Becoming an ACCA accountant takes more than just passing exams.

You need to show you can apply what you’re learning in a professional environment. That’s why the PER (Professional Experience Requirement) exists. The PER is 36-months of relevant work experience in an accounting/accounts-related position where you complete 9 performance objectives and can prove your effectiveness in the workplace.

So what counts as relevant work experience for PER?

Relevant experience means you’re in a role where, ideally, the majority of your time is spent on tasks relating to assurance, audit, accounting or finance. Or in a technical area such as taxation.

Your work experience can be done before you register with ACCA (like a past or current job), you can be doing your work experience while you study, or even after you’ve completed the exams.

You will need to get any experience signed off by a supervisor at your place of employment, be it past or present. Your supervisor or mentor should be a qualified accountant so make sure you check with them in advance.

You can gain your PER with any company, of any size, in any sector. As long as the work you’re doing it provides you with relevant work experience.

Remember your employer does NOT need to be ACCA approved. You can work with anyone, as long as they’re qualified accountants.

If you’re working part time, or somewhere your duties are not fully focused on accounting, you’ll be asked to provide details of your role, as well as hours worked, and how much of that time was dedicated to accounting related tasks. Using this information, it will be calculated how much of your 36-month PER you’ve completed. This may mean you might have 36 months experience, but if you don’t fulfil the requirements you will have to work longer towards attaining it.

The 9 performance objectives you need to complete during your PER are made up of five Essential objectives, and four Technical objectives. You can read more into the specifics on those here.

ACCA has great flexibility built into their PER programme so your experience doesn’t have to be completed in one role, one company, or one continuous period! You can do 12 months in one organisation where you only dedicate part of your time to accounting, and then move to a different role with more of your focus solely on accounting. 

Remember to update your PER record online as you go – it’s very important. Especially if you’re gathering experience from multiple sources. 

We strongly advise to not leave your PER to the last minute as it can be very difficult and time consuming, chasing up old employers/mentors to sign off on your PER. You need to update it as you do it.

Please watch this video, by the ACCA, about PER. It has all the info you need!

Are you looking to start your career in accounting? ACCA Unlimited with gives you access to the lectures for all subjects, including those you completed. So you can go back and refresh your knowledge as needed. For more information on this, please get in touch with one of our team.