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Behind the numbers

soramsey —  15 January 2014 — 5 Comments


by ACCA student blogger Adhitya Fadriansyah

Halo everyone, how were the December exams? I wish you all the best of luck and hope we all passed with flying colours.

Taking the ACCA Qualification while working does require extra effort, especially in terms of time management, but I found it advantageous since it gives me the opportunity to apply what I’ve learned directly in a real life office environment.

Theories in the exam papers give me an idea of how to challenge the existing processes and seek areas of opportunity to increase effectiveness and efficiency. In the past five years, I have progressed through five different positions within the finance department and particularly found the ACCA syllabus theory in financial management, performance management, and financial reporting very useful for my career development.

On my current assignment, I do a lot of evaluation of investment opportunities. Therefore the theory on cash flow, NPV (Net Present Value) and IRR (Internal Rate of Return) from the Financial Management paper helped me a lot in doing my job. Especially in providing management with the options and information required to make well-informed business decisions.

On my previous assignment, I dealt with capital budgeting and cost control – this is where the Performance Management – exam paper F5 comes in handy. The Financial Accounting – F3 exam paper gives me the fundamental knowledge of how the transactions end up in the financial statements. Accounting is not only about the numbers – it’s also about what lies behind the transaction and how that is reported to the users (investors, managers, owners, government and others) – substance over form.

If you think professional certification is only about the exams, you are incorrect – there’s actually much more to it than meets the eye. The three components; Exams, a Professional Ethics module and Practical Experience Requirements are established to better equip us in becoming fully-fledged accountants.

One of the requirements to achieve the ACCA Qualification is to achieve 13 out of 20 Performance Objectives. The Options objective gives you the technical competence while the Essentials objectives are intended to equip you with the right attitude to excel at your job.

Consider yourself building a house – the exams stand as the foundation, the Professional Ethics module as the location and the Practical Experience Requirement (PER) as the furniture.  Our house wouldn’t be complete if we miss any one of the components, and the same goes for our careers.

So what are you waiting for? Start to build your dream house by successfully completing the ACCA Qualification.


by ACCA student blogger Naresh John

Hi again! As mentioned in my first blog, I work at the Ministry of Public Administration. For those of you who don’t already work in accounting  but are studying ACCA, sometimes we may ask ourselves, ‘How does working in this job enable me to use my abilities and knowledge gained from studying ACCA?’ I know I do!

To be blunt and honest… it doesn’t… wait, wait…I’m not finished! While it may not allow you the opportunity to use your technical accounting skills, it does allow you to use some principles attained from the ACCA exams.

An instance I remember specifically is the Audit and Assurance paper F8. The F8 paper is one that teaches you that there is a particular process to undertaking tasks in order to achieve a desired result and to make a decision. In the following example I will explain how F8 demonstrates this.

You need to start off with an ultimate goal in mind (relating back to F8 – auditing the firm’s Financial Statements). After that, seek to gather background information about the subject (F8 – reviewing previous audit files about the client). Next, analyse the information gathered. This analysis will help inform new situations that arise (in F8 – consideration of subsequent events). Finally, make a decision and implement it (again in F8 – deciding whether or not the statements reflect a true and fair view and issuing an audit opinion).

While you may not be able to use your technical competencies gained from studying ACCA in your non-accounting role, you still have the opportunity to use and practise some of the principles learned in the exams and adapt them to your current job – and so they can still be valuable to professional development.