ACCA - The global body for professional accountants

There is a growing trend for finance functions to incorporate shared service operations, or outsource aspects of their finance activities to third parties to help reduce costs, centralise or standardise operations. This helps organisations achieve economies of scale and to drive business process improvements. Some organisations are also going one step further, bringing together their finance shared service centres, with other functional shared service centres such as Human Resources (HR) under one organisational structure, known as global business services. Shared services and outsourcing operations can be found across many different sectors.


Exams are one of the three main components of the ACCA qualification. The other two components are experience and ethics.

At the Professional level students must complete all three Essentials exams and choose two out of four Options exams.

Students in shared services may find the Options exams P4 Advanced Financial Management and P5 Advanced Performance Management most relevant to their career.

Exam Image



Experience is one of the three main components of the ACCA qualification. The other two components are exams and ethics. ACCA members must demonstrate their competence in ten broad competency areas, appropriate for the Complete Finance Professional. To demonstrate their competence, students must complete nine performance objectives which must be verified by an IFAC qualified practical experience supervisor. All five Essentials performance objectives must all be completed plus a further four Technical performance objectives from a choice of 15.

The demonstration of the achievement of these objectives are recorded using an online tool called MyExperience.

Performance Objectives



Ethics is one of the three main components of the ACCA qualification. The other two components are exams and experience. To become the Complete Finance Professional, ACCA members must demonstrate their ethical competence. To be eligible for the Advanced Diploma in Accounting and Business and to become an ACCA member, students must successfully complete the Professional Ethics module.

There is also a Foundations level ethics module known as the Foundations in Professionalism module which must be successfully completed as part of any Foundations level qualification, including the Diploma in Accounting and Business.



These are behavioural attributes expected of the Complete Finance Professional which support the broad competency areas demonstrated in the exams, the ethics components and in the practical experience requirement. These behaviours are transferable and may apply to more than one competency area and to several components of the qualification, in different contexts. 
Performance Objectives

Behavioural competences


Review the different roles which form part of the finance function. See how to enter and progress through these roles, how they relate to performance objectives and options exams and understand more about what is involved in each role.

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