5 Myths that stop you from Pursuing ACCA

So, you came across an exciting professional degree- ACCA. You sat in front of your laptop and did some research, talked with people who are pursuing or have already passed it. Their response is positive. With its global recognition, it’s flexibility, the interesting syllabus and diverse career opportunities, this qualification just seems to fit your career objectives.

You think of pursuing it, but meanwhile, you start hearing about widespread myths and misconceptions about the ACCA qualification from different people and sources. You can’t escape it and now having second thoughts on whether you should pursue ACCA or not. We are inherently more susceptible to negative reviews than positive.
 
So, are these talks and fallacies that discourage you to finally land on your dream qualification and career real? Well, let’s find out.

Now that I have cleared all of my skills level exams, shortly worked in an audit-firm and contracted for internship in the capital market field, I can look back to say, ‘Yes, I made the right choice’. ACCA is in alignment with my career goals, opened the doors for endless possibilities in the broad arena of accounting, auditing, finance, and whatnot.
Based on my experience and knowledge, I have attempted to bust 5 of those myths that stop students from pursuing ACCA with actual reality to make it clear for you to decide.

MYTH #1
Since its UK-based degree, I will struggle to find Job in Nepal after ACCA. 
Or, I will have to settle or move abroad after completion.

REALITY: There is a huge scope of ACCA in Nepal. Many ACCA affiliates and members are working as mid and top-level managers with an attractive profile and salary in the big reputed organizations including the public service or government sector. The world becoming increasingly global makes ACCA even more lucrative qualification to pursue and the scope for ACCAs only seem to be going up. The fact that ACCA is UK-based Chartered Accountancy only opens the opportunities in abroad without hampering the scope and opportunity here in Nepal.

MYTH #2
ACCA is expensive. 

REALITY: Fees of studying ACCA in Nepal ranges anywhere between 4-6 lakhs which is cheaper than other qualification like BBA and almost equal to other Chartered Accountancy qualification. On top of that, some colleges will even provide you with a scholarship. Honestly, the tuition fee is very affordable for one of the leading financial courses around the world. It’s more like an investment than an expense. Once you are qualified as ACCA, the payback of the amount one spends on pursing it is in around 1 year and the career growth is infinite. In short, it’s a worthy investment. 

Myth#3
ACCA is an extremely tough course and I cannot pass it. 
Or, I need to study 14-16 hours daily to pass it.

REALITY: If you plan everything from the beginning, give few hours daily and use the resources wisely, it’s not that difficult at all. However, you cannot expect to pass by studying a night or a week before the exam. It becomes tough because people work hard in the wrong direction and are less aware of all the study resources, exam-style and examiner’s expectations. Small continuous effort and a good approach are all it takes.

Myth #4 
ACCA is all about numbers. The profession is boring with no social life and friends

REALITY: This is not true. ACCA is a lot more than just numbers viz; analysis, client relationship, decision-making, implementing various strategic decisions, teamwork, presentations, going to various organizations for audit etc.
ACCA is anything but boring. The job roles are self-actualizing and since you have a lot of career options to choose from once you qualify, you can dive in the field that excites you. Furthermore, you can always have a good balance of personal and professional life. Also, with the increased network, you will never run short of friends. 

Myth #5
I need management/commerce high-school degree to pursue ACCA.
Or, I am a Science or student from another stream, so, it is not for me.

REALITY: There is no specific high school degree requirement to pursue ACCA. You can be from management, science or any other stream and still pursue it.
Since the course structure starts from the foundation level, you will learn from the very basics ,therefore, no matter which stream you chose in +2, you will not face any difficulty at all.

Apart from these, some might say there are no good colleges. That’s again not true. There are some of the best ACCA colleges in Nepal with astonishing achievements like world rank 1st.

These myths are floating around on unreasonable grounds and make students reluctant to apply and land on their dream qualification. Don’t let these myths stop you from achieving your dream.

Ujjwal Ghimire

How Easy Is Passing Acca Exams – An Honest Review

How Easy Is Passing ACCA Exams? – An Honest Review

How Easy Is Passing ACCA Exams? – An Honest Review

“In order to fail, you will have to lose 50 marks. Do you realize how hard it is to make mistakes worth 50 marks?” – Ujjaal Shiwakoti Sir, Faculty for PM paper at Seed Financial Academy

Like every other exam, the ACCA exam is time-bound, and you will be tested on unseen questions from a fixed syllabus. So I think it is safe to say that passing ACCA exams is just as easy as any other exam you’ve given so far, entirely depending upon your level of preparation and understanding.  Maybe, it depends even on the exam questions, but REMEMBER: ACCA WANTS ITS STUDENTS TO PASS, and has done everything possible on its end to ensure that the students do pass.

