on group accounting and accounts preparation represent 15 per cent each of the overall marks.  This will be the case in the 50 short objective question paper.  So group accounting will have in the region of seven to eight two-mark questions and accounts preparation will have an additional seven to eight two-mark questions.

Last updated: 10 Sep 2012