Introduction to Professional Level ACCA Papers

Wednesday, October 9, 2013 Print Email

The Professional Level of ACCA Qualification has 7 papers in total. But you are required to pass only 5 papers because you are allowed to choose any 2 papers from the last 4 papers (P4, P5, P6, P7). We will provide a brief introduction about each of the paper so that you can have some understanding about what each paper is about, what it emphasizes about and what is its exam structure.

P1: Governance, Risk and Ethics

The purpose of Paper P1 is to develop the students' knowledge and skills to make them able to apply ethical values and exercise professional judgment in practical situations that they will have to face as qualified accounting professionals.

The emphasis of the paper is on corporate governance, corporate responsibility, internal controls, ethical values, and recognition, measurement and management of risk.

The exam is structured around 4 questions. Question 1 is compulsory and worth 50 marks. It is a scenario based question with multiple requirements and always includes elements of ethics. Question 2, 3 and 4 are worth 25 marks each. You are required to attempt only two questions of your choice from these three questions. The exam lasts for 3 hours and 15 minutes where 15 minutes are for reading and planning only.

P2: Corporate Reporting

Paper P2 builds on and develops the skills and knowledge learned in Paper F3 and F7. It aims to make the students to be able to apply knowledge and skills and to exercise professional judgment in the application and evaluation of principles and practices of financial reporting in a variety of varying business situations.

The emphasis of the paper is to test the students' thorough knowledge, understanding and ability to apply IASs and IFRS. Particular attention is paid on testing the consolidation principles.

The exam is structured around 4 questions. Question 1 is compulsory and carries 50 marks. This question is primarily based on consolidation (about 30 to 35 marks are for consolidation principles). Question 2, 3 and 4 are worth 25 marks each. You are required to attempt only two questions of your choice from these three questions. Question 2 and 3 are usually about IASs/IFRSs and involve a significant amount of explanation and justification and some little computation. Question 4 tends to be a discussion question on a topical issue. The exam lasts for 3 hours and 15 minutes where 15 minutes are for reading and planning only.

P3: Business Analysis

Paper P3 concerns development of skills needed to analyze organizations, device and decide on suitable strategies for them, and deal with aspects of implementing those strategies. Many topics build on and develop the knowledge and skills learned in Paper F5.

The emphasis of the exam is to test the understanding and ability to apply a large number of models and frameworks. Mere explanation of the models and frameworks is not sufficient. The exams expect the students to be able to apply these models in the given scenarios.

The exam is structured around 4 questions. Question 1 is compulsory and carries 50 marks. This is a case study question and usually about three or four pages of information are provided and it is usually based on financial and business analysis of an organization. Question 2, 3 and 4 are worth 25 marks each. You are required to attempt only two questions of your choice from these three questions. These are also scenario based question and usually one page of information is provided. The exam lasts for 3 hours and 15 minutes where 15 minutes are for reading and planning only.

P4: Advanced Financial Management

Paper P4 builds on and advances the knowledge and skills learned in Paper F9. It concerns with the managing of finances of an organization. Only few of the topics are new in this paper. Majority of the topics were already introduced in F9. This paper tests those topics in more depth and breadth.

The emphasis of the exam is on testing the ability of students' to apply their finance management skills in given scenarios. A large amount of information is provided in the questions and the students are required to interpret it, decide what information is important, and apply finance management techniques.

The exam is structured around 4 questions. Question 1 is compulsory and carries 50 marks. This question involves computations as well as discussions and explanations. Question 2, 3 and 4 are worth 25 marks each. You are required to attempt only two questions of your choice from these three questions. One of these three questions is always purely written and involves only discussion. The exam lasts for 3 hours and 15 minutes where 15 minutes are for reading and planning only.

P5: Advanced Performance Management

Paper P5 deals with the management of business so as to achieve better performance. P5 builds on and advances the knowledge and skills learned in Paper F2 and Paper F5. Most of the topics in Paper P5 had already been introduced in F2 and F5 but here they are tested in greater depth and breadth. It does not mean the calculations in this paper are more difficult, instead you are expected to show greater critical understanding of difficulties in the measurement and management of performance.

The emphasis of the exam is to test the ability of the students to device or criticize performance measures, asses the performance of an organization, and criticize and improve the way in which the information is presented. A large amount of diverse information is provided in the questions and the students are expected to evaluate each piece of information and asses which information is more important and relevant. While answering the questions, the students should think of themselves in the role of finance director or chief accountant rather than being in the role of an accounts assistant.

The exam is structured around 4 questions. Question 1 is compulsory and carries 50 marks. This question is based on a case study and there are multiple requirements. This question involves computations as well as explanations and commentary. Question 2, 3 and 4 are worth 25 marks each. You are required to attempt only two questions of your choice from these three questions. The exam lasts for 3 hours and 15 minutes where 15 minutes are for reading and planning only.

P6: Advance Taxation

Paper P6 builds on and advances the knowledge and skills learned in Paper F6. The underlying principles and technical areas of taxation are tested to a greater depth and breadth in this paper.

The emphasis of the exam is to test the ability of the students to apply principles of taxation in given scenarios. The students are expected to able to device and evaluate different tax strategies. A favorite area of the examiner is groups of companies where trading and/or capital losses have been experienced along with other chargeable gains arising and these need to be efficiently managed.

The exam is structured around 5 questions. Question 1 carries 35 marks and question 2 carries 25 marks. These questions are scenario based and deal with different taxes. Questions 3, 4 and 5 each carry 20 marks and the students are required to answer any two questions of their choice. The exam lasts for 3 hours and 15 minutes where 15 minutes are for reading and planning only.

P7: Advanced Audit and Assurance

Paper P7 builds on and advances the knowledge and skills learned in Paper F8. Although some topics are new, many of the topics in this paper were already introduced in F8. Those topics are now examined in greater depth and breadth. The new topics include elements of the audit of group accounts and the procedures and problems associated with non-audit assignments. P7 deals with analysis, evaluation and conclusion on assurance engagements.

Emphasis of Paper P7 exam is on evaluating the ability of the students to analyze controversial and tricky situations and apply professional thinking to resolve the problems or to suggest an appropriate course of action. While answering the questions the students are expected to think of themselves in the role of a manager or a partner rather than in the role of an audit junior or semi-senior. The emphasis of exam has shifted now from procedures to analysis.

The exam is structure around 5 questions. Question 1 and 2 are compulsory and both carry a total of 50 to 70 marks. Questions 3, 4 and 5 carry a total of 30 to 50 marks and each question carries equal marks. From these three questions the students are required to answer any two questions of their choice. The exam lasts for 3 hours and 15 minutes where 15 minutes are for reading and planning only.

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