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Exemptions with ACCA and CPA Ireland

The road to becoming an ACCA or CPA qualified accountant is a long one with 13 exams to take with ACCA and 15 with CPA Ireland. For those of you with previous qualifications however, you may not need to sit all of these exams in order to gain your full professional qualification. See if you are eligible for exam exemptions before starting your studies!

Some students will be given exam exemptions from ACCA or CPA Ireland based on their previous qualifications such as degrees, diplomas or certificates. This means that they will not have to sit certain subjects as part of their professional accounting qualification and will start their studies at the right level for their knowledge level and skills.

Generally exemptions are given to students who have completed degrees in the areas of accounting, finance or business studies. Sometimes this can depend on specific modules within a course and grades you have received in those modules. If you have completed a qualification in this area it is recommended to check prior to beginning your studies with ACCA or with CPA as to whether you will qualify for any exemptions. Both ACCA and CPA have exemptions guides on their websites which will give you a rough idea of the exemptions you may qualify for.

Many of the StudyOnline students have come to us having completed an accounting technician course previously. These students will be glad to know that in a lot of cases they will be exempt from sitting the first four ACCA exams and all CPA F1 & F2 subjects (aside from Information Systems), Accounting Technicians Ireland have published a guide with more information.


How to apply

In order to formally apply for your exemptions, you will need to contact either ACCA or CPAs exemptions team and provide them with transcripts of your qualifications so they can be verified and then they will get back to you regarding your exemptions. While it is free to check if you qualify for any exemptions, there are exemption fees for both ACCA and CPA if you do in fact qualify and will not have to sit certain exams.


Below we will take a look at an example of how the exemptions can work.

University: University College Dublin
Course: Bachelor of Commerce (Accounting)
Graduated: 2015

ACCA Exemptions
– AB Accountant in Business
– MA Management Accounting
– FA Financial Accounting
– LW Corporate & Business Law
– FR Financial Reporting (if modules ACC30020 & ACC30060 are passed)

CPA Exemptions
– All F1 subjects
– F2 Financial Accounting
– F2 Information Systems
– F2 Taxation (if tax option is passed)
– F2 Management Accounting (if management accounting & costing options passed)
– P1 Corporate Reporting
– P1 Managerial Finance


In the above example, this student would be exempt from a large chunk of both ACCA and CPA subjects and it would mean they start at a level suitable to their prior knowledge. It is always worth contacting both ACCA or CPA to inquire as to your eligibility for exemptions!

If you have any queries you can also contact us at through our live chat, by email or by phone on 01 9012016.

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