Outshine others
with the ICAEW ACA
qualification

Stand out in a competitive job market with a professional
qualification recognised by over 6000 employers worldwide.

ICAEW, we get you there.

Outshine others
with the ICAEW ACA
qualification

Stand out in a competitive job market with a professional
qualification recognised by over 6000 employers worldwide.

ICAEW, we get you there.

What is a Chartered Accountant?

Chartered Accountants play a vital role in the running of organisations. They offer advice, assurance and information that shape business-critical decisions.

ICAEW Chartered Accountants are the largest source of business advice in the UK, reaching more than 1.5 million organisations. They undertake a large variety of work which can see them preparing financial statements and developing profit projections one day, and identifying strategic risks or advising on business improvements the next.

ICAEW’s Chartered Accountants sit on the boards of multinational companies, testifying in court and advising governments, as well as supporting charities and businesses from every industry all over the world. All 100 of the global leading brands employ a Chartered Accountants.

What does a Chartered Accountant do?

Negotiating finance for organisations, investigating criminal financial activity, planning the allocation of budgets, maintaining financial records and conducting risk analyses are some of the many arenas that Chartered Accountants have knowledge and experience in. Due to their extra qualifications and expertise, Chartered Accountants are highly sought after everywhere, in practice, industry and even not-for-profit organisations. You could find yourself working with a new tech business start-up, a global retailer or a national charity.

How to become an ICAEW Chartered Accountant?

To qualify as an ICAEW Chartered Accountant you must complete the ACA, a highly-respected professional qualification that requires students to complete at least three years on-the-job training while passing a series of exams. You can start your training by completing ICAEW’s Certificate in Finance, Accounting and Business (ICAEW CFAB), which is made up of the first six modules of the ACA, before going on to complete the rest of the qualification.

01

02

03

04

01
What is the ACA qualification?

The ACA qualification is valued by businesses worldwide, with more than 6,000 employers currently training ACA students.

Completing the ACA qualification enables you to use the title ‘ICAEW Chartered Accountant’, offering a way to stand out from the crowd by providing employers
with a specified, certified skillset.

The knowledge and skills provided by the ACA qualification means that ICAEW Chartered Accountants are highly sought after professionals.

They often command higher salaries throughout their careers:

  • The average annual salary of an ICAEW Chartered Accountant in business is £134,000 (Indicative based on mean averages of specified salary bands – Member profiles response 2018).
  • The average global member salary across all sectors is £108,000 (Indicative based on mean averages of specified salary bands – Member profiles response 2018).

02
How is the ACA qualification structured?

The ACA qualification is a thorough course made up of four elements which provide students with a combination of finance knowledge, accountancy skills and real-world business experience.

They are:

1

450 days of practical work experience – offering invaluable insights into the realities of a career related to that of a Chartered Accountant.
 

2

15 exam modules* – covering a broad range of topics including: financial management, law, assurance and business strategy. These topics are expected to be mastered by Chartered Accountant aspirants as these will be useful for their future jobs.
 

3

Professional development – preparing you to successfully handle different situations that you’ll encounter throughout your career. As the job of a Chartered Accountant  is more difficult than that of a regular certified accountant, they must be equipped with more professional development skills.
 

4

Ethics and professional skepticism – providing you with the skills to work under close scrutiny and be confident you are making the right decisions. Chartered Accountants make the important financial decisions in the company they are serving. Thus, it is important to have a strong work ethics and decision making skills.

The ICAEW ACA Modules

There are 15 modules over three levels – Certificate, Professional and Advanced. They can be taken in any order with the exception of the Case Study which has to be attempted last. You must pass every exam.

*Credit for prior learning (CPL), also known as exemptions, are available for some of the Certificate level and Professional level exam modules. Check our CPL Directory to see if you can apply for credits at apps.icaew.com/cpldirectory.

The Certificate level of the ACA also make up an independent qualification, ICAEW Certificate in Finance, Accounting and Business (CFAB). This can be completed independently of the ACA. The six exams can be completed in any order and are assessed via computer-based assessment at a local exam-centres.

