ACCA has launched an innovative study path namely Foundations in Accountancy (FIA). The whole purpose of introducing this new suit of qualifications is to ensure compatibility of ACCA academic offerings in line with the ever changing accountancy and business environment.
Since it was designed with both employers and students in mind, the qualifications were created after detailed consultation with employers, learning providers, members, students, other professional accountancy bodies and regulators.
Nilusha Ranasinghe, the Business Relationship Manager for ACCA in Sri Lanka explaining about the qualification, stated: “Foundations in Accountancy is a new suite of entry-level qualifications that focus on the core skills of financial and management accounting and also includes a module in professionalism. This new suite of qualifications awards certificates, diplomas, advanced diplomas and a degree. The aim of these awards is to provide even greater access to the ACCA Qualification and offer individuals a flexible range of qualifications which will help them develop the relevant technical knowledge and practical skills required to perform an accounting technician role.”
She added: “It should not be taken as a replacement of CAT qualification. Instead the CAT qualification is now going to be part of a much broader and much more flexible suit of qualifications.”
Ranasinghe further stated: “The entry level to this new suite of qualifications is now more flexible since ACCA believes in open access education. In much simpler terms this means that without prior qualifications or experience you may register with Foundations in Accountancy. For example, the students who are planning to sit for the August 2011 A/L will not have to wait till their results are released to enroll for the Foundations in Accountancy but can register prior to the A/L results being released and obtain a Diploma in Accounting and Business.”
Foundations in Accountancy is divided into several parts:
1.Introductory Certificate in Financial and Management Accounting
2.Intermediate Certificate in Financial and Management Accounting
3.Diploma in Accounting and Business
4.CAT (Certified Accounting Technician.)
With flexibility being the key feature of ACCA’s new suite of awards in terms of assessment delivery and level of progression, ACCA has increased its computer-based offering and now offers students the choice of sitting exams by CBE or paper for the first seven exams which make up Foundations in Accountancy.
Ranasinghe added: “Foundations in Accountancy also has certification awarded at each level, helping students to monitor their progress, and helping employers to recruit and train to meet their own business needs. The practical content means that the knowledge the students gain is directly applied to the workplace, offering immediate benefits to existing and prospective employers.
“This means that with Foundations in Accountancy, students will benefit from the flexible range of entry points, meaning they can begin at the right level for them, and then progress through the awards. And when it comes to flexibility, they can complete qualifications in their own time, selecting those which best suit their own career needs and aspirations. Therefore through Foundations in Accountancy, ACCA continues to provide opportunities for talented people, whatever their background or prior learning, to progress to become a professional accountant.”
Ranasinghe continued: “Increasingly, employers need to know that they are taking on competent employees in account-support roles, often referred to as an accounting technician role,' Employers can be assured that Foundations in Accountancy will train individuals to high standards, and that their training will be recognised all over the world. With Foundations in Accountancy, employers can also be assured that candidates have the right professional and ethical skills that are required in the workplace in a junior accounting or technician role. The syllabuses span the key elements of financial and management accounting at all levels offered, and also include an Accountant in Business exam at the Diploma level, which puts students' new knowledge into a legal, economic and regulatory context. It is also beneficial for parents as they too would see the results much quicker than in any other accountancy qualification.”