The ACA professional level Financial Accounting and Reporting (FAR) exam is likely to be one of the first professional stage exams sat by candidates.
This exam builds on the knowledge learnt from the certificate level Accounting exam and introduces some much more complex areas of accounting.
I would say that this exam is probably the most useful in terms of how the content is likely to impact your day-to-day work, especially if you work in audit. It should also be noted that this exam is built on or tested further in the later stages of the ACA, particularly in the later Corporate Reporting exam at the advanced level.
Overview of ACA Financial Accounting and Reporting exam
|Accounting and reporting concepts and ethics||10%|
|Single entity financial statements||60%|
|Consolidated financial statements||30%|
Method of assessment
The FAR exam itself is 3 hours and given it forms part of the Professional level, it can only be sat in one of the quarterly exam periods, which are in March, June, September and December.
As such, in each exam sitting all candidates will be set the same questions.
The exam consists of 4 written test questions which will carry a broadly similar weight. Given that this exam is at the professional stage, students will also be permitted to bring in their own permitted materials.
The questions set will consist of:
- Preparation of single entity financial statements
- Preparation of consolidated financial statements
- Explanation of the application of IFRS to specified scenarios, with supporting calculations
How to pass ACA Financial Accounting and Reporting exam
My biggest tip for this exam would be to really master the consolidation questions. You will find that these questions are very formulaic which means that once you learn how to answer these, you will soon learn where to pick up the marks. During the actual exam I would recommend taking on this question first, so that you can maximise the number of marks you pick up straight from the off.
As with previous exams, practice is key in this paper. The question bank will be key in passing the exam so make sure you have answered a good selection of questions from each key syllabus areas (as noted above).
In addition, make sure to have your IFRS standards book properly tabbed up so that you can quickly navigate to a specific section as required.
How hard is the ACA Financial Accounting and Reporting exam?
I would say that this is one of the more challenging papers in terms of difficulty when compared to all 15 ACA exams. I found this exam very difficult to begin with as the concepts are much more complex than those in the previous exams.
I would give this exam a 4 out of 5 for difficulty.
The pass rate for this exam is 82.98%