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Financial Accounting Detailed syllabus

(F3/FFA) This shows the breakdown of the main capabilities

(sections) of the syllabus into subject areas. This is
December 2011 the blueprint for the detailed study guide.

This syllabus and study guide is designed to help Approach to examining the syllabus
with teaching and learning and is intended to
provide detailed information on what could be This section briefly explains the structure of the
assessed in any examination session. examination and how it is assessed.


This is the main document that students and
Relational diagram with other papers learning and content providers should use as the
basis of their studies, instruction and materials
This diagram shows direct and indirect links respectively.
between this paper and other papers preceding or Examinations will be based on the detail of the
following it. Some papers are directly underpinned study guide which comprehensively identifies what
by other papers. These links are shown as solid line could be assessed in any examination session.
arrows. The links between papers where there is The study guide is a precise reflection and
only an indirect link and no required underpinning breakdown of the syllabus. It is divided into sections
are shown as dotted line arrows. The relational based on the main capabilities identified in the
diagram therefore indicates where you are expected syllabus. These sections are divided into subject
to have underpinning knowledge and where it would areas which relate to the sub-capabilities included
be useful to review previous learning before in the detailed syllabus. Subject areas are broken
undertaking study. down into sub-headings which describe the detailed
outcomes that could be assessed in examinations.
Overall aim of the syllabus These outcomes are described using verbs
indicating what exams may require students to
This explains briefly the overall objective of the demonstrate, and the broad intellectual level at
paper and indicates in the broadest sense the which these may need to be demonstrated
capabilities to be developed within the paper. (*see intellectual levels below).

Main capabilities Reading lists

This paper’s aim is broken down into several main ACCA has one Approved Learning Partner – Content
capabilities which divide the syllabus and study (Platinum) which is BPP Learning Media. In
guide into discrete sections. addition there are ALP–c (Gold) who also publish
text books for ACCA examinations.
Relational diagram of main capabilities
BPP and the Gold ALP-c base their study texts on
This diagram illustrates the flows and links between the detailed contents of the study guides as
the main capabilities (sections) of the syllabus and published by ACCA. All approved study content
should be used as an aid to planning teaching and providers will be subject to extensive quality
learning in a structured way. assurance by ACCA, but the highest level of
approval - Platinum - will benefit from an exclusive
Syllabus rationale examiner review of content.. There will be only one
Platinum approved study content provider over a
This is a narrative explaining how the syllabus is three-year period, and BPP Learning Media are
structured and how the main capabilities are linked. ACCA’s inaugural Platinum study content provider.
The rationale also explains in further detail what the
examination intends to assess and why. In addition ACCA examiners may also suggest
other text books where appropriate, which students
can refer to when widening their reading beyond the

approved study texts. These are listed at the end of For QCF registered learners in England, Wales and
this study guide. Northern Ireland, passing the exam related to the
above syllabus gives credit for the following QCF
A learning content provider for study and revision units:
material can be found by searching for your paper
within the following link.  Principles of drafting financial statements
 Principles of accounts preparation  Preparing final accounts for sole traders
ontent_provider_directory/search/  Drafting financial statements

