Going Places: Degree + ACCA

theaccablog —  October 22, 2015 — Leave a comment

ACCA has 455,000 students located across 181 countries.  There are many reasons why these aspiring finance and accounting professionals embark on the ACCA qualification.  For some, it’s the allure of a career across borders that the ACCA qualification can bring.  For others, it’s the industry recognition that employers associate with the ACCA membership.

Clement (2)

Our student ambassador Clement Tan, who also happens to be a banking and finance undergraduate at the Nanyang Technological University (NTU), lets us in on why a degree is simply not enough and why he chose to supplement his degree with a professional accounting qualification from ACCA.

No stranger to challenges, he embarked on the ACCA qualification in 2012 when he was serving his national service (NS) and went on to become a prize winner for two ACCA papers: Paper F7, Financial Reporting in June 2013 and Paper P2: Corporate Reporting in June 2014.

This gave him a head start over his peers in university who would have had to complete additional papers after completion of their degree in order to complete the ACCA qualification and subsequently become an ACCA-qualified professional accountant.

Clement says,

As a banking and finance undergraduate from NTU, many people have asked me why I chose to embark on the ACCA qualification in addition to my university studies.

“You will already have a degree in your hand when you graduate so why take a professional qualification?”, and ‘Why ACCA?” were questions that were often thrown at me by curious people or my fellow peers.  Well, I chose the ACCA qualification as THE professional qualification to add to my list of educational credentials for a myriad of reasons. 

Importance of Accounting

One of my top reasons was to equip myself with more accounting knowledge because as the saying goes “accounting is the language of business”. The ACCA qualification supplements the current accounting knowledge I gain through the accounting modules in my degree’s curriculum.  

Possessing accounting knowledge also helps me to better understand current affairs issues such as the recent conflict over the deficit in Punggol East town council account. I was able to evaluate and digest the situation as opposed to taking the information at face value.

The curriculum covered in the ACCA qualification is also very in depth and covers areas such as taxation, auditing, business and company law, financial accounting, management accounting and financial management. However, what this means for students like me is that studying for the ACCA examinations is an extremely arduous process! 

But as they say, “What does not kill you will make you stronger!”.  Sometimes, it helps to have such mantras to live by when you are burning the midnight oil or pouring over your ACCA textbooks the night before a difficult exam.  

Global Recognition

I would be lying if I said I wasn’t attracted to the worldwide recognition that the ACCA qualification offers as this would be my passport to pursuing career development opportunities across the world, from Africa to the United Kingdom, to the United States of America, Europe and to Asia Pacific.

What’s more, ACCA’s work with over 7,000 prominent employers across the globe through its ACCA Approved Employer Programme meant that I would be recognised and be ‘in demand’ by leading employers in diverse industries.  My choices would be a plenty and perhaps I can say that ‘The world is my playground’ with regard to my career progression opportunities.  


Adding to the robust curriculum of the qualification is the flexibility that it offers me.  There is no minimum number of exams to be attempted although there is a maximum of four per sitting. I have seven years to pass the exams at the Professional level and this gives me the ability to adjust my modules accordingly, taking into account my university schedule and activities.

For instance, I was able to take a half year break in 2014 where I went to Sweden for a student exchange program. In addition, I am given the opportunity to choose which areas I want to specialise in towards the later stage of the Professional level.  This is particularly useful for me as it allows me to choose which areas to pursue in preparation for a career in the banking sector eventually. 

As time goes by, I often wonder if I made the right choice in embarking on the ACCA qualification. But every time I get a good grade, I am once again convinced that I made the right decision three years ago when I signed on the enrolment form to become an ACCA student!

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