ACCA, being UK-based, certainly has a difference in teaching-learning-examining approach than what we have been familiar with up to our +2 level in Nepal. (Those from A-levels know a taste of it already.)

In ACCA, the pass marks are 50.

The Foundation and Skills level exams are computer based, and the Professional level is in the process of being upgraded to CBE too, so one has to know their way around using computers and especially spreadsheets.

Here, rot-learning won’t take you far; deep understanding and analytical ability is absolutely necessary.

There is no question bank from which literally ALL questions are adapted into the finals as in +2, i.e. there are no fixed questions, so NO chance of successful question spotting.

No marks are awarded for lengthy answers that is not exactly the question’s requirement; only the weight of the content matters NOT the volume.

But there are ways one can make the most of ACCA’s examining approach and crack the exams, let’s find out what.

PREPARATION IS THE KEY:

One has to have technical knowledge of the content as well as be prepared to tackle the exam.

For knowledge, the best way is to get yourself ACCA prescribed text-books and exam kits from an Approved Content Provider (Kaplan or BPP), take tuitions from the best tutors in town in Approved Learning Providers such as our Seed Financial Academy, explore the vast pool of resources ACCA has on its website (technical articles, past exam questions, examiner’s reports, prepare to pass guide) or even research on key matters from the internet.

For deeper understanding, one should know the “why” behind every step. One should know what the practical examples could be, and one should be able to link the topics in the same paper or from carried forward knowledge of other papers.

Question practice from past questions and exam kit is A MUST. (I cannot emphasize this enough!)

Follow up closely with the tutor’s pace, don’t leave any topic for last minute cramming. When the exam is one week away, you should be revising and revisiting topics about which you have already learnt in depth.

Practice solving long questions in the constructive response practice area of ACCA website, which is a simulation of actual exam’s answer-sheet screen. You must not solve on paper first then transfer it to the spreadsheet, you must be able to solve using the spreadsheet.

EXAM TECHNIQUE

In the exam, depending on your confidence, plan whether you want to tackle the MCQs first or the constructive response question. Take a moment to plan the structure (of table or workings) before every answer.

Read the requirement of the question TWICE and plan an answer exactly to-the-point.

Poor time management during the exam is the major reason for failing. So practicing long questions under timer and taking the mock tests can help. Don’t get stuck in one question for too long. We have 1.8 minutes per mark. (3hrs/100marks= 3*60/100= 1.8 minutes per mark). Too long is more than 2 minutes for a mark, if you can’t solve it, flag it and move onto another question. Come back to it during review.

NEVER leave any question blank if you have time. Make a format or at least try. You may gain some marks from step marking.

EXPLOIT ACCA’S EXAMINING APPROACH

Every paper of Foundation and Skills module contain entirely or partly of MCQ style questions, with no negative marking. Many of those require direct application of knowledge and thus offer easy marks.

In the constructive response questions, ACCA does step marking, which means you will be awarded marks for correct steps even though your answer is not entirely correct. To identify easy marks, practice using the marking scheme at the end of every answer in kit.

Computer-Based Examinations (CBE) is a boon for the examinee. The answers can be well-structured and well-presented. Calculations become faster and more accurate using spreadsheet formulae. Flagging and navigation tools allow marking doubtful answers and going back to them at one click that makes reviewing answers easier.

EXAM PLANNING

ACCA offers 4 exam sittings in a year. Learning providers provide flexible sessions according to the exam sittings. You can choose to appear one paper in 3 months or two (or three if you dare) in 6 months.

Make sure you choose matching subjects. For example, PM and AA both with low global pass rates, is not a good combination for one sitting. Similarly, FR and FM exams are always on consecutive days, so make sure you are prepared enough that you can revise for FM. Also, ensure you are mentally prepared to handle the stress that may arise due to a bad FR exam, so that you don’t underperform in your FM exam on the next day. 

