ACCA FA (Financial Accounting)
Notes, Practice, Mock Exam & Guides

ACCA FA (Financial Accounting, was F3) or Foundation in Accountancy (FFA) is one of papers in Applied Knowledge Module.  The syllabus states its aim is to introduce knowledge and understanding of:

  • Underlying principles and concepts relating to financial accounting;

  • Technical proficiency in the use of double-entry accounting techniques;

  • Preparation of basic financial statements.

ACCA Financial Accounting pass rates are generally good and stable which ranged from 71% to 72% in the past five sessions.

There is no change in the syllabus between September 2018 to June 2019 and September 2019 to June 2020.  Past paper questions seen in last year are very good in preparing the exam.

In examiner’s report, it highlights some areas that many students performance can be improved such as understanding of errors that may occur in financial statements, record share issue in financial statements and reconciliation of control account and ledger balances.  

 

Examiner states that Financial Accounting paper requires you to have a thorough understanding of financial accounting techniques and the capability of preparing financial statements for both single and group entities.

 

It is not rare to find the wrong formats of financial statements are presented by students.

Therefore, you should pay extra care on writing the correct format of financial statements as these marks are considered as easy marks.

Course Highlights

  • Tuition and revision videos

  • Study and revision notes

  • Tutor support 

  • Practice Questions with feedback

STUDY TOOLS

checklist

Exam study checklist helps you to plan your exam with free resources

practice

Question bank for all areas and subjects for practice with explanations

mock exam

Exam style questions for practice before going into the exam hall

Exam Structure

2-hour exam

All questions are compulsory. The 2-hour computer-based exam will assess all parts of the syllabus and will test knowledge and some comprehensive or application of this knowledge.

Section A includes 35 two-mark objective test questions covering all areas in the syllabus.

 

Section B comprises 2 15-mark multi-task questions and these will test consolidations and accounts preparation.  The consolidation question could include a small amount of interpretation and the accounts preparation question could be set in the context of a sole trader or a limited company.

Syllabus

ACCA FA (was F3) is one of the fundamental papers to begin with your ACCA professional qualification journey.

Its syllabus introduces to financial accounting techniques to use double-entry accounting techniques to prepare basic financial statements, such as Statement of Financial Position and Statement of Profit and Loss.

 

ACCA FA is the fundamental to ACCA FR (Financial Reporting, was F7) especially on accounting standards and financial statements preparation.  An edge to ACCA FR if you master these techniques in ACCA FA. 

There are 8 sections in the syllabus, which are –

A          The context and purpose of financial reporting

Explain the context and purpose of financial reporting

B          The qualitative characteristics of financial information

Define the qualitative characteristics of financial information

C         The use of double-entry and accounting systems

Demonstrate the use of double-entry and accounting systems

D         Recording transactions and events

Record transactions and events

E          Preparing a trial balance

Prepare a trial balance (including identifying and correcting errors)

F          Preparing basic financial statements

Prepare basic financial statements for incorporated and unincorporated entities

G          Preparing simple consolidated financial statements

Prepare simple consolidated financial statements

H          Interpretation of financial statements

Interpretation of financial statements, e.g. ratio calculations

In the exam, you will see questions from every section in the summary above.  There is no one area you can ignore as all of them will be in your exam.  Perhaps you find the topics above are separated, however, they are linked together in real business world as well as the syllabus design. 

Section A covers all areas in the syllabus.  However, more marks are found in Recording Transactions and Events (Part D), Preparing Trial Balance (Part E) and Preparing Basic Financial Statements (Part F) from Specimen paper. 

 

Section B contains 2 longer questions on 2 areas which are preparation of basic financial statements for single entities and simple consolidated financial statements.

Time Management

The general principle in ACCA Financial Accounting Paper exam is 1 mark per 1.2 minute which means you have 100 marks to complete an exam within 120 minutes.

But you should be careful that the time spent on the case-based questions in Part B of the exam.  It is probably more than what you need to work on objective test questions. 

 

It is wise for you to practice mock exam to train your time management skills before you need to attempt the paper.

A lot of students ask whether they need Paper FA textbook and some tutors said it's their own choice.

If your answer to either of question below is yes, buy the book:

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Draft your study plan, buy a textbook and follow the plan strictly is the path to success.

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Exam Tips

ACCA Financial Accounting pass rates are stable which is around 70%. 

 

How to study it to pass in exam is one of the questions asked frequently by students.

 

The exam tries to simulate the real world financial accounting operation. 

 

So, it designs to equip students to work in financial accounting operations by telling you double-entry systems at the very beginning, followed by trial balance preparation and how to prepare financial statements. 

Section A contains 35 2-mark objective test questions.  It covers all areas in the syllabus. 

June 2018 Examiner’s Report discusses three examples.  Usually, these examples are important as many students cannot do them well but the knowledge is considered to be core in the syllabus. 

Difficult Subjects
  • Understanding of the treatment of depreciation on a revalued asset

  • Prepayment and accruals

  • Understanding the difference between the receivables (payable) ledger and the receivables (payables) ledger control account

  • Accounting for share issue or other capital changes

  • Suspense account for error to be adjusted for

  • Poorly presented financial statements formats

  • Financial statement presentations for subsidiary and associate

The examples shared by Examiner are:

  • Understanding of the errors that may occur in financial statements

  • Record a share issue in the financial statements

  • Reconciliation of receivables control account and receivables ledger balances

In Section B, each longer question focuses in only 1 area in the syllabus.

One question will test consolidations (Part G) and sometimes including a small amount of interpretation (Part H).

Another question will test the preparation of basic financial statements for single entities (single companies or sole traders).

 

General comments from examiners are:

  • Select the correct format and title for the financial statements (IAS 1);

  • Workings on adjustments or calculations must be shown if you are being asked to prepare;

  • Problem in calculating adjustments for depreciation while some of students are not familiar with straight line and reducing balance methods.

  • Wrongly do time apportionment on items on the statement of financial position;

  • No time apportionment on profit on mid-year acquisition;

  • Incorrectly record the equity share capital;

  • Not paying extra care on calculating unrealized profit.

 

Remember: Practice makes perfect!

 

Number entry questions can be improved by practicing as many questions as possible in different formats.

 

It really helps your performance and chance to pass!

 

In addition, remember to attempt all questions as there are no negative marks for incorrect answers.

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ACCA FA Useful links:

checklist

Exam study checklist helps you to plan your exam with free resources

practice

Question bank for all areas and subjects for practice with explanations

mock exam

Exam style questions for practice before going into the exam hall

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