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Careers in accountancy

Before you start studying with ACCA your ACCA study, you’ll need to choose which level you start studying at. This will depend on what qualifications you have already. You will either start at our Foundations level, or with the ACCA Qualification. Read on to find out how to study ACCA and which level is most suitable for you.


Our foundation level qualifications are perfect for you to start at if you are a school leaver who does not have the minimum entry requirements to start studying the ACCA Qualification. The awards within our foundations level are broadly equivalent to GCSE level and a degree or HND programme.

We recommend you start with the Introductory Certificate in Financial and Management Accounting if you have no formal qualifications. This is because students who start at the Introductory Certificate and work their way through the foundation-s level qualifications perform better in the Diploma in Accounting and Business higher-level exams than those who skip the other qualifications introductory and intermediate certificates and start at the Diploma level.

The awards within our foundations level will qualify allow you to work in a range of different jobs. This means you can start working in accountancy from the very start of your journey as you progress towards becoming an ACCA member. For example, with the first award Introductory Certificate in Financial and Management Accounting, you will be able to work in a number of junior accounting or bookkeeping roles.

To find out more about our foundation-level qualifications and decide which qualification you should start at, visit Foundations in Accountancy.


If you are a school leaver with a minimum of three GCSEs and two A Levels, in five separate subjects including maths and English or if you have equivalent qualifications, you can start your studies at the ACCA Qualification.

The ACCA Qualification is broadly equivalent to degree standard when you take the first nine papers (the Fundamentals level). When you take the Professionals level, it is equivalent to a master’s degree.

Once you have successfully completed your exams, ethics module and work experience and applied for ACCA membership, you will be able to use the ‘ACCA’ letters after your name and, you will be able to work as a professional accountant.

To find out more and decide if this is the right place for you to start your studies, visit the ACCA Qualification page.

Last updated: 12 Feb 2014