Relevant articles will also be published in student GUIDE TO EXAM STRUCTURE

The structure of examinations varies within and
LEVEL OF ASSESSMENTS – INTELLECTUAL between modules and levels.
DEMAND The examinations contain 100% compulsory
questions to encourage candidates to study across
ACCA qualifications are designed to progressively the breadth of each syllabus.
broaden and deepen the knowledge and skills All examinations are assessed by two-hour paper
demonstrated by the student at a range of levels on based and computer based examinations.
their way through each qualification. These relate to The pass mark for all examination papers is 50%.
intellectual levels as designated by the UK
qualifications and credit framework (QCF) and other GUIDE TO EXAMINATION ASSESSMENT
qualifications frameworks. As a benchmark, these
levels progress from GCSE equivalent at the ACCA reserves the right to examine anything
Introductory level of the Foundations in Accountancy contained within any study guide at any
(FIA) programme, to A level, or its equivalent, at the examination session. This includes knowledge,
Intermediate level and to first year degree level at techniques, principles, theories, and concepts as
the Advanced level. The Advanced Diploma (the specified.
Skills module plus professional Ethics Module)
within the ACCA Qualification is equivalent to For the financial accounting, audit and tax papers,
undergraduate degree level and the Professional except where indicated otherwise, ACCA will
level is benchmarked at Masters level. publish examinable documents once a year to
indicate exactly what regulations and legislation
Throughout, the study guides assess both could potentially be assessed within identified
knowledge and skills. Therefore a clear distinction is examination sessions.
drawn, within each subject area, between assessing
knowledge and skills and in assessing their Examinations regulation issued or legislation passed
application within an accounting or business on or before 30th September annually, will be
context. The assessment of knowledge is denoted by assessed from June 1st of the following year to May
a superscriptK and the assessment of skills is 31st of the year after. Please refer to the
denoted by the superscriptS. examinable documents for the paper (where
relevant) for further information.
FRAMEWORKS) – GUIDED LEARNING HOURS Regulation issued or legislation passed in
accordance with the above dates may be
For this syllabus the approximate number of examinable even if the effective date is in the
standard learning hours that a candidate needs to future. The term issued or passed relates to when
commit to each examination is based on the credit regulation or legislation has been formally approved.
value of the Qualifications and Credit Framework
The term effective relates to when regulation or
(QCF) UK, units which make up the syllabus. For
legislation must be applied to entity transactions
FFA or F3, Financial Accounting, the total learning
and business practices.
hours or credit value of the syllabus is 18 credits or
180 hours which includes direct tuition time, self
The study guide offers more detailed guidance on
study, revision and assessment time.
the depth and level at which the examinable

documents will be examined. The study guide
should therefore be read in conjunction with the
examinable documents list.

Qualification Structure
The qualification structure requires candidates who wish to be awarded the Diploma in Accounting and Business
to pass the F1/FAB, F2/FMA and the F3/FFA examinations and successfully complete the Foundations in
Professionalism module

Diploma in
+ + + FiP* = Accounting
and Business

* Foundations in Professionalism

Syllabus Structure
most appropriate to their needs and to take
The FIA syllabus is designed at three discrete levels, examinations in order, but this is not a mandatory
but students can enter at any point. Students are requirement
recommended to enter FIA at the level which is






Syllabus financial statements from the individual financial
statements of group incorporated entities


To develop knowledge and understanding of the
underlying principles and concepts relating to On successful completion of this paper, candidates
financial accounting and technical proficiency in the should be able to:
use of double-entry accounting techniques including
the preparation of basic financial statements A. Explain the context and purpose of financial
. reporting
B. Define the qualitative characteristics of
The syllabus for Paper FFA/F3, Foundations of financial information
Financial Accounting, introduces the candidate to
the fundamentals of the regulatory framework C. Demonstrate the use of double-entry and
relating to accounts preparation and to the accounting systems
qualitative characteristics of useful information. The
syllabus then covers drafting financial statements D. Record transactions and events
and to principles of accounts preparation. The
syllabus then concentrates in depth on recording, E. Prepare a trial balance (including identifying
processing, and reporting business transactions and and correcting error
events. The syllabus then covers the use of the trial F. Prepare basic financial statements for
balance and how to identify and correct errors, and incorporated and unincorporated entities.
then the preparation of financial statements for
incorporated and unincorporated entities. The G. Prepare simple consolidated financial
syllabus then moves in two directions, firstly statements
requiring candidates to be able to conduct a basic
interpretation of financial statements; and secondly H. Interpretation of financial statements
requiring the preparation of simple consolidated


The context and purpose The qualitative

of financial reporting characteristics
(A) of financial information (B)

The use of double-entry and accounting systems (C) transactions
and events (D)

Preparing a trial balance (E)

Preparing basic financial statements (F)

Interpretation of
Preparing simple consolidated statements (G)
statements (H)

10. Capital structure and finance costs
A The context and purpose of financial reporting
E Preparing a trial balance
1. The scope and purpose of, financial statements
for external reporting 1. Trial balance

2. Users’ and stakeholders’ needs 2. Correction of errors

3. The main elements of financial reports 3. Control accounts and reconciliations

4. The regulatory framework (legislation and 4. Bank reconciliations

regulation, reasons and limitations, relevance
of accounting standards) 5. Suspense accounts