Booking FR in the morning shift and FM in the evening shift of the next day will buy you some more crucial time to revise.  This is especially useful to job holders and interns, who have little exam leave.

THE BOTTOM LINE IS: Passing ACCA exams is not that difficult if you put dedicated and smart efforts into preparation.

Asmita Thapa, Strategic Professional Level Student at Seed Financial Academy

Career Opportunities after ACCA

Career Opportunities after ACCA

Career Opportunities after ACCA
With businesses and industries becoming increasingly global and converging at a very fast rate, ACCA has emerged as one of the most desirable qualifications for anyone willing to build up a career in the business world of accounting, auditing and finance.

ACCA offers the globally recognized, updated and industry-relevant content making it a truly global degree. Thanks to its well-designed course that updates and gets revised almost every session to reflect the latest developments in accounting standard and includes the emerging topics and skills that actually matters in the workplace. For instance, trending concepts of sustainability accounting, data analytics and even Block chain have been included in the syllabus.

Moreover, ethics modules and three years compulsory Practical Experience Requirement (PER) for all students equips them with the required technical expertise, organizational skills and other ethical aspects that makes ACCA as one of the most sought-after degrees by the employers. The requirement for Continuous Professional Development (CPD) for the members adds up to the relevance and reputation of ACCA in the job market.

Here is the listing of some of the reputable job roles that offer impressive profiles and handsome salaries after ACCA;

  1. Audit and Assurance Services
    Their job role is to perform an independent, objective assessment of financial statements or compliance efforts. Many ACCAs are working in reputed audit firms in Nepal and even in BIG 4s around the world.
    Another area in audit is – Internal Auditor 
    They add value and improve operations in the organization by bringing a systematic and disciplined approach to the effectiveness of risk management, control, and governance. They also analyze reports, develop annual plans, identify loopholes, recommend risk aversion measures etc.
  2. Finance Manager
    Their responsibility is, but not limited to, monitoring the day-to-day financial operations within the company, such as payroll, invoicing, and other transactions, tracking the company’s financial status and performance, researching market trends, identifying areas for potential improvement and producing financial reports.
  3. Tax consultant/Advisor
    They are experts in tax law, planning and compliance. Preparing tax returns, conducting research on tax laws, strategizing with clients to minimize tax liability, communicating with clients to explain tax issues preparing tax returns, estate planning, keeping clients compliant with their tax obligation etc. are the responsibilities as a tax consultant.
  4. Management accountant
    They aid managerial planning and commercial decision-making tasks by providing appropriate financial information and undertaking related accounts and administration. Preparing reports, budgets, commentaries and financial statements, variance reports, forecasting budgets, supervising accounting technicians are some of their job responsibilities.
  5. Business Analyst
    Developing technical solutions to business problems, or to advance a company’s sales efforts by defining, analyzing and documenting the business requirements. They also perform variance analysis, prepare financial models, make forecasts and assist in pricing strategies.
  6. Finance planner
    They research and develop strategies on investment, risk management and tax planning. They also draft consolidated forecasts and budgets and analyze trends in revenue, expense, capital expenditures and other related areas.
  7. Investment Banking
    Though not explored much by ACCAs, this is one of the most well-respected and highly paid domains in the field of banking. One can provide support in the treasury related accounting, balance sheet accounts which would include cash as well and check for the accuracy of capital market pricing. They can also support financial reporting around valuations and assist in the research of investment opportunities.
  8. Credit Control Manager
    Credit Manager has a vital role in the finance department to ensure that invoices are paid on time to assist the organization. They manage team of credit control officers, formulates credit policies for the company, prepare credit notes, negotiate terms with third party debt collection agencies, review and report on aged debtors, ensure creditworthiness etc.
  9. Risk Manager
    Their job is to ensure that the company secures its reputation and profitability by identifying and advising on various types of risks (business, financial and legal) and potential threats and create plans to prevent and mitigate these problems.
  10. Compliance/Governance officer
    A Compliance Manager ensures a company functions legally and ethically while meeting its business goals. They are responsible for developing compliance programs, reviewing company policies, and advising management on possible risks.
    Chief financial officer, Treasurer, Business Advisor -The list goes on and on. Apart from these lucrative career options to choose from, the other perk of ACCA is that it is well recognized and can help student land on these jobs in the renowned MNCs and in any part of the world.

