Foundations in Accountancy

Whatever your ambitions and whatever your role, understanding how finance works within a business setting is important. In virtually any business decision, finance will play a role in shaping the views and driving the outcomes. It’s universally relevant and universally important.

So, it makes sense that you understand the foundations of business finance – how it works, how money is managed, how people use and track money within organisational structures, and how they record that information and the terms they use. Collectively, this is the language of finance and it’s spoken in every business around the world. Irrespective of your role, your career will be enhanced, your employer will value you more, and you’ll gain global mobility if you can speak it.

Foundations in Accountancy (FIA) is a group of qualifications that builds progressively to help you understand and speak the language of finance.

Key benefits

  • Learn the universal language of business
  • Gain qualifications from a recognised global leader in financial education
  • Enhance your employability with skills and knowledge that employers value
  • Flexible options – choose which exams you want to sit, how you want to study and progress at the pace that suits you
  • Open to everyone – there are no academic entry requirements
  • Potential for rapid progress: you can complete the FIA group of exams in 12-18 months
  • Get a head start on full ACCA Qualification
  • Entry route to a career in finance and accounting.


Foundations in Accountancy at a glance

FIA is a group of qualifications:

You can take any one or all of our FIA qualifications. Where you start is up to you, but we recommend that if have no prior qualifications you should start at Level 2:

  •  ACCA Diploma in Financial and Management Accounting (RQF Level 2)
  • ACCA Diploma in Financial and Management Accounting (RQF Level 3)
  • ACCA Diploma in Accounting and Business (RQF Level 4) - by completing this diploma you will also be completing the Applied Knowledge level of the full ACCA Qualification
  • Certified Accounting Technician (CAT) Qualification

Also available as standalone certificates:

  • ACCA Certificate in Audit (RQF Level 4)
  • ACCA Certificate in Taxation (RQF Level 4)
  • ACCA Certificate in Financial Management (RQF Level 4)

Available in Bangladesh and Pakistan:

The Foundation Diploma


If you’re completing all of the FIA awards, you could complete all of the studying and exams in around 12-18 months, but there is no fixed time limit. It’s up to you how quickly you progress.

Computer-based exams

Exams for the Foundations in Accountancy group of qualifications are available as on-demand computer-based exams (CBEs)*. Simply find a CBE centre and pay them directly for the exams you wish to sit. Or you can take exams remotely.

You can sit these at any time of the year though you must be registered as a student and ensure that you have your student registration number with you on the day.

*The only exception is the two additional exams for CAT, which are available at specific times of the year.


You will need to pay an initial registration fee when you apply. You will also need to pay an annual subscription fee by 1 January each year to keep your student status active.

Exam fees are payable for every exam you book, including retakes. View details of all current fees and charges

Study options

Flexible – online or classroom study, or a combination

Start date


Entry requirements

There are no formal academic requirements, but we would recommend those without any prior qualifications start at Level 2. And it may be worth checking that you have the required level of English and numeracy to fully engage with the course: Check your English and maths


Explore the courses with free online learning through ACCA-X

We offer a high-quality online learning programme for students starting their FIA studies. ACCA-X is delivered in collaboration with a world leader in education provision - EdX. These accessible courses will help you gain the valuable skills and knowledge needed to pass FIA, at a pace and style that suits you. In fact, students who learn with ACCA-X achieve higher exam pass rates than the global average. Find out more

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