5. Duties and responsibilities of those charged F Preparing basic financial statements

with governance.
1. Statements of financial position
B The qualitative characteristics of financial
information 2. Income statements and statements of
comprehensive income
1. The qualitative characteristics of financial
information 3. Disclosure notes

C The use of double-entry and accounting 4 Events after the reporting period
5. Statements of cash flows (excluding
1. Double-entry book-keeping principles including partnerships)
the maintenance of accounting records and 6. Incomplete records
sources of accounting information

2. Ledger accounts, books of prime entry, and G Preparing simple consolidated financial
journals statements

D Recording transactions and events 1. Subsidiaries

1. Sales and purchases 2. Associates

2. Cash H Interpretation of financial statements

3. Inventory 1. Importance and purpose of analysis of financial

4. Tangible non-current assets
2. Ratios
5. Depreciation
3. Analysis of financial statements
6. Intangible non-current assets and amortisation

7. Accruals and prepayments

8. Receivables and payables

9. Provisions and contingencies




The syllabus is assessed by a two hour paper-based

or computer-based examination. Questions will
assess all parts of the syllabus and will include both
computational and non-computational elements.
The examination will consist of two 15 mark
questions and 35 two mark questions.

Study Guide with governance

a) Explain what is meant by governance

A THE CONTEXT AND PURPOSE OF specifically in the context of the preparation of
FINANCIAL REPORTING financial statements[K]

1. The scope and purpose of, financial b) Describe the duties and responsibilities of
statements for external reporting directors and other parties covering the
preparation of the financial statements. [K]
a) Define financial reporting – recording,
analysing and summarising financial data.[K] B THE QUALITATIVE CHARACTERISTICS OF
b) Identify and define types of business entity –
sole trader, partnership, limited liability 1. The qualitative characteristics of financial
company.[K] information

c) Recognise the legal differences between a sole a) Define, understand and apply accounting
trader, partnership and a limited liability concepts and qualitative characteristics:[K]
company.[K] i) Fair presentation
ii) Going concern
d) Identify the advantages and disadvantages of iii) Accruals
operating as a limited liability company, sole iv) Consistency
trader or partnership.[K] v) Materiality
vi) Relevance
e) Understand the nature, principles and scope of vii) Reliability
financial reporting.[K] viii)Faithful representation
ix) Substance over form
2. Users’ and stakeholders’ needs x) Neutrality
xi) Prudence
a) Identify the users of financial statements and xii) Completeness
state and differentiate between their xiii) Comparability
information needs.[K] xiv) Understandability
xv) Business entity concept
3. The main elements of financial reports
b) Understand the balance between qualitative
a) Understand and identify the purpose of each of characteristics.[K]
the main financial statements.[K]
b) Define and identify assets, liabilities, equity, ACCOUNTING SYSTEMS
revenue and expenses.[K]
1. Double-entry book-keeping principles
4. The regulatory framework including the maintenance of accounting
a) Understand the role of the regulatory system
including the roles of the IFRS Foundation a) Identify and explain the function of the main
(IFRSF), the International Accounting data sources in an accounting system.[K]
Standards Board (IASB), the IFRS Advisory
Council (IFRS AC) and the IFRS Interpretations b) Outline the contents and purpose of different
Committee (IFRS IC).[K] types of business documentation, including:
quotation, sales order, purchase order, goods
b) Understand the role of International Financial received note, goods despatched note, invoice,
Reporting Standards.[K] statement, credit note, debit note, remittance
advice, receipt.[K]
5. Duties and responsibilities of those charged

a) Record cash transactions in ledger accounts.[S]
c) Understand and apply the concept of double-
entry accounting and the duality concept.[K] b) Understand the need for a record of petty cash
d) Understand and apply the accounting
equation.[S] 3. Inventory

e) Understand how the accounting system a) Recognise the need for adjustments for
contributes to providing useful accounting inventory in preparing financial statements.[K]
information and complies with organisational
policies and deadlines.[K] b) Record opening and closing inventory.[S]

f) Identify the main types of business transactions c) Identify the alternative methods of valuing
e.g. sales, purchases, payments, receipts.[K] inventory.[K]

