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ACCA F3 Financial Accounting syllabus

ACCA F3 Financial Accounting syllabus

ACCA F3 Financial Accounting syllabus: This Study Guide is designed to help you plan your studies and to provide more detailed interpretation of the syllabus for ACCA’s Certified Accounting Technician exams. It contains both the Syllabus and the Study Sessions for the paper, which you can follow when preparing for the exam.

The Syllabus outlines the content of the paper and how that content is examined. The Study Sessions take the syllabus and expand it into teaching or study sessions of similar length. These sessions indicate what the examiner expects of candidates for each part of the syllabus, and therefore gives you guidance in the skills you are expected to demonstrate in the exams. The time to complete each session will vary according to your individual capabilities and the time you have available to study. Tuition providers offering face-to-face tuition are recommended to design courses with a minimum of two hours tuition per study session. However, repeated coverage of the material is vital to ensure your understanding and recall of the subject. Be sure to practise past exam questions to consolidate your knowledge and read Student Accountant regularly.

From 26 February 2014 ACCA has introduced an improved student experience for all exams available by CBE.  Use the specimen exam available via the link on the right hand side of this page to familiarise yourself with the style and layout of the exam.

This syllabus and study guide are designed to help with teaching and learning and is intended to provide detailed information on what could be assessed in any examination session.


Relational diagram with other papers This diagram shows direct and indirect links between this examination and other examinations which precede or follow it. Some examinations are directly underpinned by others. These links are shown as solid line arrows. The indirect links are shown as dotted line arrows. The relational diagram therefore indicates where learners are expected to have underpinning knowledge and where it would be useful to review previous learning before undertaking study.

ACCA F3 Financial Accounting syllabus: Overall aim of the syllabus

This explains briefly the overall objective of the examination and indicates in the broadest sense the capabilities to be developed within the examination. Main capabilities This syllabus’s aim is broken down into several main capabilities which divide the syllabus and study guide into discrete sections. Relational diagram of main capabilities This diagram illustrates the flows and links between the main capabilities (sections) of the syllabus and should be used as an aid to planning teaching and learning in a structured way.

ACCA F3 Financial Accounting syllabus: Syllabus rationale

This is a narrative explaining how the syllabus is structured and how the main capabilities or sections of the syllabus are linked. The rationale also explains in further detail what the examination intends to assess and how. Detailed syllabus This shows the breakdown of the main capabilities (sections) of the syllabus into subject areas. This is the blueprint for the detailed study guide. Approach to examining the syllabus This section briefly explains the structure of the examination and how it is assessed.

Study Guide

This is the main document that students and learning and content providers should use as the basis of their studies, instruction and materials respectively. Examinations will be based on the detail of the study guide which comprehensively identifies what could be assessed within any examination session. The study guide is a precise reflection and breakdown of the syllabus. It is divided into sections based on the main capabilities identified in the syllabus. These sections are divided into subject areas which relate to the sub-capabilities included in the detailed syllabus. Subject areas are broken down into sub-headings which describe the detailed outcomes that could be assessed in examinations. These outcomes indicate what exams may require students to demonstrate, and the broad intellectual level at which these may need to be demonstrated (*see intellectual levels below).

Syllabus AIM

To develop knowledge and understanding of the underlying principles and concepts relating to financial accounting and technical proficiency in the use of double-entry accounting techniques including the preparation of basic financial statements.


The syllabus for Paper FFA/F3, Financial Accounting, introduces the candidate to the fundamentals of the regulatory framework relating to accounts preparation and to the qualitative characteristics of useful information. The syllabus then covers drafting financial statements and the principles of accounts preparation. The syllabus then concentrates in depth on recording, processing, and reporting business transactions and events. The syllabus then covers the use of the trial balance and how to identify and correct errors, and then the preparation of financial statements for incorporated and unincorporated entities. The syllabus then moves in two directions, firstly requiring candidates to be able to conduct a basic interpretation of financial statements; and secondly requiring the preparation of simple consolidated financial statements from the individual financial statements of group incorporated entities.

ACCA F3 Financial Accounting syllabus: MAIN CAPABILITIES

On successful completion of this paper, candidates should be able to: A. Explain the context and purpose of financial reporting B. Define the qualitative characteristics of financial information C. Demonstrate the use of double-entry and accounting systems D. Record transactions and events E. Prepare a trial balance (including identifying and correcting errors) F. Prepare basic financial statements for incorporated and unincorporated entities. G. Prepare simple consolidated financial statements H. Interpretation of financial statements

ACCA F3 Financial Accounting syllabus: DETAILED SYLLABUS

A The context and purpose of financial reporting

  1. The scope and purpose of financial statements for external reporting
  2. Users’ and stakeholders’ needs
  3. The main elements of financial reports
  4. The regulatory framework (legislation and regulation, reasons and limitations, relevance of accounting standards)
  5. Duties and responsibilities of those charged with governance.

B The qualitative characteristics of financial information

1. The qualitative characteristics of financial information

C The use of double-entry and accounting systems

  1. Double-entry book-keeping principles including the maintenance of accounting records and sources of accounting information
  2. Ledger accounts, books of prime entry, and journals D Recording transactions and events 1. Sales and purchases 2. Cash 3. Inventory 4. Tangible non-current assets
  3. Depreciation
  4. Intangible non-current assets and amortisation
  5. Accruals and prepayments
  6. Receivables and payables
  7. Provisions and contingencies
  8. Capital structure and finance costs

E Preparing a trial balance

  1. Trial balance
  2. Correction of errors
  3. Control accounts and reconciliations
  4. Bank reconciliations
  5. Suspense accounts

F Preparing basic financial statements

  1. Statements of financial position
  2. Statements of profit or loss and other comprehensive income
  3. Disclosure notes
  4. Events after the reporting period
  5. Statements of cash flows
  6. Incomplete records

G Preparing simple consolidated financial statements

  1. Subsidiaries
  2. Associates

H Interpretation of financial statements

  1. Importance and purpose of analysis of financial statements
  2. Ratios
  3. Analysis of financial statements

ACCA F3 Financial Accounting syllabus

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