Besides, those who wish to specialize on other areas of their interest, ACCA opens doors to many other qualifications like MBA and CFA and also provides with relevant skills and expertise to successfully start, operate and manage their own business.

Ujjwal Ghimire
Strategic Professional Level Student at Seed Financial Academy

The SEED Show With Asmita Thapa and Rabin Katwal

The SEED Show With Asmita Thapa and Rabin Katwal

The SEED Show With Asmita Thapa and Rabin Katwal | ACCA Stories from Mr Rabin Katwal, ACCA Head Nepal

The following quality discussions were made in the first episode of Seed Show where the host Ms. Asmita Thapa who is also an ACCA student at Seed Financial Academy put some questions on several dynamics of ACCA qualification with our respected guest Mr. Rabin Katwal who is currently leading the role of Head-ACCA for Nepal.
Link for the full video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EXAa6wqGWWk

1. What is ACCA qualification for a layman who does not know anything about ACCA?
From the perspective of layman there are three things to consider. First of all, ACCA is a professional qualification especially for those who wants to pursue career in accountancy, finance and audit profession in which you need to complete examinations as well meet certain practical experience requirements. ACCA is an international qualification that currently has around 206,000 members, 500,000 students, global presence in 179 countries, 100 office centres, 500 exam centres. In a nutshell, ACCA is a professional qualification, accounting and finance related qualification and an international qualification.

2. There are many mainstream courses in the market such as BBS, BBA etc then why ACCA, why not other?
I think gone are the days we talk about product like why Samsung, why I phone, why ACCA, why BBA etc., we talk about stories. So a better question would be, “ What is ACCA story?” Different individual, human beings have different sensibilities, different interests, different perceptions different inclinations. That is why every story may not appeal/attract them and ACCA story should not necessarily attract them. So, according to their sensibility and interest, they may go with different choices and we need to respect them. So, it would be wrong to say that ACCA is the best thing for them.
Talking about ACCA values,
ACCA is a Flexible Qualification
By flexible qualification, I mean you can choose the number of papers you want to opt for examinations, you can sit for examinations 4 times in a year, you can balance exams and your experience. In the current world which is fast moving, fast paced, where individuals are working, ACCA could be a best fit choice.

Diversity and Opportunity
ACCA presence is not limited to certain countries only since it has a global presence in many countries throughout the world. So people from different backgrounds are studying ACCA. Therefore, Diversity and Opportunity for All is a part of the ACCA values and ACCA story.

International Recognition and Global Mobility
Everyone would agree that the current world is a globalized world and whatever skills we gain/are gaining/supposed to gain should be globally relevant and provided that we are able, there should be opportunities across the globe for us to be mobile. So this is how ACCA as a qualification provides international recognition and helps us to be globally mobile.
So, I think these ACCA values should appeal to everybody. The current world is very Volatile, Uncertain, Complex and Ambiguous(VUCA) and we need to put a hard question onto ourselves whether the qualification we are pursuing given the investment in time, effort and resources would be adequate enough to survive/thrive in the current world and if it does not then we should be questioning ourselves.

3. Why ACCA introduced Ethics and Professional skills module as a part of curriculum?
Ethics is an important topic in the current world and there should be rigorous discussion around ethics. ACCA student and ACCA members should have a deep understanding and they should be able to demonstrate ethical skills. Apart from Ethics, they should also be able to understand professional skills such as leadership skills, motivational skills, communication skills, decision making skills etc and reflect their competency. So, whether the skillsets that we learn throughout a journey of pursuing qualification help us to stay relevant or not is also a part of ACCA story.

4. What is the difference between ACCA and CA?
ACCA, CA or CPA, they all are professional accountants. As we say Pepsi, Fanta, Sprite they all are cold drinks. The essential subject matter is the same in these qualification such as law, tax, accounts, finance, business analysis, audit and assurance, corporate governance etc. So whether you study CA or ACCA or CPA, essentially you are studying the same thing. When talking about CA, it could be from different countries such as India(ICAI), Nepal(ICAN) or other countries, essentially similar skills are being tried to develop but, difference arises in terms of rights and privileges permitted in a particular jurisdiction. ACCA is a UK based professional accountancy qualification and Financial Reporting Council is the regulatory authority in UK. Institute of Chartered Accountant of England and Wales (ICAEW), Institute of Chartered Accountant of Scotland, Institute of Chartered Accountant of Ireland along with ACCA are Recognised Supervisory Bodies and members of these bodies have audit practice rights in UK however in case of Nepal where Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nepal(ICAN) is the regulatory body, members of other professional accountant bodies are to obtain certification of practice from ICAN to exercise audit practice rights. Under the mutual collaboration agreement with ICAN entered into recently, there is a pathway for ACCA members to obtain certificate of practice. Other than that, difference could be in terms of examination patterns, number of exam papers, local accounting standards, local law and regulations and local tax etc. So, statutory recognition and technicalities could be some of the major differences between ACCA and CA.