2. Ledger accounts, books of prime entry and d) Understand and apply the IASB requirements
journals for valuing inventories.[S]

a) Identify the main types of ledger accounts and e) Recognise which costs should be included in
books of prime entry, and understand their valuing inventories.[S]
nature and function.[K]
f) Understand the use of continuous and period
b) Understand and illustrate the uses of journals end inventory records.[K]
and the posting of journal entries into ledger
accounts.[S] g) Calculate the value of closing inventory using
FIFO (first in, first out) and AVCO (average
c) Identify correct journals from given narrative.[S] cost).[S]

d) Illustrate how to balance and close a ledger h) Understand the impact of accounting concepts
account.[S] on the valuation of inventory.[K]

D RECORDING TRANSACTIONS AND EVENTS i) Identify the impact of inventory valuation

methods on profit and on assets.[S]
1. Sales and purchases
4. Tangible non-current assets
a) Record sale and purchase transactions in
ledger accounts.[S] a) Define non-current assets.[K]

b) Understand and record sales and purchase b) Recognise the difference between current and
returns.[S] non-current assets.[K]

c) Understand the general principles of the c) Explain the difference between capital and
operation of a sales tax.[K] revenue items. [K]

d) Calculate sales tax on transactions and record d) Classify expenditure as capital or revenue
the consequent accounting entries.[S] expenditure.[S]

e) Account for discounts allowed and discounts e) Prepare ledger entries to record the acquisition
received.[S] and disposal of non-current assets.[S]

f) Calculate and record profits or losses on

2. Cash disposal of non-current assets in the income

statement including part exchange c) Identify the definition and treatment of
transactions.[S] “research costs” and “development costs” in
accordance with International Financial
g) Record the revaluation of a non-current asset in Reporting Standards.[K]
ledger accounts, the statement of
comprehensive income and in the statement of d) Calculate amounts to be capitalised as
financial position.[S] development expenditure or to be expensed
from given information.[S]
h) Calculate the profit or loss on disposal of a
revalued asset.[S] e) Explain the purpose of amortisation.[K]

i) Illustrate how non-current asset balances and f) Calculate and account for the charge for
movements are disclosed in financial amortisation.[S]
7. Accruals and prepayments
j) Explain the purpose and function of an asset
register.[K] a) Understand how the matching concept applies
to accruals and prepayments.[K]
5. Depreciation
b) Identify and calculate the adjustments needed
a) Understand and explain the purpose of for accruals and prepayments in preparing
depreciation.[K] financial statements.[S]

b) Calculate the charge for depreciation using c) Illustrate the process of adjusting for accruals
straight line and reducing balance methods.[S] and prepayments in preparing financial
c) Identify the circumstances where different
methods of depreciation would be d) Prepare the journal entries and ledger entries
appropriate.[K] for the creation of an accrual or prepayment.[S]

d) Illustrate how depreciation expense and e) Understand and identify the impact on profit
accumulated depreciation are recorded in and net assets of accruals and prepayments.[S]
ledger accounts.[S]
8. Receivables and payables
e) Calculate depreciation on a revalued non-
current asset including the transfer of excess a) Explain and identify examples of receivables
depreciation between the revaluation reserve and payables.[K]
and retained earnings.[S]
b) Identify the benefits and costs of offering credit
f) Calculate the adjustments to depreciation facilities to customers.[K]
necessary if changes are made in the estimated
useful life and/or residual value of a non- c) Understand the purpose of an aged receivables
current asset.[S] analysis.[K]

g) Record depreciation in the income statement d) Understand the purpose of credit limits.[K]]
and statement of financial position.[S]
e) Prepare the bookkeeping entries to write off an
6. Intangible non-current assets and amortisation irrecoverable debt.[S]

a) Recognise the difference between tangible and f) Record an irrecoverable debt recovered.[S]
intangible non-current assets.[K]
b) Identify types of intangible assets.[K]

g) Identify the impact of irrecoverable debts on b) Record movements in the share capital and
the income statement and on the statement of share premium accounts.[S]
financial position.[S]
c) Identify and record the other reserves which
h) Prepare the bookkeeping entries to create and may appear in the company statement of
adjust an allowance for receivables.[S] financial position.[S]

