The Association of Chartered Certified Accountant (ACCA) allows you to skip the subjects in which you already have a qualification or credit. Given that ACCA is a practical and application-driven institute, it emphasizes more on examination on the basis of the skills and knowledge of the affiliate. ACCA is widely recognized around the globe for the exemptions it provides as it offers the opportunity to start your ACCA Qualification from the appropriate level. You can easily calculate the exemptions, to start with ACCA at the right level. But the question still goes back to how and why should one claim these exemptions?

Should one claim exemptions?

The main advantage of exemptions is that you do not have to study the same topic that you’ve already learned previously. It is an important decision to take whether the ACCA exemptions should be claimed or avoided, considering the following factors will help to make the decision:

  1. Gap between Qualification
    If you have recently achieved your qualification or been working in a similar field, then the topics and practical knowledge will be fresh in your mind so you should claim the exemptions. Similarly, if you have achieved your qualification years ago, or you do not hold a similar work experience then there are chances that you might have forgotten the topics. In such a case, exemptions should be avoided. If not done so, it might be difficult for you to appear for further papers because they will assume that you already have knowledge about topics of the exempted papers. Instead of claiming the exemptions, if you appear for the exams, it will refresh your knowledge and will make sure that you are well versed for higher papers. If you are still confused whether to claim exemptions or not then, you should just solve the previous exam papers, and if you feel that you have scored good, claim the exemptions. And if you are not confident enough, then you should appear for the papers.
  1. Time Factor
    Another important factor to be considered while evaluating exemptions is time. You will save a good amount of time if you choose to claim the exemptions. If you appear for ACCA without any exemption, you can complete it within 2.5-3 years. Whereas ACCA can be completed within 6-18 months if you choose to opt for the exemptions applicable to you.
  1. Cost Factor
    If you claim the exemption, cost of any tuition fee or study material will be cut down. However, you will be required to pay an Exemption Fee for every exemption you claim. Exemption fee is typically equal to the Early Exam Entry Fee for the particular paper from which you are awarded exemption. Timely payment of exemption fee should be done.

How to claim ACCA Exemptions?

Once you have determined what exemptions you can and wish to claim, the next step is to share the official proof of all your qualifications along with the registration form with the institute. ACCA will assess your qualification and allow exemptions if you are eligible. Exemptions will only be awarded if you have a qualification from an institute which is recognized by the Education Ministry.

Exemptions Available (some popular courses)


ACCA Exemptions


B. Com/ M. Com

4 Papers AB, MA, FA, LW


6 Papers AB, MA, FA, LW, TX, AA

CA Professionals

9 Papers AB, MA, FA, LW, PM, TX, FR, AA, FM

MBA in Finance

1 Paper FM

CMA Degree with 5 years of experience

9 Papers AB, MA, FA, LW, PM, TX, FR, AA, FM

*Source: ACCA Official Website

As you can see above, the number of exemptions vary according to the previous qualification achieved. A maximum of 9 exemptions can be awarded to any affiliate for ACCA, which comprise of the Knowledge and/or Skill Level Papers. However, the Professional Level Papers do not allow exemptions; you need to undertake exams for it irrespective of the current qualification.

To know your exemptions click here.