5. Many people don’t dare to pursue CA citing the reason that there is a group system in examination technicalities where if a student fails in one of the papers in the group he/she has to attempt the entire papers again. Does the same applies to ACCA qualification?
As far as I remember there was group system in the final level of ACCA back in 2006, however ACCA has eliminated group system as of date which means student can sit for only 1 exam paper and once passed it is permanent. The rationale behind that was there should be opportunity in a sense that if someone already has reasonable knowledge in a particular subject matter, requiring them to reappear for the examination means to deprive them of other opportunities which was against what ACCA values were and that is why ACCA subsequently eliminated the group system and once again group system no longer exists in ACCA.

6. Getting along with the topic, how many papers are there is ACCA and how is the course structure?
In ACCA there are there levels namely Applied Knowledge, Applied Skills and Strategic Professional. Applied Knowledge consists of 3 papers, Applied Skills of 6 papers and Strategic professional of 2 compulsory papers and 2 optional papers (2 out of 4 papers) so essentially there are 13 papers to appear for in the examinations. There are 4 examination sessions in a year for March, June, September and December. To be an ACCA member, we call it 3 E’s which comprises of Ethics, Examination and Experience component. On part of experience, there is a requirement of 36 months relevant practical experience which could be before, during or after also resembling flexibility in ACCA qualification.

7. Who can join ACCA?
In this case as well I would like to highlight some part of ACCA stories which is Opportunity. Long back in Europe and America, when there were discussions around women to have voting rights, even before that discussion regarding women also can be professional accountants and they should be provided the opportunity to become professional accountants and should have voting rights as a member of professional body was already there in ACCA and the practice was already introduced. So keeping in mind opportunity, anyone who thinks he/she can study and become a professional accountant can join ACCA and there are no entry barriers. However, having said that what I have to admit is definitely students from management backgrounds may find it relatively easy. In case of Nepal, students after completing 10+2 in any disciplines, BBS/BBA/MBS/MBA and also professional accountants from other bodies are joining ACCA.

8. When I started pursuing ACCA, many people did not know what ACCA is and I had to introduce the ACCA qualification to others as CA from UK and people used to ask which country you want to move after completing ACCA and what do you think the answer to that should be?
First of all, the most important thing is we need to understand that skills is a universal thing. So the skills that you are acquiring as an ACCA student or other professional qualifications the relevant of those skills is not limited to geographical boundaries and we need to be crystal clear about this. Any skills we acquire if that is restricted to a particular geographic boundary then we should really reconsider our decision to pursue that particular qualification. I also hear these things that students willing to move abroad after completing ACCA and that is fine however, the skills we gain from ACCA qualification is as much relevant in Nepal as well. Nepal is at a very critical juncture and is at a very interesting phase in its history. Federalism has been implemented in Nepal, government is also trying to do things having impact on industrial growth, economic growth and these have become a matter of public discussion. Now comes the need for manpower and that is primarily to be addressed by we as Nepali citizens. So as a Nepali citizen we as a professional accountant should also think about contributing to the national economy other than thinking about working abroad. In Nepal there are around 350 ACCA members working in banking sector, insurance sector, public sector and non-governmental sectors etc. so there are whole lot of areas where ACCA as a professional accountant in Nepal can contribute.