i) Illustrate how to include movements in the d) Define a bonus (capitalisation) issue and its
allowance for receivables in the income advantages and disadvantages.[K]
statement and how the closing balance of the
allowance should appear in the statement of e) Define a rights issue and its advantages and
financial position.[S] disadvantages.[K]

j) Account for contras between trade receivables f) Record and show the effects of a bonus
and payables.[S] (capitalisation) issue in the statement of
financial position.[S]
k) Prepare, reconcile and understand the purpose
of supplier statements.[S] g) Record and show the effects of a rights issue in
the statement of financial position.[S]
l) Classify items as current or non-current
liabilities in the statement of financial h) Record dividends in ledger accounts and the
position.[S] financial statements.[S]

9. Provisions and contingencies i) Calculate and record finance costs in ledger

accounts and the financial statements.[S]
a) Understand the definition of “provision”,
“contingent liability” and “contingent asset”.[K] j) Identify the components of the statement of
changes in equity.[K]
b) Distinguish between and classify items as
provisions, contingent liabilities or contingent E PREPARING A TRIAL BALANCE
1. Trial balance
c) Identify and illustrate the different methods of
accounting for provisions, contingent liabilities a) Identify the purpose of a trial balance.[K]
and contingent assets.[K]
b) Extract ledger balances into a trial balance.[S]
d) Calculate provisions and changes in
provisions.[S] c) Prepare extracts of an opening trial balance.[S]

e) Account for the movement in provisions.[S] d) Identify and understand the limitations of a
trial balance.[K]
f) Report provisions in the final accounts.[S]
2. Correction of errors
10. Capital structure and finance costs
a) Identify the types of error which may occur in
a) Understand the capital structure of a limited bookkeeping systems.[K]
liability company including: [K]
i) Ordinary shares b) Identify errors which would be highlighted by
ii) Preference shares (redeemable and the extraction of a trial balance.[K]
iii) Loan notes. c) Prepare journal entries to correct errors.[S]

d) Calculate and understand the impact of errors d) Make journal entries to clear a suspense
on the income statement, statement of account.[S]
comprehensive income and statement of
financial position.[S] F PREPARING BASIC FINANCIAL
3. Control accounts and reconciliations
1. Statements of financial position
a) Understand the purpose of control accounts for
accounts receivable and accounts payable.[K] a) Recognise how the accounting equation and
b) Understand how control accounts relate to the business entity convention underlie the
double-entry system.[K] statement of financial position.[K]

c) Prepare ledger control accounts from given b) Understand the nature of reserves.[K]
c) Identify and report reserves in a company
d) Perform control account reconciliations for statement of financial position.[S]
accounts receivable and accounts payable.[S]
d) Prepare a statement of financial position or
e) Identify errors which would be highlighted by extracts as applicable from given information.[S]
performing a control account reconciliation.[K]
e) Understand why the heading retained earnings
f) Identify and correct errors in control accounts appears in a company statement of financial
and ledger accounts.[S] position.[K]

4. Bank reconciliations 2. Income statements and statements of

comprehensive income
a) Understand the purpose of bank
reconciliations.[K] a) Prepare an income statement and statement of
comprehensive income or extracts as
b) Identify the main reasons for differences applicable from given information.[S]
between the cash book and the bank
statement.[K] b) Understand how accounting concepts apply to
revenue and expenses.[K]
c) Correct cash book errors and/or omissions.[S]
c) Calculate revenue, cost of sales, gross profit,
d) Prepare bank reconciliation statements. profit for the year, and total comprehensive
income from given information.[S]
e) Derive bank statement and cash book balances
from given information.[S] d) Disclose items of income and expenditure in
the income statement. [S]
f) Identify the bank balance to be reported in the
final accounts.[S] e) Record income tax in the income statement of
a company including the under and
5. Suspense accounts overprovision of tax in the prior year.[S]

a) Understand the purpose of a suspense f) Understand the interrelationship between the

account.[K] statement of financial position, income
statement and statement of comprehensive
b) Identify errors leading to the creation of a income. [K]
suspense account.[K]
g) Identify items requiring separate disclosure on
c) Record entries in a suspense account. the face of the income statement.[K]

