ACCA to become first UK- based body to include spreadsheets in exams

As the highest ever proportion of students opted to sit online exams with ACCA (the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants) in December 2015, the global body for professional accountants has announced it will further enhance its Computer Based Exams (CBE) this year.

ACCA is extending the use of its CBE exams to include the Fundamental Level exams F5-F9 from later this year. The exams will be available during the four exam sessions and there will be a phased roll out across the globe with the paper based option remaining available during the transition period. ACCA is planning to introduce spreadsheets and other innovative question types into the online exams at this Level to ensure that they more closely replicate the competencies used in the workplace and expected by employers.

162,602 students entered for the December 2015 exams entering 243,660 papers, with 63,383 CBE sittings.  The session saw 6,950 students worldwide complete their final exams, taking a significant step to membership with ACCA.

Dr Mary Bishop, ACCA’s Director of Learning, said: “We are delighted to continue to see improvements across the board in a number of papers, and we want to congratulate students on their success, particularly those  who completed their final exams in December and who have taken a major step towards becoming ACCA members.

“The ACCA exams remain demanding, to ensure that students meet employers’ requirements and have demonstrated that they can deal with the challenges facing today’s finance professionals. We are always looking at other innovative ways of ensuring that students can demonstrate their practical skills in the exam environment and we will be introducing spreadsheets into our new computer based examinations (CBE) this year, making us the first UK-based body to adopt them. We will also be introducing other question types which will mean that the CBE exams replicate the workplace even more closely and meet the needs of employers in every sector.

“ACCA introduced four exam sessions a year in September 2015, with exams now taking place in March, June, September and December. This initiative is already having a positive impact on pass rates for students who have to retake exams, as they are able to do so more quickly. The additional sessions are also giving all students greater flexibility as to when they attempt exams.  ACCA continues to enhance the learning support to students and is working closely with learning providers to improve pass rates, this is evidenced by pass rate stability and particular improvements within FIA certificate, FIA/ACCA diploma F1/FAB, F2/FMA, F3/FFA, F6, F9 and P7 exams,” said Dr Bishop.

Foundations in AccountancyPass Rate %
Introductory Certificate in Financial and Management Accounting  
FA1 – Recording Financial transactions80
MA1 – Management Information81
Intermediate Certificate in Financial and Management Accounting
FA2  – Maintaining Financial Records71
MA2 – Managing Costs and Finance69
Diploma in Accounting and Business
FAB – Accountant in Business75
FMA –Management Accounting58
FFA – Financial  Accounting60
Foundation Specialist Awards
FAU – Foundations in Audit53
FTX – Foundations in Taxation74
FFM – Foundations in Financial Management54
ACCA QualificationPass rate %
F1 – Accountant in Business84
F2 –  Management Accounting64
F3 – Financial Accounting68
F4  – Corporate and Business Law74
F5  – Performance Management41
F6  –  Taxation53
F7  – Financial Reporting45
F8  – Audit and Assurance46
F9  – Financial Management45
P1  – Governance, Risk and Ethics47
P2 – Corporate Reporting47
P3 – Business Analysis47
P4 – Advanced Financial Management35
P5 – Advanced Performance Management29
P6 – Advanced Taxation42
P7 – Advanced Audit and Assurance39