9. What would be the right time to start fulfilling your practical experience requirement (PER)?
It is said that there is never a wrong time to do right things but a sensible decision is to be made in the sense that when you are going to work for the employer they need to feel that you are adding some value and it is not required to teach you everything. If the employer need to teach you the basics, invest more time and effort you as an employee may not be suitable from the perspective of the employer. So having said that, it would be a right decision to start fulfilling your PER after completing Applied skills level of ACCA or at least 3 paper of Applied Skills inclusive of Financial Reporting & Audit and Assurance paper. As an ACCA student studying in Nepal, you need to know that currently there is no Tax and Law variant for Nepal which in some way requires you to study local law and local tax rules and regulations. It is pleasing that some learning providers have been taking initiatives to bridge the knowledge gap. It is a part of story of that college what they are offering. Even when college is not offering, as a professional accountant it is your responsibility to get yourself familiar with Nepalese law and Nepalese tax areas while working for some employer. To sum up, after completing entire Applied skills level or at least 3 papers of ACCA as mentioned already with the knowledge of Nepalese tax and Nepalese law would be the right time to seek for an employer to fulfill your PER.

10. Is it necessary for an ACCA student to pursue academic courses such as BBS along with ACCA which is a professional course?
Personally I think and I feel that an ACCA student should study BBS along with ACCA course. In south Asia now there is a trend to pursue professional accountancy courses like ACCA after completing 10+2. But earlier, people used to join professional accountancy courses after completing Bachelor’s degree. What we need to understand is every qualification or degree has its own merit. Academic qualification is a research oriented degree where we need to pass examinations and to submit research report (thesis) on a particular topic. Compared to professional qualification where we study core things, more technical aspects, more in-depth learning backed up by practical experience requirement academic qualification helps us to develop research skills. Professional qualification and academic course are not mutually exclusive and pursuing both would definitely provide some extra mileage. So, I personally recommend to pursue professional qualification along with academic qualification which I also did at my time and think is the best course of action for all ACCA students.

11. Is it true that student can go for BSc Hons in Applied Accounting degree from Oxford Brooked University by submitting a research report after completing Applied skills level of ACCA and also students presume that there is no need to complete BBS if they can go for BSc. Hons in Applied Accounting?
I think ACCA considering the need to develop academic skills by entering into partnership with Oxford Brookes University provides the pathway for ACCA students to earn an academic degree as well. The requirement is to submit Research and Analysis project and Skills and Learning Statement to Oxford Brookes University. Also an ACCA student can earn MSc in Professional Accountancy degree after completing certain requirements and ACCA provides pathway for the same as well. Let’s not dwell into more detail. Coming to your question, although I said earlier that the current world is globalized world still there are some boundaries, some limitations that separates us. Every country has its offering, regulator, laws and regulations and we need to respect that. In Nepal, Curriculum Development Centre (CDC) provides academic equivalency for degrees/qualifications from other universities/professional accountancy bodies and currently CDC does not provide equivalency for BSc Hons degree in Applied Accounting from Oxford Brookes University. So when are studying in Nepal, looking forward to work in Nepal, BBS could be a suitable option as long as the regulatory environment is not favourable towards ACCA and BSc Hons. Also I would like to mention that we are having engagements regarding equivalency with CDC, Office of Dean of Management, Vice Chancellor, British Council, and British Embassy

12. I think we have discussed a lot about ACCA and now it’s the time to hear about your ACCA journey and about ACCA Head for Nepal as well.
I was a 10+2 science student and I never had the ambition and aspiration to become a professional accountant. I neither had the aspiration to become doctor or engineer to be very honest. I was very much into research and new developments that were coming in science as we usually talk about theory of relativity, quantum physics. I had the aspiration to complete PhD. (Doctorate) and to formulate a theory as I was very inspired with Albert Einstein, Newton, Fin Mann since childhood and I was totally obsessed with that. I came Kathmandu after 10+2 and got admission in BSc at Trichandra College. I don’t mean to complain about the education system but that was the hard reality of the situation, it was a reality shock for me to feel that studying is for passing exams only and there is no favourable environment for research and I was kind of frustrated since I had around 2-2.5 years of loss. Then I moved for pursuing Chartered Accountancy qualification and after 3-4 months, I felt dissatisfied since it was a matter of individual sensibility for me I felt caged and I thought of giving it up. When I started exploring, I came to know about ACCA as a qualification and the course structure, questions appearing in examination, flexibility with respect to exam sitting and the support ACCA was providing really impressed me and I thought about pursuing ACCA qualification. Eventually I became an ACCA member, I worked with different organisations, worked as a freelancer, worked as an entrepreneur, worked as an ACCA tutor. Before role of ACCA Head for Nepal happened to me, I was in process of applying for PR in Australia or Canada. When this role happened to me I felt like I had been doing this role of talking about ACCA, motivating others about ACCA for a long portion of my career and this role provided flexibility to me the way I am as an individual. So ultimately I took up the role of ACCA Head for Nepal.

