The Fundamentals level is divided into two modules - Knowledge and Skills. The knowledge module (F1-F3) introduces students to the core areas of financial and management accounting. This provides the platform from which the other technical accountancy areas will be studied in greater detail in the Skills module. The Skills module (F4-F9) contains six subjects which comprehensively cover the main technical areas that any accountant - regardless of their future career aspirations - are expected to have mastered. These comprise law, performance management, taxation, financial reporting, auditing and financial management.
Paper F1 Accountant in Business (AB)
The aim of F1 is to develop knowledge and understanding of the business environment and the influence this has on how organisations and accountants operate, and of the role of the accountant and other key business functions in contributing to an efficient, effekctive and ethical organisation, and to build knowledge and understanding of the basic principles of effective management. F1 is the basis for the professional level papers P1 Professional Accountant and P3 Business Analysis. Content: Business organization structure, governance, and management; Key environmental influences and constraints on business and accounting; History and role of Accounting in business; Specific functions of accounting and internal financial control; Leading and managing individuals and teams; Recruiting and developing effective employees.
Paper F2 Management Accounting (MA)
To develop knowledge and understanding of how to prepare and process basic cost and quantitative information to support management in planning and decision-making in a variety of business contexts. F2 is the foundation fo F5 Performance Management, F9 Financial Management, and P5 Advanced Performance Management. Content: The nature and purpose of cost and management accounting; Cost classification, behaviour, and purpose; Business mathematics and computer spreadsheets; Cost accounting techniques; Budgeting and standard costing; Short-term decision-making technique.
Paper F3 Financial Accounting (F3)
To develop knowledge and understanding of the underlying principles, concepts and regulations relating to financial accounting and technical proficiency in the use of double-entry accounting techniques, including the preparation of basic financial statements. F3 is essential to papers F7 Financial Reporting and P2 Corporate Reporting. Content: The context and purpose of financial reporting; The qualitative characteristics of financial information and the fundamental bases of accounting; The use of double-entry and accounting systems; Recording transactions and events; Preparing a trial balance; Preparing basic financial statements.
Paper F4 Corporate and Business Law (CL)
To develop knowledge and skills in the understanding of the general legal framework, and of specific legal areas relating to business, recognising the need to seek further specialist legal advice where necessary. The law paper is essential before the completion of F7 Financial Reporting and F8 Audit and Assurance. Content: Essential elements of legal systems; The law of obligations; Employment law; The information and constitution of business organizations; Capital and the financing of companies; Company management and administration; Legal implications relating to companies in difficulty or in crisis; Governance and ethical issues relating to business.
Paper F5 Performance Management (PM)
To develop knowledge and skills in the application of management accounting techniques to quantitative and qualitative information for planning, decision-making, performance evaluation and control. Content: Specialist cost and management accounting techniques; Decision-making techniques; Budgeting; Standard costing and variances analysis; Performance measurement and control.
Paper F6 Taxation UK (TX)
To develop knowledge and skills relating to the tax system as applicable to individuals, single companies, and groups of companies. Content: The UK tax system; Individual Income Tax Liabilities; Corporate Income Tax Liabilities; Social Security contributions; Value Added Tax (VAT), The obligations of the taxpayer and/or their agents.
Paper F7 Financial Reporting (FR)
To develop knowledge and skills in understanding and applying accounting standards and the theoretical framework in the preparation of financial statements of entities, including groups, and how to analyse and interpret those financial statements. Content: A conceptual framework for financial reporting; A regulatory framework for firnancial reporting; Financial statements; Business combinations; Analyzing and interpreting financial statements.
Paper F8 Audit and Assurance (AA)
To develop knowledge and skills in the process of carrying out the assurance engagement and its application in the context of the professional regulatory framework. Content: Audit framework and regulation; Internal audit; Planning and risk assessment; Internal control; Audit evidence; Review; Reporting.
Paper F9 Financial Management (FM)
To develop knowledge and skills expected of a financial manager - relating to issues affecting investment, financing, and dividend policy decisions. Content: Financial management function; Financial management environment; Working capital management; Investment appraisal; Business finance; Cost of capital; Business valuations; Risk management.
The Professional level is divided into two modules - Essentials (P1-P3) and Options (P4-P7). Both modules have been set at an intellectual level equivalent to that expected of a student taking a Masters degree. The focus of the syllabus at this level is to build upon the technical skills already acquired, and explore more advanced professional skills, techniques, and values that are required and used by the expert accountant acting in an advisory or consultancy role at a senior level. All students must complete the three papers in the Essentials module. The Options module contains four papers. These are directly underpinned and supported by their equivalent within the Skills module in the Fundamentals level. These exams assess the more advanced and sophisticated techniques that a professional needs in order to specialise in specific areas at work or to follow as a career pathway in an advisory or consultancy role. Students select two out of four Option papers and are advised to choose the options that relate to their chosen or anticipated field of work.
Paper P1 Governance, Risk and Ethics
To apply relevant knowledge, skills and exercise professional judgement in carrying out the role of the accountant relating to governance, internal control, compliance, and the management of risk within an organisation - in the context of an overall ethical framework. Content: Governance and responsibility; Internal control and review; Identifying and assessing risk; Controlling risk; Professional values and ethics.
Paper P2 Corporate Reporting (CR)
To apply knowledge, skills, and excersise professional judgement in the application and evaluation of financial reporting principles and practices in a range of business contexts and situations. Content: The professional and ethical duty of the accountant; The financial reporting framework; Reporting the financial performance of entities; Financial statements of groups of entities; Specialized entities; Implications of changes in accounting regulation on financial reporting; The appraisal of financial performance and position of entities; Current developments.
Paper P3 Business Analysis (BA)
To apply knowledge, skills, and excersise professional judgement in assessing strategic position, determining strategic choice, and implementing strategic action through business process and structural change, coordinating knowledge systems and information technology, and by managing quality processes, projects, and people. Content: Strategic position; Strategic choice; Organizing and enabling success; Information technology; Quality issues; Project management; Financial analysis; People.
Paper P4 Advanced Financial Management (AFM)
To apply relevant knowledge, skills, and excersise professional judgement as expected of a senior financial executive or advisor, in taking or recommending decisions relating to the financial management of an organisation. Content: Role and responsibility towards stakeholders; Advanced investment appraisal; Acquisitions and mergers; Corporate reconstruction and re-organization; Treasury and advanced risk management techniques; Economic environment for multinationals; Emerging issues in finance and financial management.
Paper P5 Advanced Performance Management (APM)
To apply relevant knowledge, skills, and excersise professional judgement in selecting and applying strategic management accounting techniques in different business contexts and to contribute to the evaluation of the performance of an organisation and its strategic development. Content: Strategic planning and control; Economic, fiscal and environmental factors; Performance measurement systems and design; Strategic performance measurement; Performance evaluation and corporate failure; Current developments and emerging issues in management accounting and performance management.
Paper P7 Advanced Audit and Assurance (AAA)
To apply relevant knowledge, skills, and excersise professional judgement in analysing, evaluating, concluding and reporting on the assurance engagement and other audit and assurance issues in the context of best practice and current developments. Content: Regulatory environment; Professional and Ethical Considerations; Practice management; Assignments; Reporting; Current issues and developments.