1. Can I include experience gained prior to registering with ACCA?
Yes, we will accept relevant experience gained prior to registration, provided it can be verified.
2. I have lost contact with my previous employer and can not get my experience verified - will ACCA accept any other form of evidence?
All trainees are strongly encouraged to complete their STRs or update their TDM on a regular basis and should always remember to do this before leaving an employer. We appreciate however, that on occasion trainees may not be able to have their records signed off or obtain a reference at a later date. Such cases will be considered on an individual basis and applicants are advised to provide the following documentation with their membership application:
3. Does my experience have to be gained in a specific role or business sector?
- a letter of reference from your current employer (and covering at least 12 months relevant experience)
- a letter of testimonial from your previous employer which clearly states: start and end dates; job title; and duties undertaken
- any partially completed STR forms
You may use experience gained in any accounting or related role, provided that it contributes to the achievement of the practical experience requirements. The experience may be gained in any business sector or combination of sectors (for example, public practice, industry, commerce or the public sector).
4. What if I work in a specialist area of accounting or finance?
We will accept experience gained in a number of specialist areas (for example, corporate recovery, corporate finance, banking, internal audit, insolvency, forensic accounting), provided that you can demonstrate that you have satisfied the experience requirements for membership.
5. What if I am self-employed?
The provision of basic bookkeeping services directly to the public cannot constitute 'approved accountancy experience' and therefore may not count towards the practical experience requirements for membership. Basic bookkeeping, and other accountancy work undertaken under supervision (for example, on a sub-contract basis) may constitute ‘approved accountancy experience’.
6. Can lecturing experience be counted?
Yes, up to 12 months' lecturing experience can count towards the practical experience requirements for membership. The lecturing experience must be at a level equivalent to the Knowledge papers in an accounting, business or finance related subject.
7. Can I use experience gained in a part-time or temporary position towards ACCA's Practical Experience Requirement?
Yes, provided that the work experience is of sufficient breadth and depth to contribute towards achieving performance objectives and is properly supervised. You may find that experience gained in a part-time or temporary position does not allow you to achieve many performance objectives and may not provide sufficient opportunities for career development.
Also, work experience gained on a part-time basis can only count towards the Practical Experience Requirement (PER) for membership on a pro-rata basis. Therefore, wherever possible, it is advisable to obtain full-time work experience* that is relevant, supervised and meets the PER. *As a guideline, ACCA considers full-time work experience to be 140 hours per month. 1540 hours of part-time work equates to 12 months of full-time work experience. This discounts annual leave etc.
8. Do referees need to be members of professional bodies?
We prefer that a referee is an ACCA member, or a member of an accountancy or auditing body recognised by law in your country of employment. However, we will accept a reference from a non-qualified person providing they work at a senior level within a finance function and have a substantial amount of accounting and finance experience and knowledge. In such cases, however, we may also request further back-up documentation.
9. What if I am the most senior member of accountancy staff within my organisation - who do I nominate as my referee?
In this case, we suggest that the organisation's auditors confirm your experience.