13. Still there is a misconception that CA from ICAN or ICAI is superior to ACCA which is not true but we cannot help it. What do you think are the problems for ACCA and ACCA students in Nepal?
On the context “Superior but not true” I remember a quote from Osho that “Nobody is superior, nobody is inferior but Nobody is equal either”. Everyone is unique, everybody have something unique which they bring to the table. It is not that ACCA is superior to ICAN or ICAI, ICAN or ICAI also has something very unique and something very useful which they bring to the table that ACCA cannot bring and ACCA also has something very unique to itself which other bodies do not bring. Before addressing your question about the problems faced by ACCA and ACCA students in Nepal, I would like to go back to the uniqueness I mentioned but did not elaborated earlier which I would wish to. Let’s tie this to story, what story that an individual carries and which story appeal to that individual. If someone has a passion for audit practice in Nepal, without a doubt I would suggest that person to go for ICAN. It is not that you cannot obtain certificate of practice in Nepal after pursuing ACCA as there is a pathway for that which would be an additional journey. Unlike that, ACCA member can enjoy audit practice rights in several countries such as Canada, Australia, New Zealand etc. through mutual partnerships of ACCA with different bodies after fulfilling certain conditions. There are other global bodies as well like CIMA, CFA but in the current context on the basis of facts the global presence and the global network ACCA has is not rivalled by any other bodies. Also ACCA stands apart in terms of course dynamics, computer based examinations, future skills, research capacity, relevant skills, ethics and professional skills module, strategic business leader. So, it is up to the students what appeals to them.
Certain difficulty in audit practice rights in Nepal despite the availability of pathway and equivalency issues are the most common problems faced by ACCA in Nepal. Apart from that with respect to challenges in the workplace, certain gaps in knowledge about Nepalese law and Nepalese taxation could be the issue since that was not the part of the syllabus since we study UK variant for law and tax however continuous efforts from the learning provider, tutors, ACCA and ACCA students to fill the gap is a matter of discussion.

14. At the end, anything you would like to say to 10+2 students who would be pursuing for a better career option in their life?
Future is going to be very uncertain. We are talking about artificial intelligence, machine learning, robotics, block chain and digital disruption has tremendous impact. For those students who want to pursue ACCA, ACCA has its story and it imparts relevant skills but that is never going to be enough. Future is for those who can reinvent themselves, adapt themselves, change themselves and these abilities might reduce with age and to retain these abilities we need mental stability. ACCA students or prospective ACCA students should have these reinventing abilities and mental stability and also should think of being multi-disciplinarian. I know many ACCA members working in marketing roles, as an entrepreneur so your expertise and inclination should not be just limited to accounting and finance. If required, you should be able to work from the perspective of being multi-disciplinarian. I would say ACCA definitely help develop these skills. This is all I would like to say to all ACCA students and prospective students.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]

ACCA syllabus and its structure

ACCA syllabus and its structure

ACCA Syllabus of Nepal and its Structure

The ACCA syllabus of Nepal consists of 13 papers divided into 3 levels:

  • Applied Knowledge – 3 papers
  • Applied Skills – 6 papers
  • Strategic Professional
    1. Essentials – 2 papers
    2. Options – 2 papers from 4

Applied Knowledge

This level is the starting point of ACCA Journey in Nepal. There are 3 papers to study and sit for exams. Once you pass all three subjects, you can continue to ACCA Skills level. For detail information, you may go through the links below.

  • Accountant in Business- AB
  • Management Accounting- MA
  • Financial Accounting- FA

Applied Skills

Comprising modules LW (F4) to FM (F9), this module examines the principle technical subjects that you’re expected to have an advanced understanding of. These subjects include law, taxation, auditing and financial management, financial reporting and performance management. You will develop knowledge and skills in these subject areas, reaching a level of knowledge equivalent to a bachelor’s degree.

  • Corporate and Business Law– LW (F4)
  • Performance Management– PM (F5)
  • Taxation– TX (F6)
  • Financial Reporting– FR (F7)
  • Audit & Assurance– AA (F8)
  • Financial Management– FM (F9)

Strategic Professional

Once your skills level is completed, you have to sit the exams of strategic professional. It comprises 4 subjects which are subdivided into 2 categories.

         a) Essentials

This module is called Essentials as it will provide you with the specialized skills and techniques required to become an expert accountant, either in a consultancy or high-level advisory role. SBL paper is assessed with a 4-hour paper-based exam while SBR with 3-hour.