ICAEW CFAB can be achieved in 12 months. Upon completion, you will receive your ICAEW CFAB qualification certificate and you can choose to carry on and complete the ACA.

The ‘Business Planning: Taxation’ and ‘Business Strategy’ modules in the Professional Level are more advanced and link to the Advanced Level.

The Advanced Level is comprised of three exams. The Corporate Reporting and Strategic Business Management modules have been designed to test your understanding and strategic decision making at a senior level.


The Case Study presents a complex business issue which encourages you to problem solve, identify the ethical implications and provide an effective solution. It must be completed last, and is aimed to test all of the knowledge gained throughout your studies training.

Why ICAEW?

ICAEW Chartered Accountants are recognised worldwide and sit on the Boards of 78% of FTSE 100 companies. You can be one too. Let the facts speak for themselves.

Globally ICAEW Chartered Accountants earned on average £108,000 in 2018.

They work for organisations of all shapes and sizes

All of the world’s 100 global leading brands employ ICAEW Chartered Accountants

The global average salary for ACA qualified accountant in the first two years of their career

03
How to complete the ACA qualification

Find your route

Becoming an ICAEW Chartered Accountant has never been more accessible. Options to complete elements of the ACA qualification include: ICAEW apprenticeships, undergraduate degrees, postgraduate qualifications, ICAEW Certificate in Finance, Accounting and Business and joint programmes with other professional bodies.

Finding an employer

To complete the ACA you must complete 450 days of work experience at an ICAEW authorised training employer (ATE). There are c6000 ATEs offering ACA training agreements, including accountancy firms of all sizes, private businesses and public sector organisations.

Register as a student

To start the ACA qualification you must register with ICAEW as a student. The majority of students do this once they have secured a training agreement, but it is also possible to register and begin studying the ACA before you have found an employer. Learn more about the registration process.

Apply for credit for prior learning

Those who have already completed a qualification in accountancy, business or finance, might be entitled to exemptions from one or more of the ACA modules. A full list of eligible qualifications and information on how to apply for credits is available on our CPL directory: apps.icaew.com/cpldirectory.

Complete the four elements of the ACA

To successfully achieve the ACA qualification you must demonstrate that you have: completed 450 days of work experience at an ATE; passed 15 exam modules; undertaken professional development; and have advanced your ethical understanding and professional scepticism.

04
The support you will receive

As part of your training, you will undertake classes with an ICAEW-authorised training provider. These can be face-to-face or online, and will give you the benefit of an expert tutor.

Alongside this, your employer will provide you with a mentor to help you through the ACA and you will receive support from your colleagues.

ICAEW will also provide you with a range of tools and resources to help you, including:

  • Wellbeing support from CABA charity;
  • Events and volunteering opportunities;
  • Access to the Student Insights hub
  • Student rewards and TOTUM PRO Card access;
  •  Cloud accounting courses from Xero;
  • Subscription to Communities and Faculties Online; and
  • An ACA planner to keep on track, ICAEW app and a dedicated student support team.

High Pass Rate

Certificate Level first time pass rates (January-December 2020)

Business,
Technology
and Finance

Assurance

Principles
of Taxation

Accounting

Management
Information

Law

Professional Level exam pass rates (2020 exams)

between 65% - 94% across 6 modules

Case Study pass rates (July and November 2020)

first-time pass rates

The ICAEW approved tuition providers
in South-East Asia

There are many ICAEW approved tuition providers located in China, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore and Vietnam to provide tuition and study support to our students.
To locate a tuition centre in a city nearest to you, click here

To find out more about your entry route options, please contact an ICAEW representative
located near you.

Testimonials

Find out how the ICAEW ACA Qualification has helped our students and graduates boost their CV and open doors to career opportunities.

Next Step...

Contact ICAEW Asia today and start your journey to become an ICAEW Chartered Accountant.