3. Disclosure notes h) Identify the treatment of given transactions in a
company’s statement of cash flows.[K]
a) Explain the purpose of disclosure notes[K]
6. Incomplete records
b) Draft the following disclosure notes[S]
i) Non current assets including tangible and in a) Understand and apply techniques used in
tangible assets incomplete record situations: [S]
ii) Provisions i) Use of accounting equation
iii) Events after the reporting period ii) Use of ledger accounts to calculate missing
iv) Inventory figures
iii) Use of cash and/or bank summaries
4. Events after the reporting period iv) Use of profit percentages to calculate
missing figures.
a) Define an event after the reporting period in
accordance with International Financial G PREPARING SIMPLE CONSOLIDATED
Reporting Standards.[K] FINANCIAL STATEMENTS

b) Classify events as adjusting or non-adjusting.[S] 1. Subsidiaries

c) Distinguish between how adjusting and non- a) Define and describe the following terms in the
adjusting events are reported in the financial context of group accounting: [K]
statements.[K] i) Parent
ii) Subsidiary
5 Statements of cash flows (excluding iii) Control
partnerships) iv) Consolidated or group financial statements
v) Non-controlling interest
a) Differentiate between profit and cash flow.[K] vi) Trade / simple investment

b) Understand the need for management to b) Identify subsidiaries within a group structure. [K]
control cash flow.[K]
c) Describe the components of and prepare a
c) Recognise the benefits and drawbacks to users consolidated statement of financial position or
of the financial statements of a statement of extracts thereof including: [S]
cash flows. [K] i) Fair value adjustments at acquisition on
land and buildings (excluding depreciation
d) Classify the effect of transactions on cash adjustments)
flows.[S] ii) Fair value of consideration transferred from
cash and shares (excluding deferred and
e) Calculate the figures needed for the statement contingent consideration)
of cash flows including:[S] iii) Elimination of inter-company trading
i) Cash flows from operating activities balances (excluding cash and goods in
ii) Cash flows from investing activities transit)
iii) Cash flows from financing activities iv) Removal of unrealised profit arising on
inter-company trading
f) Calculate the cash flow from operating v) Acquisition of subsidiaries part way through
activities using the indirect and direct the financial year

g) Prepare statements of cash flows and extracts

from statements of cash flows from given

d) Calculate goodwill (excluding impairment of b) Explain the interrelationships between ratios[K]
goodwill) using the full goodwill method only
as follows: [S] 3. Analysis of financial statements
Fair value of consideration X
Fair value of non-controlling interest X a) Calculate and interpret the relationship
Less fair value of net assets at acquisition (X) between the elements of the financial
Goodwill at acquisition X statements with regard to profitability, liquidity,
efficient use of resources and financial
e) Describe the components of and prepare a position[S].
consolidated statement of comprehensive
income or extracts thereof including: [S] b) Draw valid conclusions from the information
i) Elimination of inter-company trading contained within the financial statements and
balances (excluding cash and goods in present these to the appropriate user of the
transit) financial statements. [S]
ii) Removal of unrealised profit arising on
inter-company trading
iii) Acquisition of subsidiaries part way through
the financial year

2. Associates READING LIST

This section only contains examiner suggested
a) Define and identify an associate and significant reading which is in addition to the study texts
influence and identify the situations where and/or revision materials and/or other reading listed
significant influence or participating interest within the learning content provider directory.
exists. [K]
Additional examiner suggested reading:
b) Describe the key features of a parent-associate This paper does not have any examiner suggested
relationship and be able to identify an reading.
associate within a group structure. [K]
Further details on reading lists and Approved
c) Describe the principle of equity accounting[K] Learning Content can be found in the first few
sections of this guide and on the following link.


STATEMENTS ontent_provider_directory/search/

1. Importance and purpose of analysis of

financial statements

a) Describe how the interpretation and analysis of

financial statements is used in a business
environment. [K]

b) Explain the purpose of interpretation of ratios[K].

2. Ratios

a) Calculate key accounting ratios
i) Profitability
ii) Liquidity
iii) Efficiency
iv) Position