 

       b) Strategic Professional (Options) – Choose any 2 from 4

You can choose any 2 from the 4 papers available. This will give you an extra choice to select the paper where you want to be more expert.

  • Advanced Financial Management–  AFM  (Formerly P4)
  • Advanced Performance Management– APM  (Formerly P5)
  • Advanced Taxation– ATX  (Formerly P6)
  • Advanced Audit & Assurance (UK or International)– AAA (Formerly P7)
ACCA-Vs-CA.-Whats-The-Difference

ACCA Vs CA. What’s The Difference?

Before going to ACCA vs CA discussion, let’s have an introduction about ACCA and CA.

What is ACCA?
ACCA stands for Association of Chartered Certified Accountants, a globally recognized qualification spreading over 180 countries, the world’s leading professional accounting body which set up in London 1904.

ACCA has more than 5,00,000 students throughout the world.  It mainly focuses on the excellence of the Accounting and Finance profession giving their students an additional knowledge of UK GAAP, their Laws, and IFRS and this is the main advantage of doing ACCA.

After pursuing ACCA, one can start his career with some MNC or a local firm handling overseas and local clients. They can opt for various career options like Finance, Taxation, business consultants, Audits, Bankings and many more. Some countries which highly recognize the ACCA qualification are Australia, Ireland, the UK, Canada, and many others.

What is CA?
CA stands for Chartered Accountancy, one of the most sought and rewarding career options among the commerce students. Chartered Accountants mainly focus on Audit as their main profession. 

They are treated as an expert in various domains starting from accounting, auditing to finance, taxation, corporate laws, etc. The career options after becoming a Chartered Accountant are countless. They can join an Audit firm, or Local or Multinational Company as an Internal Auditor,  or can join some foreign or local banks to guide them in their financial and legal matters or start your own practice.

In Nepal, the profession of Chartered Accountancy is regulated by the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nepal (ICAN) which was established by parliament under the Chartered Accountants Act, 1997. After completion of three levels of examination (CAP I, CAP II, and CAP III) with three years of articleship training under a qualified CA, one can get the membership of ICAN and with the Certificate of Practice (COP), one can practice as a professional accountant. 

What is the difference between ACCA and CA ( ACCA vs CA ) ?

Which one is better? Which is more flexible? If you are confused between ACCA and CA and the above questions are bothering you, then you should not miss reading this. 

Point of Difference ACCA in Nepal CA in Nepal
Recognition Recognized in more than 180 countries Recognized in Nepal and some other countries where ICAN has MOUs 
Established year 1904, one of the oldest professional accounting bodies 1997
Regulating body ACCA UK ICAN
Demands Equally demanded by govt & private organisations, MNCs, firms, etc Equally demanded by govt & private organisations, MNCs, firms, etc
Practice in Nepal Need to pass some ICAN papers and fulfill articleship requirements ICAN members can directly go for practice in Nepal
Accounting standards Focuses on IFRS (International Financial reporting standards). Gives additional knowledge internationally accepted accounting practices & GAAP (Generally accepted accounting practice) Focuses on Nepal Accounting standards. Recently it has started to work on NFRS (Nepal financial reporting standards)
Flexible study options Very flexible. one can attempt a single paper at a time One has to attempt at least one group at a time.
Pass percentage 40% – 50% 4% – 5%
No. of papers 13 papers 20 papers
Entry requirements +2, Bachelors, Masters +2, Bachelors, Masters
Articleship required 3 years 3 years
Average Salary range Similar  Similar

 

Summary:

Both ACCA and CA are popular choices in the market. Both courses are based on quality, learning approaches and highly respected. To decide which qualification fits more, one can visit local offices and colleges or go through the official website of ACCA and ICAN.

Official website of ACCA: www.accaglobal.com

Official website of ICAN: www.ican.org.np

References:

www.accaglobal.com

www.ican.org.np

You can even visit one of the leading colleges for ACCA in Nepal, Seed Financial Academy, to have the actual figure of these professional qualifications. Follow the website www.seedfinancial.com.np to get all the updates